Tonight's was by far the most tiresome and aggravating debate, and we ought to be grateful to Trump that he's the one up there having to put up with all this bullshit instead of us. It was like a pair of spastic protesters disrupting one of his rallies, only he couldn't just call security on them. One forgettable gotcha talking point after another from the Cuban twosome, for 120 minutes straight.
Foam party robot was by far the worse, with his gay "I'm such a little stinker face" going off every five seconds, like some fifth grader mouthing off to the teacher and looking for cheers from the other little brats in the audience. Too bad there were cameras rolling, or the teacher would've whipped his ass -- although maybe not, Rubio would probably enjoy that too much.
Once you distill the barrage of attacks, they amounted to two claims:
1) Trump does not pass some purity test of Republican orthodoxy that ossified during the 1980s (libertarian economics, warhawk foreign policy, guided by Israel).
2) Trump, a billionaire, does not pass some purity test of 100% always lifting up the little guy.
Gee, do ya think so?
Trump has been hammering away at the neocon orthodoxy since he launched his campaign. No one except for Beltway gloryhole enthusiasts cares if he wants the government to pay for desperately poor people to get health care so that "people won't be dying in the streets". No one cares if he wants foreign nations pay for our military protection, instead of over-extending our military. No one cares if we start a trade war with Mexico to get them to pay for the wall that will seal off their flood of illegal immigrants, drugs, and potential terrorists into our country. And certainly no one gives a damn if we're going to be neutral in the Israel-Palestine negotiations.
In fact, not only are these examples of "we don't care" -- we actually WANT these things to happen. He drew us in by promising to repeal and replace the Republican orthodoxy with something much, much better -- you're gonna get to keep your common sense, you won't be denied for a pre-existing empathy, and we're gonna get rid of all the monopolistic lines around the issues, so that many different points of view can compete.
And do the shills who wasted so many millions of dollars on "opposition research" really think we were so naive that we assumed a billionaire, who made his fortune in Manhattan real estate, beauty pageants, casinos, and mass entertainment, had absolutely zero blemishes? And the best they could find was him hiring some Polish illegals way back in the early 1980s? That's nothing compared to Trump's peers on the class pyramid who hire millions of Mexican illegals right now.
We're not voting for the next candidate for canonization -- we're voting for the best candidate to turn around our great big fat mess of a country, and stabilize what has been falling apart. That's his forte -- turning around failing enterprises, where "buy low and sell high" comes from his improvements of what started out as garbage, not from luckily timing a speculative bubble like the stock market gamblers.
So, despite what you'll hear from the clueless pundits, nothing at all changed tonight in the attacks on Trump. They're still going after him for not being an Israel-first libertarian warhawk, and for not being a saint. All that's changed is the intensity of these attacks.
This far along into the primary season, the cuck candidates and their (bare)backers still don't realize that we're in a qualitatively different environment in 2016. Doing what worked 5, 10, 20 years ago does not work this time around. If anything, it may harm rather than help. Likewise, doing what would have been suicidal 5, 10, 20 years ago will if anything help out in 2016.
In their minds, the first mistake was ignoring Trump as a real threat. So then they turned to attacking him -- but on the outmoded factors of neocon orthodoxy and "the personal is political" purity tests. That didn't work, so they figured the mistake was quantitative (instead of qualitative), and would fix that by dialing up the intensity of the outmoded attacks. That will still fail, and Trump is going to come out of Super Tuesday with many times the number of delegates as either of the spaz crew.
They still haven't learned that we're moving away from elitism to populism, and from globalism to nationalism, and that the culture war is dead -- we want real results now, not empty symbolic grandstanding. It's all to the good for the Trump movement, since it means our main enemies can't even tell which way their gun is pointing. Like a cargo cult, they're just going through the same old motions, blindly believing that they'll produce the same effects.
Political realignment can feel like stepping into bizarro world, where the trusty old rifles of yesteryear have been bent to point backwards, while someone who appears to shoot himself in the foot only grows stronger, as though bullets were now filled with vitamins and steroids rather than solid metal.
In fact, the only non-Trump candidate who has done consistently better than initially expected is Kasich. He was always thought to be a non-entity, and of course he has no shot of winning the nomination. But he's still in the race, he has 6 delegates to Jeb's 4, even managing to score 2nd in one state, whereas Jeb scored nothing anywhere. Jeb was the favorite from the very beginning, yet Kasich managed to out-perform him.
I think he's still hanging on with fundraisers and delegate counts because, unlike the other also-rans, he didn't make his platform purely reactionary to Trump's platform. By now, Rubio and Cruz are running exclusively on the promise that "I can defeat Trump" -- what the hell kind of distinctive platform is that? Kasich taps into the populist sentiment, however weakly and folksily. And he keeps emphasizing that change begins at home, at the community level, etc., and let's not get so bogged down in foreign policy wonk circle-jerking. He has played down the culture war in favor of concrete results.
He's a total Establishment puppet, but so are the two Cubans, and so was the presumed heir Jeb. Yet this Establishment puppet has outperformed expectations, while the other puppets have had dismal and failing results compared to what was expected of them. That shows that even in the "pat on the head" tier of candidates, voters are looking for someone more in the direction of populism, nationalism, and concrete results over culture war grandstanding.