On September 16
2015, the Republican Party will hold its second Presidential debate at the Reagan Library in California and
will air and moderate the event. The same cast of characters (Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and Rand Paul) are set to take the stage with the notable addition of Carly Fiorina due to public pressure and a perceived nice showing in the first kiddie debate.
One month ago, I wrote a
in which I gave my post analysis commentary on the first Republican debate. Within that article, I expressed a sadness and disgust about the current crop of candidates being so intense, that I wouldn’t watch another Republican debate. Well, I lied to myself. I will watch again, but this time with expectations so low and the entertainment value so high, it’s must see TV in a sad, sordid way.
Americans and the world must continue to bear witness to the public service announcements of embarrassment called the Republican debate. American notions of exceptionalism have been rear-ended by a major political party that is inebriated with far too many purists, zealots, racists and fanatics of the worse kind. There are many, many self-identified Republicans around the country who do not fall into this category and genuinely see some form of a conservative view of government and personally defined values as a marker for an overall, better America. Totally respect that. But as a party, the Republican brand has become increasingly synonymous with ideological litmus tests, fear mongers, anti-woman,
, anti-consumer, anti-immigrant,
to billionaires, uncaring and uncritically pro-business. The Republican Party needs rehab, but they are still in denial about their illness and have not reached their bottom.
Has anything in the past month regarding Republican candidates and the Republican Party run counter to the notion that they should be known as the “Despicable Me” Party? Nope. Let’s recap some highlights: A woman by the name of Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky
to grant licenses on same sex marriages as she outwardly defied the Supreme Court
that made it legal to do so across the country. Josh Voorhees from Slate, did a
of Republican candidates initial responses to a woman who allowed her personal bigotry/beliefs get in the way of her professional responsibility. Their responses ranged from outright support to empathy for her interpretation of religious liberty. Kim Davis ended up incarcerated for six days and upon her release, was treated like a
at an event where a Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, gleefully was on stage supporting this act of bigoted defiance and guaranteeing national attention. Another presidential candidate, Ted Cruz was also trying to get on stage with Kim Davis but was turned away by someone in the Huckabee camp.
Chris Christie proposed to
immigrants with FedEx tracking devices. Scott Walker had initially expressed openness to building a
around the US, Canadian border. He’s proposing to dismantle Federal employee unions, agreed with Donald Trump’s immigration plan and the more he has spoken on anything, the more incompetent he has sounded. It’s gotten so bad for Walker, he is now trying to avoid answering questions about issues because they’re “
” and fear of what is going to come out his mouth. Jeb Bush
the same old, tired Republican tax plan that adds to the deficit while catering to the rich and powerful corporations. Jeb Bush displayed cultural insensitivity with the phrase “
” in response to Asians. Ted Cruz, showing his contempt and disregard for the importance of government in all of our lives, is already talking about leading efforts to shut down the US government again in the coming weeks over a women’s health organization, Planned Parenthood.
Oh yes, Donald Trump, he’s released an
immigration plan that encourages more walls and deportations. He’s continued his assault on women by making
comments about a fellow presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina.
The Republican Party on a national level continues to kick the can, govern by crisis by going on recess in August without passing spending and appropriation bills-setting up showdowns with Democrats and a possible governmental shut down on September 30
, 2015. Under the pathetic leadership of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, it is still unclear how they are going to address another possible governmental shut down based on Planned Parenthood. Mitch McConnell continues to undermine the office of the Presidency with another crass display of partisanship by contacting foreign nations and governments telling them of his intention to undercut the President’s
change initiatives. The Republican leadership have chosen to twist President Obama and the world powers earnest attempts for nuclear peace with Iran into another wedge issue for grandstanding and automated opposition.
So what can we expect in the next Republican debate? We can expect there will be fireworks between Jeb Bush and Donald Trump. We can expect other candidates to go after Trump on his reported socially progressive
on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, taxes and the tax code. We can expect Scott Walker to deflect and speak on safely prepared talking points. Marco Rubio will probably lay low in anticipation of a Bush vs. Trump slugfest and try to sound substantive when his number is called. John Kasich will stick with his theme of sounding fair-minded and avoidant of attacks. Carly Fiorina will probably speak with typical Republican talking points and hope the increased exposure will reap some undetermined benefit in the future. Chris Christie will be ready to defend his immigration stance and reemphasize his potential of being a viable national candidate since he’s coming from a democratic state. Ben Carson will most likely be unimpressive with questions related to policy content and Mike Huckabee will continue to represent the fringe with incendiary statements and policy positions. Rand Paul will be aggressive as this will most likely be his last hurrah.
CNN viewership for the second debate on September 16
2015 is expected to equal or surpass the 24 million that tuned into Fox for the first debate. Great! This is another opportunity for Americans to see a debate over who will represent a Republican Party in decline. A party that wins elections, governs and rallies around the worst of our human nature for its survival. A party that has disregard for the earth and our role in accelerating our extinction. A party that wants to control human behavior instead of trying to understand it. The next debate will offer us nothing new, just more of the same. But this upcoming Wednesday night horror show is free, so get your popcorn ready!
Writer, trained Social Worker and Mental Health Therapist. Husband, father and anti-racist at my core.