Thoughts on the GOP debate(s) last night?


Y’all are likely better situated to comment than I am.

First, I missed the early, junior-varsity debate. I was still at work, on a deadline. Then, at 9, I tried to tune in, and found Fox didn’t want to let me do that, even streaming on my laptop. I fumed about that for half an hour or so before Tweeting this:

I mean, seriously: I don’t DO cable these days. Who needs it, with Netflix, Amazon and HBO NOW? And in the 21st century, what major content organization doesn’t want the whole world buzzing about it when it has an exclusive such as this? Dumb. Fox should be looking for viable ways to move away from old-school cable, the way HBO has.

But the nice thing about griping on Twitter is that people go out of their way to offer you solutions. Soon, I was watching it on the SkyNews app on Apple TV. (And apparently Fox even tried to shut that down, but missed the Apple TV avenue.)

So I saw more than an hour of it, and you know what? I was pretty impressed. It could have been SO much worse with that many people on the stage, especially when one of them is Donald Trump. But even The Donald, while bombastic and so red-faced I thought he was about to bust a blood vessel, actually seemed to be trying to be a serious candidate, after his fashion.

The Fox people were really putting their best foot forward, and the moderators — Mike Wallace’s boy, the hot blonde with the late-’60s eyelashes, and the earnest, round-headed kid — were taking their jobs seriously. Fox REALLY should have been paying people to watch this, rather than trying to limit the audience, because it would have made a good impression on people who haven’t seen them lately.

The three were asking serious, tough questions, and following up very professionally, as former Greenville News editorialist Paul Hyde noted on Facebook:

Much to their credit, the Fox News journalists are acting like journalists, challenging the individual candidates on economic policy, abortion, and their own divisive, sexist and strident statements.

You know they were doing a decent job, because a lot of the so-called “conservatives” watching were really ticked off at them. They were all like, “Et tu, Fox?” Only not in Latin, of course.

As for the candidates, I actually felt like I was getting some useful impressions of them, despite the fact that there were far too many of them. Not that I changed my mind or anything — I had previously had the most positive impressions of (in no particular order) Bush, Rubio, Christie and Huckabee, and I came away feeling about the same.

My biggest regret, aside from missing most of the first hour, was that I would have liked Lindsey Graham to be there. I think he would have held his own pretty well. I didn’t really care to see him with the second-tier, although I would have watched if not for the work conflict. That said, I think the criteria for choosing who made the varsity game was fair.

It was interesting. There was plenty of foolishness to put me off, but there was food for thought. And I didn’t expect that from such a crowd scene…


The moderators — Mike Wallace’s boy, the hot blonde with the late-’60s eyelashes, and the earnest, round-headed kid — did a good job.

57 thoughts on “Thoughts on the GOP debate(s) last night?

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    And Kathryn, I hope you’re pleased that I didn’t just post all my Tweets from the debate, as I wanted to do. I know you hate that.

    But I will share this one (as well as the one above). I enjoy following @dick_nixon, as do a lot of people, because he has this knack for saying things about current events that really sound like something Nixon would have said. He’s often funny, and sometimes makes serious points. Anyway, I get a kick out of it.

    Last night, I couldn’t resist reaching out to him to ask this:

    You get it, right?

    Anyway, I was very gratified that “Tricky Dick” favorited it…

  2. Doug Ross

    I watched the whole debate and came away thinking a good ticket for the Republicans would be Rubio/Walker or Rubio/Fiorina.

    Trump did poorly. He has a history that he tried to talk around but came across as just a loudmouth fool. I’m guessing he has peaked and will drop from here. The qualities that make him a successful businessman don’t translate on the stage.

    Rubio was impressive. All he really has to overcome is the perception that he is too young. He has a good backstory, might bring in a few Hispanic votes. He was calm, cool, and on message.

    I think Rand Paul was okay despite getting the least amount of time (along with Carson) to speak. He won the mini-dustup with Christie over broad data collection. It seems pretty simple – GET A WARRANT IF YOU SUSPECT SOMETHING.

