CNBC Debacle Shows Things Must Change

 

The debacle of last night’s CNBC ‘debate’ between Republican presidential candidates was profound, though not unexpected and not unprecedented. It is past time for the Republican National Committee to require a new primary debate format for their candidates.

This process we currently have, of putting presidential candidates up on a stage, under glaring lights and in front of the cameras, subjecting them to questions from supposedly disinterested media talking heads, who are really attempting to catch the candidates off-guard, trip them up and make theme look silly if possible. It’s just not very productive or informative.

Republicans can do better than this. Of course, Democrats don’t face this challenge since the liberal media (a.k.a. ‘mainstream media’) don’t paint imaginary targets on Democrat foreheads.

Why not try something more useful? Have candidate forums, perhaps, instead of debates. Candidates could be given a list of topics, and set amount of time to deliver their remarks. They could also be allowed time to rebut each other and have some interplay, which would provide spontaneity. There are many better options to explore.

This current approach has got to go. The sooner the better.

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Benghazi Hearings Are About …

 

There was a gathering of the House Select Committee on Benghazi last Thursday. You may have heard about it, the one wherein Hillary Clinton took questions concerning the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans died, including the U.S. ambassador.

During last week’s hearing, Mrs. Clinton emphasized how intensely she has racked her brain over those four men dying so tragically. And she told us how much sleep she has lost worrying about their deaths; in case you missed it, she has lost more sleep than all the Republicans on that committee put together. We know this because she said so – under oath. We also learned that Mrs. Clinton knew, without a doubt and within hours of the attack, that it was an act of terror and not a spontaneous protest resulting from an internet video.

You may have also seen, in the news, that less than twenty-four hours after her Benghazi hearing drew to a close, Mrs. Clinton was joyously taking a “victory lap” to champion herself and to be championed by others, because she had outlasted and outmaneuvered the less than impressive collection of Republicans on the committee. The way liberal media (a.k.a. ‘mainstream media’) and Democrat politicians described it, Hillary had just bitch-slapped the committee Republicans for eleven hours on national television. The pundit class viewed Mrs. Clinton’s ‘performance’ as a turning point in her political fortunes. Her supporters were nothing short of ecstatic.

And yet … we are supposed to believe Hillary and her liberal colleagues when they tell us that last week’s hearing was all about the four Americans who lost their lives in Benghazi, whose memory, they tell us, has been politicized by Republicans. A reminder: Republicans were not the ones grinning ear to ear and celebrating mere hours after Hillary completed her purportedly solemn testimony.

Indeed, one is hard pressed to imagine Hillary caring much at all about the four Americans who died on her watch in Benghazi, or about their grieving family members to whom Hillary lied about the cause of their deaths. Such unfortunate souls are added casualties, upon a fetid landscape of unbridled ambition.

‘Bush’ A Double-Edged Sword

 

The political establishment was abuzz when Gov. Jeb Bush entered the 2016 presidential race, which was to be expected. He had instant front-runner status, and hoards of campaign cash quickly flowed his way, also as expected. Why, one may ask, all that attention for someone not overly charismatic, who doesn’t look good in a suit and doesn’t have a quick wit or glib line at his disposal? Why the early, presumed front-runner status and hoards of cash to a man who, increasingly as the weeks wear on, shows no great energy or urgency in how he conducts himself or his campaign?

The answer is simple; his last name is Bush. And therein lies the rub.

It is obvious from national polling, with outsiders Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson atop the Republican list, that the GOP’s voter base is not embracing business as usual. The genteel, establishment approach has worn thin. And no Republican represents that old-school, worn out approach more than Jeb Bush. He is also inextricably linked to George W. Bush (obliged to defend his older brother in an intra-party spat with Mr. Trump, which is even now an unnecessary distraction). That’s not a good thing in this election cycle, with America still embroiled in Middle-East chaos, and a new direction so desperately sought.

Jeb is on record defending his brother. Should he become the Republican nominee, the liberal media (a.k.a. ‘mainstream media’), along with the Democrat party, will link him to George W’s record. Their assault will be severe, withering and dispiriting. Jeb will be stuck in that quagmire, wasting time and resources defending his brother and himself.

