Return to the Terrordome: GOP Primary Debates, Round 2

Well, the second GOP Presidential Primary Debates have come and gone and my strongest sentiment is one that I’m sure anyone else who watched the debates must share: I want that five hours of my life back.  Yeah you heard me, five hours.  I watched the junior varsity debate and the Big Ten…I mean eleven…debate.

Hey, speaking of the big debate having 11 candidates instead of 10, let’s touch on that for a moment.  Someone needs the genital fortitude – be it ovarian, testicular, or otherwise – to tell Chris Christie and Rand Paul that they’re no longer “top tier” candidates.  At the point that you’re earning less than 2% (on average) of the polling share you are not top tier.  Frankly, were it not for the sheer number of candidates I’d say that if you’re earning less that 5% you might as well pack up and go home, but if that were the case it would have been a debate between Trump, Carson, Bush, Cruz, and Rubio.  The fact that Carly Fiorina had to lobby to get on the top tier debate stage is ludicrous.  She is polling higher than Chris “I was appointed Assistant US Attorney by George W. Bush on September 10th” Christie (PS. He wasn’t) and Rand “Let’s Not Talk About My Father” Paul.  If we’re splitting up the field into two tiers then Chris Christie and Rand Paul at the very least should be bottom tier.  Hopefully the CNBC debate on October 28 will yield something slightly better in terms of candidate distribution.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  I did actually live tweet throughout the debates except during the time that I read to my son before he went to bed (we’re reading Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, it’s pretty awesome).  Happily I was home for this debate and got to sit on my comfy couch as I destroyed many totally usable brain cells watching this nonsense.  Speaking of nonsense, as much as I didn’t really want to, I did hear some of the pre-game patter which basically amounted to Wolf Blitzer talking over everyone ever couple minutes to give an update on where Donald Trump was.

And before I knew it we were off to the races…

It was weird, but yes, the candidates were standing in height order from George Pataki (Giant-American) to Lindsay Graham (He Who Would Blow Up Iran).

So, in brief, here is what I learned from each candidate at the JV Debate:

  • Lindsay Graham
    • He’s never met an illegal Canadian.
    • He’s pretty sure than Hispanics are also Americans.
    • He will destroy radical Islam with the power of pearl clutching.
    • Did I mention that he’ll destroy terrorists?  All of them (that are also Muslim) forever.
    • Benghazi.
  • Rick Santorum
    • He has seven kids.
    • Thinks that a 50 cent minimum wage raise over three years is super generous
    • Was in fact briefly a Senator before he began running for President professionally.
    • Thinks you need laws to protect constitutional amendments
  • George Pataki
    • So tall.
    • Thinks Ronald Reagan was super keen.
    • Was the only person on stage who didn’t find sciencing-while-brown to be a potential breach of national security.
    • 9/11
  • Bobby Jindal
    • He’s an American and his parents came here legally.
    • Is totally sure that Americans don’t discriminate based on skin color
    • Does not stand with Ahmed.
    • Cares more about the idea of America than actual America.

During the break between debates I had to – as I mentioned – read to my son.  So I just started watching the portion of the debate that I missed and was delighted that I missed this quote from Mike Huckabee…

“None of us are a self-professed socialist.”

No. Shit.

If I could say one thing to Marco Rubio it would be this: you are not funny.  Don’t ever make jokes.  Especially don’t make jokes about an ongoing resource crisis in one of the states you hope to lead as President.

I know this is nitpicky…but I don’t think that putting your finger on the nuclear codes is what launches nuclear weapons. What I think you meant, Jake Tapper, is to ask Carly Fiorina whether she’d want Donald Trump’s finger on the button, which I’ll admit is somewhat suggestive.

It’s a little shocking that it took an entire ten minutes for the top tier debate to devolve into full-on cat-fight mode.  And I think it speaks to Donald Trump’s experience in the entertainment industry, having seen how much we all enjoyed last debate’s slap fight between Rand Paul and Chris Christie, that he wasted no time in picking his own fight with Rand Paul.  In the words of another famous Paul…

I could watch this gif all day.

At this point, I’m beginning to wonder whether CNN watched the Fox debate and thought “I feel like it needs more Trump.”

Scott Walker suddenly comes out of his mayonnaise-induced coma to utter the logical sentence:

“Just because he says it doesn’t make it true, the facts are the facts.”

…and then proceeds to say whatever the hell he wants whenever he can jam a word in for the rest of the debacle…I mean debate.

These people are about to start making me bleed out of wherever.

I will say this, I love Donald Trump’s commitment to a lie.  Not only did he commit to saying that he did not in fact ask for casino gambling to be legalized in Florida, but called Jeb Bush a liar for calling him a liar.  In other words: I know you are but what am I.  Oh and by the way, Ben Carson doesn’t want big money in his campaign either.

You know what, I think Donald Trump would get along really well with Vladimir Putin.  I can absolutely see them going topless horseback-riding together.

