On the EDge: Who won the GOP debate?

L-R: Megyn Kelly, Donald Trump. Image composite, St. George News

OPINION — The surprise of Thursday night’s Republican debate wasn’t that Donald Trump came off as an egotistical, misogynistic, racist jerk.

Everybody knows he is an egotistical, misogynistic, racist jerk.

The real surprise is that Fox News commentator Megyn Kelly actually has a few journalistic chops.

I’ll say a few because after she came out of the chute with her questions about Trump’s history of demeaning comments about women – entirely legitimate fodder for a Presidential debate, Trump’s protestations notwithstanding – she neglected to pursue her questioning of Trump or the other Republican candidates on other women’s issues, particularly the wage gap.

She also neglected to ask these guys if they realize that Planned Parenthood spends only 3 percent of its budget on abortion, with the rest going to cancer screenings, general women’s services, contraception, and screening and treating sexually transmitted diseases.

She didn’t ask about domestic violence, the need for Constitutional equality or reproductive rights. There wasn’t a word about curing the creeping social disease of deadbeat dads who take no responsibility for the lives of children they helped create, leaving us with a community of single moms trying to raise their kids on wages that are far below what a man earns for similar work. This is of particular interest in Utah, by the way, which is fourth-worst in the nation. Utah women make 70 percent of what their male counterparts earn, almost 10 percent below the national average, which is an abysmal 79.2 percent.

Kelly had a stage filled with, supposedly, the GOP’s best and brightest. As a conservative commentator for a conservative news outlet moderating a debate of conservative politicians, it would have offered a unique opportunity for the right to try to come up with reasons why women should vote Republican in the 2016 election.

Unfortunately, none were forthcoming and, quite frankly, I can see no reason why a woman would vote for any of the conservative candidates who want to control her wages, her voice, her body.

So, although I don’t normally go out of my way to defend Kelly or her news organization, she certainly does not deserve the verbal assault launched against her by Trump, especially the disgusting suggestion that her questions were tough because she was menstruating.

But, this is Donald Trump, The Donald, the “You’re Fired” guy from reality TV, the guy with the bizarre comb-over and a facial expression stuck on angry.

It was a huge mistake when the Huffington Post recently relegated coverage of Trump to its Entertainment section.

There is nothing entertaining about this guy.

But, take that with a grain of salt because I am but a humble reporter and, according to Trump during last Thursday night’s GOP debate, we “are a very dishonest lot.”

I wonder who in Trumpland is acceptable.

He doesn’t like war heroes, as evidenced by his comments about Sen. John McCain.

He has no respect for our president or his office, as expressed in his comments about President Barack Obama.

He views many as pawns he can control with monetary donations, such as his old friend Hillary Clinton who he demeaned when he said she had to attend his wedding because he had donated to the Clinton Foundation.

He has no respect for Mexicans, who he smeared with racist rhetoric when he announced his candidacy.

And, he has no respect for women, as evidenced by three marriages and a boatload of public quotes where he demeaned some as “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.”

Trump gets away with this because he is rich, very, very rich, and the rich live by different rules.

And, he appeals to the ugly, unspoken, dark corners of the American psyche, where racism, sexism, arrogance are allowed to wallow.

That’s why Trump gets cheered for some blunt, rude, or crude statement about women, Mexicans, politicians.

That’s why Trump is rooted on when he makes a ridiculous statement like “I don’t have time for political correctness.”

Mr. Trump, political correctness is not some new Republican attack target. Political correctness is about being gentlemanly, being tolerant, being considerate. It is possible to be blunt while being politically correct. All you do is remove the rudeness and crudeness of your remarks, make your point, and move on.

The amazing thing is the number of people who say that the Republican Party, which really has no idea of what to do with Trump in the race, is trying to undermine him. I’ve read a lot of pieces where his supporters claim vehemently that the GOP and media twist his words in an effort to destroy him.

The problem is that there are miles of videotape out there proving that, indeed, those words the GOP and media are quoting came directly from the horse’s mouth.

Trump is riding a populist wave right now, but remember, so did Joe the Plumber. So did Ross Perot.

So did Sarah Palin.

But, where are Joe the Plumber, Ross Perot, and Sarah Palin today?

