And They're Off!

Saturday, August 08, 2015
by Patrick Dorinson

At this year’s Kentucky Derby there were 18 horses in the field.

That’s a lot of horses.

When the bell rang and the gates opened it looked more like a cavalry charge than a horse race.

With that many horses in the race it necessitates the need for an “auxiliary gate” since the main gate can only hold 14.

In this year’s race for the Republican nomination for President there are 17 candidates in the field.

That’s a lot of candidates.

And just like the Derby for the first GOP debate of the campaign the organizers needed an “auxiliary gate” in the form of a debate between those who didn’t poll high enough to be included in the main event.

According to the pundits and soothsayers who spend their time reading the entrails of the body politic, the consensus winner of that contest was former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina who has come a long way since her disastrous run against Barbara Boxer for the U.S. Senate in 2010.

It was a good debate and it drew 6 million viewers.

A few hours later the much anticipated debate between the top 10 candidates began.

And what a beginning!

Right out of the box Bret Baier asked the candidates to basically pledge that they would support the eventual nominee. He asked them to raise their hand if they could not make that pledge.

Only one raised his hand. Donald Trump.

Trump was then challenged by Megyn Kelly about past disparaging remarks he made regarding women.

The Donald quipped that he only said that about Rosie O’Donnell although the record shows she was not the only recipient of pointed barbs.

But the damage was done.

Trump supporters were outraged and before the debate had ended they had taken to the modern barricades of social media to denounce FOX News saying they would never watch the network again and many demanded Kelly’s firing.

However the twitter war between Trump and FOX News has overshadowed the rest of the debate which was actually quite good.

There were heated exchanges between Chris Christie and Rand Paul but they were about policy not personality.

Ted Cruz demonstrated why he is an effective debater which comes as no surprise since he was a debating champion at Princeton.

Scott Walker and John Kasich showed why they have been effective governors in Wisconsin and Ohio respectively.

Dr. Ben Carson while clearly out of his depth on foreign policy was in his depth as one of the articulate voices addressing the values and morals deficit facing this country.

Jeb Bush was Jeb Bush-as bland as oatmeal without milk, raisins and brown sugar.

The consensus winner among the commentariat was Marco Rubio.

But this is only the first leg of a very long race as we are barely into the first turn on the race track.

The favorites might stumble or pull up lame or be crowded out by some horse from the “auxiliary gate” like Carly Fiorina or Rick Perry.

But the elephant in the room is Donald Trump.

Many Republicans are wondering if he is a GOP elephant or just a Trump elephant who will bolt the party if he doesn’t win the nomination and run as an independent.

And they have reason to wonder since he keeps flirting with that possibility.

I hope it doesn’t come to that since it would be terrible for America if a third party candidacy put Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden in the Oval Office.

I hear a lot of internet chatter from Trump supporters that they would prefer that outcome than the election of a RINO.

For those who would follow through on that threat and decide to sit home on Election Day in November 2016, don’t come complaining to me when Hillary and the Democrats put the final nails in the coffin that will hold the remains of this Republic as they lower it into the ground.

Donald Trump is entertaining but just like Obama he is all about him. He uses the pronouns “I” and “me” just as much if not more than the Narcissist-in-Chief.

I would like a president for a change that thought of “us” first.

Did he get some tough questions? He sure did as did the others.

But better these questions come up now because you can be sure that the mainstream media are chomping at the bit to ask “have you stopped beating your wife” gotcha questions and some that will be a lot worse.

So here is your Cowboy Wisdom for the Week.

“Life is not about how fast you can run, or how high you can climb, but how well you bounce”.

All the candidates are bragging about all the things they have done either in politics or in the case of Carson and Trump medicine and business.

But pretty soon as the heat gets turned up and the questions get tougher many will get knocked down.

Then it won’t matter how fast they can run or how high they can climb or what their accomplishments are.

The only thing that will matter is how well they bounce.

And that includes Donald Trump.