So here (sort of) is where we started talking about actual issues:


Please allow me to to summarize the entirety of the discussion on the Iran deal thus…

— Gillian (@LibrallyGillian)

Using Your Religion to Oppress People (AKA. Religious Liberty)

Of course soon enough, the topic shifted and Kim Davis suddenly became the topic of discussion.  Unsurprisingly, Mike Huckabee had a lot to say, including that allowing a Muslim prisoner to grow a beard is the same as Kim Davis denying same sex couples marriage licenses.  Those are not the same things.  If the Muslim prisoner was trying to force other people to grow beards that would be the same thing and then courts would have ruled against both the Muslim prisoner and Kim Davis.  However, the prisoner in question just wanted to grow a beard on his own face and so that is in no way the same thing.

Planned Parenthood (The Defundination)

Clearly the GOP field would have been remiss if they didn’t spend what felt like an eternity spewing outright falsehoods about Planned Parenthood and jockeying for Planned-Parenthood-Hatingest-Conservative of the Year.  Carly Fiorina was maybe the worst offender in terms of blatant falsehoods about the infamous(ly bullshit) Planned Parenthood videos.  Meanwhile Jeb Bush fielded a question about saying that the government didn’t need to spend $500,000 on women’s health without ever once saying the word “woman”.  Not. Once.


The discussion, if I may be so charitable to call it that, about immigration was one of the most xenophobic, awful things I’ve ever heard.  ‘Assimilate’ was the word of the discussion, which of course followed candidate after candidate trying to be the most American.  Did you know that Marco Rubio’s grandfather loved America?  I hope your grandfather loved America.  Another fight broke out, this time between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush over a comment that Donald made about Jeb’s wife, Columba.  Because, you know, Jeb Bush married an immigrant which makes him too lenient on immigrants.  This leads me to wonder…wouldn’t that make Donald Trump three times more lenient on immigrants because all three of his wives have been immigrants?

Ben Carson broke in intermittently to point out that he would build an impenetrable double-fence and also he has talked to farmers so he knows that his plan isn’t amnesty.  He didn’t spell that out for you, but allow me.  Ben Carson thinks it’s okay for immigrants from Latin America to work in agriculture because that is punishment enough.  He’s cool because the back-breaking labor at wouldn’t-it-be-nice-if-these-were-poverty-level wages is the sort of grueling labor that Americans won’t do and thus we need the easily exploitable labor force that immigration provides.


Could this have gotten any more predictable at any point?  So flat tax, obviously.  I think it’s odd that Ben Carson and not former preacher, Mike Huckabee is the one that likens a flat tax to tithing but whatever.  I’m just saying, Mike, seems like a gimme.  Let’s not even talk about how pointlessly silly it is to think that a flat tax of 14.5% would cover all of our revenue needs (Rand Paul).  Also, when Donald Trump has the most reasonable sounding tax plan, we’re all in trouble.

Wait, I almost forgot where Ben Carson tries to reintroduce the youth minimum wage.  You know, because how will young people ever find jobs if employers are forced to pay them enough to live on?

And Then Carly Fiorina…

Look, I think there were legitimately times in this debate when Carly Fiorina was disrespected by both the moderators and her male counterparts.  That does not excuse apparently refusing to use the appropriate honorific when referring to Hillary Clinton.


The Longest Debate Of All Time

It probably wasn’t the longest debate of all time, and I’ve definitely skipped some parts I tweeted about, but at this point I was about to lose my mind when Jake Tapper said they’d have another commercial break and be back and I thought for sure it would be the last commercial break BUT IT WASN’T.


I just can’t.  I really can’t.

Putting a Lady on the Ten Dollar Bill

Suggesting that you would put your wife or mother on the ten dollar bill is disgraceful and disrespectful to the extremely long list of women who have made substantive contributions to the history of the United States.  Unless your wife or mother is a legitimately important historical figure, suggesting that she should be on our currency is tantamount to suggesting that the contributions of people like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Frances Perkins, Wilma Mankiller, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, or Dolores Huerta – amongst others – are equal to your mom raising you or your wife “putting up with” you.  I’m sure your wives and mothers are saints, but they are not an integral part of our national history.

Oh, and by the way, Carly Fiorina’s “pick” wasn’t “the perfect pick”.  No one thinks that putting a woman on money is going to magically give us gender equality.  Her statement was the functional equivalent of the last debate when Ben Carson said he knows we’re all really the same because he’s operated on people and everyone’s insides look alike.  What it will do is show Americans young and old that we value the historical and ongoing contributions of more than just a few rich, white, slave-owning white men.

And Finally…

I barely remember the end of this horrifying nightmare-scape.  By the time I’d gotten to 11 o’clock I’d had Republicans pumped into my ears for almost five hours and my brain hurt.  My brain is still recovering.  The general gist that I got from everyone’s closing statements is that if we elect literally any Republican they will create a magical utopia.  I’m pretty sure that isn’t the case.  In fact as I think about it, I’m certain it’s total horseshit.  I’m not sure why I do this to myself.  For Pete’s sake, even Bernie Sanders didn’t make it to the end:

Indeed, I too have had it.  At least the next debate is a Democratic one.


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