We have seen that there seems to be no depth of extremism to which the Republican party cannot and will not sink. The other question is how vacuous the Republican presidential primary debates can get and that too seems to have no limits. With the next Republican debate coming up tomorrow, no doubt knives are being sharpened in all the campaign headquarters.
Donald Trump has taken to suggesting that Ben Carson’s Seventh Day Adventist faith is weird and out of the mainstream. He asserted that Carson has even lower energy than Jeb Bush. Carson responded by saying that he has lots of energy and said that as a boy he attacked people with rocks and hammers and even tried to stab his friend with a knife. You’ve got to admit that is pretty high energy and one wonders how he later morphed into his current persona where he seems to be either heavily sedated or stoned out of his mind.
Lindsey Graham has seized on Carson’s remark to suggest that surely people should prefer him over the two front runners?
“Can I give you the take on this race?” Graham proposed. “On our side, you’ve got the number two guy tried to kill somebody at fourteen. And the number one is high energy and crazy as hell. How am I losing to these people?”
Graham later added, “And I’ve tried to murder no one, ever. So this should move me up a little bit.”
“Vote for me. I am not crazy and never tried to kill anyone.” Not a bad argument, that, even if it is setting the bar a little low. But Lindsey, I can answer why you are losing so badly. It is because nobody really likes you.
Meanwhile, Jeb Bush seems to be still smarting from Trump’s ‘low energy’ dig and has started thumping his fist when he speaks and responding tersely and tartly to questions, while clasping Jesus more closely to his bosom. This shows what a poor campaigner he is and it should be no surprise that his campaign is struggling. When an opponent like Trump accuses you of being low-energy, your response should not be to adopt energetic poses. That makes you look even weaker and a phony. Your response should be to counterpunch by saying something like “I use my energy to think things through rather than to shoot off my mouth. You should try it some time.”
Meanwhile you can be sure that Carly Fiorina is frantically plotting some outrageous rubbish like her Planned Parenthood comments at the last debate that gave her a brief bump in the polls. She has faded rapidly since then so you can expect a real doozy as she seeks the limelight again.
Marco Rubio may be the biggest beneficiary from all this idiocy, flying under the radar and hoping to keep the spotlight away from his meager resume. He might have to defend himself from the charge of hypocrisy because he called for the firing of federal workers for not doing their jobs when it turns out that he has the worst attendance record in the US Senate.
And then we can expect to see Cruz, Christie, Kasich, and Paul flailing away, using the limited time they will get to say something memorable so that they do not continue to be seen as afterthoughts. Of these four, I put my money of Christie and Cruz to be the ones who say something really ridiculous to gain attention, the former since his campaign is floundering and he desperately needs to shift attention away from his low approval ratings back in his home state, and the latter because that is who he is. Kasich is stuck because he is trying to look like the moderate candidate though is policies are pretty conservative, and Paul is falling between too stools: not libertarian enough to satisfy his father’s supporters but having some libertarian views that right-wingers view with suspicion.
With all this theater, you can be sure of one thing. Unlike with the Democratic debate, nothing of any substance will be discussed in any depth.