Skip to main content

how low can you go?

i've been a little strapped for blogging time this week, but if you've been wondering where i've been, you need only click on the link to my twitter account to find out. for some reason, this week has been replete with things that demanded my attention, allowing only short pauses for the release of venom and frustration [in increments of 140 characters or less]. but whatever else i might have on my plate, there was no way i was going to pass up the opportunity to say a few words about last night's republican "presidential" candidates' debate. however, i then realised that punk poet laureates dayglo abortions had already said the words i had in mind:



within minutes of turning on my television set, donald trump was there reassuring the nation that there's nothing wrong with his penis size. dom and i sort of looked at each other, dumbfounded, as the most embarrassing campaign for a presidential nomination managed to crash through a few more levels of shame on its way to a bottom that just seems to keep getting deeper.

i mean, on some level, we're aware that all political races are some sort of metaphorical dick measuring contest, because most things are, but the emphasis is almost always on the metaphorical part. even when these things have arisen before [please don't go down this road-ed.], it's been in very different contexts. monica lewinski testified that bill clinton packed a roll of quarters. forensic historians recently revealed that hitler's junk was even more comically inept than previously thought. [i really hope that's going to be added to standard twentieth century history curricula going forward.] the thing is, it's usually other people who bring this stuff to our attention. trump just decided to lay it out there at the starting gate. [not literally, but you know that's coming.]

one of his campaign advisors, who appeared on cnn so that the network could claim that they are taking his candidacy seriously, tried to argue that trump was completely entitled to raise this [stop it! -ed.], because marco rubio had made a joking remark about the size of the donald's hands, with a little wink to the audience, at a campaign event earlier in the week. [and he did, because he, like every other person with internet access, saw john oliver's epic trump takedown on sunday, where he revealed a bizarre story of the magnate's hypersensitivity that started with an innocuous joke about the size of his fingers. it should be a little scary to us all just how much of the content of last night's debate can be traced directly to oliver and his team, who are ostensibly producing a comedy show and not a news magazine.] fellow cnn commentator, voice of sanity and thinking girl's man candy van jones tried to point out that just because rubio set the trap did not mean that trump had to go running headlong into it. he suggested that trump could have shown leadership by refusing to lower himself, to which the trumpeter responded that that would not have been leading, it would have been following. that one still has me shaking my head, but i guess the woman is a trump supporter, so our expectations should be adjusted accordingly. in her defense, she managed to dress herself and didn't pee on her chair. as far as i know.

not to be outdone, ted cruz appeared to eat a booger, or a bug, or something that just didn't belong on his face or in his mouth during a forum where he is trying to convince people that he should be the next president of the united states. what is truly creepy, however, is that crusty-nose cruz seemed to be the winner of the night, or perhaps the least loser, since i don't see any wins coming out of this. indeed, when he wasn't eating smegma, cruz did a remarkable impression of staying above the fray, meaning that he steered clear of the rubio-trump brawl that was happening to his physical, if not his political right. rubio has just unloaded on trump in the last two debates and has proven to be the only candidate capable of taking the orange one down a few notches. in a development that none of us saw coming, rubio is surprisingly quick on his feet and has managed to flatten the bloviated builder in two successive debates with a few well-timed zingers, including one that was all the sharper for being partly at his own expense [chiding the donald for repeating himself, although the fact that rubio was well aware that the joke was on him as well seemed to go right over trump's coiffed head].

poor, sane john kasich just seemed to get left off the menu entirely, partly because no one was name-checking him, which left him relying on the fox news moderators [who gave surprisingly good performances as journalists] to ask him questions, which rarely happened. cruz managed to steal a bit of his "only adult in the room" aura, which seems unfair, since that's been kasich's thing since the very beginning of the debate cycle. of course, ted can't point to his experience getting things done which, whether or not you like what he did, kasich has in spades. nor does he have that warm, fuzzy, huggable kind of persona that [i think] makes kasich a much more worrying proposition for democrats.

at this point, it seems impossible that things can get any worse in this race. that said, next week will be the season finale. the very last republican debate before the end of this nomination cycle. that doesn't mean that the race is over, of course, because that only happens when one candidate amasses the number of delegates required to win the nomination at the convention. or not. because some republicans are floating the idea of a contested nomination at the convention, which is a term that most people probably haven't heard because it never fucking happens. it basically means that the nominating convention would actually see people nominated from the floor, thus rendering all of this long primary/ caucus process of delegate accumulation completely useless. there could also be a "brokered convention", which is a process whereby representatives of different camps meet and come up with some kind of agreement about who should be the presidential nominee, who should be vice president, and a bunch of other things that are supposed to keep people happy. however, to paraphrase cnn political analyst john king, can you imagine negotiating with the trump people?

the problem with those solutions is that, first, they rest on trump not getting the number of delegates required to win the nomination outright, and for that to happen, it seems like some desperately cynical politicking has to take place, which is the exact sort of thing that trump supporters are angry about to begin with. if you think they're obnoxious now, wait until their candidate gets gerrymandered out of the nomination by a bunch of political insiders [possibly including 2012 candidate mitt romney, who smacked trump upside the head this week with a binder full of women].

whatever happens, count on it being pretty awful, because from what we've seen so far, these men are willing to do anything except be rational and honest to win.

[while i was writing this, ben carson, who took a pass on last night, suspended his campaign for the nomination. nobody cared.]

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …

don't speak

you might think that it sounds dramatic, but linguistic genocide is something that happens. people in power will go to great lengths to eradicate certain languages, not just for the sheer joy of making the world a lesser place, but as a way of beating down the culture that's associated with it. language has a unique reciprocal bond with culture, and every group that has attempted to break down another has recognised that forbidding a cultural group from communicating in their own language is an extremely effective way to tear apart their culture.

there are lots [and lots and lots and lots] of examples of this sort of thing, some successful, some not, but far too many to cover in one blog post. however, i thought it was worth looking at some languages that have been the subjects of active repression, and what the political consequences of that have been.

devastation :: the native north american languages :: it should come as no surprise that the largest genocide in history [by a ma…