On the Fox News stage came six political midgets and one overstuffed hippo, nattering about the evils of the Obama-Clinton-baby-killing-socialized-medicine-anti-military complex.
Just down the road, and a parallel universe away, a second stage provided a packed house venue for a lone wolf authoritarian’s one-man production demonstrating that Trumpism is the highest stage of capitalism (h/t V.I. Lenin).
Bottom line: Early in the evening, we were pretty pumped to watch the The Donald’s Debate Drop-Out Show, which seemed at first glance to be a brilliant, spotlight-stealing political play. It turned out, however, to be Yuugely Boring after the first three-and-a-half minutes of same-old clinical narcissism performance art.
But still not as tedious as the debate among the Seven Dwarfs, who spent two hours re-reciting and regurgitating every fabricated, fraudulent and demagogic attack they launched at the Clintons and Obama in their previous six debates. For details, please consult our peerless archive.
We watch so you don’t have to: In service to loyal Calbuzzers everywhere, we wasted yet another sands-through-the hourglass two hours of our dotage on the matter.
This time, we toggled between Trump’s exploitative fundraiser on behalf of unnamed “wounded warrior” organizations, and scenes of slightly shell-shocked Fox moderators asking questions of the seven non-Trump candidates, who resembled school children delighting in a snow day, in the absence of the the Big Dog on stage. Our Department of Campaign Marketing Analysis and Minimalist Political Taglines provided stripped-to-the-bone versions of the wannabes’ basic messages.
Jeb Bush: I bid no Trump.
Jeb! had his hands-down best debate, for the first time appearing like he could actually breathe, instead of constantly looking over his shoulder for Trump to pop out and yell “boo.”
John Kasich: The Kumbaya conservative.
Astonishingly, Kasich said at one point that Republicans needed to invite Democrats in Washington to help make national policy, in furtherance of his broad strategy to bring together all parties in every conflict to make nice. Good luck with that Monday night, Johnny.
Rand Paul: You people are all nuts.
Back at the grown-up debate table, Paul made the most sense of anybody on foreign policy and NSA data collection (disclaimer: yes, it truly scares us to find ourselves in agreement with Rand Paul), although we remain skeptical about the desperate need for a Fed audit.
Marco Rubio: Too many Red Bulls.
Somebody told Rubio it’d be a good idea to use the phrase “When I’m president of the United States,” perhaps as a form of unsubtle subliminal messaging, so he did so about 11,000 times. His shoe polish hair dye and thespian shtick of dramatically reciting segments of his stump speeches are both wearing thin.
Running one-two with Trump in Iowa, Cruz had a splendid chance to shine, but instead had his worst performance of the campaign, a defensive and shiftier-than-usual exercise in complaining about the rules and whining that everybody was picking on him.
Chris Christie: I hate Hillary.
Bully boy has got one, shrill and strident, tone, which makes him sound like a third-rate actor/waiter who tried and failed to get a walk-on in an early season of the Sopranos.
Honestly, who cares.
Key unanswered question of the night: Wussup with Megyn Kelly’s hair?