The Messiah Candidate

The Messiah, Bernie Sanders, will soon ascend to Heaven. But fear not, friends: Just as Jesus did, He will return within our lifetimes (Perhaps as soon as the Year of Our Lord 2020). For did not St. Paul return four years after he rallied His believers to vote for him? Did not Father Bryan return more than once to assuage our fears?

He may go by a different name. He may appear in a thunderclap of McGovern and return to the Heavens just as suddenly. Perhaps He will be a reformed sinner, in the tradition of Roosevelt of Bullmoose. Or, perhaps He will make his presence known by turning Goldwater into wine.

The Book of I Nader teaches us, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no establishment candidate.” II Buchanan tells us to “Trust in the purist with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

And, do not worry about how to recognize the One True Candidate. For, to quote Goldwater 4:13, once you see Him, “In your heart you know He’s right.”

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Mississippi HB 1523: Discrimination Protection for Those Who Discriminate

Mississippi HB 1523 – a bill that would severely limit the rights of LGBT people by letting people who have a religious problem with them refuse service – is on the verge of being passed. If the history of Mississippi is any guide, Governor Phil Bryant will sign it into law. But, if the history of other recent “I’ll gladly pay you next century for a giant mistake today” states is any guide, it’s surprisingly less predictable. Some state governors (most recently Georgia’s) have faced so much blow-back from similar bills, they’ve actually vetoed them. Other state governors (most recently North Carolina’s) have faced so much blow-back from similar bills, they’ve signed them anyway. But, assuming Governor Phil Bryant does what Governor Phil Bryant does best, what can Mississippi’s LGBT population look forward to not doing?

From when the law takes effect to when the Supreme Court strikes it down, HB 1523 will be a veritable cornucopia of services deniable to LGBT people. No longer will gay couples have to deal with the pressures of adopting or fostering children, since same-sex couples won’t be legally guaranteed those rights. No longer will they have to worry about everything that comes with planning a wedding, because people who disagree with their lifestyles won’t have to serve them. No longer will people who want gender reassignment surgery have to wonder if their doctors want to do the surgery, because they can deny them based on religious beliefs. And, places won’t have to worry about pesky trans-friendly restrooms, dressing rooms, or locker rooms, since Jesus definitely would not do those. Clerks also don’t have to authorize gay marriages if they don’t want to (Although they’re supposed to find someone who will authorize them if they don’t, the bill doesn’t say what happens if they can’t find anyone.).

Some people claim these and other discriminatory things in the bill constitute discrimination. The problem with this assumption is that the bill is called, “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act,” so it can’t possibly be discriminatory. It’s actually an anti-discrimination bill, because it’s meant to protect people from being discriminated against by LGBT people who want to use their services. It’s like how the Civil Rights Act protects people from being discriminated against based on things like race, religion, or sex. It’s just adding, “people who think they’re being discriminated against, because they’re discriminating against people” to that list. It’s really the Civil Rights Act’s fault, since it wasn’t forward-looking enough to see that “people who think they’re being discriminated against, because they’re discriminating against people” would eventually be a group of people facing discrimination.

If you still can’t figure out how LGBT people are the ones doing the discriminating, rather than the ones being discriminating against, just open up your Bible. There are, like, five whole verses in there about how LGBT people are immoral. HB 1523 supporters know that, while a lot of things in the Bible have no place in the modern world, you can always rely on LGBT immorality. Obviously, women shouldn’t be subservient to men; slavery shouldn’t be justified; people shouldn’t be stoned for not being kosher; divorce shouldn’t only be allowed in cases of adultery; and racism shouldn’t be weirdly justified by either one dude killing his brother, or Noah’s son laughing at his father for passing out drunk and naked. These are all ridiculous, outdated things, and they’re completely different from viewing LGBT behavior as abominable. The Bible obviously wants us to deny goods and services to the LGBT population, because how else are we supposed to interact with people whose genetics and biology make them different from us?

