I know I shouldn't be shocked about how utterly horrific the second Republican Presidential Debate turned out to be... but it's kind of hard not to be. There was a serious amount of stupid on that stage, and the notion that one of these assholes could very well end up being President of the United States of America fills me with a depression usually reserved for when my favorite TV shows get canceled. But then I remember I'm leaning towards becoming an anarchist, and the sooner we get somebody into office who will finish wrecking this country so badly that people will have no choice but to burn it to the ground and start over... well, not such a bad debate after all.
Surprising nobody, Trump dominated the debate. Again. But we'll get to that in a minute.
Hands-down my favorite moment in this debate (and probably any debate ever) is when Carly Fiorina whipped out this jewel after Jeb! Bush admitted to smoking pot...
"I know that the marijuana kids are smoking today is not the same marijuana that Jeb! Bush smoked 40 years ago."
Because of that moment... and her answers to a few other questions (including the "What woman would you put on the $10 bill"), I give the debate win to Carly Fiorina. Too bad she would be an awful, awful president. Her time running Hewlett-Packard was so disastrous that I'm shocked the company is still around. She was truly bad at her job, making such horrible decisions that it's amazing she's able to keep a straight face when talking about how her business experience makes her the best candidate. Especially given that HP had no choice but to fire her incompetent ass. As if that weren't enough, she sets women's rights back a couple decades just by walking in the room. God only knows I would love a woman in the White House, but not this one (nor Hillary, if you were wondering).
The loser of the debate was Mike Huckabee. I don't care how much spin you put on every word that comes out of his mouth, you can't camouflage stupid. I swear, not one single answer he gave at the debate didn't have me wondering how his brain has enough power to keep him breathing... let alone be a presidential candidate. It is the height of irony that he thinks that "religious liberty" means cramming his bigoted version of Christianity down people's throats and forcing them to live under his religious law, all the while condemning Sharia law... which is the same fucking deal. I fucking hate Huckabee. Fuck Huckabee.
When it comes to Jeb! Bush, I remain shocked that he continues to do so shitty at these things. He's horrible at debate... often appearing flustered and unprepared, with his answers seeming to be more forced and canned than the usual kind of forced, canned answers we get at these things. When he announced, I thought for sure it would be Bush vs. Clinton for Commander in Chief. Now I have serious doubts. Eventually Trump is going to come crashing down, so maybe Jeb! still has a shot... but not if things keep going like this.
Ted Cruz panders to the Conservative base like no other. But he's fucking annoying as hell and couldn't inspire a dog to fart, let alone Republicans to get off their ass and vote. In a debate with somebody like Hillary Clinton or even Bernie Sanders, Cruz would fold like a wet paper towel and everybody knows it.
Chris Christie remains a festering pile of shit. He had no problem going against the wishes of his State as governor for political gain. There is no reason to believe he won't do the same as president. He's a petty, vindictive asshole who doesn't give two shits about the people he serves. There is no way he can fool people enough to get near the candidacy, and his time at the debate only confirmed it.
Marco Rubio is hard to figure out. I loathe him, but he's not speaking to people like me. And yet... when I try to put myself into the mindset of who he is talking to, he always falls short, despite having a compelling personal narative. Do I think Rubio is electable? Sure. But he desperately needs to excite people, and he seems incapable of doing so. Even when he's at his best... hammering away with Conservative talking points like he means it... he comes across as insincere to me. Though, to be honest, I think he's being nothing but sincere. Maybe it's his speaking cadence... he seems to forget what he's going to say off-and-on. Or maybe not. I dunno. Maybe it's just because he's so massively full of shit and I can't get past it.
Scott Walker's performance was abysmal. It's like he's in a hole and can't help but keep shoveling dirt on his own head. At this point I think he's gone so obscure that people might mistake him for John Kasich. Quite a decline from earlier days... and an earlier dabate... where he fared much better.
And speaking of John Kasich... assuming he can get people to know who he is, Kasich is probably the most electable candidate right now. He seems to be deftly sidestepping the crazy fringe of the hardcore Right, but projects Conservative values. He doesn't engage in personal attacks, but has no problem standing his ground. He seems smart, educated, and informed. But, as we saw with Jon Huntsman, that doesn't get you candidacy. It gets you utterly eviscerated by the Republican party. They want crazy-ass candidates much more than they want to win an election, apparently.
And speaking of crazy-ass candidates... here comes Trump. He got a lot of screen time at the debate, but most of it seemed to be fending off attacks from other candidates. I think people are starting to realize that his empty promises of being the guy to make everything perfect are, in fact, empty. Who knows how he's going to "make America great again"... you're just supposed to take his word for it. And I get it. When he was on Colbert, I found myself falling for his sticht, but it won't last forever. It can't. At some point there has to be some substance behind the talk.
While I rather like Ben Carson, I just don't see him getting any kind of support from the people running the Republican party regardless of where his poll numbers are. He's intelligent, respectful, and seems genuinely caring and kind... all the kiss of death for GOP candidates. But his worst sin is that he's boring. He should have nailed Trump to the wall over vaccinations, but took way-too-high a road and came across milk toast, which is par for the course. To win the ticket, you need to excite voters... on both sides... you can't just dance around issues and hope people elect you for being the nice guy.
UPDATE: Well, it would seem Carson has decided the way to excite voters is to go full-on racist bigot by declaring Muslims unfit for the presidency. Apparently he doesn't seem to think they can distance themselves from their religion enough to make decisions in the best interest of Americans. AND YET HE HAS NO PROBLEM WITH CHRISTIANS DOING EXACTLY THAT?!? This constant double standard when it comes to religion drives me insane. YOUR RELIGION DOESN'T GIVE YOU THE MORAL HIGH GROUND JUST BECAUSE YOU PUT YOUR FAITH IN IT!
Rand Paul remains a pathetic whiny baby and a complete embarrassment. He speaks with conviction about things which have no basis in reality. A weak candidate that couldn't even hope to take on Hillary or Bernie in a fight. Thankfully, the faux-libertarian will never get the chance. Out of all the people on the stage tonight, he seems to have the biggest potential to embarrass the country... and that's saying a lot considering who is standing up there with him.
And there you have it. A bunch of people I want nowhere near the White House.
Coming soon, a handful of Democrats I want nowhere near the White House.