Last night’s Republican debate was neither informative nor entertaining. Everyone has been piling on Trump. Earlier, Romney suggested ways voters could prevent Trump from winning the nomination outright. Another former presidential contender, John McCain, attacked Trump as well. The establishment Republicans are attacking their own frontrunner! At the debate, Rubio and Cruz criticized Trump for past business dealings and donations to Clinton’s previous campaign. They also employed Trump’s tactics against him: talking over him and belittling him. Rubio called Trump a con man. Cruz treated Trump like a child when he suggested Trump count to ten. Trump, acting normally for him, called Rubio a little man and Cruz a bigger con man. You get the picture if you know how eight year old boys act on the playground. Kasich sat on the sidelines trying to score points by being above the fray. The Fox News commentators played a part in this debased debate. They asked questions, not designed to spark debate, but to provoke criticism. The questions were fine for interviews but not for a debate. The novelty of watching adults act like children has worn off. But, it is a new chapter in the debate book. People will keep reading just to finish the book. They’ll tune in to the next debate to see what’ going to happen, even if it continues to be a sad spectacle.
The Democrats, on the other hand, have been more strategic. They made it more difficult for a non-establishment candidate to win the nomination. They have fewer debates, no winner take all primaries, and superdelegates. The Democrats have used technology more effectively and have managed to keep the candidates from attacking each other personally. The Democrats will have a difficult time deciding which clips of other Republicans tearing the nominee apart to use in the general election. While all this is going on, the Republicans in the Senate are refusing to consider a new Supreme Court Justice. While that may appease their base, it may also bring more Democrats to the presidential polls.
The debates are supposed to sharpen the candidate’s speaking skills, air dirty laundry so it’s old news by the time the general election comes around, and show how enemies in the campaign can rally around the eventual nominee to fight against the opposing party. However, the Republican debate is directionless, petty, and undignified. Have we simply been sucked into the Trump Universe or is something more profound occurring? Are the Republican debates a sign of an eventual break up of Republican party? Either way, the Democrats hoping for victory in the 2016 election must be pleased. The Republicans are in self-destruct mode. There’s lots of time between now and November, but the Republicans aren’t working well together. The Democrats are. Republicans: it’s your party and you’ll cry if you want to.