But, if you still can’t see how denying people goods and services based on things beyond their control makes sense, just wait and see how great life gets under HB 1523. Pay close attention, though, because someone’s going to have to explain to the next generation why a bill that looks terrible was actually a great idea…

Existent North Carolina Takes on Nonexistent Child Molesters

Thank Gender-Secure God for North Carolina. Just as God made man in his own image, man made public restrooms in his own image, and North Carolina has ensured they’ll stay that way. Charlotte, North Carolina, recently passed a law saying transgender people could use the restroom of the sex they identify with, and Governor Pat McCrory knew he had to do something. After all, the overwhelming antonym of evidence shows that every time one of these laws passes, it’s only a matter of time until child molesters take advantage of it. McCrory called a special session of the state legislature, confident they’d be swayed by the wealth of research he’d collected from the Journal of Hasnteverhappenedemiology. Together, they passed a bill saying only the state legislature could make such laws. No longer would cities, counties, or municipalities be able to make anti-discrimination laws pertaining to where transgender people could use the restroom. Finally, North Carolina’s children would be safe from a threat that never existed.

Of course, you can’t make an imaginary omelet without breaking ALL the eggs, so it also made it illegal for cities, counties, and municipalities to make ANY law protecting the rights of transgender men and women. And, just for good measure, it went ahead and made it illegal for them to pass laws protecting the rights of gay men and women, too. Fortunately, cities, counties, and municipalities can still make their own laws protecting religious freedom. It’s a win-win-win, since LGBT members can now be discriminated against by people who claim they’re being discriminated against by discriminating against them.

Oh, and the bill also says that cities, counties, and municipalities can’t make their own minimum wage laws. Because, if there’s one thing child molesters love more than tolerance, it’s wages that adjust to the standard of living…

Tenth Republican Debate: Everyone’s a Superhero

Between the shouting, fighting, and overall chaos, it’s pretty clear Thursday night’s Republican Debate was originally the script for a comic book movie. So, what superheroes were you guys trying to be?

Marco Rubio: The Flash

No one can speak as fast as me, and by the time I’d listed the 400 scandals Trump’s been involved in, he couldn’t even remember enough of them to answer. Of course, the best thing about talking fast is that I cangetenoughtalkingpointsinforyoutoforgetthatI’mcontradictingmyvieswwitheachnewdebate. And, that’s the kind of greatness I’ll bring to this New American Century. I’ll also bring a new respect for thesauruses, because since I started using them, I can repeat my talking points with different words. President Obama still knows exactly what he’s doing as he destroys America, but I know exactly what I’m doing to fix it, and I’ll continue to show that Flash Rubio is superior to Robo Rubio.
 

Donald Trump: Iron Man

I am a YUGE fan of comic books, and I’m really successful, like Iron Man. I’m going to build a wall, which I’m sure he did, because he’s a winner, and I’m going to beat Sweaty Rubio, like he did. Think about it – you got Choker Rubio, Liar Cruz, and I’m Iron Trump. And, when I’m president, we are going to do so much winning, and we are going to make this country great again.
 

Ted Cruz: Green Lantern

I have a ring of conservatism that can fix any problem. My ring is unwavering. It can make the shape of a door to welcome others into Reagan’s America. It can make the shape of an Emancipation Proclamation to abolish the IRS. It can make the shape of a filibuster to prevent my 99 colleagues from instituting liberal policies that will bring America to its knees. My ring of conservatism can solve any problem, and when I’m president, it will undo every one of President Obama’s illegal executive actions and institute the ring’s conservative principles. Obama’s America will fall, and in its place will be the Conservative America the Founders intended.
 

John Kasich: Superman

Well, jeez, I don’t like to compare myself to anyone, but since Superman could fly, he’d probably fly above the fray, like I’m doing. And, I guess I’ve been successful at getting things done, like Superman, who works well with others. What’s my kryptonite? Look, I don’t like to talk about that kind of thing, but I guess everyone else is too busy throwing kryptonite at each other to figure out mine is being 20th Century Electable, when I should be 21st Century Electable. But, let’s not squabble over superheroes, because Superman never really sounded all that exciting when he talked.
 

Ben Carson: The Phantom

Moderators are unfairly treating me like a phantom on stage. Still, though they may try to stop me, my message will carry on, and my jokes about not being called on will only get funnier. Like the Phantom, I will make people think my message is immortal, even though it changes from time to time. And, as the Phantom relied on his wits to fight crime, I will rely on my wits to fight the accusation that I’m unelectable. Super Tuesday may come and go, but Super Carson will carry on, until people realize how much he’s learned about foreign policy…

Is Obama the Worst Conspiracy President Ever?

