Republicans take d’bait at debate

Having enjoyed the spectacle of not one but two lineups of Republican candidates in Cleveland yesterday, a few particularly spectacular points stood out for me.

1. A woman on Facebook queried the debaters:

“What will you do to ensure Christians are not prosecuted for speaking out against gay marriage.”

I was so flabbergasted at the question I could barely listen to Rand Paul’s answer.

So my question to you, dear public, is this: Has there ever in the history of the United States, nay, the world, ever been a documented case of someone being “prosecuted” for speaking out against gay marriage?

Remember, we’re not talking about “chastised” or “spurned at a cocktail party” or even “Internet-shamed.” To qualify, it has to be a bona fide instance of someone being prosecuted, that is, charged with a crime and taken to court.

2. George Pataki, former governor of New York, opined in his world-shaking opening statement:

“We need to solve problems.”

Then (and I understand this one might be more nuanced):

“We need to rebuild our military so we can stand up to radical Islam.”

So my question is this: Does Pataki think that a massive military buildup could have prevented the Boston Marathon bombing or even 9/11? Will a rebuilding of the military prevent some Islamic Wahhabist or Salafist/jihadi state from attacking Cleveland?   Or is he thinking we need this massive buildup to go into Syria and Iraq to wipe out Da’ish/ISIL/ISIS or Nigeria and wipe out Boko Haram. Or do we need this massive military buildup to referee competing Sunni and Shi’a factions? (How’s that been working for you, countries of the free world?)

Or…just a thought…perhaps a rebuilding and re-thinking of our intelligence-gathering apparatus might be of more use. I’m for fewer boots-on-the-ground and more minds-on-the-ground.

3. Among the various hilarious Trumpisms:

As far as being a Republican is concerned, I come from a place, New York City, which is virtually, I mean, it is almost exclusively Democrat.

It took me all of about 30 seconds (not counting the inevitable execrable Century Link internet delays) to find that “the Democrats retain a nine-point advantage among adult Americans who lean toward a party identification.” OK,  nine points is substantive all right and maybe that refers to the entire Empire State, but it’s hardly “exclusively Democrat.” (Source: New York Times, April 2015) Further, “a city that has not voted for a Republican for president since Calvin Coolidge in 1924 has not elected a Democratic mayor since 1989.”(NYT, July 2012)

Although I normally specialize in after-the-fact predictions, I’m going out on a limb and saying The Donald has played his last trump card.

(update: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes,” Trump told CNN’s Don Lemon on Friday night. “Blood coming out of her wherever.” Need I say more?)

 Duly noted: an actual savvy political pundit, Mike O’Neil, disagrees about my Trump verdict.
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3 comments on “Republicans take d’bait at debate

  1. charleycrews says:

    Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Let’s not give them credence with acknowledgement.

  2. Vickie Ratliff says:

    Thank you. I found your blog while searching for “have Christians ever been PROSECUTED for speaking against gays?”
    I enjoyed/appreciated your perspective and fact checks.
    Your other points were also similar to my questions, concerns, and confusions!!

    • jveeds says:

      Thank you for the note Vickie. I think if the questioner had said Christians have been criticized or, perhaps, advised in their workplace to knock off speaking against gays, she might have had an issue (not much of one, but at least an issue). There was actually more to the question which I didn’t include: “…and be forced to conduct business that conflicts with their religious belief.” I recognize this as the supposed controversy about whether a baker (for example) should be obliged to decorate a wedding cake for a gay marriage. Rand Paul gave the expected response about how terrible it is to force people to go against their beliefs. I wonder what his position would be if I said “It’s against my religious belief to serve Blacks…or Christians…or politicians whose beliefs I disagree with?” or “It’s against my religious belief to rent units in my apartment complex to Asians…or women…or disabled persons?”

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