Random thoughts on the GOP field

I’m going to ramble off some random thoughts on the GOP candidates this morning. Call me a contrarian to the nth degree, but when it comes to politicians,  I spend my time finding contradictions in their public statements, comparing their past record or stated views with how they “evolved”, and I look for flaws.  Of course, I also look for some positive aspects of both the candidate and his/her policies.  And for me the defining issue for any candidate is character.

For instance, Jeb Bush flailed around on the Iraq War gotcha question, he’s tried to find a position on immigration that’s palatable to the conservative base,and he’s squishy on many other issues.  On the character issue, despite his impeccable manners, I believe he lied when confronted with reports of him making disparaging comments, referring to Donald Trump as an “a-hole”.

Now imagine if during that debate, Jeb Bush had looked Donald Trump straight in the eye and said, “Well, Donald, I said that and I really feel that you do act like an “a-hole”.   What would have Donald Trump’s response been?  I would have had a smidgeon more respect for Jeb Bush if he had owned up to his words and if he had the guts to say it to Donald Trump’s face.   He crawled behind weasel words and he keeps crawling further away from controversy.

Scott Walker has changed positions so many times, on so many issues, that I can’t even keep track anymore and while I admired his guts to fight back in Wisconsin, on the national stage he’s relying on too many consultants and too much polling data to find a position that gains traction.

Donald Trump garners so much attention and his followers seem to be galvanizing into more of a cult than a constituency and thus many of his supporters take each negative comment about Trump’s low-brow antics and  wildly vacillating political positions and programs as a personal attack on them.  I don’t understand what attracts conservatives to this vulgar, brash, obnoxious, disingenuous, faux-conservative egotist, but there you have it, his petty name-calling and bluster is working. Just paint me in his ” You’re Stupid” category, because I will NEVER vote for Donald Trump.

I believe Trump is a snake oil salesman.  Lots of conservatives desperate for real change in Washington have signed on, so let’s see how long his reality show campaign lasts.  He makes pie-in-sky promises, but with his immigration plan announcement, it’s obvious that he now has some actual experienced political professionals helping him create a coherent message and policy. Oh, and his plan to defeat ISIS is absurdly naive and insanely reckless, not to mention demonstrates an alarming lack of knowledge about history and geo-politics.  See below on John Kasich – we would create, perhaps, a larger problem in the region.  Time for them to actually read a little history and study power vacuums.

Ben Carson appeals to me on many levels – he’s humble, he’s thoughtful, he’s willing to carefully study and analyze problems and his personal story is inspirational.  Plus, he’s shown an independent spirit and a strength of character to speak from the heart, rather than using carefully tested sound bites.  I like him a great deal.

Carly – still like her too, but she runs the risk of sounding too scripted as she repeats the same sound bites over and over.

Ted Cruz shows an amazing ability to stay on message too.

John Kasich was on FOX News last night laying out his ISIS plan and it sounds tough, but it doesn’t come anywhere near dealing with the complexities in the region.  He’s got a Trumpian plan too – go take out ISIS and come home – no nation-building.  Sounds good, but then there’s that nasty power vacuum we’ve created again and someone(s) going to fill that and more fighting will ensue or perhaps Iran will move and gobble up that now ISIS-free territory.  How an expanding Iran works to our benefit or lessens our threat from Islamic terror, I don’t know, but hey, “American troops wiping out ISIS, in weeks”, sounds good.  In the real world, it ain’t that easy!

Just think we’ve got more than a year of this 2016 campaign to follow………. YAWN!!!

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Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Military, Politics

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