We’re finally getting to the real debates. Senator Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina are already off the main stage; Gov. Chris Christie, Gov. John Kasich, Gov. Jeb Bush, and Dr. Ben Carson are already moving to the edges and seemed either desperate for attention (Christie, Bush) or were showing clear signs of resignation (Kasich, Carson). Carson in particular seemed disoriented on a couple of points.
The real battle was between Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz, and Senator Marco Rubio.
Overall the debate came off as a one-one-one between Trump and Cruz, with Rubio interjecting his new “angry mode” personality as often as possible. Cruz was quite masterful in his delivery, while Trump ranged from pretty cogent to disastrous. More the latter, really—at some points (especially early in the debate), he looked like an Art Bell long-time listener, first-time caller.
Much of the discussion after the debate seems to revolve around an exchange between Cruz and Trump regarding New York “values.” Cruz insulted Trump (and New York City residents) by claiming Trump is characteristic of Manhattan: spoiled, liberal, and out-of-touch with America. Trump replied with a non-rehearsed rebuttal about the great strength New York displays in adversity.
On the one hand, a lot of political pundits seem to agree that Trump delivered a powerful comeback, and basically won the debate; Cruz, on the other hand, just wrote of New York and indeed insulted most of the East Coast. The Czar notes that nearly all the people on this side of the argument are, well, East Coasters.
Twitter, on the other hand, seems to agree with Cruz: New Yorkers love to bad-mouth America, but when the tables are turned, New Yorkers sure don’t like it. It seems that the America between the two coasts very much agrees with Cruz.
The bottom line is this: Cruz is right. Residents of New York City are overwhelmingly anti-Republican, and Trump has long lived in that world. New York City does not represent conservative American interests. If Cruz just lost New York City’s vote, it will cost him only the half the population of Staten Island. With an electoral system, he’d never win New York anyway.
If Trump bested Cruz on this point, it will win him nothing. Nothing.
Overall, the most interesting debate so far. As we see candidates drop out, they will improve. Kasich’s going-through-the-motions delivery, Christie’s off-putting and overly defensive potshots, and Carson’s bewildering inconsistency on important topics (spot on in some cases, nonsensical in others) will see them drop out soon.
And why does Jeb Bush bother to show up?
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.