USA Politics

Also the reason why you want presidents that they weren’t long time senators /congressmen; so they will got the power without being too much corrupted.
Somehow the second Republican debate was both more substantive and more of a shit show than the first. The number of times that multiple people were talking over each other for extended periods of time was absurd, and there were some really desperate attacks lobbed out there by a few people. At the same time, many of the answers that were given were more detailed on specific policies and helped to differentiate the candidates better.

Burgum fared better than last time, but didn’t get a chance to speak much, and came off as a bit desperate when he kept trying to cut in. He seems to be the only candidate with a full-throated explanation of the full extent of our cold war with China, and he seems like he could be a reasonable candidate in general, but I don’t see how he can break through at this point.

Pence was Pence, with his overly serious tone using lots of words to say almost nothing. He dodged questions left and right while invoking religious and patriotic platitudes, and unless Trump completely implodes I don’t see any path for him.

Christie had a strong night, and if this were the pre-Trump Republican party I think he’d be a major figure in this race. He comes off as being conservative without being nuts, he has a record of winning in a blue state, and he would absolutely eviscerate Biden in a debate. He certainly has his baggage with Bridgegate and his early support of Trump, but he’s another candidate with no path to the nomination unless Trump implodes or the base somehow turns on him.

Tim Scott continues to underwhelm. His optimism and his messaging about race are both nice, but other than pointing to the Trump tax cut bill he co-sponsored, I’m not sure what he’s really trying to offer. His attack on the cost of Nikki Haley’s curtains felt desperate, and he kept whining about not getting enough mic time. But since he’s from South Carolina, he’ll almost certainly stay in until Super Tuesday and hope for an upset.

Nikki Haley generally came off pretty well, but her stance on using special forces to attack drug cartels in Mexico without the Mexican government’s permission is absurd and dangerous, and she kept repeating herself when attacking DeSantis.

Ramaswamy tried to be less annoying than last time, but just replaced some of his smarm with hypocrisy, regularly talking all over his opponents, but then whining when they’d interrupt him, which Tim Scott eventually called him out for. His audition for VP continues.

DeSantis had a much better night than he did the last time around, not seeming quite so stiff and getting a chance to tout what he sees as his successes. He’s anathema to me, but if the base wanted “Trump lite” with more experience and less baggage, he should be their guy. I would actually be interested to see him debate Trump in a smaller field to see how that would work out for him.

People took some digs at Trump for not being there, and I think pressing the angle of his cowardice for not appearing, and using that chance to frame his policy failures in the starkest terms without him being able to deflect them in the moment is the right way to go.

Christie and Burgum are about the only people from this field I could imagine stomaching as President. Maybe Haley if she wasn’t nuts on the topic of Mexican sovereignty. It’s a little surprising that Christie’s electability argument isn’t gaining more traction, but this is a voter base that actually believes the 2020 election was stolen, so what are you gonna do.
He’s anathema to me, but if the base wanted “Trump lite” with more experience and less baggage, he should be their guy.
I know you’re talking about the GOP base and general election electability but I can’t read this line without thinking, “Less baggage, yeah, aside from turning Florida into the Fourth Reich.”

How did I miss this debate? At least last time I was in Germany, so I had an excuse lol. I need to keep up better, clearly.
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I forgot to give Pence credit for one thing -- he was the only person at the debate who pointed out that letting Putin roll over Ukraine would give China the green light to invade Taiwan. This is an inherently obvious point to anyone who's paying attention to the situation, but it still needs to be said frequently so people who aren't paying attention might actually think about it.
I forgot to give Pence credit for one thing -- he was the only person at the debate who pointed out that letting Putin roll over Ukraine would give China the green light to invade Taiwan.

Very simplistic approach, Chinese will not invade Taiwan unless they have no other choice.
I skipped the GOP debate. Frankly, it is all starting to seem more and more futile as Trump seems to have the nomination locked in. This entire primary season has been the arduous process of watching opportunities being handed to candidates and those candidates being too cowardly to rock the boat to take those opportunities. IMO DeSantis, Scott, Christie, and Pence are done and were done before this debate. The numbers have made it pretty clear that voters do not want any of those candidates despite having varying levels of high profiles and the infrastructure to get the message out there (in the case of someone like DeSantis, he's gone all over Iowa and people aren't interested). Tim Scott needed to break through in either of these debates and based on the first debate and coverage of this one, it doesn't sound like he did that. I really don't see how you recover from that.

I think Ramaswamy and Haley have some real opportunities, but the field needs to winnow for there to be room for them and I also think, again, both are just squandering those opportunities constantly. Neither of them wants to differentiate themselves from Trump enough to make this a choice between themselves and Trump - which is the only choice that matters. As long as they are running against each other and defending Trump at every possible turn (I know Haley is doing this less than Ramaswamy), there is no permission structure to vote against Trump.

I just think with all the indictments and baggage that Trump is carrying with him, it's pathetic that not one of these candidates can make a coherent electability argument. Unless they make fundamental changes to their approach, these debates are pointless. This might actually be the weakest primary field of a major political party in modern history.

Add to all this and Trump's numbers are actually improving. Not only is he doing better in national primary polling, but now we're starting to get general election polls where his numbers are improving against Biden. It's all noise at this stage relative to the general election but I do think those general election numbers are the kiss of death for his primary opponents. The whole point of running against Trump was the argument that he can't beat Biden, that argument is gone.
In the US there's at least the American Solidarity Party, which will probably never get elected anywhere, but I imagine I could vote for it in case I wanted to vote deontologically, instead of consequentialistically.
(Replying here, since it's US-specific.) You're right, their pipe dream of pushing a constitutional amendment to treat even zygotes as full human beings and making all abortion illegal under all circumstances is a complete non-starter.
And I'm still eager to understand how the fundamentalists believe they can legislate their conspicuously religious views upon the entire American populace without violating the establishment clause of the First Amendment. They'd have their knickers in a twist if people were trying to formally establish Dharma or Sharia Law, but somehow fundamentalist Christian law is perfectly fine, even though it violates the same principle.

I suppose it's a "God's law trumps human law" argument, but at that point one might as well agree with Trump about "terminating" the Constitution when it doesn't line up with one's personal preferences...
(EDITED to keep it on topic)

As for this particular issue, you don't have to be religious to be anti-abortion. I wasn't. In fact it was one of the themes that made me look more into ethical/moral systems in general and while it wasn't the only or even primary reason, the fact the Church is willing to stand behind something this unpopular (well, in these parts of the world, anyway) was a rather appealing factor regarding my own conversion.

Most of all, I'd suggest reading Jonathan Haidt's The Righteous Mind - that's a book by a secular, relatively progressive, left-leaning modern American evolutionary psychologist (so no right-wing theocratic Christian propaganda, don't worry) - I think it might help you understand the other side, because that was the main reason it was written and IMHO it definitely succeeded.
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The dominoes are starting to fall in the Georgia election interference case. This is the one to really watch, because Trump can't pardon his way out of this one, and he already picked a fight with the Republican governor, Brian Kemp, who certified the state's election results in 2020 over Trump's objections, so he's very unlikely to get a state-level pity pardon, either.

If Trump wins the federal election, he may very well be serving as President from a Georgia prison cell.
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A very yikes pick, but sadly probably the only one that could get the votes. The whole process was an embarrassment and hopefully it follows them into the next election season.
The shit show that is the GOP House continues: They managed to elect a new speaker. This time an election denier.
I wonder what the threshold to remove this guy will be. Or was it a rules change that applies for the entire congressional session? Not sure.

Btw, how do you embed news links like that?
I just put the URL in and the board will “unfurl” it if possible. No magic.