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GOP Glass House: The ‘Stump Trump’ Debate Exposes Mediocrity in US Politics

PHPatrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire

Get ready for another game of ‘Gotcha!’ tonight in Southern California.

Tonight, during the CNN GOP Debate Special at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, all guns will be pointed at one man. It’s like that scene out of the movie Airplane (see clip below), with a seemingly endless line of detractors and enemies, all lined up and waiting to take their shot at Donald Trump. It’s become the national sport.

It must be difficult for the rest of the Republican candidates, a hapless field of terminal victims of the nearly defunct American political system, brought to its knees by a culture of back-handers, front-handers, glad-handers and salamanders, where middle-aged men and women are forced to go cap in hand to captains of industry, and, Super PAC men and lobbyists begging for money just to stay alive in the hopes that they and their family will finally realize the dream of being true American royalty – and of living off the federal welfare system for the rest of their days. Beggars, pimps and prostitutes. That sums up American politics in 2015.

Rather than develop any of their own ideas, or make a strong case with some new and original ideas (a near impossibility these days), the Republican Party’s version of a Grand National extended field of runners, are all collectively focused on one goal only: to knock out the ‘interloper’, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Jeb Bush is even getting aggressive, warning Donald, “If someone comes after me, BOOM, I will hit back at them.” Watching Jeb Bush trying act tough is like imaging Lindsey Graham and Caitlin Jenner in a celebrity mud wrestling match (please guys, would you do it for charity?).

FOX Debate Debacle


Resilient: Donal Trump

Most mainstream media outlets would be reticent to call out Hugh Hewitt’s staged ambush for the simple reason that they don’t want to divulge their own trade craft.

What Hewitt on his radio show did was similar to what FOX News did prior to their televised GOP debate on August 6th. In that debate, FOX clearly had leaked their host moderator questions in advance to their favored candidates (nearly every other candidate but Trump). This was very obvious judging from the canned answers, particularly from the party’s dynastic debutante Jeb. Other candidates, like Ben Carson, could be seen constantly looking down at their pulpit notes (or iPads?) out of camera view. If you watch back and review the footage of the debate, this fact is glaringly obvious. Consequently, Trump was held constantly off-balance and at the mercy of repeated planned attacks from FOX ‘moderator’ Megan Kelley and others. To even refer to these media gatekeepers as ‘moderators’ would be a total misnomer, as they were not in the least bit neutral in their completely biased stage-managing of this contemptible production.

America’s New Mediocrity

To call tonight a ‘debate’ would be beyond a joke. This brings us to the new media game show of the month. It’s called the STUMP TRUMP SHOW©. Get ready for it…

Tonight, CNN has stacked its panel of illustrious ‘moderators’, including the barely exciting and always lukewarm, Jake Tapper, along with the man who no one knew until 10 days ago when he tried to STUMP TRUMP, the formerly obscure ‘Conservative’ radio talk show host, Hugh Hewitt, who is the right’s doppelgänger for the eternally annoying and swarmy Al Franken (same look, same voice, same Anderson Cooper-style hipster glasses, just as camp, only with white hair).

HUGH & AL: Different breed, same species.

When Trump called out radio show host Hugh Hewitt as being a “third-rate radio announcer”, it wasn’t just sour grapes, he was pretty close to the target. Most people had never heard of Hugh Hewitt before this week, and history is littered with media operatives who have sought to raise their own profiles by doing the dirty work of the political establishment. Sadly, too many people in the industry view this as a perfectly legitimate avenue to further their careers.

During an interview on his radio show, Hugh Hewitt, or his producers, did exactly the same thing as FOX did previously, and for exactly the same reasons – to damage the trending Trump. The exchange went as follows:

“Are you familiar with General Soleimani?” Hewitt asked. “Yes, but go ahead, give me a little, go ahead, tell me,” Trump responded.

“He runs the Quds Forces,” Hewitt told Trump.

“Do you expect his behavior …” Hewitt started. “The Kurds, by the way, have been horribly mistreated by …” Trump said.

“No, not the Kurds, the Quds Forces, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Forces,” Hewitt said back. “Do you expect his behavior to change as a result.”

“Oh, I thought you said Kurds, Kurds,” Trump replied, mistaking elite fighters from Iran with an ethnic group in the Middle East.

After playing a sophomoric game of twenty questions with Donald Trump, Hewitt then asked the same “foreign policy” questions to some other GOP competitors, and surprise, surprise, they all passed with flying stars and stripes.


Fiorini: Also clueless.

He posed similar questions on Thursday to the GOP’s likely Vice President of choice (the bionic Palin, Palin 2.0, better, strong, faster) Carly Fiorina. According to NY Times, “Mrs. Fiorina sounded confident, patient and informed as she discussed the Quds Force, among other subjects.”

When grilled on the difference between Hamas and Hezbollah (important for any candidate hoping to collect a fat check from the Israeli lobby), Fiorini was able to pass off the following as ‘knowledgable’, saying that:

“Hamas is focused in Palestinian territories. Hezbollah focuses in Beirut and other places, but the truth is, both of them are proxies of Iran. Both of them threaten Israel…” (no, you can’t make this stuff up).

Hugh Hewitt then showered praise on his contestant crowing, “That’s exactly right!” Hewitt sounded like a Sorority house mother giving out an award on Greek quiz night.

For anyone really paying attention, Fiorini’s answers were 9th grade at best. What did she mean by, “Hezbollah focuses in Beirut”? What does she mean? Perhaps she forgot that Hezbollah is based in the country of L-e-b-a-n-o-n, and are now a fixture in Lebanese national politics too. She could have Googled it.

Continuing her nosedive, Fiorina then said, “Hamas is focused in Palestinian territories…” [OMG]. Does she mean Palestine – the territories that Israel is still illegally occupying? Mind you, we know these sort of details go over the head of Hugh Hewitt, Fiorina and the other rocket scientists in the media. Fiorina’s noticeable clinging to the meaningless anchor word “focuses” without offering any recognizable context, evokes shades of Miss South Carolina (“such as”). Carly’s learning fast though: in American politics it pays to always be as vague as possible. If she keeps to that script, the girl will go far in Washington.

This exercise in mediocrity by Hewitt and the media only exposes the obvious: that none of these politicians throwing stones at Donald Trump are very knowledgeable about anything themselves, and 99% of the time are reading off of bullet-pointed briefing sheets which are prepared by their staffers, and most will not accept any media interviews unless the questions are supplied in advance of the live segment.

These pitiful exchanges really expose two things. The first is just how cut-throat and underhanded the Republican establishment can be to any perceived ‘outsiders’ like Donald Trump, and Ron Paul before him, and how the RNC will actively collude with media operatives in order to sabotage the campaigns of any non-fraternal, non-beggars who might be gaining traction in public opinion polls.

The second, is just how morally and ethically bankrupt the GOP rank and file really are – that they will recklessly hurl stones in what is clearly a glass house of GOP bankrupt ideologies, with spineless media unwilling to ever hold them to account.

In US politics, lying is a way of life. Staged events, staged question and canned answers. That’s the norm.

By the time it’s all said and done, win or lose, if Trump can hold his act together, then he may have done more for the country than any single person in history to expose this decrepit condition of the American body politic – by exposing the mediocrity of party politics in America.

For LIVE debate coverage and analysis tomorrow, join the BOILER ROOM crew on the Alternate Current Radio Network starting at 8PM ET/5PM PT:


READ MORE 2016 ELECTION NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire 2016 Election Files



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