Seriously, Obama? Your party had the Senate for 6 years, but you waited until Republicans were in control to whack a Supreme Court Justice? And, you waited until an election year, to give them maximum leverage? Fool me one mass shooting, shame on me; fool me worst-timed murder ever, shame on you. From death panels to Jade Helm, you’ve just been one disappointment after another. I don’t know how you ever expected to replace the Constitution with the Communist Manifesto, if you can’t even capitalize off killing one guy.

Why didn’t you ask your predecessors for help? Do you have any idea how many people they’ve killed? I know – asking George W. Bush for help would have been awkward, after saying all those bad things about him (Fake terrorist attacks are really more his thing, anyway.). But, what about Bill Clinton? He killed like half the population of Arkansas to cover up stuff. Not only that, but he and W’s dad have become good friends, so he might be able to hook you up with some vintage H.W. killings. Sure, you said all those bad things about Bill and Hillary when you ran in 2008, but Bill loves to talk, and I’m sure he’d let you pick his brain. Then again, he may only need to tell you one thing: Timing is everything.

See, you have to break the right eggs at the right time to make an omelet. You can keep faking mass shootings from now until the cows come home, but if Congress won’t pass gun control, you either gotta move on or come up with something different. This Scalia thing has made an absolute mockery of presidential killings, but keep thinking, and you’ll come up with something that works. And, if you ever start to think you can’t do it, remember: For every botched vice presidential attempt to assassinate Reagan, there’s a successful vice presidential attempt to assassinate Kennedy.

There’s still hope for you. You can’t take advantage of a fake mass shooting to save your life, and your attempts to become a dictator have been laughable. But, there was a time when you were good at this kind of thing. A time when you could make people think you weren’t a domestic terrorist in your early days, and a time when you could convince people you weren’t a Muslim or a radical black Christian. Hell, making people think you were born in Hawaii has become the stuff of legend. They can never take those wins away from you, but your murder profiteering needs some work.

You’ve got the hope. Now, let’s see some change…

New Words and Phrases for the 2016 New Hampshire Primaries

The New Hampshire Primaries were Tuesday, and some interesting story lines developed. Here are some words and phrases to help make sense of them:

The Trumpening
The inevitability of Trump – at least, in his own mind. According to exit polls, Trump won just about every demographic and opinion group that voted in the Republican primary, and he garnered a whopping 35.3% of the vote. As other candidates drop out, we’ll see whether the Trumpening is real, of if it turns into the Great Disatrumpment.

Crossing the Rubion
To raise expectations to such an extent that you will almost certainly fail to meet them. Rubio has crossed the Rubion at least twice: Once when he assumed his repetitive talking points would take him to victory in New Hampshire; and once after he failed to place higher than fifth in New Hampshire, after which he said he would never perform poorly in a debate again. He failed the first crossing; we’ll see if he fails the second.

Kamichristie
To destroy one’s own political standing while also destroying someone else’s. At the last debate, Christie hammered Rubio on repeating his talking points over and over. Rubio responded by repeating his talking points over and over. This weakened Rubio by making him look fake. At the same time, it did no favors for Christie, whose entire campaign seemed to become criticizing Rubio. The end result: Rubio disappointed in New Hampshire, bringing new life to his establishment rivals – except for Christie, who disappointed worse in New Hampshire and has since dropped out.

Sandonald
Seeing two completely unrealistic things – completely opposed to one another – back to back. Sanders gave his victory speech, then Trump gave his, meaning the completely unrealistic specific was immediately followed by the completely unrealistic vague.

Clin and Tonic
What Hillary Clinton will probably need to handle all the criticism between now and the next set of primaries. But, a strong Clin and Tonic might not even be enough to get over losing almost every demographic in New Hampshire to Sanders. For that, she’ll probably need a combination of refined messaging and Sanders continuing to have no luck appealing to minorities.

