The October 28 Republican Debate

Not a whole lot seems to have changed, other than that Rubio is getting a bit more attention at Bush’s expense.  For my part, I just want to toss in a couple of quick, tangential notes.

  1. About Ben Carson’s proposal for a flat tax with deductions eliminated:  This would, of course, lower the tax burdens of the rich and take away a key incentive that both rich and middle class have to donate to charity.  And what’s the rationale for it?  Essentially, it’s the theory that if the rich have more money to invest rather than pay to the government, they’ll invest it in ways that will grow the economy, create jobs, et cetera, et cetera, and there will be so many new jobs that government revenues will go up, not down.  It’s the kind of thing that conservatives take as an article of faith must be true, liberals take as an article of faith must be false, and is impossible to test because legislation that passes is so full of compromises that each camp is in a position to say, “If only…”
  2. On the candidates’ remarks about the media, here’s the thing: Neither party is willing to admit that the visions of the opposing party really represent a sizable share of the general, non-elite public (even though they both do).  So, each party needs to feel that the supporters of the other have been misled, even brainwashed, by an unfair propaganda advantage that the other side possesses.  The Democrats claim that the Republicans have big money on their side for campaign ads, and the Republicans claim that the Democrats have the biased liberal mainstream media on their side.  Again, the point is that neither party can admit that the other party truly represents the will of many ordinary Americans.
  3. Where Chris Christie erroneously (see AP link below) quotes the director of the FBI as blaming President Obama for police being too restrained: part of the social conservative narrative right along has been that the forces of law and order are hampered by the forces of “political correctness.” Both President Obama and Mayor DeBlasio get lumped in with this no matter what they say or do.  It’s binary thinking: the idea that either you can be concerned about police conduct and the rights of the accused persons (what they consider “political correctness”) or you can care about crime and public safety (akin to caring about the nation being strong).

And now, a few salient links:

AP Fact Check on Yahoo

Several articles on Politico

PBS report

NPR report

More from NPR

Video of the debate


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