August 7, 2015

Fox News Republican Debate: Win for Big Government

Unfortunately I watched the parody of the election process on Fox news.  It was centered around inane questions, sound bites, cliche's, rhetoric and a decidedly slanted amount of time allotted to certain people over others.

The rules of the debate were 1 minute timed answers with the possibility of 30 second timed rebuttals or follow ups.  I'm not sure if the moderators knew how to run a stop watch because save one candidate, Dr. Ben Carson, all candidates went over the allotted time.  There was a grand total of 39 buzzer or time violations.

Of these violations 8 buzzers were sounded prematurely effecting Donald trump the most with 3 premature buzzers, but effecting Dr. Ben Carson the worse by cutting his 1 minute allotted time by 18 seconds.  Additionally, 31 buzzers were sounded after the allotted time or not at all.  Presidential candidate Jeb Bush benefited the most with 6 instances of either no buzzer or a buzzer well after the allotted time, however candidates Kaisich and Trump benefited most from the lax buzzer fingers of the moderators by talking an additional minute and seven seconds each past the allotted time.

Both Candidate Carson and Paul benefited the least from buzzers.

I also took the time to see how fairly moderators distributed direct questions between candidates and they stack as follows:

     Bush:         7 questions
     Carson: 6 questions
     Christie: 3 questions
     Cruz:         5 questions
     Huckabee:         5 questions
     Kaisich: 5 questions
     Paul:         4 questions
     Rubio:         6 questions
     Trump: 9 questions
     Walker: 8 questions

Total talking times also seemed to vary a bit:

Bush: 8:27
Carson: 6:23
Christie:         6:04
Cruz: 6:29
Huckabee: 6:38
Kaisich: 6:37
Paul: 5:03
Rubio: 6:12
Trump: 10:18
Walker:         5:42

The average talk time appears to be around six and a half minutes.  Bush had the best combination of talk time and buzzers which put him into the second biggest talk time, while Trump came the the closest to his talk time to question ratio.  Two anomalies stood out, both Paul and Walker had well under six and a half minutes, and while its clear that Walker gave short answers, Paul apparently was not well liked by the moderators.  A good portion of Paul's talk time was the result of having to thrust himself onto the stage.

Kaisich and Rubio both went between commercial breaks without having said a word at some point during the debate.

Considering these facts, which might have an error of +/- 1-2 seconds, it appears to me that the moderators are clearly biased and the debate was structured to exclude Rand Paul and Chris Christie.  Something that is nothing new to the Paul family.  When and if he or is father ever attended a debate, they were either asked ridiculous questions or all but ignored.  To me this demonstrates, among other things, another chink in the armor of Fox News' fair and balanced coverage.  For most people this doesn't come as too much of a surprise.  Fox is no stranger to sensationalism, lies and sucking up to corporate america.

I believe that of all the candidates, the three that stood out the most were (in order of personal preference):  Dr. Ben Carson, Rand Paul and Donald Trump.

Dr. Ben Carson to me gave the biggest impression of an intelligent sincere individual.  I think that he mastered the Fox news soundbite question... (you know... the one where Fox moderators wanted to have video of a Black Republican saying something positive about race so they can run it for the next 10 years to show that they're not racist).  He dodged it by saying what all people aught to be thinking, its not whats on the outside its whats on the inside.  Perhaps we can all take a little something away from that truth.  I guess my only critique is that his nerve ticks were apparent, and though it would almost certainly not effect anything he could accomplish in the white house, it will probably effect his image to voters who typically pick Ken style chiseled rich dudes for the Nomination or a goofy ass Veteran.  He was also one of the only candidates to mention anything about the rights of the people.

Rand Paul stuck out to me because he was willing to say what he thought needed to be said and didn't wait for permission.  He also very clearly was one of the major voices talking about the rights of individual people.  His stance towards less government and getting them out of our personal lives was the only message to come off as a passionate plea to the populace to rescue their power before it is lost forever.  Perhaps I'm being a bit dramatic, but the cause of liberty and my attention to the Paul family goes back quite a long way.  Though he is clearly not his father, he seems to take a slightly less radical approach with the idea of compromise on a situation that most people see no room for compromise.  Though I'd rather have an individual in office that was concerned with taking away power from government and invigorating the populace with more Liberty as well as re-establishing checks and balances against government that would see many of our rights restored to their former glory.  GET A WARRANT!

Trump with his usual flair for saying whatever he thinks will get a rise did not disappoint.  I see most of his run as entertainment.  His continual exposure of some of the behind the scene hands going into and out of peoples pockets seems to bring attention to things that we always expected were going on, but nobody ever had the balls to come out and say was actually going on from an insiders perspective.  My admiration stops just about there.  I don't think that Trump realizes that repeatedly talking about how crooked the process is and how its all for sale... and that he's also super rich resonates very well in a time where income inequality is at its highest level.  Unfortunately if polls are worth a damn, they suggest that he has an oddly large body of support.  As I mentioned in a previous article, I believe this is the result of too much Washington Beltway BS as usual.  I wouldn't count him out.... but I wouldn't vote him in either.

The rest of the candidate came off as canned spam and were about as refreshing.  I don't think I could have heard more rehearsed responses, rhetoric and appeals to emotion if I was at a Barbra Streisand Broadway play about three women that lost their mothers.  One of the candidates even clearly pandered for money very proudly.

Ultimately, like every election, this debate was a giant joke.  No real issues were discussed, just a large amount of ignoring the real problems (lack of rights) and addressing their fear of Hillary Clinton.  I think it was mainly a ploy by Fox News to boost ratings and attempt to trim the field.  The polls that I've checked out suggest that Trump clearly stole the show and that Bush took up the rear.  I would suggest however, that Corporate Government won the debate and the American public clearly lost.

What are your feelings on the debate?  Post in the comments below.

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