By Jason Newell:
The Republican sideshow, also known as the Republican debate, was full of value judgments and word vomit. Nonetheless, Fox News and its minions—you know, the little yellow, Twinkie-shaped henchmen—soaked it up like a sponge, despite all the factual inaccuracies present. That’s of no surprise however when one considers the brain power of Stupidparty disciples. To them, conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated assumptions are way more exciting than reality, so blindly accepting falsities is sadly the norm. But who knows, even if the majority of them refuse to accept facts as if they’re cyanide capsules, we still see it fit to analyze some of the whacky statements uttered at the Ringling Brothers Circus. Now, let’s stop with the pleasantries and get right down to business.
Cruz: “Chris, I believe the American people are looking for someone to speak the truth.”
Ok, first of all, if the American people wanted someone to speak the truth, it wouldn’t be you Ted. According to PolitiFact, Cruz has only told one complete truth—let me say this again, one damn truth. The stats go as follows:
True – 1 (2%)
Mostly True – 8 (16%)
Half True – 7 (14%)
Mostly False – 15 (29%)
False – 16 (31%)
Pants on Fire 4 (8%)
Let’s go ahead and put things in perspective: 68% of Cruz’s statements fall on the side of the false. You know, attending Harvard doesn’t make you a noble truth teller – in Cruz’s case, these lies only reinforce his paranoid Ayn Randian philosophy. While Cruz may, to some, gives off the impression of being an intellectual; if one delves deeper into his rhetoric, you will discover a crafty charlatan that masks his political stupidity with a Harvard Law degree. If you’re seeking a man of truth, Bernie Sanders might be your guy.
Trump is even worse than Cruz – talk about great choices…
Walker: “Unlike Hillary Clinton, who has a radical position in terms of support for Planned Parenthood, I defunded Planned Parenthood more than four years ago, long before any of these videos came out…”
I love how Walker, one of the most extreme candidates, is calling Clinton’s views on Planned Parenthood extreme. My question is: how does Walker classify extremism? Is it a numerical definition or a viewpoint? I’m inclined to believe, in the United States at least, that extreme positions are reserved for small factions that believe in government takeovers and racial inferiority. But is support for Planned Parenthood actually an extreme position when 54% of Americans support federal funding for the organization (only 26% oppose it)? This percentage does drop after respondents were shown the manipulated Planned Parenthood video – but that’s a dishonest stat as it is being drawn from a doctored film.
As of 2015, 50% of Americans are pro-choice – a stat that is far from an “extreme stance.” Even more telling, 80% of Americans support abortion in all circumstances or under certain circumstances (i.e., within the first trimester). If Walker wants to see an extreme stance, he should look at himself in the mirror: Walker completely opposes abortion, even in instances of the mother’s life being threatened.
Quick thing to note: only 1.5% of abortions are late-term.
Huckabee: “The reason we know that it is because of the DNA schedule that we now have clear scientific evidence on. And, this notion that we just continue to ignore the personhood of the individual is a violation of that unborn child’s Fifth and 14th Amendment rights for due process and equal protection under the law.
It’s time that we recognize the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being, and we change the policy to be pro-life and protect children instead of rip up their body parts and sell them like they’re parts to a Buick.”
In order to bring clarity to the “life starts at conception issue,” a clear distinction needs to be drawn: are we talking about conception or viability? It’s technically true that pregnancy starts at conception, but the Rode v. Wade decision relied on the viability of the fetus. The rational being: if the fetus isn’t viable, or barely viable—i.e., not that developed—then a fetus can be legally aborted. Huckabee’s initial statement refers to life beginning at conception, which is purely a philosophical argument. In terms of the legal precedent established, life is associated with viability.
Huckabee is also wrong about the Planned Parenthood video that purports to show the selling of fetal tissue – this was debunked by FactCheck.org. It’s key to note that women have to give informed consent for fetal tissue to be used for research; Planned Parenthood has to obtain consent prior to donating fetal tissue, so the organization doesn’t sell fetuses like Buicks.
