Let us pray that it is so.
In our latest, we-watch-this-stuff-so-you-don’t-have-to exercise in media masochism, the Calbuzz Tweeting Clique and Carly Fiorina Fan Club Society extracted this five-point collective platform.
-Eliminate progressive taxes.
-Deport illegal immigrants.
-Hold down the minimum wage.
-Repeal Obamacare and replace it with nothing.
-Endlessly raise military spending to fight more wars in the Mideast.
Oh sure, there were a couple dissenters – Jeb Bush and John Kasich actually spoke up for a path to citizenship and Rand Paul upset everyone by proposing sanity in military adventurism – but, all in all, that’s the way the night went among the eight candidates on the stage in Milwaukee:.
Let’s go to the video:
Q: Mr. Trump, as the leading presidential candidate on this stage and one whose tax plan exempts couples making up to $50,000 a year from paying any federal income taxes at all, are you sympathetic to the protesters cause since a $15 wage works out to about $31,000 a year?
Trump: I can’t be Neil. And the and the reason I can’t be is that we are a country that is being beaten on every front economically, militarily. There is nothing that we do now to win. We don’t win anymore…
But, taxes too high, wages too high, we’re not going to be able to compete against the world. I hate to say it, but we have to leave it the way it is. People have to go out, they have to work really hard and have to get into that upper stratum.
Fiorina: Well, first of all, I must say as I think about that question, I think about a woman I met the other day. I would guess she was 40 years old. She had several children. And she said to me, you know, Carly, I go to bed every night afraid for my children’s future. And that really struck me. This is America. A mother is going to bed afraid for her children’s future.
Bush: Twelve million illegal immigrants, to send them back, 500,000 a month, is just not — not possible. And it’s not embracing American values. And it would tear communities apart. And it would send a signal that we’re not the kind of country that I know America is.
And even having this conversation sends a powerful signal — they’re doing high-fives in the Clinton campaign right now when they hear this. That’s the problem with this. We have to win the presidency. And the way you win the presidency is to have practical plans. Lay them out there.
What we need to do is allow people to earn legal status where they pay a fine, where they work, where they don’t commit crimes, where they learn English, and over an extended period of time, they earn legal status. That’s the path — a proper path…
Carson: Everybody should pay the same proportion of what they make. You make $10 billion, you pay a billion. You make $10, you pay one. You get same rights and privileges.
I don’t see how anything gets a whole lot fairer than that. But you also have to get rid of all the deductions and all the loopholes because that is the thing that tilts it in one direction or another. And you have to set the rate at an appropriate level.
Now I will say that, there are a lot of people who say, if you get rid of the deductions, you ruin the American dream because, you know, home mortgage deduction. But the fact of the matter is, people had homes before 1913 when we introduced the federal income tax, and later after that started deductions.
And they say there will be no more charitable giving. We had churches before that and charitable organizations before that. The fact of the matter is, I believe if you put more money in people’s pockets that they will actually be more generous rather than less generous.
Cruz: But on top of that, today, we rolled out a spending plan. $500 billion in specific cuts — five major agencies that I would eliminate. The IRS, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and HUD — and then 25 specific programs.
Dr. Carson goes Full Palin on the Mideast
Q: Dr. Carson, you were against putting troops on the ground in Iraq and against a large military force in Afghanistan. Do you support the president’s decision to now put 50 special ops forces in Syria and leave 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan?
Carson: Well, putting the special ops people in there is better than not having them there, because they — that’s why they’re called special ops, they’re actually able to guide some of the other things that we’re doing there.
And what we have to recognize is that Putin is trying to really spread his influence throughout the Middle East. This is going to be his base. And we have to oppose him there in an effective way.
We also must recognize that it’s a very complex place. You know, the Chinese are there, as well as the Russians, and you have all kinds of factions there.
What we’ve been doing so far is very ineffective, but we can’t give up ground right there. But we have to look at this on a much more global scale. We’re talking about global jihadists. And their desire is to destroy us and to destroy our way of life. So we have to be saying, how do we make them look like losers? Because that’s the way that they’re able to gather a lot of influence.
