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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The Republican Debate


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The Republican Debate

Robert Borosage

It was showtime in the Republican debate last night in Las Vegas. Hysteria was the coin of the table. Carpet-bomb ISIS. Take out Assad. Destroy Iran. Shoot down Russian planes. Launch cyberwar against China. Expand the Army, Navy, Air Force; modernize nuclear weapons on land, sea and air. Spy on everyone. Build walls, close the doors on refugees. The only thing we have to fear is insufficient fear itself.

CNN marketed hysteria to promote last night’s debate. And, in the wake of Paris and San Bernardino, it isn’t surprising the Republican candidates rose to the bait.


Borosage highlights some of the absurdities presented in the Republican debate. Republican candidates are so outrageous that many mainstream media outlets contain similar observations.

On the other hand, I have seen little critique of the 'fear and loathing' that Hillary Clinton instilled before the debate. Yes, she did call Muslims are brothers and sisters. Sure, that is better than calling for them to be banned from entering the US. But Hillary Clinton promoted that dogma that terrorism = extremist Islam. Yes, people in the US have planned and in some cases carried out the attacks against civilians in the name of the Islamic State. However, most of the terrorist attacks against innocent civilians in the US, are by white, non-Muslim, US citizens claiming to be acting on the grounds of racial/ethnic/religious grounds (Source for incidents between 1980 and 2005: http://www.globalresearch.ca/non-muslims-carried-out-more-than-90-of-all-terrorist-attacks-in-america/5333619 )

Hillary Clinton criticized Ted Cruz for his call to bomb the middle east until the sand there glows. But, did she go on to say that she was interested in working for peace resolution to conflicts in the region? Did she say that she would commit to work with people in the region to promote a high quality of life for all?

No, she reiterated that:

"We will pursue our enemies with unyielding power and purpose. We will crush their would-be caliphate and counter radical jihadism wherever it takes root."


In other words: We came. We saw. ISIS won! Gaddafi might have died, but now that we have 'crushed' the ME the taliban, ISIS/ISIL al qaeda, daesh are all stronger and winning.


I think it was Kasich who said, paraphrasing, we have a serious problem, ISIS, but Hillary and Obama are attending some climate conference in Paris. And of course he said "climate conference" scornfully. The audience applauded.


Nary a word about Bernie. They've stained their shorts.


The Stasi dog and pony show!! We have nothing to fear except all those war mongering, Republican candidates for POTUS on that Las Vegas stage!


You know, at least the Republicans HAVE debates. Where the hell are the democratic debates? The MSM is protecting Hillary...they would probably schedule the next one (the weekend before Christmas) at 3 am Eastern time if they could get away with it,


I am not sure that "debates" in their present format are helpful to voters. I guess I would rather see a different format where we just hear from them on what they would try to accomplish with policy initiatives. How they might try to bring unity to the country. What they see as our main challenges. What they feel war can realistically accomplish. What accountability they would bring to the secrecy industry. Kind of like a night with Bernie where Hillary gets the same questions on the same night in another setting. And yes, there should be a series. And yes we should get to hear from Jill stein and any others who want to be the forces of change. Successive sessions could bring some point and counter point into the situation but the current "debate" format seems to bring out the circus performer in everyone.


This is the modern world's equivalent of an ad campaign for Mars (god of war) rules:

"Hysteria was the coin of the table. Carpet-bomb ISIS. Take out Assad. Destroy Iran. Shoot down Russian planes. Launch cyberwar against China. Expand the Army, Navy, Air Force; modernize nuclear weapons on land, sea and air. Spy on everyone. Build walls, close the doors on refugees. The only thing we have to fear is insufficient fear itself."


The WE frame disturbs me for these reasons:

  1. It presupposes that what is done for the benefit of the 1% is also desired--and approved of--by the 99%
  2. It takes what warriors do--as their job profile--and consigns that behavior to all citizens
  3. It takes decisions made by elites and pretends they reflect the will and consent of the governed
  4. It typically codifies the white male dominant view, action, and goal and uses these standards to render invisible, the likely contrary views of Blacks, Hispanics, and many women

"We suffer from the bipartisan presumption that we are the indispensable nation able to police the world. We will control the Persian Gulf, press NATO to the borders of Russia, surround China with troops and fleets, intervene constantly in far corners of the world and then be constantly surprised at the blowback."

This so-called We and this idea of "the indispensable nation" are the P.R. cover used as rationale for wars that have been planned by elites for THEIR benefit alone.

Here is Julian Assange explaining how the manufacture of consent for war operates:


After watching the uber militarist repubs call for WW3 - increasing our military spending - building Hadrian's Wall and you know who can build walls because he knows how to build stuff (actually it was that he hired people who knew how to build stuff) - and all manner of repugnant if not ridiculous attitudes towards everybody except other republicans and even towards them too... I learned that it was all Hillary's fault.

Gee that brings back memories doesn't it?

At the risk of eliciting the ire of the rabid ... after watching the repubs ... and listening to how they see things and how their brains work... I sure do want Bernie to win.

However if Bernie doesn't win... I sure don't want a republican to win. Not a one of them.

I will vote for Bernie but if he doesn't make it then I will vote for Hillary. Yes I said Hillary!

I watched the debate last night and had Hillary been there on the stage she would have blown them all away. She may be too conservative for me but in all honesty she is more intelligent than any of the repubs up there last night and more sane too.

If Bernie doesn't make it then vote for the least objectionable republican... Hillary!!! Because the republicans are mad you know. They are fringe people who have somehow gotten into power with fringe ideas. And say what you want, there is a real danger in their willingness to destruction. Hillary may talk the tough talk but you don't get the same recklessness as a Christie or a Trump or Cruz.


Marco Rubio, left, and Ted Cruz, right, both speak as Ben Carson, second from left, and Donald Trump, second from right, look on during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Venetian Hotel & Casino on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015, in Las Vegas. (Photo: AP)

Wow, the photo caption has totally messed up the candidates' names/order. I don't pay much attention to Republicans or debates but saw a bit of this one and was pleased to be able to identify most of the participants. Hopefully, AP and/or CD editors will be able to do so also. (Hint: Carson is black, Trump has bad hair, etc.)


There is not a sane, reasonable person among them. Nor does any one of the Klown Kar occupants have an original thought but they do know how to toe the party line and parrot the playbook script. One scary bunch of warmongering, fear-and-prevarication-peddling curmudgeons.


Had I known you could be a complete ignoramus to run for president I would have run.


Yes, it's annoying (and still not fixed).


Rubio is not even there in the photo, Bush is.