For more on the topic of abortion, please read Patrick Andendall’s blog entitled “Pro-lifers and Religious Nutters Collide to Commit Genocide.”
The following two quotes are associated with the same topic.
Ron Paul: “So, we didn’t create ISIS — ISIS created themselves, but we will stop them, and one of the ways we stop them is by not funding them, and not arming them.”
Bush: “He left, and when he left Al Qaida was done for. ISIS was created because of the void that we left, and that void now exists as a caliphate the size of Indiana.”
No, you didn’t create ISIS, but the environment of extremism that was a result of the post-invasion power vacuum in Iraq did. Bush’s de-Bathification of Iraq destroyed any remaining power that the Sunni government had – two of top commanders of ISIS are ex-Baathists. The resentment by Sunnis toward the American government, and Iraqis in general, is due to an estimated million civilian casualties and an illegal occupation—it’s simple, if the illegal invasion never transpired, then ISIS would have likely never developed as Iraqis wouldn’t have become attracted to extremist organizations. The need for subsistence and protection increased the appeal of both Al Qaeda and ISIS. Obama’s blame is limited to ending the war, which opened up large swaths of territory for ISIS, but that is after the fact. George W. Bush was the primary catalyst behind the formation of ISIS. By the way, ISIS existed as early as 2006 according to the 2006 Combating Terrorism report.
Trump: “And the Mexican government is much smarter, much sharper, much more cunning. And they send the bad ones over because they don’t want to pay for them. They don’t want to take care of them.”
Professor Douglas Massey of Princeton published “International Migration Review” in 2014. The paper found that U.S. labor demand and family ties incentivizes illegal immigration. Trump’s statement implies that the illegal immigrants migrating to the United States are criminals or slackers, however, this is a lie. There is absolutely no coordinated effort by the Mexican government to send criminals to the United States, nor are the illegal immigrants that migrate to the United States lazy – these immigrants prop up the agricultural sector. Want proof? Georgia instituted harsher measures against illegal immigrants and the state suffered from a significant agricultural labor shortage. Barely anybody applied for the jobs, and the ones that did get hired weren’t as productive. It was a disaster, but Georgia’s court system came to the rescue as portions of the laws were eventually blocked.
Cruz: “Yes, it is ideological, and let me contrast President Obama, who at the prayer breakfast, essentially acted as an apologist. He said, ‘Well, gosh, the crusades, the inquisitions–’”
Obama wasn’t apologizing as Cruz claims, he was simply highlighting the natural progression of religion in that it tends to schism into sects, some of those being more extreme. For example, the Catholic Church reigned supreme in the Western world for about 1300 years, and during this time, conducted a Christian Jihad, commonly known as the Crusades. An estimated 7 million people were killed in this holy war, and these deaths occurred during an era when the World’s population was 335 million. Just to put things in perspective: 2.09% of the World’s population was killed during the Crusades, which is more than WWI (0.89%). This all changed with the Protestant Reformation, which, in a sense, brought a more moderate stance to Christianity. In the end, Obama’s statement was mentioned simply to highlight the natural progression of religion – stating an objective fact is definitely not an apology. Try again Cruz.
Carson: “And that’s why I’ve advocated a proportional tax system. You make $10 billion, you pay a billion. You make $10, you pay one. And everybody gets treated the same way. And you get rid of the deductions, you get rid of all the loopholes, and…”
It’s actually not proportional – a flat tax actually transfers the tax burden onto the middle class, at least in the form that Carson appears to be advocating. Moreover, there would be a steep drop in total tax receipts, which would result in a drop in revenue. Carson said the following on Fox News:
“Now, some people say it’s not fair because, you know, the poor people can’t afford to pay that dollar,” Carson told host Chris Wallace. “That’s very condescending. You know, I grew up very poor. I’ve experienced every economic level. And I can tell you that poor people have pride, too. And they don’t want to be just taken care of,” Carson said.”
