By the time the epic Republican debate ended last night — long after Jeb Bush copped to smoking weed, Donald Trump called himself humble and George P. Shultz was denounced as a Comsymp of One World government – the awful truth had sunk in: the big winner of the whole endless, sprawling, butt-ugly evening was Carly Fiorina.
How much it pains us to say so.
But to her enduring credit, the nasty, snarling, smirking witch rose to the occasion, alternatively making a fierce case for pro-life women, displaying emotion over losing a step-child and towel-snapping Trump for having insulted her looks in Rolling Stone magazine.
“I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,” she quipped, when asked about The Donald’s published dis of her looks– and his lame attempt to take it back.
Bam. There’s your most endlessly replayed moment of the debate.
A few other takeaways from the event.
Precious time wasted can never be regained. Who at CNN, exactly, thought a three-hour debate (three hours and 11 minutes actually) was just what America needed? Jeez, you could hear remotes all over America switching to Fox or Law and Order/Special Victims Unit after the first 30 minutes, which was about the time we actually stopped taking notes. Next time we’re heading to the driving range or re-reading Hamlet.
Inside the Outsiders. In an instant exit poll, our Department of Number Crunching and Abacus Repair determined with scientific precision that within the Insurgent (i.e. totally inexperienced and unqualified) Division, Fiorina’s strong performance means: a) her poll numbers will go up; b) Trump’s will stay flat: the entire conversation, such as it was, continued to revolve around him, but despite a few new cheap shots and gratuitous insults (now he’s picking on Rand Paul’s looks!) he did nothing but repeat his by now familiar schtick, which may finally be wearing thin; c) Carly’s support will come out of Dr. Ben (Wake Me, Shake Me) Carson’s skinny behind; he was variously incoherent, mumbling and just plain lost.
The Establishment Favorites. Marco Rubio had another good night, even though he always sounds angry, was covered in flop sweat and looked like he used Richard Nixon’s makeup guy. Still he’s smart, very articulate and quick, and his geo-political analyses left the others in the dust.
Jeb was uneven, but got better as the night went on, as he confessed to inhaling – does anybody care anymore? – finally confronted Trump about insulting his Mexican-born wife (no apology was forthcoming, however) and got the biggest laugh of the night by saying, in response to a silly question, that his Secret Service code name would be “Eveready,” earning a high five from Trump (code name “Humble”) who constantly calls Bush “low energy.”
Best of the Rest. All the other rivals had their moments. Chris Christie smacked Trump and Fiorina around for bragging on their business careers while the middle class is struggling, but is anyone still listening to him? Scott Walker scored early with a prepared anti-Trump line saying “we don’t need ‘an apprentice’ in the White House” (get it?) but he truly is a stiff and looks to be going nowhere. Mike Huckabee has his pitch perfect dog whistle rants about gun rights and the alleged persecution of Christians down, but that crowd has other places to go. Rand Paul made more sense than anyone about reducing the use of military force and reforming incarceration and marijuana policies, but when you’re earning points from Calbuzz in a GOP primary, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Anyway, their combined support is somewhere around the margin of error for most polls.
More: Our man John Kasich still shows promise but had an off night – get a decent haircut, willya’?!?! Ted Cruz, who referred to Planned Parenthood as “an ongoing criminal enterprise,” remains the creepiest and scariest of the bunch.
Abortion rights a loser for the GOP. Carly’s graphic rant about Planned Parenthood allegedly raking in big bucks for selling fetus parts hushed the crowd and was powerful stuff, but that only served to highlight the fact that the entire Republican field is ready, willing and seemingly happy to make an issue out of reproductive rights and the de-funding of Planned Parenthood, a major loser issue for them in a general election, even if they don’t shut down the government on the issue, which Cruz is dying to do.
Full disclosure. The Denver Bureau flew in for the debate, carrying a load of Reef Jerky, One Eye Open Sativa-Based Lemonade and Liquid Gold Delights from G Pharma Labs, so we were pretty baked when Post Game Wrap time came around. We actually thought we heard Trump say he knows of a baby who came down with autism two weeks after getting a vaccine. He didn’t really say that, did he?
Still we soldier on.
What we learned about the field: most of them are convinced (Trump and Paul the exceptions) that the problem with our foreign policy is that there’s been too much damn diplomacy, and not enough bloodshed in Iran, Syria and the Ukraine.
They also believe that efforts to combat man-made climate change are pretty much part of a commie conspiracy – astonishingly former Reagan Secretary of State George Shultz tweeted in a question on the issue and was denounced by Rubio as part of the “radical left” for his trouble – and that the key to our immigration system is not only Donald’s Wall (Carson thinks Trump would do a much better building job than the sorry-ass barbed wire fences he saw on a recent border tour) but also time stamping everyone who comes into the country like FedEx packages (thanks Chris!)
To hell with women’s health. We’re pretty sure that when the Republican nominee gets to the general election with this kind of rhetoric on video, it’s not going to go over all that well with the majority of women voters in the USofA who actually LIKE Planned Parenthood and think you’re just a bunch of misogynist bullies for attacking the popular women’s health operation.
Likewise, the attacks on immigrants – although Carson allowed he’d let Mexicans work in agriculture because Americans won’t do the job. Building a wall, deporting immigrants, criticizing people for speaking Spanish (Trump v Bush), demonizing foreigners, opposing a pathway to citizenship or even legality – these are not positions that will endear the GOP ticket to Latino voters in November.
And as for war (with the exception from Paul, Trump and perhaps Kasich), we just haven’t had enough, dammit. Basically, the GOP position seems to be let’s get more boots on the ground in the Middle East, tear up the Iran nuclear deal and send Putin to the corner.
Front-runner Trump can hardly name a foreign leader (especially all the ones with Arab names) but not to worry: by the time he’s president he assured us, he’ll have the greatest team of experts that you’ve ever seen – so great it’ll make your head spin.
He just doesn’t know anything right now.