A Confederacy of Dunces Blather

What We Learned in Boulder

Donald Trump appears to have started a trend of sorts. When asked a question you don’t like, or you don’t have a good answer for, or simply that ticks you off for whatever reason, you attack the one asking the question. Better yet, leapfrog the questioner and attack the so-called liberal media.

Since Trump has proven himself to be a first-class demagogue, one who happily panders to the worst traits lurking in the hearts of many citizens, and his debasement has won him a considerable following, why not follow his lead?

So his fellow contenders snatched at his banner October 28 in Boulder, turning the table on CNBC’s beleaguered panel of interrogators with plenty of hot condemnation for, of all things, not talking to the issues, as if any of these candidates were really there to discuss issues in any honest and forthright manner. By the looks of the following day reports, lots of people, among them the damned liberal media, ate up the spectacle. 

What an evening of television viewing it was, with two old ideas long worn into clichés, illustrated: shooting the messenger revealing the emperor wears no clothes.

For example, Ted Cruz didn’t like being asked if he saw himself as a problem solver because he opposed the debt limit compromise. Rather than set forth reasons for his position, he chose to launch into a rant about why the American people don’t trust the media, an extrapolation of the paranoia of some right-wingers to the entire U.S. population. Sure, it probably endeared Cruz to a minority who already find him endearing, but what about the rest of us, not all of whom find the media a pack of liars.

Or, how about Marco Rubio, another of the putative winners of the evening? When asked about his past history of muddled personal finances, he took umbrage, as if this wasn’t a legitimate question to be asked of someone who would have a hand in the finances of the country. When challenged on his proposed tax plan, which appears to be more beneficial to the wealthy, he flat-out called the statement untrue, going on to explicate his budget talking points. In the minds of some, asking Rubio about his personal finances is somehow construed as unfair to the guy.

Such was the evening. And whose fault was it that it appeared more a brawl than a debate? That nothing much new revealed itself. The media’s. Yet, of course, we did learn something, a something that has been eating at us for a long time. It was and is that none of these folks are up to the job of the presidency. w/c

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