The Disstablishment
While Cruz pretty much has the evangelical lane all to himself and Trump has the Trump lane all to himself, the battle for the establishment vote continues. Kasich isn’t expected to do much in the next few states, but Bush and Rubio are already at each other’s throats. Rubio’s campaign has threatened a bloodbath in South Carolina, the next state to vote. But, don’t count out Bush, whose family has a storied history of destroying rivals in South Carolina through merciless rumormongering (most infamously in the 2000 primaries, when an unfounded rumor about John McCain having an illegitimate black child helped Jeb’s brother win the state). Looks like it’s shaping up to be a good, old-fashioned BTWIFT (Beatdown That Wins It For Trump). Stay tuned: The next primary diss track is gonna be EPIC.

Gilmorementum
Something that only exists in Jim Gilmore’s mind…if at all.

Ben Carson
Who?

New Hampshire Debate Awards

The Fifth Democratic Debate was Thursday, followed two days later by the Eighth Republican Debate. There were some standout performances, and I’d like to recognize them while the candidates are still in the race…

The Broken Record Award Goes to…
Marco Rubio
Rubio came into Saturday’s debate having finished strong in Iowa and rising in the polls. Clearly, that would not do, and he knew he somehow had to stop this pesky momentum. Luckily, Chris Christie was there to help. Rubio was a true talking point ATM, and when Christie pointed this out, Rubio responded by giving almost the exact same talking point he’d just been criticized for. It turns out there is a limit to how much mileage a GOP candidate can get out of vaguely bashing Obama, and Rubio hit that limit…over and over again.

Best Use of a Tangent
Bernie Sanders
Sanders has the income inequality thing down, but the way he talks about other topics brings him dangerously close to being a one-issue candidate. Clearly, Sanders has become more aware of this, as he’s added a sort of Democratic Socialist Democratic Segue to his rhetorical arsenal. Is that a question about foreign policy? Well, the real problem is the billionaires. Why talk about national security when we could talk about Social Security?

Most Innovative Fact Changer
Ted Cruz
Cruz is a bit of an expert when it comes to answering questions by not answering them, but this time he was forced to put his money where his misleading was. Right before the Iowa Caucuses, Ben Carson left Iowa, and there was brief speculation he’d left the race. Not one to let facts get in the way of a win, Cruz’s campaign said Carson had dropped out. When asked about this at the debate, Cruz went to his most reliable punching bag – the media – and said CNN had tweeted that Carson dropped out and didn’t correct themselves until hours later. What actually happened was that someone at CNN tweeted that it was strange Carson was leaving Iowa, then almost immediately followed it up with a tweet saying he was still in the race. Carson corrected Cruz, but since he doesn’t really criticize other candidates, he pretty much let it go. But, Cruz was no fact-shifting one hit wonder. Later in the debate, he was asked about his idea to carpet bomb ISIS, since ISIS members are mixed in with the local population, and carpet bombing would inevitably result in mass civilian casualties. Cruz really outdid himself when he explained that the carpet bombing would be TARGETED, so civilians would be safe. Because, when you’re Ted Cruz, the only limit to a word’s definition is your imagination…

Most Relieved
Donald Trump

Speaking of bombing, Trump did way worse than expected in Iowa. Luckily for him, there was a YUGE silver lining: Rubio did very well in Iowa. Since Rubio is running as an establishment-friendly candidate and three other establishment candidates (Kasich, Bush, and Christie) are relying on New Hampshire to give their campaigns a boost, everyone’s attention was focused on Rubio. Add to this that Cruz and Rubio already hate each other, and you have a particularly harsh episode of Inside the Actor’s Rubio. Everyone was too busy attacking Rubio to bother repeating their anti-Trump lines, and other than when he basically attacked the audience, Trump pretty much got off scot-free. Which is kind of weird, when you consider how far ahead of everyone he is in New Hampshire polling. Of course, as Iowa showed, polling – like Donald Trump – doesn’t always reflect reality…

Most Improved After a Precipitous Drop in the Polls
Jeb Bush

In the first few debates, the Charismometer ranked Bush somewhere between a park bench and an expired battery. But, as his poll numbers have fallen into the gutter’s gutter’s gutter, he’s really come alive. He’s answered questions like someone who’s actually had the experience of answering questions before, and he held his own against Trump and Rubio. It remains to be seen if this will translate into votes, but it’s interesting to see someone so far behind acting like a frontrunner…

Most Hampshiry
John Kasich

It’s not often you learn things about language in primary debates, so I’d like to thank John Kasich for teaching me about “New Hampshire.” Here I was, thinking it was just a regular proper noun, but he mentioned it so much, there’s no way that’s all it New Hampshired. I know he needs to win the state to keep going, but the debate was in New Hampshire, so he probably didn’t need to mention it by name so many times. Still, he’s been climbing in recent polls, so if he does well, I can’t wait to see how he South Carolinas and Nevadas the next few states.

