Skip to main content

Thoughts from 4th 2023 Republican Primary Debate


I've lost all sorts of understanding and credibility for the 2023 Republican Primary debates. I think that's not only obvious from my previous posts but also from the stature of the debates ranging from large-scale networks to where it finished up in 2023 this week. The 4th debate finished with a rating of 2.5M people. A long cry from the 12.5 who watched the initial debate.
 
I fear people may have lost hope, or have their minds made up. Which, really is a shame for the sake of debates and gathering information from our candidates. 

I remain still on the same platform as I did when the first one happened, and that is until Donald Trump takes the stage, it really lacks credibility as the candidates squabble for second place, and even then, besides Chris Christie who has made it very clear on his position, they are strategically positioning themselves to not alienate the Trump base until they absolutely need to. 

It's all still so weird. And I don't blame Trump at all. The GOP is handcuffed, and if you're not a Trump supporter, it really does leave you in an awkward position for your conservative vote. 

Whatevs. 

Here are a few big takeaways (for me) from this final debate of 2023. 

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

We got a little bit more on Trump in this debate passed the obvious that he's not on stage. 

Of course, it was Christie who went straight for Trump once again, this time placing the fire to the feet of his colleagues for not answering the question of whether "He [Trump] was fit to be President?".  After long answers of dodging and posturing, Christie once again called them out asking Desantis and Ramaswamy to answer the question directly to which neither would make a claim either way. 

Ramaswamy countered later on with a well-timed and poignant jab of everyone onstage at one point "licking Donald Trump's boots" for endorsements and backing when they needed political support. 

All truths, no lies detected. 

It still remains the strategy of Nikki Haley, Ron Desantis, and Vivek Ramaswamy of not upsetting the Trump fan base, after seeing what it did to Mike Pence (not that he had a chance) and has done to Christie's chances. 

I've never seen anything like this...

ALL FOCUS ON NIKKI 

The men couldn't help themselves by giving away the obvious...Haley is rising fast among them. 

And truthfully, I can't blame them. As an independent or moderate voter, whatever you want to call me, Haley has routinely walked away from these awful debates as the candidate least unlikeable, and of course, with some understanding of where she stands of policy and political positioning. 

We saw that in this one as Desantis fired away at Haley 30 seconds into the debate, and Ramaswamy continued to take his low-brow (often personal?) shots at Haley. 

One of my favorite moments from this one is when she simply responded to another one of Ramaswamy's attacks with a simple, paraphrasing, I'm not even going to respond to that

It was the best line. And literally did more damage to Ramaswamy and his Trump-lite approach than it did for Haley who has held it together amongst the boys. 

LACK OF THOUGHT AND POLICY DISCUSSION

My biggest complaint thus far throughout the meddling four debates has been the candidate's inability to walk through or explain their positioning on policies or topics. Often, it's done with a "humble brag" of what bill they've passed what they've done in their state, or what they would have done - and I get it. But often enough, the discourse has lacked depth and clear positioning. 

I found Chris Christie's approach on the mutilation of transgender mutilation to be a fine moment in this area. On the surface, it's a topic that conservatives would instantaneously shoot down as the group did. However, Christie explained himself, his position, and most importantly, the root of conservative politics which is indeed less government. 

“These jokers in Congress, it takes them three weeks to pick a speaker… and we’re going to put my children’s health in their hands?” Christie pointed out. “As a parent, this is a choice I get to make.”

RAMASWAMY CONSPIRACY THEORIES

Speaking of debate trends, Vivek Ramaswamy went from a charismatic and potentially mold-breaker in the first debate for the GOP to being unlikeable (just my opinion). 

From the constant yelling and interjection to this debate of a rapid onslaught of conspiracy theories and allegations, even the Haley insults, it often feels like he's cosplaying Donald Trump. 

After all, if you want Trump in office, wouldn't you just vote for well, Trump? 

I'm very confused by it all, his rise, and his supposed candidacy. 

Recent Favorites

2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Keeps Me Casual on Hockey

It's been a long time since I've talked hockey on this.  Wait! Huh? Come again? Yes, hockey. In fact, the last time I posted anything, I was mesmerized by the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals between the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers.  Fast forward to 2024, and my hockey fandom took another step forward. For years I've been the admitted casual. And you know what, I'm okay with that. Unfortunately, my unconditional love fandom for my New York Knicks presents a conflict that will forever curtail anything serious from happening between hockey and myself.  Nonetheless, I felt like this post-season heightened my hockey fandom to another level. Hockey is amazingly awesome. I very much enjoyed the Stanley Cup Playoffs, caught myself choosing Rangers games over early April Yankees baseball, and overall, found myself playing NHL 24 on the ol' Playstation 4.  Yeah, I fell hard. But before I shelf my spring fling with hockey until April 2025, here are just a few quick pon

Wanting the Alternate Route For Bronny James

Welcome to the NBA, Bronny James!  In what was the worst-kept novelty of a storyline in the sports world in LeBron and Bronny one day gracing the NBA together, we're finally here!  First, congrats to Bronny! Entering the NBA is incredibly difficult, especially more than ever considering its global reach. Regardless, he is now part of the fraternity and amongst the elite in the game. Haters will say what they want, but he's there.  And second, congratulations to LeBron and Savannah James. What will be lost in all of this is that they raised a strong young man who yes, took advantage of his access and genetics, and is now at this point in his life - his ultimate goal. Bronny at the core, had no reason to want this - none. He easily could have rested, relaxed, and enjoyed the spoils of this birth lottery. Instead, he wanted what h knew would be the shadow of a massive legacy - and still did the work. That takes guts.  I commend the kid for not resting on Dad's name and wealth.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 6/23/24

3 Up 1. Connor McDavid - In what might be sports' biggest kept secret, McDavid has put up two 4-point performances in the Stanley Cup to not only force a game 7 for the Edmonton Oilers after being down 3-0, but solidify himself as one of the most dominant athletes in sports.  2. Marijuana Pardons - I've always had an issue with the way our society has moved into accepting marijuana legally, and thus, never rectified how we exploited black and brown communities by over-criminalizing the drug.  By the way, is it fair to say we lost the "war on drugs?" Just saying... 3. Inside Out 2 - I have yet to see it, but the film took advantage of a huge heat wave nationwide and became the highest-grossing film in 2024.  3 Down 1. Heat Wave - It. Was. Hot. Summers are becoming sort of ridiculous.  2. Ecuador - The country suffered a huge blackout with over 17 million people losing power. It's not what you want.  3. Justin Timberlake - This guy has all of the money in the worl