Thursday, September 17, 2015

Clown Car, part deux

So, 10 guys go to a funeral to meet up with this one woman who knew it was actually a business meeting... That's pretty much the encapsulation of last night's clownshow which was only too ready for punchline after punchline. The continued pontificating and breathless grasping at the MLK moment ("I have a dream... that someone might say something of actual substance so that we may measure the content of their character instead of CNN's constant trolling...") all came in utter contrast to the one person who talked in blunt terms and short sentences. That's why many people think Carly Fiorina "won" the "debate", which is like saying someone outran a bunch of toddlers to the juice box table where everyone still got one. Hooray?

Fiorina answers questions like she's in a boardroom, which is precisely what you want if you want someone to talk about basic facts. She's still evasive as hell when someone asks a direct policy question (it's way too early to establish positions that could be picked apart for their inadequacy) but she keeps it short, spares everyone the flowery prose, and makes her case. People appreciate that, especially when it's down the dais from the bloviating Trump and his ego which only barely share space between themselves, much less Dexter Bush and the Right Reverend Huckabee. That makes Fiorina come across as halfway intelligent, even if she wasn't already standing out as the only female clown on stage. And on matters of sex and sexism, she did have the best genuinely funny moment (as opposed to all of the unintentionally funny moments) when she responded to Trump's idiocy from the last debate with her simple line: "I think every woman in America knew exactly what Mr. Trump said." That was worth a Kelso:

Of course, as soon as she wandered off the rez and decided to try to impress us with her prose, she withered. Note the pseudo-closing statement (dressed up nicely by CNN with their softball about what their respective presidencies would look like (You mean other than The Handmaid's Tale?)) where she blathered on about her personal manifest destiny, the return to the glory of the City on the Hill, and yadda yadda yadda (Gotta include the Yiddish phrase for all the Israel references when people were talking about what their American presidency would look like...)

[Tangent: It's hilarious to note the omnipresence of said references to Israel in most GOP discussions of foreign policy as perhaps the one hot button they can still press to get a visceral, red meat response from the masses. Said masses don't really know shit about foreign issues other than "Foreigners are weak [French], out to steal our jobs [Mexican], communists [Europeans, in general], and crave American leadership." but you can name drop "Israel" into almost anything and immediately get the kneejerk that equates to "Spend billions on the military to protect pseduo-Christians from evil Muslims and prepare for the Second Coming!" That latter part is most important to people like Huckabee, who always fail to see the disconnect between supporting the militarists in Tel Aviv so that they may bring about their own damnation when only Christians are allowed into Heaven. /tangent]

Speaking of CNN and their softballs... Ugh. These things are a complete farce in the first place, even if we weren't watching in glee over just how many clowns will do a pratfall as they climb out of the car, but CNN's questions were brutally bad. I know they're ratings-conscious and are aware that a large segment of the audience is watching for entertainment and not because they'll even consider voting for one of these idiots, but could they at least give a nod to propriety? The vast majority of the questions were the equivalent of conversation on a middle school playground: "Hey! I heard he said X about you! What are you gonna do about it?!" All they're doing is continuing to feed the perception that "the media" (whoever the hell they are) is out to get the GOP/right-wing/Trump/America's hayseed population. Even if that perception is inevitable, at least try to show a little class.

A couple highlights:

Christie: "Don't prosecute these people after the crime is committed, intervene before the crime happens!" I know what his intent probably was, but given all the other 1984 trappings that hang over much of GOP discussions these days (including the oft-quoted "Strength is peace!"; Ignorance, therefore...) that was totally a Minority Report moment.

Huckabee: "Vaccinations are a part of big government!" Why, yes. Yes, they are. Most people don't complain about the eradication of things like polio.

Trump: "We're three trillion in debt!" followed by "We're not spending enough on our military!"

This, of course, is a perfect example of the disconnect between the embedded disdain for George and Dick's Excellent Iraqi Adventure walking hand-in-hand with the earnest shouts to go balls out in Syria, because that worked so well the last time. Your Republican candidates, America. Exxon's biggest nightmare is someone hooking up a power cable to Goldwater's grave because he's not gonna stop spinning anytime soon.