Most Likely to Hate Rubio
Chris Christie

Move over, Cruz – There’s a new anti-Rubio sheriff in town. One of the main reasons Rubio did so poorly in the debate was because he was constantly being hammered by Christie. However, while Rubio vaguely attacked everything about Obama, Christie very specifically attacked everything about Rubio: his (thin) record in the Senate, his lack of specific policy proposals, his use of talking points to power his campaign. Still, not all the credit can go to Christie: Rubio literally responded to accusations of repeating talking points by…repeating talking points. At times, it was almost like Rubio was in a commercial and Christie was talking to the TV.

Most Likely to Turn a Touchdown into a Fumble
Hillary Clinton

I’m starting to wonder if there’s some confusion in the Clinton campaign. Do they know that learning from mistakes means not making them again, or do they think mistakes are like great schoolteachers, and you’re supposed to emulate them? In Thursday’s debate, Clinton had some pretty strong answers, but she also had some answers that took those answers out back and did terrible things to them. It’s like she thought she was Cam Newton and she was so awesome that mistakes didn’t apply to her, but since the debate was before the Superbowl, she didn’t foresee how that could be costly…

Most Likely to Make People Ask, “Is He Still Running?”
Ben Carson

Cruz’s campaign was pretty underhanded with the whole claiming Carson dropped out thing, but the fact they thought they could get away with it might say more about Carson than anything else. While candidates like Bush and Christie have changed their presentations to try and reverse falling poll numbers, Carson hasn’t really changed anything. He never goes on the attack, doesn’t seem to be interested in learning about foreign policy, and makes the same jokes about not getting called on he’s made in almost every debate. In this debate, he said the media has tried to knock him out of the running, but he’s done far more to knock himself out of the running than the media ever could.

Most Outsized Role in Choosing a Candidate
Tie: Iowa and New Hampshire

With a combined population of less than 1% of the country – most of which doesn’t caucus or vote in the nominating process – the defending champs will continue to dominate this category for years to come. Iowa kind of muddied the field a bit this year, so hopefully New Hampshire will whittle it down, and we won’t have so many candidates to choose from…

The Seventh Republican Debate – In Backronyms!

I reviewed the last Democratic Debate as if the candidates’ initials stood for how they did, so I’m going to take the last GOP Debate a step further and see what their names might be if they were backronyms – an actual word that means creating a fake acronym from an existing word.

CRUZ: Candidate Reciting Underwhelming Zings

If there’s one thing you could say about Ted Cruz before this debate, it’s that he thought he was awesome. I wonder if he thinks that now. Trump wasn’t at the debate, making second-place Cruz the de facto frontrunner. And, the frontrunner in these debates takes most of the heat. To be fair, Cruz spoke the truth for perhaps the first time ever when he said the moderators were pitting everyone against him. But, since he never had a problem with it when the people ahead of him in polls took heat in other debates, it wasn’t a very effective whine. Cruz kept trying to return to his talking points, but they’re all starting to sound the same – even for him.

RUBIO: Running Up the Bill In Overcompensation

Rubio has two main problems: 1) He hasn’t done a whole lot in the Senate. 2) One of the things he has done, work on a comprehensive immigration reform bill, has caused him more problems than doing nothing else has. Rubio co-authored a bipartisan immigration bill, then very vocally tried to keep it from passing. It’s pretty much been downhill from there, and video clips played at the debate put his immigration all-over-the-boardness on full display. However, he still sticks to his talking points about how he’s the only Republican who can take the country in a bold new direction. Of course, that new direction could be different tomorrow than it is today, then change again next week…

