So here are my (very belated) thoughts and opinions on the first of hopefully many Republican primary debates.
The Donald was definitely the winner of the night. He did what was about expected, came on stage, acted like a douchebag, provided the base with a lot of red meat, etc. I've read some people say that he might have some trouble getting Republicans to trust him due to his previous support for Democratic positions, but I don't think that really matters much. Republicans don't give a shit whether someone might have been a Democrat at one point as long as they demonstrate themselves to be 1) totally and utterly repentant for their past crimes and 2) promise to do anything and everything in their power to fuck up Democrat supported initiatives.
Trump can say that he was young and naive (5 years ago) and that he's grown up/seen the light, and the teatards will eat it all up. Evangelicals in particular, love the idea of people seeking forgiveness for past transgressions (with the caveat that you vow to join the right team, of course). And as Trump himself pointed out, the greatest Republican of all time, St. Ronnie himself used to be a Democrat, so why would it be such a stretch to think someone like Trump couldn't make a similar conversion?
But there is one thing that Trump said that makes me think he may have pissed off a few loyal Republicans that night. And no, it's not his misogynistic attacks on Megyn Kelly.
Nay, rather it dealt with one of the most talked about exchanges of the night, when Chris Wallace asked everyone on stage whether they would run as a third party candidate if they didn't get the nomination. Trump was the only one to raise his hand, after which, he was immediately booed by the audience. The teabaggers might not be smart enough to realize that medicare is a government program, but they're just smart enough to realize that a third party run would split Republican votes and gift wrap the presidency for Hillary. For as much as the tea folk despise the idea of RINOs and "squishes", they despise any democrat (especially a Clinton) infinitely more. Trump should tread carefully.
Jeb was pretty boring overall, but there was one moment where I feel he seemed to screw himself up pretty badly, I thought. When he was asked about his past comments about treating undocumented immigrants as actual humans, he had the gall to defend himself! He didn't back down and said he still stands by those remarks. Jeb was already in hot water on this issue before the debate, and considering the Republican base won't tolerate anything short of shooting the illegals out of a canon back into Mexico, Jeb really didn't do himself any favors that night. I figure he'll pull a Mitt Romney and go hard right on immigration at some point in the next few debates. Should be fun to watch.
Aside from the hilarious jab at Hillary with his "resume" remarks, Rubio was doing decent, if a bit boring for the most part. At least until he made certain that he would never win the general with his insane stance on abortion. Yes, the water boy made it clear that he would oppose abortion in all cases, including rape and incest. And he even doubled down on that position since! Furthermore, because Rubio said this, it means that the other candidates would have to veer just as far on this issue. Only the first debate so far and it already feels like Christmas.
I have to make an abrupt stop here for reasons. I'll finish up this post soon.