    Cruz was Cruz. A very smart guy who speaks very well but says things that are on the outer edge of the right wing. Same with Huckabee. We was what we all know he is. A guy who sees everything through the prism of the Bible. Nice guy, too fundamentalist. But I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE his Fairtax proposal.

    Kasich apparently wasn’t ready to declare himself as a Democrat but came off sounding like one pretty often — other than on balancing the budget. His answer on how he would treat his daughter if she were gay and wanted to get married was a classic dodge. Just get over it and let people who want to marry do so… it won’t harm anyone else.

    Christie and Trump’s accents won’t play in Peoria in my opinion. Americans aren’t going to vote for a guy who talks like them. And what was up with Christie’s hair? It looked like he had a hairpiece pasted on top. He doesn’t seem presidential.

    Carson was too laid back until his jokes at the end. Smart guy. Nice guy. No clear opinions on anything.

    There was too much abortion talk. That genie is out of the bottle and is never going back in. There may be some options to tweak the funding or address late term abortions but it’s never going to be illegal again.

    The biggest loser, in my opinion, was Jeb Bush, thankfully. He was dull and incoherent. He came across as less charismatic than his brother and less intelligent than his father. Do we really want the third string Bush?

    The contrasts between Rubio and Hillary would be very interesting if they matched up. Pair him with someone with a little more executive experience and they would have a shot. Plus he probably makes Florida a close race which means a lot in the electoral college.

    1. Mark Stewart

      I thought Kasich did the best. That probably wouldn’t surprise anyone; but I didn’t know a thing about him before. Rubio is not ready for this race; not this year. Scott Walker is peaking, too.

      Next debate better have Fiorina on stage and Trump off; what a complete waste of everyone’s time to give him airtime.

      1. Juan Caruso

        “Next debate better have Fiorina on stage and Trump off; what a complete waste of everyone’s time to give him airtime.” – Mark S.

        The selection is based largely on audience draw, not political nuances. Trump is still the poipular preference. Complaining about Trump’s history is bound to fall on the deaf ears of the same crowd that has elected Obama twice, with Barrack’s checkered history, negligible executive experience, failure to keep promises and MAJOR position shifts.

        Fiorina will get her big shot if and when (soon should be indicted) Hillary ever comes out of hiding. She has had less executive experience than Trump in the real world of business management and is Veep collateral.

  3. Doug Ross

    TV ratings for the debate were off the charts. 16 million viewers… more than double any prior primary debate. That was the Trump effect.

  4. Jeff Mobley

    Long Comment Warning!

    I, like Brad, had assumed that I’d be able to watch the debates live online, and was frustrated that I wasn’t able to do that. At some point, we figured out that WVOC was broadcasting the audio, so we heard the last 45 minutes or so of the primetime debate live. However, I also watched about 50 1- to 2-minute clips on that showed up after the fact. I believe all the clips, when combined, pretty much constituted the entirety of both debates. The downside was that I had to watch 50 John Kasich commercials (one before each clip).

    Fiorina unquestionably shined in the first debate. She immediately dinged Trump with a very legitimate point. She also had a strong post-debate interview with Chris Matthews that has been going around social media.

    Perry was fine, and I like him. And if you want to go by resumes, his is pretty impressive as far as the performance of the Texas economy vs. the national average and so forth.

    Santorum (for whom I voted in 2012) was okay, though I have some differences with him on some of his proposals. Even though I don’t personally approach the immigration issue with the exact same perspective he has, he had a very good answer to a question on that topic in which he told the story of his father and grandfather and the process by which they immigrated to the United States.

    Graham was his usual self. But since I’m familiar with that, I’m not sure how it played to people who maybe haven’t seen him a lot (although I’m not sure how many people that is, since he’s on network and cable news all the time).