BUSH: Bringing Us Some Harebrainedness

I’m not sure anymore why Bush is running for president, and he comes off like he’s not sure, either. Having said that, he has gotten stronger in the last few debates. However, there was a curious thing he did in this debate that might have undone all that. When Rubio was being hammered for constantly changing his views on immigration reform (something he’s even managed to change from debate to debate), Bush took the opportunity to also hammer him. Then, when Rubio accused him of also changing his mind on the issue, Bush said that, yes, he had, but he at least admitted it. But, instead of using this as a moment to talk about the nuances of the issue, he just made it sound like he admitted to doing something bad…

KASICH: Kicking Ass Since Inching Closer in Hampshire

Up until this debate, I thought Kasich was basically the GOP Debate equivalent of Martin O’Malley – He said the same things in every debate; he complained about the complaining other candidates were doing; and he jumped into other candidate comments or arguments whenever the chance presented itself. He did all of those things in this debate, too, but he also said a few new things. He’s making a real play for New Hampshire, which he pretty much has to win to have even an outside shot at the nomination. Kasich has about as much charisma as a rock, but New Hampshire is the Granite State, so maybe it will play well there…

CHRISTIE: Congratulating Himself Regarding Idiotic Sounding Tactics In Empathy

Chris Christie has been a somewhat moderate governor, but since he doesn’t want primary voters to know that, he tries to talk to the audience directly – by literally saying he’s talking to the audience directly. It’s pure pandermomium as Christie says that people don’t want to hear what the other candidates are saying, because only he knows how they’re feeling. He also dodged a bullet in this debate, because while Cruz and Rubio got videos showing their flip flops on pure display, no one else did. Christie went on and on about how terrible these guys were, even though his flip flops and exaggerations are also well-documented…

CARSON: Courageous Action Reel Star On Nyquil

It seems like Ben Carson’s answers have gotten better as his poll numbers have gotten worse. Carson was leading the pack for a little while, and what demoted him back to the ranks of the mediocre was his complete and total lack of foreign policy knowledge. So, Carson did what anyone who doesn’t have time to learn something they really need to know does – he crammed. Carson’s foreign policy ideas now sound like Michael Bay movies with random names of real foreign leaders sprinkled in. Of course, his delivery is still boring enough to put you to sleep, but if you really listen, you may have the next blockbuster on your hands. And, they’re way more entertaining than his constant jokes about not getting called on enough…

PAUL: Pretty Amped Up Lameness

Paul missed the last debate, so he was making up for lost time…I guess. He was pretty much exactly like he’s been at all the other debates, trying to get both the libertarian and conservative votes but only succeeding at getting neither. He also still sounds like he’s trying to do an impression of a stereotypical Southern aristocrat, which makes his outrage at other candidates sound more like a character from Django Unchained than a character in a presidential debate. And, he’s still the candidate you hate to agree with when he’s accidentally right. But, don’t feel too bad – the only time he’ll ever be president is when he dreams about it tonight…

Fourth Democratic Debate Mnemonics

Candidates, what are some mnemonic devices people can use to remember your performances in the fourth Democratic Debate?

Hillary Clinton

Having a Cow: I was on point with my attacks, Obama admiration, and policy positions. Unfortunately, my husband has all the charisma in the marriage, so I’m somehow having trouble against a septuagenarian socialist whose ideas on taxes are a pipe dream.

How Contrived: You’d think I’d have learned how to not sound so scripted by now, but they never can seem to fix that part of my programming. So, somehow this is looking like 2008 again. At least the competition this time has zero minority appeal, one main idea he draws his other ideas from, and only two states where he really has a chance…

Heir Candidate: Yes, I know it’s usually more of a Republican thing for someone who ran last time to win this time, but seriously – What more do I have to do to get the nomination? It’s my turn, dammit.

Hollering Contender: When I raise my voice, it sounds like I actually have some emotion. As long as I don’t Howard Dean myself, I might be on to something…

 

Bernie Sanders

Bustin’ Sachs: I hate big banks, and I made sure everyone remembers that Hillary Clinton has benefited from Goldman Sachs.

Billionaires Suck: In case you didn’t notice, I like to talk about how billionaires control everything.

Bullets Suck: Yeah, yeah, I have a terrible record on gun control, but that’s probably just because billionaires control everything.

Boring Sonsofbitches: I constantly had to start my turn by saying I agree with the boring talking points of my opponents before going into my much more glorious talking points about how we can give everyone but billionaires free everything. Of course, since they’ll be taxed so much, they won’t remain billionaires for long, so they, too, will be able to take part in this glorious new country.

