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GOP Debate Score: Nil- Nil- Nil- Nil- Nil- Nil- Nil- Nil- Nil

Yup folks, a nine-way draw and no goals. To score, in my book, is to present a sensible, workable solution to a problem, a proposal that has at least a prayer of working, a program that would actually benefit the country, make the lives of ordinary Americans better, safer and more satisfying.

Instead we were force-fed two hours of posturing, huffing and puffing, casting of stones, fear mongering, naked xenophobia and hatred, calls for war, carpet bombing, indiscriminate killing of children and innocents and, incredibly, calls for dramatic increases in the military budget.[1]

No one introduced even a hint of careful, balanced negotiations or cooperative arrangements among nations. In fact, the only time another country was mentioned it was in the context of how “tough” the candidate would be with Putin or the Chinese or the Saudis or the Ayatollahs and how that deal with Iran would be scrapped.

ISIS would be wiped out, crushed, killed, eliminated — though no plan for doing so was ever even hinted at, except for Cruz who would carpet bomb them and Trump who would target their families. No one seemed to appreciate how bizarre these ideas were or that deliberate killing of children and non-combatants is a violation of the Geneva accords and, in a sane world with sane people, unthinkable.

“Islam” was never mentioned without the words “radical Jihadist” in front. Obama was the cause of all of our ills and Hillary would be even worse. Apparently no one in the GOP thinks Bernie has a chance to be the nominee.

The proceedings were rich with the usual sprinkling of lies and misrepresentations. The one that topped the weirdness chart was Fiorina saying (at least twice) that the government needed to come to the technology experts in Silicon Valley for advice on how to deal with encrypted message exchanges. She dressed this up with the claim that they did when she was head of HP and her cryptologists gave the government the needed help.

PolitiFact dubbed this one “Pants on Fire.” When the government asked the techies in Silicon Valley they turned them down for the obvious reason that ways into encrypted systems could not stay secret. If they could cut through the terrorists’ firewalls or build devices with “doors” in them, the terrorists (or ordinary hackers) would use the same techniques. We’d lose security, not gain it.

She followed up with the claim that she’d bring back “the warrior class” including (among others) Generals McChrystal, Petraeus and Keane who, she said, were sacked for saying things that Obama didn’t want to hear. Actually McChrystal was sacked for wholly inappropriate comments in Rolling Stone, Petraeus for revealing classified information to his mistress (for which he was lucky he wasn’t indicted). Keane, of course, resigned in 2003 well before Obama became president. And, oh yeah, she’d “met” Putin … in a green room before a show.

No wonder she got booted from HP.

It was all about fear folks, fear and loathing. The more they can make us afraid, worried, looking constantly over our shoulders, being suspicious of our neighbors, of the stranger on the street, the man with the beard, the woman with head scarf the more we lose the very freedoms these people say they want to protect.

Why this full-bore panic? Why are the candidates so fixated on San Bernardino and the Boston Marathon but no one mentioned the 33,000 who die here every year from gun violence? No one recalled the very Christian Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols or keyed in on the fact that Farook was born in Michigan. No one mentioned that there hasn’t been a single terrorist act from any of the nearly 800,000 Middle Eastern immigrants the US has admitted since 9/11. Do any of them know about the children and grandchildren of Syrian immigrants who have enriched our country including Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Jobs, Paul Abdul, F. Murray Abraham and Paul Anka.

To the Republican candidates: Stop it, please, just stop it.


[1]The US already spends more on the military than the next 10 countries combined — including China and Russia.

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