Live Blogging the Voters First Forum

Republican Debates

Welcome to the first debate for the Republican presidential nomination! It is the “Voters First Forum” put on by the New Hampshire Union Leader and hosted by Jack Heath of WGIR-AM Radio in Manchester, New Hampshire. But it isn’t on the television machine. You will have to go over to C-SPAN to watch it. Luckily, I’ve provided you with this handy link: 2016 Republican Candidates Voters First Forum.

Sadly, Donald Trump will not be taking part. And Mike Huckabee had a prior engagement to drown some kittens. But 14 of the others will be: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, and Scott Walker.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

15 thoughts on “Live Blogging the Voters First Forum

  1. Drown some kittens? That’s great. No Trump means no theater. Why would anyone want to view these cretins? I get a terrible sick feeling just thinking about hearing these bleeps.

    • The problem was more the format and the interviewer. I have a hard time not thinking that the guy is a conservative radio host. Regardless, there was no back and forth. He might have just as well said to each candidate, “Speak about what you want for the next five minutes.” And the second round was even more like that. But I cut it off. It was as bad as watching Fox News.

  2. It was fun to read but probably not to write. Watching Repubs in debates is like consuming 100% purified Essence Of Lie. I used to throw things at the screen when Bush gave State Of The Union addresses.

    • Yeah, I’m not sure I’m even going to watch the Fox News debate — much less live blog it. One of the problems is that there are at least two lies that need to be corrected every minute. So you just can’t keep up on it — you need a team of people. What especially disturbed me was the grandstanding about Planned Parenthood. And there wasn’t a hint of pushback from the moderator. In the past, I’ve live blogged debates while drunk. That’s really the only way to get through it. But until the general election, I don’t see the point of even that. The only difference between them is style. On substance, they completely agree. (Except for Trump, who actually wants to protect Social Security, unlike the rest who want to destroy it in the name of “saving” it.) So what is there to say? Watching the forum today was like watching an hour and a half of Fox News. But I’m glad it was fun to read. You are right: it was not fun to write. I knew by the end of Rick Perry (1-14th the way through) that I wanted to stop. I’m scarred. Really!

  3. I turned on C-Span and watched for awhile. Now my blood pressure is up and I will probably explode sometime tonight. These guys should come with a warning; do not watch – may be hazardous for your health.

    • Absolutely. But as long as they don’t say “rapists” and the n-word, the media will pretend that it is all very respectable.

  4. Here’s a fun one from John Nichols:
    http://www.thenation.com/article/for-a-more-substantive-republican-debate-ask-tougher-questions/
    He’s being borderline silly suggesting Nader moderate debates (not that Nader wouldn’t be terrific) but less silly suggesting Vidal/Buckley should have moderated them back in the Old Days. And he’s with you on how pointless these things are.

    Honestly, I don’t get the point. Nobody watches this stuff. People watch local debates for local senators/governors and national debates for president; who watches nomination debates? Aren’t nominations all about organization savvy (AKA, money.) It’s almost a pretense of democracy.

    • Check out Matt Yglesias on this subject: Don’t dismiss tonight’s GOP debate — history says it’s likely to change many minds.

      Certainly Vidal and Buckley would have been good. But there is a big difference between them. Buckley was an ideologue. Vidal wasn’t. Maybe I just think that because I mostly agreed with Vidal. But Buckley seemed always to be shoehorning history into his ideology. Vidal seemed to get his ideology from history. That’s a keen difference. Regardless, I don’t think one of the men on stage tonight could really even understand the issues that either of them would have brought up.

      • Very good article, thanks for the link. So few people watch primary debates, but those who do watch take them seriously. What I take from that is money (buying signs, ads, local campaign staff, etc) still being the most important thing, but if two candidates are evenly matched a debate can make a difference. Interesting!

        Yeah, if there’s an afterlife, Vidal is annoying Buckley constantly by pointing out how really, really ignorant the current GOP is. Nixon reeling drunk could eat any of those mental midgets alive. Remember when Dan Quayle or Jack Kemp were thought of as jokes?

        • Yeah, calling them the “clown car” is probably charitable. Although I do think that temperamentally, Nixon (and Reagan) would fit right into the Tea Party. I think Goldwater wouldn’t, because in his later years, he was a major critic of stupidity in the GOP. But I do think we have to grant that both Vidal and Buckley were outliers in politics. I respect them both, even though my main thought when I see a picture of Buckley is that I would really have liked to slap him.

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