Culturally Discombobulated

Dick assures country of the size of his dick – wants to be President: GOP debate, 3rd March 2016

I’m fresh from watching Fox News’ coverage of the Republican Party’s death rattle, otherwise known as the eleventh GOP debate of this election cycle, and like a film series with so many entries, we’re really running on fumes and are reduced to making the cheapest, crassest jokes imaginable. On that point, if these GOP debates were a film series they’d be Police Academy.

All that really needs to be known about this debate is that it was the one in which Trump reassured the country that he doesn’t have a small penis. Great. We’re done now. Where do we go from here? Ron Jeremy as his running mate?

Thoughts as I watching (i.e. nonsensical thoughts cribbed from my twitter feed):

Odds on Trump ending the night by creepily presenting Megyn Kelly with a single red rose?

Good to see Donald assuage any doubts we might have about the size of his penis. Not sure that’s what people mean when they question whether he can be the head of state.

That nuclear triad joke was lousy last time you said it, Marco.

How can I vote for Kasich when he has spoken for the last five minutes and still hasn’t assuaged my concerns about his penis size?

“This little guy…” Trump’s dismissal of Rubio. Is that a small dick reference, too? Everything has to be read in those terms now. Christ, it’s as if Sid James were running for President of the United States.

And yet I’m oddly enjoying this. I wonder if I’d also enjoy WWE?

Pretty confident that the next debate is going to be a literal pissing match.

In fairness, this is an embarrassment of an audience. Constant booing, gurning at the cameras – it’s like a Flyers’ game.

The most terrifying moments are when the madman says something reasonable and gets pilloried: “you got to get along with everyone.” “Booooo!!” Wait, this one of those tiny moments when he isn’t being crazy. Boo him when he’s talking about his dick or talking about he’s going to turn the US military into his personal militia who will obey him no matter what.

“I have too much respect,” says Trump to Megyn Kelly without any sense of irony whatsoever.

Haven’t heard about anyone’s manhood for a while. I think this GOP debate may have shot its load early.

There seems to be some very rowdy bachelorette parties at this debate. Worried that they might start chanting “strip” at Little Marco.

Ah, Kasich, you can’t even deliver a zinger. You should have carried through with that paraphrase on Lloyd Bentsen’s line. “I knew Ronald Reagan and you are no Ronald Reagan,” would have, I’d have thought, been an effective moment for Kasich.

Anthony Hopkins is going to be truly wonderful as Trump in the Oliver Stone biopic.

After a fairly strong opening, Rubio has been anonymous. Cruz has performed the attack role far more effectively and without engaging in Trump’s adolescent nonsense. Also Kasich has had more presence than in previous debates. I wonder if he sounds fresher to the audience as they don’t know his soundbites so well?

Trump performs well with the poorly educated. I don’t think they care so much about Trump University, Marco. I don’t know if this is the main attack line.

Wonder what name Trump University gave its athletics program. The Trump Schlongs? The Trump Coiffures?

Trump really is the evil businessman in a Herbie the love bug movie.

I’m not her biggest fan, but Megyn Kelly is so much better at this than Wolf Blitzer was last week.

Kasich becomes the first person in the history of Detroil to get applauded for saying “let’s stop fighting.”

From a debate perspective, Kasich is the real beneficiary of Carson dropping out.

Chris Wallace looks like he should be in an old time-y nightdress, night cap and holding a candle holder.

Kasich: “I’m the little engine than can…” Awwwww. Not really what many people are looking for in a President.

Rubio reminds me of a kid who was the golden child at High School but is now struggling with the curriculum at university.

Debate is over. And it changed absolutely nothing.

How many more of these do we have to endure. They’re really not fit for purpose anymore.

I’ll say one thing for a Trump presidency – just think of the incredible banana republic-esque military uniform he’ll fashion for himself.

Quick thoughts ahead of GOP debate, 3rd March 2016

Some quick thoughts ahead of tonight’s GOP debate:

How does Trump show himself to be Presidential? Does he even know what that would look like?

Trump in his rally in Maine today spoke of how his wife, Melania, wanted him to act more Presidential. Minutes later Trump alluded to Romney having being prepared to perform fellatio on him in return for his endorsement during the 2012 election – so much for seeming Presidential.

This is the problem with a reality star as a political candidate*. Successful reality shows work by taking horrible people, putting them in a room, and filming them as they talk nonsense for hours before distilling it all down into an entertaining few minutes.

And this is precisely how the Trump campaign has been working. In his rallies he spouts nonsense and then the news media cuts it down into the most provocative soundbite and then amplifies it.

It used to be that the world raised an eyebrow at America’s willingness to vote an actor for President, but, a least, an actor is acurltely aware of how tone and demenour effect a performance – the only performance Trump is capable of is himself unabashed.

Is there any enthusiasm left for Rubio?

Yesterday it was reported that Fox News head, Roger Ailes, was “finished with Rubio.” In addition, Romney in his attack on Trump refused to endorse any of the remaining candidates. A week ago it seemed all the establishment was coalescing around him. If the love-in with Rubio is over, it will be interesting to see what the news coverage of him will be like tonight, and, equally, what tactic he takes in tonight’s debate.

In addition, if Rubio does go after Trump, do Cruz and Kasich simply let him do all the grunt work or do they join in, too?

Personally, I don’t think stooping to Trump’s level is a great look for anyone, particularly Rubio who seems to get flustered when faced with Trump’s non-sequiters.

Will Romney’s speech make a difference?

It felt like the GOP electorate today had to sit through a special assembly called by the school Principal as he’s disappointed with recent behavior.

Listening to Romney was a good reminder of his own failings as a candidate. He certainly looks the part, a President from central casting, but when he opens his mouth he’s utterly uninspiring; he looks urbane, but sounds like a crusty grandpa.

As an aside, there’s something of the preacher to many successful American politicians. It’s a rhetorical style that fits easily within a political environment obsessed with calls for a higher power, and so often requires a leap of faith from supporters. Romney simply doesn’t possess it. I wonder if it’s cultural? I can’t think of any charismatic LDS preachers, I know they don’t have a professional clergy as such, I guess they end up relying even-tempered, unexcitable  patriarchs in their community, and that’s how Romney comes across most of the time, there’s a strong base level of competency in his speeches, but he is unable to make them soar – you don’t leave inspired, but neither do you leave despising him. It’s a bit like being accosted by Mormon missionaries; they leave you unconvinced by their arguments but thinking they are superficially polite and a little on the dull side.

I’m not sure if it was the right move for Romney to make the speech he did, and I certainly don’t think the son of George Romney is the one to chide Donald Trump for inherited wealth as Mitt did at one point.

Let’s see whether it has the desired effect or just enrages a base already disillusion with its establishment further.

Will anyone miss Ben Carson?

Only the fruit salad lobby.

*Trump being the first reality show candidate, though Palin was a proto-reality show candidate.

Trump the Evangelist

I wonder how far we are from the time when a candidate finds it expedient to speak in tongues during a debate? It’d certainly make for interesting analysis from the cable news pundits.