    Bobby Jindal says a lot of stuff I agree with, but it’s obviously stump speech regurgitation. The thing is, I know he’s a smart guy, and I know all of these candidates are spitting out canned lines to a great extent, but Jindal doesn’t do a good job of making it sound natural. The best part of his performance was when he correctly flipped the premise of a question about Republicans being willing to shut down the government over de-funding Planned Parenthood. He said (this is a paraphrase), “No, President Obama should not be willing to shut down the government just to preserve funding for this organization that is doing these terrible things.”

    Pataki was interesting in that he’s pro-choice, but argued emphatically against abortion after 20 weeks. I suppose this position is not uncommon among the American public, but I don’t think it’s that common among politicians. He has no chance.

    Jim Gilmore was there too. About all I can say for about him is that I’d vote for him sooner than I’d vote for Trump.


    Now for the Top 10 debate:

    In my assessment, Rubio turned in a virtually flawless debate performance. He was strong, sharp, and at times funny. I agree with Doug that Rubio/Fiorina would be a strong ticket for the Republicans (though I wonder if Fiorina/Rubio might be even stronger).

    Ted Cruz seemed to not have as much time as I thought he would. He did fine.

    Huckabee (for whom I voted in 2008) had a very good line about Reagan’s “trust but verify” vs. Obama’s “trust but villify”. He and Christie had an exchange about entitlements where both made pretty good points. I would like to see the two of them talk for half an hour or more on the subject.

    Christie also got into it with Rand Paul on data collection by law enforcement tasked with preventing terrorist attacks. Another topic worthy of a lengthier discussion. Suffice it to say the two of them won’t be hugging it out any time soon.

    Rand Paul has some good things to say, but he’s irritable, and can’t conceal his irritation, at one point making faces while Christie was talking about comforting the families of victims of 9/11.

    Ben Carson wasn’t particularly strong, but he wasn’t awful, and he had absolutely the best closing statement of the night.

    Scott Walker didn’t make any mistakes. He comes off as a guy who doesn’t get flustered. The other side of that is he can seem a little bland. More than anyone else, he seemed to have a propensity to answer the question quickly and let his remaining time go unused. Had a good line about Hillary’s emails.

    People are saying Kasich had a good performance. I don’t really get it. The Ohio crowd cheered him no matter what he said, but I thought a couple of his answers were weak.

    Jeb did nothing to really stand out. He didn’t hurt himself, either. It was interesting that he talked about how the federal government shouldn’t tell states what to do when it comes to education, and then immediately launched into a recitation of everything he thinks states should do when it comes to education.

    Let’s see, who’s left? Oh. Right.

    Donald Trump announced that he would consider running as a third party candidate (i.e., handing the election over to the Democratic nominee) if he’s not satisfied by the Republican party’s treatment of him (whatever that means). He bragged about using bankruptcy laws to his advantage and showed little concern for those who lost out in such proceedings. He described how he donated to liberal politicians for the specific purpose of obtaining favorable treatment from them for his business dealings. He dismissively responded to Megyn Kelly’s question about his past deragatory comments about women.

    Kelly’s question was completely legitimate and in fact very important. Democrats love to accuse Republicans of engaging in some kind of “war on women”, but it’s all nonsense. Why on earth would Republicans want to nominate an individual who in some ways actually exemplifies the kind of attitude toward women which the Democrats would love to happily ascribe to the whole GOP?

    The bottom line is that I feel really good about most of these candidates. I look forward to the next debate.

    1. Jeff Mobley

      One more thing. Trump made the ridiculous assertion that no one would be talking about immigration if it weren’t for him. In that moment, Perry’s absence from the Top 10 stage was felt. I’m pretty sure Perry would have pounced on that, had he been there.

  5. Stan Dubinsky

    Trump bombed, but Fox came after him with the sort of questions that made this inevitable.
    Rubio did quite well – came off as a nice, smart, and competent guy. Likable.
    Paul was, as ever, a jerk. He’s annoying. About the lowest on the “would you have a beer with this guy”.
    Bush came off well, for Bush. He didn’t hurt himself.
    Walker was unremarkable, although he didn’t crash and burn.
    Christie came out better than his opponents in several tough exchanges. But having those exchanges won’t help him.
    Huckabee did ok. But I think that everyone is tired of seeing him. He had his chance.
    Ted Cruz did better than expected, but I don’t think he became more likable because of it.
    Kasich had good answers to a number of questions, and seems like he cares about others. He looked and sounded, though, like he was begging (too desperately) for a chance (one he’s not going to get).
    Carson came off, like Rubio, as smart and likable – and also seems quite kind.