 

Martin O’Malley

Marvelous, Oh, Marvelous: Despite the moderators’ best efforts to pay attention to the head-to-head matchup that doesn’t include me, I had a decent performance.

Millionths Of Millionths: Despite my debate performance not being terrible, this is probably the most my poll numbers will rise in the next few days.

Man, Oh Man: I hit the ball out of the park with that line about how we shouldn’t call people’s kids, “boots on the ground” when we send the military in to fight an insurgency. It got a lot of applause, because idioms are stupid.

My turn, Oh, My turn: Every few hours, the moderators called on me, but I had to interrupt to get heard a lot of the time. I wish these guys would pay attention to my dominating 1-digit poll numbers…

 

YouTube

Yeah, Terrible: What was the point of having YouTube clips and popular YouTube hosts asking questions via video? It was awkward, but since we cosponsored the event, we figured we had to do something…

 

Democratic National Committee

Do Not Consider: Scheduling debates when people might actually watch them. Saturday nights and nights before holidays are ideal.

Sixth GOP Debate: Who Needs Moderators When You’ve Got Vendettas?

The Sixth GOP Debate must have been easy for the moderators, since most of it was candidates either fighting each other or fighting existential crises. Let’s take a look:
 
Trump vs. Cruz: The Main Event
Round One
You just can’t keep a good birther down. Trump’s been hitting Cruz hard on whether or not he’s a natural-born citizen – an argument which probably doesn’t hold water but which Trump continues to raise, both because Cruz’s American mother was in Canada when she gave birth to him and because Cruz has become a threat to him in Iowa. Cruz was ready for this line of questioning as soon as the moderators raised it, and he came out, guns blazing. As with many of his debate answers, the bullets didn’t always make sense, but he sounded very confident shooting them. There was a back-and-forth between the two, and while Trump didn’t exactly back down, Cruz appeared to get the better of him.
Round Two
If you want to know how to completely and totally screw up an attack, watch Cruz attack Trump for his “New York values,” implying that New Yorkers (specifically Manhattanites) are too liberal to be true Republicans. After coming out of nowhere with some Manhattan conservative name-dropping, Trump did the most predictable thing ever: He invoked 9/11. The Giuliani Gambit paid off, as did one of the conservative moderators taking offense, since she was also from New York.
Winner: Tie
 
Cruz vs. Rubio: The Anti-Senator Takes on the Random Rubio Generator
If Rubio is known for constantly changing his views on his own bills in the Senate, then Cruz is known for doing everything he can to stop the Senate from passing bills at all. The two senators squared off on the debate stage in a classic battle of overpreparation (Rubio) versus overconfidence (Cruz). “New York values” may have been a costly turnover for Cruz, but it was actually his second of the debate. His first was accidentally bailing out Rubio. When asked a question about illegal immigration, Rubio’s answer was basically, “Something something something ISIS.” Cruz pounced, and his counterattack about Rubio trying to deflect attention from his inconsistent immigration stance at first seemed to work. Unfortunately for Cruz, Rubio’s counter-counterattack about inconsistencies in Cruz’s own record worked even better. To make matters worse, Cruz’s counter-counter-counterattack trying to link Rubio to people Cruz didn’t like completely fizzled. As with the New York Trump moment, Cruz proved to be a one-counterattack pony. The other major fight between Cruz and Rubio started with an entitlement question, then devolved into technical tax talk. In this case, Christie took advantage of the situation and interrupted both of them, getting off a zinger about senators arguing forever about things that have nothing to do with what they’re supposed to be talking about.
Winner: Tie (Rubio and Christie)
 
Rubio vs. Christie: The Battle of New Hampshire, in South Carolina, right before Iowa
Whether because he’s been losing ground to Christie and others in New Hampshire or for some other reason, Rubio was less at ease in this debate than in past ones. Most of his good moments came against Cruz, but outside of those, he seemed too scripted. He did show some adeptness at subject-changing, but Christie beat him on zingers and getting away with saying blatantly untrue things. Rubio may have gotten the better of Cruz, but Christie got the better of Rubio.
Winner: Christie
 
