November 09, 2023
Will Republicans ever rebel against the execrable primary debates foisted on us every four years? Vetting presidential candidates is one of our most important civic duties, but the Republican National Committee offshores the job to journalists who pretend to be neutral — the better to slay Republicans on behalf of the Democrats — and inject themselves into the proceedings, a la Candy Crowley correcting Mitt Romney when Romney was right and her correction was wrong. (Three hundred more examples upon request.) Moderators consider any debate a failure when they haven’t done 90% of the talking.
Despite my repeated demand for presidential debates with no moderators, like Lincoln and Douglas did, the worst possible people keep popping up to host these events, making them a total waste of time, like a David Brooks column.
I’m a very busy person, but as a public service, I have written a series of questions for the useless wastes of space “moderating” this week’s Republican debate. Perhaps not as riveting as questions from a talking snowman about global warming, but still pretty good.
Today, my questions will focus on Nikki Haley, who is surging in the polls principally because, as my regular readers know, Republican mega-donors are the most out of touch, head-up-their-butts twits the country has to offer. (Just ask Presidents Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and Phil Gramm.)
Here are a few of the questions that need to be answered:
1. Ambassador Haley, you mention your husband’s military service often, and by “often,” I mean “on a 5-second loop.” In nearly every public appearance, you say some variation of this:
[Read with feeling]
“Our family, like every military family, is ready to make personal sacrifices when our loved one answers the call. We could not be prouder of Michael and his military brothers and sisters. Their commitment to protecting our freedom is a reminder of how blessed we are to live in America.”
Your husband’s first deployment was to Afghanistan in 2013, to teach Afghans to grow crops other than opium. This did not have the slightest effect, and today, the country is growing more opium than before your husband’s deployment.
Please explain how trying to teach Afghans to grow crops other than opium, which led to their growing even more opium, “protect[ed] our freedom.”
2. In fact, explain how getting Afghans to grow less opium would have “protect[ed] our freedom” — even if it had worked. Which, again, it did not.
3. I realize there’s an excellent reason for sending billions upon billions of hard-earned American dollars around the globe to people who hated us before, hate us after, and which never accomplishes the stated objective, but please remind us what it is.
4. Exactly how much money should we confiscate from the American people to spend on countries notable for not being our country? My number is zero. What’s yours? We’re looking for a specific figure, not a seminar on foreign aid.
5. Your husband is currently making us safer in Djibouti, Africa, a place obviously top of mind for most Americans.
Our mission there is vital and only the most obtuse would mock it. According to the Defense Department, American military exercises there consist of keeping the locals entertained with art bazaars, Ramadan meals and field trips:
— “U.S. service members who deploy to [Djibouti] engage with our allies and Djiboutian partners through hosted events and volunteer opportunities in the community.” — Navy Capt. Suzanne J.M. Krauss, commanding officer.
— It’s “a really lovely thing” to see U.S. personnel engaging the community in such positive ways. — Acting Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Mara Karlin
— “For the past 16 years, the base has hosted a biannual bazaar that connects U.S. military members with Djiboutians through art.” — U.S. Department of Defense
Please explain to voters, who lack a nuanced understanding of strategic objectives, how this posting “protect[s] our country and our freedoms”?
6. Now, obviously, as crucial as it is, we can’t spend all of our military budget on Djiboutian art bazaars, Ramadan meals and field trips. Equally important is paying the military, agriculture, policing, educational, retirement and civil service expenses for the country of Ukraine.
You have warned congressional Republicans that to stop the flow of taxpayer money to that country, on top of the $100 billion we’ve already sent, could cause Ukraine to lose the war.
If that should that happen, which of these is your greatest fear:
— Millions of poverty-stricken Africans and Latin Americans will pour into Ukraine within three years;
— One hundred thousand Ukrainians will die every year from drugs brought across its borders, including enough fentanyl to kill every man, woman and child several times over;
— Tens of thousands of children will be smuggled in and forced to work at dangerous jobs on 17-hour, overnight shifts;
— Hundreds of terrorists will stream into Ukraine each year.
7. Who is the campaign consultant to female presidential candidates convincing you, Fiorina and Hillary Clinton that to be taken seriously as a possible commander in chief, you have to be Suzy Warmonger, constantly threatening to start wars all over the world?