Lion of the Blogosphere

Debate conclusion

I don’t think that anyone did incredibly better or worse than we might have expected them to. Perhaps Christie improved over previous debates, but not enough to have any chance of winning anything.

What’s significant is who attacked whom. Trump and Cruz did not get into any arguments with each other. Most of the arguing was between Rubio and Cruz, and between Trump and Bush. Trump thinks that the questioners led Bush into attacking him. Or maybe it was a new Bush strategy. In a previous debate, he attacked Rubio, it didn’t work, maybe he figured he could do better by attacking Trump instead of Rubio. But it didn’t work. Trump trounced him.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but I don’t think Cruz did as well this debate as he did last debate. Instead of stealing Trump’s immigration thunder, he got bogged down in arguments with Rubio about who was weaker on immigration, benefiting Trump.

Trump avoided making any extreme statements, and in fact just the opposite, when asked about his previous statements he offered big-picture answers that avoided details; Trump refused to say anything specific about banning Muslims or killing the families of terrorists.

* * *

Unscientific Drudge poll has 45% saying Trump won, which actually means he lost because I believe he did better on previous unscientific Drudge polls.

* * *

Commenter Andrew E makes a good point:

I think it’s clear that this was easily Trump’s best debate. He also had the best moment of all the debates when he stunned the crowd into silence by declaring confidently that our entire mid-east policy of regime change (Obama AND Bush) has been a total waste of both trillions of dollars and many hundreds of thousands of lives (soldiers and civilians).

Behind Trump’s big-pictures answers, there are some extremely important policy differences between Trump and other Republicans:

1. Trump is anti-immigration while all other Republicans vacillate on this issue. Even Cruz who voted for more H-1Bs and more green cards.

2. Trump is serious about building a wall. It’s doubtful that any other candidate is serious about that.

3. Trump has consistently said that it was wrong to invade Iraq and it would be wrong to make the same sort of mistake again. As Andrew E notes, no other Republican is willing to completely disagree with the George W. Bush policies.

4. In a previous debate when every other candidate said how they won’t talk to Putin, Trump said he would talk with him, making Trump the most moderate and reasonable candidate.

5. Trump clearly comes out in favor of ignoring Assad because of the bigger problem of ISIS. (OK, well maybe Paul also is against removing Assad, but he comes off more and more like someone who’s losing his mind because no one else agrees with him on anything.)

6. And why can’t we remove Syria and Iraq from the global internet? It’s actually kind of weird that Syria is supposedly destroyed by civil war yet ISIS seems to have full internet access.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 15, 2015 at 11:16 pm

Posted in Politics

35 Responses

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  1. Trump gives specifics, but only in policy papers and press releases. His extreme statements only come when he is playing to a crowd.

    He isn’t a good debater, but he isn’t really bad either. He wins not by ideas and arguments, like Ted Cruz does, but by sheer dominance of his personality.

    Otis the Sweaty

    December 15, 2015 at 11:34 pm

  2. * Rubio will soon be sub-ten percent.

    * Cruz did the best he could but has too much ground to make up to catch Trump. Even if Cruz wins Iowa Trump will sweep every state afterwards.

    * All other candidates are now irrelevant.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    December 15, 2015 at 11:53 pm

  3. the libtards (link: seem to think that Trump won and now has this in the bag. Everybody except Jeb was scared to even attack Trump.

    I can’t be sure that this is Trump’s because I keep coming back to Dean. Dean was killing it in Iowa until he collapsed in the last week. That collapse was based on nothing, it just came out of nowhere. Why couldn’t the same thing happen to Trump?

    Nate Silver is a douche, but the case of Howard Dean in Iowa shows that there may be something to his theory that voters don’t really start to make up their minds until the week before the primaries.

    Otis the Sweaty

    December 16, 2015 at 12:10 am

    • This happened in Canada too in the last election, where a plurality of Canadian voters seem to have decided that they really wanted Justin Trudeau to be their Prime Minister, a few days before the election, for no discernible reason.


      December 17, 2015 at 1:00 am

  4. Reading accounts of the debate and of Tump’s poll lead (ABC poll & others) I get the impression that the press have begun to accept that he might be the candidate. Thus we see the emergence of a new narrative ie he is going to lose the election. Almost every article quotes the same poll showing Clinton leading Trump & in the fine print mentions the difference is within the sampling error. If he does survive R party attempts to nobble him it’s going to be a very polarising election cycle.


    December 16, 2015 at 12:17 am

  5. Before Trump announced, Cruz was my preferred candidate. I never really had enthusiasm for him. I just thought he was smart and conservative. I do, however, have enthusiasm for Trump. Cruz is still the second best in the race — but he’s not Trump and I don’t want him. In fact, Cruz is actually starting to piss me off and I’m angry at Iowans for going against Trump.