Well Joe the Plumber, who, in reality, was not a journeyman plumber, but a plumber’s assistant – there is a huge difference – is working in a Jeep plant. Ross Perot still sits around drawing up charts and graphs nobody understands. Sarah Palin?

Well, she’s still looking at Russia from her front porch in Alaska.

Maybe, when this is all over and Trump is dumped on his rump, we can ship him to Alaska where he can enjoy the view with Palin.


Even Sarah Palin deserves better.

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

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Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.


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  • NotSoFast August 11, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Sometimes your hilarious Ed. I visualize you sitting at your keyboard, your wife standing behind with a taser, a scripted memo from a honest Clinton in your hand.
    ( O ME?, Ed Kociela?) Just doing my part for mankind). Scratch that! The wife wants me to edit that. ‘Women kind’ now that’s better, right?
    Your coming across as a wimp Ed.( scratch that, a politically correct journalist).

  • Uncle Lenny August 11, 2015 at 10:00 am

    So much for the Donald. Do you think the Republican Party can get behind a serious candidate soon? Do they even have one? From my view, these folks are just playing games to make themselves richer. Not one of them has displayed the best interests of the country first. Maybe they are all a “Donald” at heart?

    • dogmatic August 11, 2015 at 11:42 am

      Democratics have one seriously candidate That has become wealthy as a unscrupulous politician.
      Wake up uncle Lenny.?

      • Uncle Lenny August 11, 2015 at 5:42 pm

        Thanks for the wake up call. I know about the Democrats. I was hoping a Republican running for the highest office in the nation here actually had the nation’s interests at heart. I was hoping a Republican was or would be “different”. I’m not looking forward to the coronation. I was hoping…

  • anybody home August 11, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Ed, I usually agree with your ideas, and I do agree with a lot of what you say here, but I have to take issue with this one:

    “Trump gets away with this because he is rich, very, very rich, and the rich live by different rules.”

    It’s certainly true in many ways, as F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, that “the rich, they are very different from you and me.” But that’s not why Trump is getting away with his bad behavior. He’s getting away with it because the media loves it and will give him all the attention he wants. It’s not because he’s rich, but because America is hooked on reality shows and bad behavior and Jackass movies and whatever Kim Kardashian wants to do about her butt.

    I’ve known many very rich people who do not behave the way Trump behaves. He’s a flat out narcissist, but not all rich people fall into that category.

    America, at this moment, loves bad boys and Donald Trump is the baddest of them all – a million guys out there want to be just like him and a million women would love to sit across from him at dinner. (My guess is there are plenty of them right here in Utah.) And the media knows this. And their advertisers know this. Donald said this morning on Fox that he whines until he gets what he wants. He does, and every doting mom, finally laughs and says, “Okay, okay, honey, you can have the Ferrari.” Or the Presidency. Or whatever.

    I think we’d have heard a stronger debate if Kelly had NOT asked Trump about women at all. It’s his publicity ace-in-the-hole and she gave him all the attention he was looking for. The only way to deal with narcissists like Trump is to ignore them. They hate it, of course, but then they’re the ones who bring up the bad stuff themselves, and you can’t be defensive when you bring it up yourself. None of the questions you pose would have gone anywhere with Trump, Ed, except exactly where the occasion did go – nasty, swinish behavior.

    Old advice from long ago: Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.

  • Brian August 11, 2015 at 10:59 am

    While I’m not a Trump fan, I don’t see any evidence he’s ~racist~, only that he wants the border secured. News flash for liberals: those aren’t the same thing. Affirmative action: genuinely racist. Congressional Black Caucus: genuinely racist. Al Sharpton: genuinely racist. Trump: wants the border secured and this to be a nation of laws again. But you hit the nail on the head with egotistical. As much disdain as I have for the republicans, at least they’re discussing the issues and having debates. The liberals are paralyzed because their best bet for 2016 is a soulless, senile liar with an entirely indefensible record and not a shred of character or integrity. Or they could go with Crazy Uncle Joe the groper, or Bernie the socialist. Frankly neither party has anything to offer in 2016 (or 2015, for that matter). I say fire the lot of them and randomly choose citizens to represent us for a single 2 year term with zero ongoing benefits. Serve, then leave. We’d be WAY better of as a nation that what we have (and unfortunately will continue to have). Enjoy the bread and circuses America, you’ve earned them.

