If this was meant to be entertainment, all 10 Flying Wallendas refused to walk the high wire, none of the clowns got out of the tiny car, and the elephants just stood around relieving themselves.
If this was meant to be information, Savonarola was piling books on the bonfire of vanities in Florence, children were playing with matches in the Library of Alexandria, and Wikipedia crashed.
If this was meant to be theater of the absurd, it didn’t have a patch on a high school drama club production of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days.
How much better the debate would have been if it were presented by the World Wrestling Federation rather than Fox News and Facebook. A nine-man Republican tag team could drag Donald Trump around the ring by his hair, assuming it’s real. Assuming it’s not, they could jam the wig down over the ref’s eyes and toss Trump across the ropes into the audience to be swatted comatose by old ladies with handbags who take umbrage at people who look like they do being called fat pigs.
Why would anyone watch the Fox News Republican presidential primary debate, unless they were drinking and lost the channel changer? Which I was and did.
But I had the good fortune to view the program with my father-in-law—forward artillery observer in WWII, career FBI agent, and retired head of corporate security for a Fortune 500 company. A Republican everyman if ever there was one.
My father-in-law’s not firing his snub-nose .38 into the TV screen was an admirable example of GOP primary voter self-discipline. But he’s deaf and just had a cataract operation. I can hear and see all too well.
And I gather what I heard and saw wasn’t even the semi-maybe-important thing that happened on debate day. I didn’t give the 5 p.m. Republican candidate “kiddie table” debate a looky-loo. I’ll go to the circus, but I won’t be ballyhooed into the sideshow to see the Amazing Seven-Headed Creature from the Bottom of the Polling Lagoon.
However, according to my father-in-law, six million other viewers, and 83 percent of Twitter comments, Carly Fiorina took her half-dozen opponents and wiped the floor with them.
“That’s a smart gal,” my father-in-law said. “She’s tough. Had the answers. Slammed that braggart Trump. Slammed Kerry for giving Iran an atom bomb. She’ll take all those women’s votes away from Hillary.”
My father-in-law follows the stock market. He owns some Hewlett-Packard stock. Hewlett-Packard stock fell 41.3 percent while Fiorina was CEO. My father-in-law giving props to Carly was an admirable example of GOP primary voter self-sacrifice.
This is how suicide blond Donald Trump (dyed by his own hand) committed political hara-kiri—raising a solitary paw when candidates were asked who among them would not promise to support the eventual Republican nominee.
Trump poll numbers may look like a college basketball score now, but the self-disciplined, self-sacrificing Republican primary voters would rather plaster their Buicks with “Lean Forward” bumper stickers than have another Ross-Perot-off-his-meds third-party candidate handing the White House door key to the Billary Bandits.
As to the debate’s content . . . Well, my father-in-law and I were pretty busy discussing how Hewlett-Packard’s stock has failed to recover in the decade since Fiorina was fired. Also we needed to refill our glasses with the special vitamin that makes Jeb Bush interesting. I guess it makes Jeb interesting. I seem to have been taking a refreshing nap every time Jeb answered a question.
Then I was distracted by the candidates’ all wearing the same suit—from the boy’s department for Rand Paul and from Omar the tent-maker for Chris Christie. I have that suit too. So does my father-in-law.
What does it mean that Republican men all dress alike? It means we’re smart. Smarter, anyway, than Democratic men. We’re smart enough to know what we’d look like wearing sandals with socks, cargo shorts, backwards ball caps, and Rock the Vote T-shirts.
I was also distracted by the Fox News panelists. Gosh, that Megyn Kelly is a hand-picked peach. Bret Baier, I’m informed by my mother-in-law, is a hunk. (As she put it, “What a nice-looking young man.”) And Chris Wallace has the Cary Grant distingué thing going, making other men his age (me) look like late-career Wallace Beery. These three should start a Chippendale’s for political junkies.
And there was Trump’s coif. I’m not going there. Too many have gone there before, including, it would seem, a family of angry squirrels who use Clairol. So I won’t delve into the subject—for fear of angry squirrels.