Well, that was the shits.
That was my immediate thought after the ending of the 2nd Republican Primary Debate. There was no need to get in-depth, analyze, or even generate a profound perspective on the event. This debate season continues to lack substance or real authenticity from the hanging truth that it won't change the influence of the American public.
Trump skipped the second debate, and while in my opinion, he should be there, I don't blame him for not selecting to do so. His lead in the polls has left most of this field behind on this stage trying to separate themselves from one another, without taking big enough strides to actually do so.
In this debate, there were a few more light jabs thrown at the former President, but overall, nothing significant enough to give this viewer enough to take a chance on the party.
What we got was more of the same - constant yelling, inaudible moments, random insults at one another, statements for shock value, party-line repetitiveness, and gross and insanely corny prepared statements.
Chris Christie really said, "We're gonna be calling you Donald Duck" in reference to Trump missing a second consecutive debate.
Good grief. What are we doing?!!!!
The absolute shits.
Here are some other quick thoughts and comments on the second debate:
What made this debate so difficult to consume was indeed the format. Unlike the first debate's moderators - who did a tremendous job - we were subject to a messy two hours of constant yelling, interruptions, and requests to speak.
At times, as a viewer, it was difficult to understand what was going on. Some moments were cringy.
And when requests were granted and candidates were given fifteen seconds to respond, the rebuttals or substance in rhetoric were underwhelming. All of the candidates responded with prepared statements and repetitive campaign jargon rather than the topic at hand.
On the topic of the moderators - how about that incredibly poor question to end the debate by Fox News, Dana Perino? "Who would you vote off the island?!" The Presidency of the United States is on the line, and that - THAT - was the prepared closing question.
TRUMP IS RIGHT
As said above (and very apparent), I don't see why Donald Trump would even engage in a debate. These candidates have failed to pull the leader into the series of debates. Or, at the very least, bait him into a verbal fight.
Unfortunately, the truth is, if Trump doesn't show up, this race is over. And the third debate, which has not been confirmed, is pointless.
You would think the candidate who would focus less on mixing it up with the rest of the crew and look ahead toward Trump would be DeSantis. Instead, in my opinion, the Florida Governor took the biggest loss of the night in getting shown up by Nikki Haley on his record on fracking in Florida and by Tim Scott regarding his narrative on slavery benefits.
Also, the debate stage remains such an uncomfortable space for DeSantis. He just looks awkward in certain moments.
Though, much props to him on refusing to answer Perino's awful question to close the night.
Why does it feel like candidates feel threatened by Vivek Ramasway's presence (and rise)? Through two debates, they feel more comfortable going after him (and Joe Biden) and his ideas/policies, than they do Donald Trump.
It's fascinating on various levels.
I'll admit though, they collectively lit into him on his ties to China. Wheeeeewwwww!
LACK OF POLICY DISCUSSION
What continues to be an eye roll during these debates is the lack of discussion on policy for the future. So much has been ignored or has reverted to previous references of the past. In this debate alone, we saw quick diversions from abortion discussion, the hard-hitting question of Republican's inability to remove the Affordable Healthcare Act, and an inability to stand firm on immigration discussion. Other than the usual Republican talking points.
Ilia Calderon from Univison had some really interesting questions, and we did not get affirmative answers in confidence from any of the candidates.
IT'S NOT OVER, BUT IT'S OVER
I hate to admit it, but it feels this way, no?
Seriously. Who is voting for Doug Burgum after these two debates?
Does Mike Pence stand a chance when his own party (or at least the supporters of the leading candidate) don't fancy him?
Chris Christie continues to fire some awesome pro wrestling promos at Trump, but it genuinely goes unheard (and unfelt).
Tim Scott will let you know 87 different ways in how much he loves America, regardless if you ask for his opinion. He's shown little fight over the two debates. And the one time he did, he picked it with Ramaswamy.
Nikki Haley feels like she's punching upward as much as possible but still seems unafraid to battle with the MAGA movement or policies that would upset that sector.
I'll still watch the 3rd Debate, but it likely will carry the feeling of a scheduled late-season game when someone else has already clinched the division.
I'll watch just for the sake of debate. But even that hasn't shown up.
This debate season...the absolute shits.