  • fun bag August 11, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Most of these guys are so awful that I’m not sure ‘the donald’ isn’t the most reasonable of them. Jeb probably would have made a better pres than his idiot clown brother, but i think he lacks the charisma that the idiot had. The R party’s main base is gun nuts, religious nuts, and wealthy elitists, but they really need to create an agenda that promotes a middle class and gets away from their extremist base, but I think their main agenda will always be to further enrich the already wealthy and continue to erode away at the common good. That’s been the party’s main agenda at least since Reagan. Luckily they’ve got the mormons, who are rarely if ever informed, and have been trained from birth to always vote for those with an ‘R’ by their names, because even reaping so many benefits of liberal policy they have been trained from birth to believe that anyone who is a democrat or a “liberal” must be as evil as satan, but it’s really not a stretch when their religion is so kooky in the first place–they believe every word ‘fox news’ tell them as God’s truth…

  • sagemoon August 11, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Good one, Ed. You’re right, the republican party has nothing to offer women at this point.

  • htown August 11, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Many people are Politically Correct Publicly, but not Politically Correct Privately.

    The vote for President will be done privately, and although Trump rankles many with his approach, people want a change for change sake.

    I think that Americans are like some New Yorkers, in your face, loud and no worries what happens in the aftermath. People want someone who is not a Politician, even it it means they may not agree with the Choice.

  • ameliapond August 11, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    It makes me genuinely sick that some people are defending Trump. Makes me wonder how many racist, misogynistic people I come in to contact with every day without even realizing it. All I can say is I hope Trump keeps his mouth moving because every time he speaks he lets a little more crazy out and loses votes.

  • dogmatic August 11, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Planned parenthood only pays out 3% of its income for abortions. That’s cheep Edd, just think what they could do with 4%.
    In America 219 abortions per 1000 live births that’s almost 25% of the future population. But there is a up side for those nasty republicans you call racists, 75 % of those are black baby’s.

  • BIG GUY August 11, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Ed, I share your disdain of Donald Trump but you spent the first half of your editorial repeating liberal propaganda and half-truths. To wit:
    You appear to argue that taxpayers should continue to fund Planned Parenthood because it “…spends only 3 percent of its budget on abortion.” After the disgusting revelation on selling fetal body parts, your argument is falling on a lot of deaf ears. So we should fund an organization that only partly violates the law and societal norms?
    You support some kind of Constitutional equal rights amendment? Why? Can you name any wrong that would be corrected? Who is being discriminated against today that can’t find judicial relief? Such an amendment would be only an attorney full employment act with no additional protection for anyone. But by touting the need for one, liberals cater to their “victimized” constituencies.
    Some responsible studies comparing men’s and women’s pay have concluded that gender gaps are serious while others have concluded that they are virtually non-existent. It’s a squishy and difficult subject. But quoting only the raw numbers is very misleading since they do not correct for education and experience. To start with, “similar” jobs usually aren’t all that similar and college degrees are not all the same.
    Please provide examples of how conservatives want to control women’s wages, voices and bodies. The first and second are illegal and refusing to support taxpayer-funded abortions is hardly controlling women’s bodies. Abortion remains one of the most contentious social issues of our day.
    Stick to the subject, Ed. Donald Trump is a egotistic blowhard. The rest of your editorial is liberal propaganda.

    • McMurphy August 11, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      Good one Big Guy

    • mesaman August 11, 2015 at 7:32 pm

      Well written, Big Guy. And with your commentary the door closes on this debate. Debate? No this was the typical verbal chasm that exists between the red and the blue, the conservative and the liberal, the Republican and the democrat. No minds were changed and no sides shifted.

  • ffwife August 11, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Came to read the article – saw Ed wrote it – passed!

  • farolestherhunter August 11, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    I was so-so on Donald Trump until the Republican Debate, and I watched him be divisive and derogatory toward Megan. Her questions to him were not any harsher than each of the candidates on the stage. When someone relies on name-calling to make a point, their point becomes weak–like Fun Guy’s comments.

