Kevin Drum, of Mother Jones, live-blogged last night's debate, and I saw he wrote this at 9:07 PM:
These folks are still obsessed about whether Obama will say radical Islamic terror. Can someone please ask why they're so fixated on this? Do they really think that saying this over and over actually makes a difference?I wish I could cite the sources who can document this, but it is apparently true that if you say "Radical Islamist Terrorist", then Muslims the world over, most of whom don't understand English, just hear "blahblahblah Islam blahblahblah".
I've always wondered why nobody ever seemed to ask one of the Republican candidates about this, point blank, and was pleased to see on CNN, after the debate, Jake Tapper ask Ted Cruz, specifically wondering out loud if he couldn't see how damaging this can be in that it seems to tell the world that we are at war with Islam itself!
Paraphrasing Cruz's answer (which I can't quote because I don't have a transcript) was, No, no! The Democrats refuse to say the term because of political correctness! They just don't want to hurt someone's feelings.
There you have it! Occam's razor! The truth is just too complicated to be true.
So who won the debate, you ask?
Since there's nothing substantially new in successive debates, so maybe it doesn't really matter. The only thing I haven't heard anybody mention is Rand Paul bringing what sounded like an entourage of maybe eight to ten people, with instructions to try, after everything he says, to be as loud as everybody else's followers. I think the campaign calculated that this would bring his poll numbers up from the basement, but I seriously doubt it worked for him.
I'm convinced that having so many debates, with so many candidates repeating the same stuff over and over, is not just destructive to their own party, it's destructive to the whole American zeitgeist. After all, with interest rates going up today, one more indication that the economy is coming back, what do the Republicans have to sell except fear that something awful is going to happen? By hearing this doom and gloom repeated over and over again, in debate after debate, citizens have little choice but take it for granted that the country is in deep doodoo -- which it isn't -- and that weakling Barack Obama and feckless Hillary Clinton have royally screwed things up -- which they haven't.
Still, asking who wins these Republican dog-and-pony shows is like asking who won last year's "Puppy Bowl" on Animal Planet. Do you remember? Of course not! Nobody does. People watch the "Puppy Bowl" just for the senseless spectacle, and when any contestant wins, it's largely by accident.
But something else the two events have in common is that contestants of both know about equally as much as the other about which part of the nuclear triad to upgrade first.