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The CNBC Republican presidential debate last night opened with a startling bolt of straight talk: “We are on the verge, perhaps, of picking someone who cannot do this job,” said Ohio Governor John Kasich, ignoring the inane moderator request that the candidates begin the debate by naming their biggest weakness.

“I’ve watched to see people say that we should dismantle Medicare and Medicaid and leave the senior citizens out – out in the – in the cold. I’ve heard them talk about deporting 10 or 11 [million ]– people here from this country out of this country, splitting families. I’ve heard about tax schemes that don’t add up, that put our kids in – in a deeper hole than they are today.”

Donald Trump sniffed dismissively: “[Kasich] was such a nice guy. And he said, oh, I’m never going to attack. But then his poll numbers tanked… And he got nasty.”

Straight talk never had a chance after that. Kasich began looking like the drunk railing at the end of the bar. And the debate veered into the wingnut fantasies about 10 percent flat taxes (Ted Cruz, Ben Carson), government so small “I can barely see it” (Rand Paul), corporations and markets that somehow self-regulate (virtually everyone), the liberal media and government as the root of all evil (unanimous).

Continue reading:  The CNBC Republican Debate: Bring In the Clowns

Further reading:  The GOP Debates Have Ignored One of America’s Biggest Economic Threats (Climate Change)

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