  • fun bag August 11, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    The problem we see with the republican party is that it’s moved to the extreme right on every single issue. There used to be moderate members but it seems now that they have to take an extreme view on everything. For example, how much longer are the kooks gonna deny climate change as a fact? I just don’t understand it really, I mean, the weather just seems messed up from what it used to be. Guns and abortion (and Hilary’s emails) seem to be the only issues they can base their politics on. Their economic policies have been a total failure. Their immigration policies have been a failure. Bush II essentially collapsed the whole U.S. economy with his reckless policy, and I don’t think anything has changed with their thinking. We hear all this free market non-sense until some wallstreet bank needs a bailout, and the R party is right there to bail out their cronies. Just complete hypocrites, unreasonable and kooky, basically lunatics… I’ll say one thing, Obama’s social policies are much too liberal for my taste, but his economic policy is more moderate than anything–Obama has propped up wallstreet nearly as well as any republican. That aside, the R party has just become systemically corrupt–no one within it is reasonable anymore… just hard right extremism, cronyism, and moral decay…

    • BIG GUY August 12, 2015 at 5:19 am

      FUN BAG, not one of your arguments above represents a change in Republican positions or philosophy from those of 40 years ago. Not one. You may not like conservative ideas: that’s your prerogative. But conservatives have NOT as you say, “now taken extreme views on everything.” Try again to see if you can name one position that was not embraced by Reagan Republicans in the 1970s. Good luck.

      • fun bag August 12, 2015 at 10:47 am

        Do any of them have moderate views on anything.

    • BIG GUY August 12, 2015 at 10:01 am

      FUN BAG, your ideas of “facts” are interesting. Worldwide temperatures have not increased in the last 16 years. No climate model can explain that, not one. It’s certainly possible that our climate is warming. After all, the earth’s climate has been changing for millions of years. But do you and other “global warmist” faithful really believe we should eliminate carbon-based fuels and dramatically lower our standard of living in the process, based on climate models that can’t explain what’s already happened? How can you trust their predictions–unless you have the “irrational faith” that you accuse religious believers on this site of having?
      Despite Al Gore’s assertions, the science is far from settled. In fact, science is never settled. Please send a link to a climate model that explains what has happened in the last 16 years.

      • fun bag August 12, 2015 at 10:41 am

        This reminds me of how some church members only read material that is church approved. I’d be curious as to where you come up with all this nonsense…

      • BIG GUY August 12, 2015 at 12:49 pm

        FUN BAG, I’ll do your homework for you since you are unable to come up with any facts or cite any sources. How about these two global warming true believer organizations?
        Berkeley Earth noted that, when it comes to 2014 and the other “hottest year” candidates, 2005 and 2010, the observed temperature difference was smaller than the margin of error by a factor of five, adding: “Therefore it is impossible to conclude from our analysis which of 2014, 2010, or 2005 was actually the warmest year.”
        The latest study from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that in the previous 15 years temperatures had risen 0.09 degrees Fahrenheit. The average of all models expected 0.8 degrees. So we’re seeing about 90% less temperature rise than expected. [Note: 0.09 degrees F per year is far less than margin of error.]

      • BIG GUY August 12, 2015 at 12:54 pm

        FUN BAG, I suggest you apply the first rule of holes: if you’re in a hole, stop digging. You’re in way over your head on this one.

  • BIG GUY August 11, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Ed, here’s a challenge for you, one that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee refused to address. What is the difference today between a Democrat (e.g. Hilary Clinton) and a Socialist (e.g. Bernie Sanders)? Given your stated political and economic beliefs, is it too much to ask for an editorial addressing this question? And while you are at it, please explain where today’s conservatives have changed their fundamental precepts in the last forty years so as to warrant calling them “extreme” while liberals are “mainstream.”
    Here are some ideas to get you started. Please help your readers understand how effectively nationalizing mortgage lending (think Fannie Mae and the Great Recession), health care (think Obamacare), and college education (think $1.2 trillion in government student loans and Hilary’s latest fantasy) are different than socialism. And should you claim that private industry is still involved in all these, please explain how Obama’s rigid (and frequently unlawful) regulation of businesses in these fields is different in practice than socialism.
    An anxious world awaits your editorial on this subject. (I’ll forward a copy to Ms. Wasserman-Schultz so Chris Mathews won’t catch her flat footed again.)

