It’s the fourth GOP debate, but, truly, it feels like the 50th. America, are we done with these people yet? Can’t they just go away for a few months? The holidays are coming up, after all. It’s a great time to take some time off work, engage in winter activities like snowshoeing and spend quality time with your family… please? No? Fine.
Last night’s debate on Fox News, with moderators from the Wall Street Journal and the Fox Business Network, was focused on the economy. I knew going in I wasn’t going to understand a whole lot of what they’re talking about — it’s all numbers and taxes and rates and spending and maybe, if we’re lucky, why they sell wedding clothes for ferrets at Petco. But I didn’t hold my breath.
Here’s what I saw:
After the last debate, the candidates had fits over the way the moderators and CNBC handled it. For this debate, they demanded changes like equal time for all candidates, fairer questions, 90-second responses and 60-second rebuttals, and no filming the candidates leaving their podiums to go to bathroom breaks because holy f***ing shit what the hell are these people talking about. The Fox Business Network decided to handle this by giving their moderators chemical lobotomies and a little bell they could ring for no reason at all because everyone ignored it.
The candidates started by talking about raising the minimum wage which they all think is a terrible idea. Trump says it’s because we’re losers who need to stop losing, Carson thinks people don’t really understand the minimum wage (although, if you understand what the words “minimum” and “wage” mean, you’re more than halfway there), and Marco Rubio thinks more people should look into welding because apparently, those guys are taking baths in money.
By the way, did you know that John Kasich’s grandfather was a miner who had black lung and one eye? That was part of his answer about how he would balance the budget, and it was the most fascinating piece of information I heard all night.
The moderators asked Ben Carson about the recent questions that have been raised about his past, namely that he said he was offered a full scholarship to West Point when really, not so much, and that he stabbed a guy once which, also, may not be the case. His response was that Obama and Clinton are liars, too, and it’s not fair that his lies are getting all the attention. I’m not sure that, “Well, yeah, but what about that guy,” is the best answer, but I also believe in evolution, so what do I know?
They talked more about immigration and Trump got to talk about his wall again, but what I appreciated was that they discussed his nonstarter of a plan to kick out 11 million illegal immigrants. Kasich and Bush pointed out that not only is it impossible, but it’s heartless and stupid as well. Trump considered their input and said, “We have no choice.” So, there’s that.
And what about Ted Cruz? Ted Cruz is still that guy you dated once who was super confident even though he worked at the last Blockbuster Video in the state and lived in his parents’ basement. He knows he’s smart, even if no one else does. He likes to think of himself as compassionate so he tells dramatic stories using “caring face” and “soft voice,” and you know he wants to hug you but you really don’t feel comfortable with that because you’re pretty sure he’ll end up trying to kiss you and the thought of that makes you want to curl up in a ball with a shard of broken glass for safety.
Cruz, by the way, also stated that he wanted to abolish five government agencies, which he listed as: “The IRS, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce and HUD.” This is bad news for the Department of Commerce, which Cruz obviously plans to abolish extra hard.
Carly Fiorina still hates to read (she wants everything to be no more than three pages long) and got the crowd riled up by saying again and again that, “we need to take our government back,” making her the first person to try to lead a revolution while also requesting extra towels for her room at the Four Seasons.
Marco Rubio and Rand Paul also attended.
From there it just went on and on. Everybody wants us to have a big military so that we can — I don’t know — be the president of our fraternity and f*** the homecoming queen. It’s a big deal to them that the world knows that America has an enormous penis and will throw it down on any table we please. I stopped listening after that. I did a couple of The New York Times crossword puzzles (I like the Monday ones because they’re easy), and petted my dog. I did snap to attention again during closing statements when Ben Carson started listing all of the people who have died during the course of the debate, because I was worried that he was going to say my name next. Luckily, however, I made it.
Saturday night we get the Democrats again for their second debate, and I am really looking forward to it. Lincoln Chafee gets to talk more nonsense, Jim Webb might confess to another murder, and who knows what Bernie Sanders is going to yell about. It’s going to be a good time.
Oh my God, I am so tired.