    December 16, 2015 at 12:19 am

    • Cruz has the face of a sadistic drill sergeant.


      December 16, 2015 at 2:28 pm

  6. The desperate media won’t quit and still continues pushing the next Not-Trump..
    Here’s a photo of Rubio from a lead story on Yahoo Finance this morning:
    Can you imagine this guy in charge?

    Rubio Outshines Trump, Cruz in GOP Foreign Policy Debate

    Nedd Ludd

    December 16, 2015 at 7:48 am

    • Oh man, they’ve been pushing Rubio for 2+ months now, but don’t these clowns realize his Gang-of-8 amnesty support is poison? Even Rubio doesn’t want to say he supports a path to citizenship (he only said green cards).


      December 16, 2015 at 11:05 am

    • See my comments below, the debate took place in venue owned by Rubios owner Sheldon Adelson. Its b******* news item probably planted beforehand.


      December 16, 2015 at 7:23 pm

  7. I think it’s clear that this was easily Trump’s best debate. He also had the best moment of all the debates when he stunned the crowd into silence by declaring confidently that our entire mid-east policy of regime change (Obama AND Bush) has been a total waste of both trillions of dollars and many hundreds of thousands of lives (soldiers and civilians). The only way his answer could have been better is if he added on that America has basically allowed Christianity to be eliminated from where it began. Trump is totally repudiating the Bush foreign policy, something that needed to happen.

    Andrew E.

    December 16, 2015 at 9:37 am

    • That would have been a very good point to score, except that it isn’t quite right. Christianity began in Israel. Christians are a protected minority there. But still, it would have been a really good debating tactic to use. If you are on Twitter you should tweet that to him. I think he actually reads his tweets.


      December 16, 2015 at 10:34 am

      • Christians in Israel are equal citizens, not a protected minority. There is nothing to protect them from.


        December 16, 2015 at 8:31 pm

  8. “6. And why can’t we remove Syria and Iraq from the global internet? It’s actually kind of weird that Syria is supposedly destroyed by civil war yet ISIS seems to have full internet access.”

    We can. That gay guy from Breitbart who’s really into tech is on it.

    Andrew E.

    December 16, 2015 at 10:00 am

    • I call him Milo Minderbinder.


      December 16, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    • I’ve read plenty of news where some ME country shuts down the internet to avoid unrest and whatnot, so clearly it can be done. Presumably the actual traffic goes through a smallish number of exchanges, which could be shut down if so desired. Could they even be taken out by air strikes??

      On the other hand, I get the impression that ISIS has some friends in the region too, like Turkey and (cough) who knows who else. So there may be some practical issues in getting it done.


      December 16, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      • I think President Trump will find that some of the IP addresses lead right back to the US government. Obama has spread the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the bureaucracy.

        Andrew E.

        December 16, 2015 at 4:52 pm

  9. Lion right again: what’s significant is who attacked whom.

    And thank thank you to Andrew E who pointed out the part of the debate that I had read about, the part where Trump stunned the crowd.

    I think that it’s wrong to attach too much significance to immediate responses. It takes a few days for people to assmilate what happened in a debate. I predict that the long-term take away from this debate will be the Trump comment that Andrew E pointed out. As usual, Trump is the straw that stirs the drink. He is controlling the discourse, taking all the risks.


    December 16, 2015 at 10:31 am

    • Actually I think that was a different response from Trump that you read about. Trump gave a bit of a clunky answer on shutting down the internet and Paul immediately pounced on Trump, reading way too much into it. The GOPe-stacked crowd loved seeing Paul attack Trump. When Trump responded with a better, more refined answer (but still substantively the same) about infiltrating enemy communications through the internet, the crowd booed for some reason. Trump basically said to the crowd (paraphrase): “How can you object to intercepting the communications of people that want to kill us?” This time the crowd cheered.

      The audience was filled with morons.

      Andrew E.

      December 16, 2015 at 1:48 pm

      • OK, thanks for clearing that up. So, it seems as if Trump said a bunch of things that resonated, and people will be talking about in weeks to come. As for Rand Paul, what the F is he doing there anyway? It’s really ridiculous to have him in these debates.


        December 16, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      • The debate took place in the Venetian, which is owned by the Sands Corporation, which is owned by Sheldon Adelson, who owns Marco Rubio.

        (Adelson just bought the biggest newspaper in Nevada. He tried to cover it up but it was unmasked. He owns a shell corporation in Delaware which just bought the paper. It’ll soon as one of the world’s major slime bags.)