Carson statement brings more clarity to the specifics of his tax plan: his flat tax will presumably be a regressive tax. This proposal would shift the tax burden to the middle class because, according to his odd reasoning, people making less can easily pay more, and therefore, would enjoy paying more. While his tax plan is not yet set in stone, what he has proposed so far is nothing more than Romney’s tax plan 2.0.
Carson: “And the way I will come at it is to educate people, help people to actually understand that it is that progressive movement that is causing them the problem. You know, you look at the — the national debt and how it’s being driven up.”
This is a prime example of a black and white fallacy as Carson tried to pin blame for the national debt purely on progressive policies – he conveniently forgot Bush’s reckless spending. I guess two wars on a credit card, tax cuts for the wealthy, a major recession, and the Medicare Part D program exemplify progressive policies. When Obama assumed office, Bush had racked up $5 trillion in debt. While both parties are responsible for the debt, Carson’s attempt to absolve Republicans of any wrongdoing is just another way to deceive the American people – a tactic the Republicans have heavily relied on for decades.
Bush: “During my eight years in office, 1.3 million jobs were created, and we left the state better off.”
Bush’s claim isn’t entirely inaccurate: 1.3 million jobs were created during his tenure as governor. But this statistic is a bit misleading as it doesn’t disclose the 900,000 jobs lost by December 2009. By the way, the job growth that Bush was touting was primarily due to the housing bubble – construction jobs shot up by 50% during this period. However, the housing market started to expose its cracks in late 2006, early 2007 (Bush was in office until January 2007), so he isn’t completely immune to criticism as the bubble economy started under his watch; moreover, he has always been a huge proponent of deregulation and the policies that contributed to the Great Recession.
Huckabee: “We didn’t even get four hostages out. We got nothing, and Iran gets everything they want. ‘We will wipe Israel off the face of the map, and we will bring death to America.’ When someone points a gun at your head and loads it, by God, you ought to take them seriously, and we need to take that seriously.”
First of all, Huckabee is wrong – Bryan Frydenburg proves that there is no logical argument against the Iran nuclear deal.
My question is: why is Huckabee concerned with a supposedly provocative message posted to the Iranian Supreme Leader’s Twitter? The message included the following text:
“We welcome no war, nor do we initiate any war, but if any war happens, the only one who will emerge loser will be the aggressive and criminal U.S.” –Ayatollah Khamenei
It’s easy to understand what the meme is implying – the only reason the nuclear deal will fail is if America chooses war over diplomacy. It’s a reactionary threat, and not really that much of a threat on face value. The Right went crazy over this meme and tried to use it as proof that Iran was hustling the United States in terms of ignoring the mandates of the treaty, i.e., developing nuclear weapons. But, the Ayatollah’s statement isn’t that extreme if one considers the policy suggestions coming from the mouths of Stupidparty disciples. Every other week, these warmongers look for ways to generate conflict in order to please the military contractors that fund their campaigns. Remember John McCain’s statement from the 2008 Presidential Campaign? This was McCain’s foreign policy plan regarding Iran: “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.” Of course Iran is wary of U.S. foreign policy, especially when you have Reaganite hawks advocating the bombing of sovereign nations.
Trump: “It almost has to be as bad as it ever as in terms of the violence and the horror, we don’t have time for tone.”
Mr Trump, your illogical mind never ceases to amaze me. Here’s another example of Republicans catering to the financial needs of the defense contractors. This statement is vague, but seems to imply that the global order is in complete chaos and both military and civilian casualties are near an all-time high, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The following chart shows casualties from state-armed conflicts:
Now, part of the dip is due to the changing nature of warfare, i.e., global terrorism, but still, the institutionalized global system and globalization itself has lowered the frequency of armed conflicts. FactCheck.org also did a piece on this topic that further bolsters my argument. In terms of the Doomsday Clock, he may have a point; but he was referring to violence, not the complete annihilation of the human race. Trump is simply flexing for the warmongering base, but his claim is outright spurious.