Bush vs. Trump: The Formerly Inevitable vs. The Future Unelectable
This brief battle brought back memories of the first few debates, before Bush’s poll numbers were in the hundredths and before Trump had gotten used to debates. Bush made more sense, came off as more presidential, and made you wonder why he hadn’t done better in prior debates. Trump was Trump. For every Muslim ban Trump defended, Bush pointed out why it would be counterproductive, and for each tariff argument Trump presented, Bush pointed out why it would be counterproductive. By the way, if you ever play Trump in poker, he raises if he’s holding a Full Muslim Ban or better, but if all he’s got is a Pair of Tariffs, you can probably scare him away from the pot.
Winner: Bush
 
Kasich vs. Kasich
If there’s one candidate who’s been consistent throughout the debates, it’s Kasich. A lot of what he says makes sense, but his demeanor, responses, and interruptions never seem to change. This is why you don’t ever see that he won a debate, but you don’t ever see that he lost one, either. In this debate, Kasich didn’t disappoint, but he didn’t not disappoint, either. Honestly, the moderators could probably just get a Kasich 5000 and push the appropriate buttons when he’s asked questions. Of course, the Kasich 5000 also comes with an argument interrupt button, so you never miss one of those patented, this-is-why-people-don’t-like-politicians responses to when two other candidates are going at it.
Winner: Makers of the Kasich 5000
 
Ben Carson vs. Naptime
I hope no one was planning on using Carson as a sleep aid last night, because shockingly, he was a 2/10 on the excitometer – That’s 5 points higher than he’s ever been before! Carson delivered a joke or two that were somehow funny, and his answers were so unrealistic, they came off more as action movie plots than policy proposals. Still, this is Carson we’re talking about. For the most part, he stuck to his way-too-calm demeanor, although he occasionally interrupted the moderators to address how his ideas compared to whoever had just spoken. It came off like he was trying to remind everyone he was still there, which is never a good thing to have to do in a presidential debate. Some of those policy proposals sounded pretty awesome, though…
Winner: Ben “Yipee-Ki-Yay-Motherpresident” Carson
 
Moderators vs. Actual Moderating
If you thought the previous debate moderators were bad about letting candidates go way over time, way off topic, or after each other for the lamest of reasons, I’d like you to meet Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartilomo. Something obviously happened between the last debate they moderated and this one, because they interacted with the candidates only slightly less than people watching at home. And, who could blame them? When Donfirmation Bias, Ted “Reigning Subject Changing Champion” Cruz, Marco “Round and Round And Round He Goes – What Are His Positions? Nobody Knows” Rubio, Chris “Exaggeration Schmexaggeration” Christie, and Jeb “Don’t Forget About Me” Bush are at each other’s throats, it’s just too entertaining to pass up. Unless they actually injure each other, in which case Carson might have to get more involved. And, really, who wants that?
Winner: Viewers
 
Undercard Debate: Mike “My Predictable Jokes Are Hilarious” Huckabee, Carly “Did I Mention That I Come From the Private Sector?” Fiorina, and Rick “Please Forget That I Said to Look My Name Up on Google” Santorum vs. Barack “Antichrist” Obama and Hillary “Antichrister” Clinton
Considering this was the debate for candidates barely registering in polls, it was surprising to see how much the candidates talked about how confident they were they could beat Hillary Clinton. Although, I’m pretty sure Mike Huckabee was just trying out material for a new show, since he bafflingly left his recent TV show to run for president again. Fiorina may as well have put on a recording of her previous debate talking points (Did she?), and Santorum made a big deal about how he’d defeated people the Clintons had backed and about how religious he was.
Winner: Me, for missing part of it
 
Rand Paul vs. Not Pouting
The main debate criteria was just narrow enough that it kept Paul out (If a poll carried out before the deadline but released just after it had been included, he would have made it on), and he probably should have been let on the main stage. But, since he wasn’t, he refused to take part in the undercard debate. This was a weird choice, since A) Paul loves to talk, B) Fiorina performed well enough in the undercard to make it to the main debate a few times, and C) Christie actually fell into the undercard and performed well enough to make it BACK to the main debate. There was literally nothing for Paul to gain by skipping the undercard debate. Unless you count Santorum’s joke about using some of Paul’s time when his answer went over…
Winner: America