        I am for Trump if only to spit in the face of bought and paid for puppets like Rubio.


        December 16, 2015 at 7:19 pm

  10. Paul actually had a good moment when he pointed out, after Christie’s blustering that if you want WW III, there’s your candidate. Christie sounded insane with his threats to shoot down Russian aircraft, We had our chance to establish a no fly zone in Syria but that time has past since the Russians moved in, Candidates who want to move into Syria and pretend that the Russians are not already there really are risking a war with Russia….over Syria of all places.

    Mike Street Station

    December 16, 2015 at 10:41 am

  11. Trump’s ongoing strength and clarity made him the clear winner of the debate. He also appeared more calm and presidential. Cruz was a close second.

    I sense a growing rapport between Trump and Cruz. In some ways they are kindred spirits. For this reason I think that a Trump/Cruz ticket would be unstoppable and something tells me they’ve already talked it over.


    December 16, 2015 at 10:45 am

    • I agree that Cruz is running to be VP. I don’t think Cruz helps Trump win the general election. And the establishment hates Cruz too so it doesn’t help Trump with the establishment. On the other hand, Cruz is thoroughly vetted and knows policy well. He won’t be a moron like Sarah Palin.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      December 16, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      • Lion, do you really think Cruz believes he has no chance to win the nomination when he’s ahead in Iowa and the voting/caucusing hasn’t even begun yet? If this is the case why wouldn’t he just drop out and endorse Trump? Also, who do you think Trump should select as VP?


        December 16, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      • I already said he should select Giuliani. However, Cruz is positioning himself as the only guy running against him who hasn’t burned bridges with Trump. If Trump needs to pick someone who ran against him but lost (a very common VP pick in past elections), then Cruz is the only person he can select.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        December 16, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      • Cruz could help in that he is a smart guy and could have positive policy influences on Trump.

        Cruz on the ticket may be necessary because it could be the only way for Trump to have enough delegates. If Trump comes in with 45% of the delegates than he essentially has to make a deal with Cruz to get the nomination. My fear, however, is that the establishment offers Cruz the nomination as a way to stop Trump.

        If I just got to pick any person to be Trump’s VP I would pick Susanna Martinez. She’s a great politician, she’s a woman and she’s Latina. Also she is loved by the establishment and could bring as much of the establishment around as possible the same way Bush Sr did for Reagan.

        Otis the Sweaty

        December 16, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      • Cruz is gambling that winning Iowa will force Trump to ally with him. I furthermore suspect the GOPe are discreetly supporting him in this to make him their “man on the inside”.


        December 16, 2015 at 3:22 pm

  12. Trump is the only one that thinks independently.

    It is more than just the points already mentioned.

    * Trump is the only one willing to challenge Saudi Arabia, and the rich Saudi influencers.
    * Trump is the only one willing to challenge Japan and China for running huge trade imbalances against us.
    * Trump is the only one willing to talk about the disaster that is Merkel.
    * Trump is the only one willing to set aside the neocons’ cultic obsession with Democracy and be practical.
    * Trump is the only one who feels and can articulate that things aren’t improving in many places but getting worse. This is important because doom and gloom are the heart of conservatism. Leftism is a cult of believing in perpetual progress. Saying that the world is getting worse is a direct hit on the leftist world view.


    December 16, 2015 at 11:01 am

  13. The debate was boring, especially Carson. I learned Chris Christie is insane. He wants to set-up a scenario, with his no-fly-zone, which would lead to WW3.

    I thought Rand Paul was excellent, and boy did he move to the right on immigration. Trump/Paul 2016 makes more sense than my previous desire for a Trump/Cruz ticket because Trump and Paul are the only two willing to not invade every country, and restrict legal migration.

    Cruz and Trump were smart not to attack each other. The pre-debate talking heads were salivating over them tearing each other apart in the hopes of clearing the path for The Establishment pick. You could feel their disappointment in the post-debate wrap-ups.


    December 16, 2015 at 11:02 am

    • Paul would be a horrible pick for VP. Won’t happen anyway. Trump may pick Cruz because he’s popular with some Republican voters. Paul shouldn’t even have been in the debate given his low poll numbers.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      December 16, 2015 at 1:41 pm


    Trump is his own foreign policy adviser, and supposedly the lack of a foreign policy team may hurt him….

    But hahahaha, he’s kicking ass on all the other clowns. That is because their “advisers” are also clowns. The leopard cannot change his spots, and the Establishment morons who got us into the debacles of the past 15 years are not going to suddenly dispense good advice.


    December 16, 2015 at 1:20 pm

  15. Rifleman

    December 16, 2015 at 1:44 pm

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