7th REPUBLICAN DEBATE: Megyn Kelly and an Increasingly Fractured GOP

7th Republican Debate

I probably don’t need to tell you that the news coverage leading up to the 7th Republican debate largely centered around a man who is possibly the most-loathed person in America: Donald Trump.  His continued fracas with Fox News anchor and debate moderator Megyn Kelly and subsequent tiff with Fox News itself has been the subject of countless articles and the butt of many, many jokes.  Weirdly, it also put me in the very strange position of feeling defensive, almost protective, of a woman who once claimed that Jesus was definitely a white dude.  Holy hell, you guys.  This has been one bizarre election, and it it has taken a heavy toll on my sanity.  Fortunately I’ve been able to deal with it like a professional.

dealing with it

pictured: “dealing with it”

To cut a long story short: in a move that would be risky (if not suicidal) for any candidate besides Trump, he refused to attend the last GOP debate before the Iowa caucus, opting instead to host his own rally on the same night at the same time airing on cable TV.  I didn’t bother to watch it, largely because I don’t give a shit about Donald Trump and the fact still remains that he will never, ever be President of the United States.  I can’t claim to know his intentions for certain, but in a previous article I theorized what exactly it is that Donald Trump is getting out of all this when I’m pretty sure he knows as well as I do that he will never be president. 

What you may have noticed, though, is that within the multitude of articles about Trump’s absence are a lot of articles claiming that boycotting the debate was a wise move.  Ruth Sherlock, the Telegraph’s US editor, had this to say:

Donald Trump’s decision not to take part in tonight’s Republican debate is a tactical master stroke.

In one fell swoop he has has found a way to avoid answering tough questions at a critical moment in his campaign, all while dominating the valuable prime time that all presidential candidates need and crave.  Mr Trump has just ensured that the final hours before the Iowa caucus – where the first votes in the US election are cast, those all-important television cameras will be trained mostly on him.

Fox has the exclusive rights to broadcast tonight’s debate. That means that every other television outlet will be looking for something to broadcast, and now Mr Trump has just provided them with the perfect alternative. His event for veterans, held at the same time as the debate means that, instead of battling with the other candidates for the spotlight, he will have an hour of pure, unadulterated Trump time. Welcome to the Trump show.

Tactically his move is clever too. Ted Cruz is a much more skilled debater, and with just five points between them in Iowa Mr Trump knows he cannot afford to put a foot wrong.

Mr Cruz would undoubtably have attacked Mr Trump’s record on social issues. The real estate mogul, who is three-times divorced, has flip-flopped on abortion and social issues that are important to Iowa’s large and powerful evangelical constituency.

The decision also shows Mr Trump off as being the outsider that his supporters love. It physically contrasts him with the rest of the Republican field.

You gotta admit, she makes a pretty good case.  The last couple debates have shown that the more substantive the debates become the less Donald Trump has to say, likely because he has no goddamn idea how to be a president.  There is no doubt in my mind that, had he decided to participate, he would’ve taken a beating.  Instead the next runner-up in the polls, Ted Cruz, took the brunt of the assault, initially starting strong but withering as the event went on and as each candidate lined up to take shots at him.  I’d almost feel bad for the greasy little liar, but the fact is he’s human garbage and he deserves each and every insult he receives. 



Tuna Ghost lives in Tokyo and has been a contributor to Japan Times and Kansai Scene.Follow him on twitter (@Tuna_Ghost) to read about US politics, the underground Tokyo metal scene, and which brands of 7-11 wine will make you fight like a homeless werewolf prostitute.