And I think in order to make them look like losers, we have to destroy their caliphate. And you look for the easiest place to do that? It would be in Iraq. And if — outside of Anbar in Iraq, there’s a big energy field. Take that from them. Take all of that land from them. We could do that, I believe, fairly easily, I’ve learned from talking to several generals, and then you move on from there.
Rubio: I need to add a couple of points to this. The first is, I’ve never met Vladimir Putin, but I know enough about him to know he is a gangster. He is basically an organized crime figure that runs a country, controls a $2 trillion economy. And is using to build up his military in a rapid way despite the fact his economy is a disaster.
He understands only geopolitical strength. And every time he has acted anywhere in the world, whether it’s in Ukraine or Georgia before that, or now in the Middle East, it’s because he is trusting in weakness. His calculation in the Middle East is that he has seen what this president has done, which is nothing, the president has no strategy, our allies in the region do not trust us…
Vladimir Putin is exploiting that weakness, for purposes of edging the Americans out as the most important geopolitical power broker in the region. And we do have a vested interest. And here’s why.
Because all those radical terrorist groups that, by the way, are not just in Syriaand in Iraq, ISIS is now in Libya. They are a significant presence in Libya, and in Afghanistan, and a growing presence in Pakistan.
Soon they will be in Turkey. They will try Jordan. They will try Saudi Arabia. They are coming to us. They recruit Americans using social media. And they don’t hate us simply because we support Israel. They hate us because of our values. They hate us because our girls go to school. They hate us because women drive in the United States.
Either they win or we win, and we had better take this risk seriously, it is not going away on its own.
Paul: I think it’s particularly naive, particularly foolish, particularly naive, to think that we’re not going to talk to Russia. The idea of a no fly zone, realize that this is also something that Hillary Clinton agrees with several on our side with, you’re asking for a no fly zone in an area in which Russia already flies.
Russia flies in that zone at the invitation of Iraq.
I’m not saying it’s a good thing, but you better know at least what we’re getting into. So, when you think it’s going to be a good idea to have a no fly zone over Iraq, realize that means you are saying we are going to shoot down Russian planes. If you’re ready for that, be ready to send your sons and daughters to another war in Iraq.
I don’t want to see that happen. I think the first war in Iraq was a mistake…
Kasich goes totally squish
Kasich: What Jeb is talking about with the big banks is to force them to reserve their capital, people who invest it and they hold their capital, so that if the bank goes down, the people who are invested in the bank are the ones that pay. That’s what he’s trying to say.
Secondly, I’ll tell you about Wall Street: There’s too much greed. And the fact is, a free enterprise system is a system that’s produced the greatest wealth for the world. But you know Michael Novak, the great Catholic theologian, says that a free enterprise system that is not underlaid with values — and we should all think about the way we conduct our lives — yes, free enterprise is great, profits are great, but there have to be some values that underlay it, and they need a good ethics lesson on Wall Street on a regular basis to keep them in check so we, the people, do not lose.
Most important exchange of the night
Paul: You can be strong without being involved in every civil war around the war… Ronald Reagan was strong, but Ronald Reagan didn’t…
Fiorina: …Ronald Reagan walked away at Reykjavik.
Paul:…send troops into the Middle East…
Fiorina: …he walked away, he quit talks…
Paul:…Can I finish…
Paul:…Can I finish my time?
Trump: Why does she keep interrupting everybody?
P.S. re another Republican phony: Remember when George Will argued that Neel Kashkari, who ran against Jerry Brown for governor in 2014, would transform the California Republican Party like Barry Goldwater transformed the national GOP (as if he did)? Our response was to say this was bullshit and to note that Kashkari had absolutely no interest in the GOP whatsoever. “The widely known political imp Tyrion of Kashkari has not for one minute shown an interest in re-branding his party. He’s desperately trying to make a case against a governor who balanced the budget and calmed the hyperpartisan dysfunction in Sacramento,” Calbuzz wrote. So loyal readers could not have been surprised at the news on Tuesday that the former executive at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Pacific Investment Management Co. has taken a job as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. ABC — Always Believe Calbuzz.