Most any other Republican would find it easier to stay on the offensive, taking the argument to Democrats and their liberal media allies, running enthusiastically against the failed policies of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and focusing on the nation’s desire for a better future.

His name is Bush, a double-edged sword. And there’s the rub.

Today’s Little Announcement

 

Vice President Joe Biden announced today, from the Rose Garden at the White House, with President Barack Obama standing beside him, that he is not running for President of the United States.

His primary reason for not running, according to the Vice President, is that there simply isn’t enough time remaining in the current election cycle to properly mount a campaign; even though other candidates, in prior years, have announced their candidacies at this stage of the campaign and gone on to claim their party’s nomination.

Note the following. Mr. Biden did not endorse the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. He did not endorse any candidate, for that matter. He did say that he would contribute “forcefully” to this campaign’s ongoing dialogue, and that he would be advocating on behalf of Barack Obama’s political legacy. That means he may well, at times, contradict Mrs. Clinton.

The takeaway: Vice President Biden is keeping his options open. Whenever enough Democrats come to realize what a dreadful candidate they have in their current front-runner, Mr. Biden may well be open to accepting his party’s nomination, if they want to give it to him, their ace in the hole. In the meantime, he’ll attempt to drive the debate to Mr. Obama’s benefit.

Might it be that such a scenario is what the man standing in the Rose Garden, at Joe Biden’s side, had in mind all along?

Double Standard Illustrated

 

One simply must observe how the hosts of the daytime talk show The View welcomed Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama to their program in 2008. ‘Kid-glove’ doesn’t adequately describe this. ‘Fawning’ would seem the more appropriate word.

Click here to watch it.

By way of contrast, observe the not so gentle manner in which the hosts of the same program, The View, confronted Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, earlier this week.

Click here to watch it.

Liberals contort themselves trying to rationalize such displays, but there’s no denying a double standard, whereby the liberal media favor their own over conservatives. Examples abound. This one is blatant to the point of absurdity.

Capitalism, Democracy, Loaves and Fishes

 

A friend used to join me for walks along the beautiful California coastline. During one such outing, I suggested to my friend, a liberal theologian, that there were good and bad souls on both sides of America’s great political divide, and that surely there were legitimate distinctions between ‘right’ and ‘left’ that had nothing to do with notions of right and wrong. He nodded in apparent agreement, which encouraged me to ask what he saw as the most basic distinction, free of moral judgment, between conservatives and liberals.

He considered my query and then told me he favored liberalism because it was more consistent with the teachings of Jesus Christ. And yes, my jaw did drop, for it was as though he’d not heard my question at all. Or perhaps he did, but determined to ignore the point of it, relying instead on the false, fall-back notion that liberals are morally superior to conservatives. There is a well-known proverb.

Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day.                                                                                               Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.

Once a man has eaten the fish that’s given to him, he’ll likely return for another. If you keep giving him free fishes, and throw in some day-old bread, that man will become dependent upon you. And if you act so as to increase that man’s dependence, eventually you will be able to control him. Our federal government, with its administrative appendages and liberal enablers, has become skilled at handing out what appear to be free loaves and fishes. The hidden reality is that, ultimately, none of what they hand out is free. Americans pay for the government’s loaves and fishes, increasingly, with their surrender of personal liberties.

Conservatives (including some Republicans), take a different approach. We want to teach people how to catch their own fish and bake their own bread. Do that for someone, and you’ve gone a long way toward making them independent. They likely won’t return to you looking for a handout, but will, instead, go about catching more fish and baking more bread, tending their garden and raising their children, and perhaps encouraging others to do the same.

Bearing this in mind, I humbly suggest that capitalism, despite its inherent inequities, is the most egalitarian means yet devised to create wealth and opportunity, and to broadly improve the quality of human life; that democracy, despite its inefficiencies, is the most effective approach yet devised to promote human freedom and self-determination; and that capitalism and democracy are morally and inextricably linked. I proffer this, free of charge, to liberal theologians everywhere.