    Didn’t see the first debate, except for outtakes. Who’s Gilmore?
    Fiorina ran away with it, proving that she was miscast in a slot Paul should have had.

    I agree that a Rubio/Fiorina or Fiorina/Rubio ticket would crush Clinton.

      1. Jeff Mobley

        That’s interesting. Fiorina may be a political novice, but she’d argue she has extensive leadership experience. Rubio was speaker of the Florida House before he was a senator. That’s a job with some pretty serious responsibilities. He certainly looks young relative to some of the other candidates. I happen to think these things could look good in contrast to Clinton, but I suppose others might not think so.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          In politics, a political novice is a novice.

          In business, a business novice is a novice.

          One of the greatest delusions in American politics, and we see it far too often, is this notion that business people get, time and again, that because they can go out and make money in the private sector, they are somehow great candidates for political leadership.

          It doesn’t work that way. In fact, there are few things less likely to prepare you to be effective in public life than running a private organization, out of the public eye, where whatever you say goes because you’re the BOSS. People like that have a rude awakening coming when they try to cross over.

          If anything, my few years of being a consultant have convinced me more than ever of that fact. When you’ve spent your career in a line of work in which getting your name in the paper under any circumstances other than 100 percent positive (as YOU define positive) is a crisis, you are not prepared to be in the public eye. Your skin’s just not going to be nearly thick enough.

          This delusion that business success prepares you to lead in the public sector is most common among Republicans, because of their belief that the private sector is superior to the public, and so anyone who can succeed THERE must be way more than qualified to succeed in the stupid public sector. More or less.

          Yet the first example of this I recall witnessing involved a Democrat. The 1978 gubernatorial race in Tennessee pitted Republican Lamar Alexander (a very serious young man who had the hard-knocks experience of having worked in the Nixon White House) against a successful banker, Jake Butcher.

          I covered both extensively, at one point spending a week with each practically around the clock. Butcher was a pathetic campaigner, utterly clueless. I remember watching Ned Ray McWherter, then the House speaker, walk Butcher around his district, introducing him to folks. Butcher looked SO lost. It looked like the speaker, who couldn’t have been more comfortable, was walking around a deaf, dumb and blind man.

          Of course, he wasn’t the greatest businessman either. He later went to prison for his banking practices…

          1. Doug Ross

            Mitt Romney and Michael Bloomberg would get a chuckle from your theory. Good, smart leaders don’t need to come out through the ranks.

            1. Brad Warthen Post author

              Yeah, I’m sure ol’ Mitt thinks his performance in 2008 and 2012 is a real laugh riot.

              But the truth is, Doug, I wouldn’t put either Romney or Bloomberg in the Fiorina category. Neither is a novice. Both have extensive public service records. And Mitt can point to considerable success — which is his problem. He’s afraid to mention Romneycare…

              1. Doug Ross

                Aside from the military aspects of the job, are you suggesting that the CEO of a FORTUNE 100 company would not have the intelligence, leadership skills, negotiation skills, vision, etc. that would translate to the Presidency? They deal with foreign governments, legal issues, tax issues, driving a company forward. Plus they tend to have a much better sense of balancing budgets than career politicians do.

                Carly Fiorina had to have a very special set of skills to achieve what she did.

                I think Fiorina or Romney could do a better job as President than Obama could do as a CEO.

              2. Doug Ross

                What public service did Bloomberg have prior to being elected as mayor of the country’s largest city? What political offices did Mitt hold before being elected Governor?

