The political gurus were all talking about “staking out positions” on the issues, and “appealing to the evangelical lane” or “going after the moderate voters.” No one except Jeb Bush and John Kasich were doing that, and we know how that’s going. The political gurus thought this election was like the last dozen or so elections, with voters weighing the issues and finding the candidate who agreed with them.
No, that’s dead. That’s past. No, last night the masks came off. All those guys in suits dropped the pretense that this was about issues, and instead started snapping and circling and going for the throat. Who’s gonna be the alpha dog? That’s what this pile up comes down to. Which dog’s left standing, chewing on an ear, while the others whimper away, crippled and bleeding.
Because that’s what Republican voters want this year. They don’t want issues; they want blood. They’ve been convinced by Fox News, and Rush, and the Republican ‘leadership’ that the country needs cleansing, that Democrats want to destroy the country, that Satan’s minions have taken over the “evil government” (we actually heard that phrase last night, the only time anyone paid any attention to poor Ben). But the ‘leadership’ miscalculated. They didn’t think anyone would take them literally. Surely people would realize this was just a new tactic in an old game. Surely the voters knew that. Right? Obama as Satan was just a metaphor, just something to get the base motivated, get back into the White House. Surely no one would actually believe that Democrats were trying to destroy the country!? Right!?!? Because if people started believing that, for the love of God, if people started believing that--
It would turn the electoral process into a dog fight. It would disqualify anyone who was thoughtful, even handed, with a reasoned approach to problems, and who would work for the betterment of everyone. Instead, it would pick the Big Man, the one strong enough to rule the tribe with an iron hand. How do you pick the strongest? You put them all in a pit and let them fight it out. The Alpha Dog is the one who’s still standing at the end.
After doing their best to scare their voters for the last 8 years, the Republican establishment is mystified why everyone is so angry. Hello-oh. When people are scared for long enough, they get angry. Not rocket science. And now they want an angry candidate. They sure as hell don’t want Bush.
And so the debates are now a contest to show how angry you are. Since Hilary isn’t in the room, you’ve got to get angry at the guy at the next podium. And you know what would really show how angry you are? Chew off his nose. Yep, his nose. That would pretty much sew up the election for Trump. I’m going to be disappointed if that doesn’t happen next debate.
Because the whole thing is so entertaining, yes? Christie actually won the debate last night, because he got in the closest thing to a school yard taunt. “You had your chance Marco, and you blew it.” What was the context? What was it in reference to? Who knows, doesn’t matter. “You had your chance Marco, and you blew it.” Brilliant. Expect Christie to get a significant bump in the polls.
But maybe not enough to win. I think it’s probably Trump, though it’s not a lock. Cruz’s insincerity is so obvious, I keep thinking people are going to catch on sooner or later. But you know people.
Christie is the only other candidate with any chance at all, and he walked out of last night with blood dripping from his fangs, so this may be his moment. He probably would also benefit from being accused of a hit. “It’s a New Jersey thing.” I could see him taking off.
Kasich is probably the most qualified to be President, which of course disqualifies him instantly. With all his big gestures last night, he looked like a magician. I kept expecting him to do a card trick.
Finally, what can you say about Gentle Ben Carson? So lost, so forlorn. The other dogs don’t even bother with him now, there’s no point. And he’s lonely. “Why doesn’t anyone tell me I’m pretty anymore?” Ahh, Ben, you put people back together. This year, it’s all about taking people apart.
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