    • fun bag August 11, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      why don’t you explain why the Bush II “conservative free market” policies were so effective in collapsing the banking system and taking the economy with it? Also explain why nothing was done about all the illegals when Bush II had the congress as well… oh that’s right, YOU CAN’T. You just drone on and on like a broken record… BECAUSE YOU’RE AN IDIOT… PROVE ME WRONG…

      • BIG GUY August 12, 2015 at 5:56 am

        FUN BAG, the banking system came near collapse because the Democrat-controlled Congress in 1992 passed “affordable housing” legislation requiring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy a quota of loans from low income (i.e. less credit worthy) borrowers. Both the Clinton and Bush II administrations followed the law’s dictates, but when Bush II officials warned Barney Frank (D-MA), the law’s sponsor and chairman of the House banking committee, of pending dangers, Frank famously replied, “I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation.” He made similar statements up until the financial crisis. We all saw what happened. The market was hardly “free.” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government creations, were buying every piece of paper offered them. Bush II was not the instigator.
        No administration, Republican or Democrat, has solved the illegal immigration dilemma. Obama’s solution was to issue an illegal executive order giving illegal immigrants effective amnesty: the courts have slapped him down. I personally favor increased legal immigration.
        You are entitled to your opinions but not your own facts. Get some: they’re wonderful things.

        • fun bag August 12, 2015 at 10:34 am

          So your answers to the failed and corrupt policies of Bush II are “It’s the liberals fault from 1992”? My friend, you are truly deluded…

          And you’re not giving any reason as to why they failed to stem illegal immigration… I said nothing about Obama. Why did the republicans fail to do anything under 8 years of Bush II? Could it be that they were hypocrites?

    • fun bag August 11, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      I bet BIG GUY doesn’t reply. Complete tool and parrot for hard-right media. I bet he’d be great at apologetics for the mormon cause since none of his spews are truthful or factual…

  • Dexter August 12, 2015 at 6:39 am


  • BIG GUY August 12, 2015 at 7:38 am

    FUN BAG, for a full recounting of Barney Frank’s role in the Great Recession, try Thomas Sowell’s summary. Frank’s quotes in the article are word for word. There were many contributors–real estate agents, mortgage lenders, appraisers, dishonest home buyers, and others–to the Great Recession, but Frank’s unwavering support of government intervention requiring subprime loans to low income home buyers opened the doors for abuse. This was NOT a free market any more than today’s government student loans are a free market.

    • fun bag August 12, 2015 at 11:01 am

      And the Bush II regime could have appointed whoever they wanted to run the organizations and change policy in ways to correct them. Did they attempt to do this? Their answer to everything was deregulation. Deregulate the wallstreet banks because they have the country’s best interests at heart, right? It was a free-for-all of corruption, cronyism, and greed under the entire 8 year of Bush II. The Clinton crew might have started building the ‘house of cards’, but the Bush II crew built it up to the ceiling.

      Now I’m gonna do the hit-n-run thing like the mormons do on here and end my part in this discussion because i don’t have the patience for it. Maybe another “liberal” can chime in to try to cure you of your delusions…

  • Dexter August 12, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    DONALD TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT of the United. States

    • Real Life August 12, 2015 at 6:19 pm

      Constantly repeating yourself is a sign of chronic drug use.

      • Dexter August 12, 2015 at 11:03 pm

        Constantly repeating yourself is a sign of chronic drug use

  • Dexter August 12, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Wow look everybody REAL LIFE DORK came in and made another one of his brilliant commentaries…. Wow isn’t he amazing……

  • fun bag August 13, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    BIG GUY is not gonna give a legitimate answer as to why the republicans collapsed the economy and did nothing about illegals under Bush II. Notice how he side steps the questions and starts blathering on about things irrelevant to the discussion…

    • fun bag August 13, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      “the liberal from 1992 done it” a hurr durr hurr. Maybe Obama done it even back in 1992. You think you can fit that into your narrative, Big Guy???

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