                They went from businessmen to high level political office with no trouble,

                My guess is that most successful businessmen aren’t interested in politics because a) they’d have to take a pay cut and b) they’d rather do something productive rather than deal with inefficient bureaucracies and corrupt politicians on a daily basis without having the level of control they have in the CEO’s office.

                1. Brad Warthen Post author

                  I never had occasion to endorse for governor of Massachusetts, or mayor of New York, so I can’t say whether they were stronger than their respective opponents then. That’s a discernment process I haven’t been through…

                2. Brad Warthen Post author

                  Oh, and your observation that “they’d rather do something productive rather than deal with inefficient bureaucracies and corrupt politicians on a daily basis without having the level of control they have in the CEO’s office,” can be shortened to, “they’d rather stay in the private sector, where everything is easier.”

      2. Scout

        Something about Rubio’s voice reminds me of Tobey Maguire. Some sarcastic part of my brain kept interjecting for him to say, I’d make a good president because I am Spiderman. It could be I’m having trouble taking these guys seriously.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Shifting gears slightly, I thought Tobey Maguire was an excellent Spider-Man, way better than the guy who succeeded him.

          My son who is a huge comics fan — he and I go to see all the Marvel movies when they come out (most recently Ant Man) strongly disagrees. Not because Maguire was a bad Spider-Man, but because he was a bad Peter Parker, which is an interesting nuance. And true, Tobey was perhaps more of a nebbish than Peter was in the comics…

          1. Jeff Mobley

            I liked them both, but probably Maguire more. Garfield and Emma Stone had a nice chemistry as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. Killing Gwen off in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was the dumbest thing ever (yes, I know it happened in the comics. I’m talking about the movies).

          2. Bryan Caskey

            I’m not a big fan of Spider-Man. Nothing against him, but he’s just never really done it for me.

            Bryan’s Top 5 superheroes:

            1. Batman
            2. Superman
            3. Captain America
            4. Wolverine
            5. The Ninja Turtles

  6. Norm Ivey

    I watched both debates. In the kid’s table debate, Jindal and Santorum impressed with their intelligence, but Perry seemed a little frenzied or vehement. I’m not sure he was comfortable. Graham was disappointing. He pivoted every question back to Iran. Gilmore and Pataki seemed like placeholders. I’m puzzled by the response to Fiorina afterwards. I thought she did well, but I don’t think she won the afternoon by any stretch. Of the bunch, Jindal is the only one I could see myself voting for.

    In the second debate, I began to understand some of why Trump is so popular. He certainly received the loudest responses during the evening, but how can anyone vote for him after he explained that the reason he donated to politicians was to get something in return? They only let Ben Carson answer enough questions to prove he doesn’t belong there. Smart, likable guy, but not ready for the presidency. Rubio did well and didn’t make any mistakes. Walker was better than I expected. Bush was about what I expected. I liked Huckabee better in 2008. He seemed a little more preacherly last night. Cruz makes me cringe. I don’t trust or believe him when he talks, but I can’t really say why. Christie’s and Paul’s exchange was entertaining, but neither is electable, and both have enough baggage that Fox didn’t quiz them on last night (though they did challenge others on some of their views). Kasich and Rubio seemed to be the most trustworthy, and I much prefer Kasich’s views. If I had to pick a slate, I would choose Kasich-Jindal. I’ll be interested to see the state-by-state polls for IA, NH and SC in the next few days.

    I was following a little bit on Twitter, and Bernie Sanders tweeted:
    It’s over. Not one word about economic inequality, climate change, Citizens United or student debt. That’s why the Rs are so out of touch. It was the most re-tweeted tweet of the debate.

    The next debate is also a two-parter based on polling. I get why they need to divvy up the candidates, but why not do it randomly?

    1. Norm Ivey

      I agree that the journalists did a good job of being journalists, for the most part except I really disliked the “Did God tell you what to do?” question. What answer were they expecting?

  7. Mark Stewart

    I don’t get Rubio this year. I see a politician in training. I do not see a candidate for President of the U.S.

