GOP debate score card

posted by Jeff | Thursday, August 6, 2015, 11:14 PM | comments: 1

The GOP presidential pool has been such a shitshow that I couldn't resist watching their first debate... and scoring it. But what to score? I'm generally dissatisfied with all of the vague and emotional (and usually divisive) nonsense they've been spouting, but equally annoyed with the stupid coverage by the news media.

So I started by scoring the candidates' answers and scoring them (or portions of them) in one of four ways: Specific, vague, emotional or off-topic/strawman. Whether or not I agree with them was irrelevant, I was looking for intent and content, the presence or not of a position. In some cases the questions themselves may have required an emotional answer, but only a few times. Here are the results:

Donald Trump   1 7 2.5
Jeb Bush 5 3 1  
Scott Walker 1.5 2.5 5 0.5
Mike Huckabee 0.5 1 3 2
Ben Carson   1.5 3.5 1
Ted Cruz 0.25 0.5 5.25  
Marco Rubio 0.75 2.25 3.75 0.25
Rand Paul 2.5 2 1.5  
Chris Christie 3 0.5 2.5  
John Kasich 3 2.5   0.5

So I guess you could say that the winner was Jeb Bush. I was surprised that Kasich did as well as he did. Again, I don't agree with many of them on policy, especially how insistent they are increasing military spending. How do you talk about debt and budgets and think that's a good thing when we outspend the next whatever countries combined?

The next thing I had to score was the moderators. The banter in and out of the breaks was just cringe worthy, but the questions for the most part were actually pretty decent. What I did do is count the number of stupid questions, missed challenge opportunities, and challenges.

Moderator Stupid Questions Missed Challenges Challenges
Chris Wallace 1 0 4
Megyn Kelly 0 1 3
Bret Baier 0 1 0
Facebook 2 n/a n/a

The questions chosen from Facebook were not great.

Fresh off my viewing of The Newsroom, I couldn't help but count the mentions of the things that main character said have become representative of the GOP.

Ideological purity 8
compromise as weakness 8
a fundamentalist belief in scriptural literalism 8
denying science 2
unmoved by facts 12
undeterred by new information 5
a hostile fear of progress 6
a demonization of education 1
a need to control women's bodies 6
severe xenophobia 17
tribal mentality 5
intolerance of dissent 11
a pathological hatred of US government 7

I think what bothers me about most of the GOP candidates, and I would in the general sense not count Bush, Kasich and Paul in this category, is that they're so fucking down on the country, and I'm tired of hearing that. The only thing that stands out to me as being particularly wrong with America is the asshats who are running it (or in this case, want to run it). Seriously, if you're buying into this bullshit, you're buying into fear. Fear is a powerful motivator, and they're using it to pander and get votes from the scared. You don't need them to protect you, you need them to show leadership.

We're more than a year from the election, and already it's a big disappointment. I'm not expecting much from the Democratic side either.


Bryan, August 7, 2015, 1:27 PM #

Good stuff. I too thought that Kasich and Bush came out looking surprisingly better than the others. Paul and Christie both made some sense from time to time, but their run at each other was just bizarre. Ben Carson might have very well been the smartest guy on the stage, but his inexperience really shows. I don't know what planet those who thought Trump prevailed are from. That man does not want to be president and he's making an already damaged party look like a total circus.

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