    I guess the fact that he hasn’t done anything outside of politics is somewhat alarming to me. I get the point that politics is different than the private sector – but someone running for President ought to have done something outside of politics somewhere along the line.

  8. bud

    Word on the street is that Trump is a mole for the Hillary campaign. If true that is a stroke of genius. I doubt the democrats are that smart though. In the history of the republic has there ever been such a total buffoon running for POTUS AND that is polling so well. Damn this is fun. The GOP establishment just does not know what to do with this guy. The rest of the contenders are hapless observers to this train wreck. But it couldn’t happen to a sorrier excuse for a political party. They deserve all the negative press they get for this travesty of a nomination process. Can anyone seriously consider the GOP anything but a clown car full of vitriol and negativism designed to bring about some sort of plutocratic utopia? Trump may not be a genuine mole aimed at destroying the GOP but if that was the plan it couldn’t work out much better that this.

    1. Karen Pearson

      Bud, please. We could end up with this as-uh-aspiring candidate as our president, and I don’t think I can afford to emigrate.

      1. Mark Stewart

        If it were a Trump – Hillary general election, I would vote for Trump. Seriously.

        Even though I have not been a Biden fan for 25 years, I hope he decides to begin a run against Clinton. The Democrats need to stop treating her as inevitable as their party’s candidate. They need a contender.

    1. Mark Stewart

      He did backslide on that, didn’t he?

      Regardless of the side of this debate one is on, the idea that climate regulation will kill “jobs” is laughable. Yes, it may significantly curtail some occupations – but change always results in more opportunities for more people in other areas. So less coal miners but more _____? Claiming structural change to a major capital-intensive industry is a job-killer is a less than astute perspective.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        I disagree with them, but to defend their position…

        I think when people on the right say taking steps to stop global warming can kill jobs, they mean it indirectly, as in, “It will slow down the economy.”

        Take an extreme case (and these folks are generally talking about extreme cases): Say we immediately banned carbon fuels. Well, our economy would crash, because other sources of energy are in no position right now to replace coal.

        Also, the “opportunities for more people in other areas” you refer to are not appealing to market-forces purists. A job created by government regulation or incentives isn’t a real job to them; only something that arises from market demand is legit…

        1. Mark Stewart

          I kind of agree with Doug about public sector jobs not being “real” employment as far as being economic growth drivers.

          However, private sector growth related to transformative structural change certainly is – as in the industrial revolution, railroads, air transport, information economy, etc. Remember all the hand-wringing about rust belt job growth in the 80s? Yeah, computers and the intranet made those loses immaterial – even for blue-collar type jobs.

          We all know we need to get off of coal, in particular, as an energy source. We have tried to clean the coal burning industries up, with some success, but it appears clear to all that further efforts will never move coal out of the dirty fuel category.

          One could just as easily argue that the myopic politicians from the coal belt are themselves the ones standing in the way of free market creative destruction by forcing us all to incur the burdens of dirty coal without any economic accountability back to the producers and users.

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            But that was the market at work — those rust-belt jobs going away and being replaced by computer jobs…

            That wasn’t government rigging the game. There was underlying economic strength giving particular meaning to those new jobs, the dot-com bubble aside. There was something REAL happening.

            Even I, no worshiper at the altar of markets uber alles, can see jobs that come from the market demanding new products and services are more valuable — in the sense of being more indicative of underlying strength — than jobs that pop up because, for the moment, government has decided to rig the market in that direction…

            1. Mark Stewart


              You missed my point. Government had already stacked the deck in favor of cheap coal. So moving toward a fuller accounting of that fuel’s costs is not a penalty but a recognition of reality.

              It is hard to innovate when the government holds down the cost of an inferior material.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                OK — but do you not think that a plentiful material such as coal would still have a competitive advantage (for now) in a free market? I’m not asking to argue; I’m asking because I don’t know enough to know the answer…

          2. Doug Ross

            The impact of reducing coal production on an entire region will be similar (but on a larger scale) to what happened to the textile industry in South Carolina. Those jobs aren’t ever coming back and the people who did them who are unwilling to move or incapable of being retrained will be mired in poverty for decades. Oh, but I suppose liberals will just offer more government dependency in return for losing their careers. There will be lip service given to “job retraining” and “safety nets” but those in the coal industry are doomed.

            1. Norm Ivey

              Textile jobs moved to another location inaccessible to the displaced workers. Wind farms and solar panels have to be installed and maintained by people in the region. Such jobs can’t be outsourced.

              1. Doug Ross

                From the U.S. Department of Energy:

                The five largest coal-producing states with production in million short tons and share of total U.S. coal production in 2013 were:

                Wyoming: 387.9 (39%)
                West Virginia: 115.9 (12%)
                Kentucky: 80.4 (8%)
                Illinois: 52.1 (5%)
                Pennsylvania: 50.9 (5%)

              2. Doug Ross

                And do you think a coal miner can easily become a solar or wind power installer? The number of workers required would seem to be much lower.

        2. Norm Ivey

          Nobody reasonable wants an immediate ban on coal or oil. Leveling the playing field for solar, wind and tide power would do much to change which energy source we are dependent on.

          As long as we subsidize the oil and coal industries, those fields include jobs that are created by the government. I’m not opposed to subsidies. A gallon of gas would cost anywhere from $5.00 to $15.00 without subsidies (depending on which study you read and how you count subsidies) without them. My food would be much more expensive as well because of both farm and oil subsidies.

          Begin by gradually shifting subsidies from fossil fuels to cleaner fuels, and when the playing field is level, the market will pick a winner. This isn’t a question of technology or capability. It’s a matter of will.

          1. Doug Ross

            “A gallon of gas would cost anywhere from $5.00 to $15.00 without subsidies (depending on which study you read and how you count subsidies) without them”

            I’d like to see more data on this. Seems unrealistic. Where are the subsidies coming from?

          2. Norm Ivey

            I retract that statement. The $15.00 figure I was remembering came from Dylan Ratigan, whom I don’t have much confidence it to begin with, and the figure includes hidden costs of oil, like health care due to pollutants and military expenditures to protect our access to Middle Eastern oil. I apologize for making the incorrect statement. I’ve got a pdf of a study for the lower end on that range. I’ll continue to look for it and post when I find it.

    2. Norm Ivey

      I felt a real sense of betrayal when I saw that. He and Jindal are the only ones I trusted on the Republican side to address climate change, and Jindal can’t beat Hillary.

      I’m still hoping Jim Webb starts getting a little more attention, or even that Biden jumps in. This is getting disturbing.

            1. Mark Stewart

              There is also the Israel angle; which if you have been around NYC much is a looming presence.

              Obama is not going to get NY and South Florida Democrats on board with the Iran deal; and I’m sure that’s already been baked in. One more flashpoint between Netanyahu and Obama…

            2. Phillip

              The terms “ideological” or “illogical” as applied to the arguments of those opposed to the Iran deal don’t necessarily have to be limited to those opponents who come from one party. I think Obama’s comments were directed at opponents to this deal from either party,

              Also, if you read the transcript, POTUS says:
              “There may be ideological opposition to doing any business with Iran. There may be skepticism with any diplomatic initiative with a regime that is admittedly antagonistic toward us,…And that’s an honest argument….If you just say, ‘We don’t think you should deal with Iran,’ then that at least has a logic to it.”

              “Lashing out” is a little strong for that, I think.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                “The terms “ideological” or “illogical” as applied to the arguments of those opposed to the Iran deal don’t necessarily have to be limited to those opponents who come from one party.”

                I agree. NPR was treating it as though it was surprising or ironic.

  9. Karen Pearson

    People are worried about losing jobs as we move from fossil fuels to renewables, but I wonder how many jobs will be lost when our coastal cities become permanently flooded.

    1. Doug Ross

      When do you expect that to happen? This century? In a thousand years? Next week?

      If we could just stop everything from changing, it would be great. Go back to the old days when it was just ice ages and volcano dust that wreaked havoc on the climate.

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