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Category Archives: Political Theatre

The FOX debate…

FOX has announced the 10 candidates for the GOP nomination who will appear in the first primetime debate.

The first primetime debate of the Republican primary race on Thursday will include ten candidates, according to FOX News: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and John Kasich. 

FOX, which is hosting the debate in Cleveland, Ohio, announced the list of the top 10 candidates based on recent national polling on air at 6pm ET Tuesday. 

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who earlier last week was at risk of missing the cut for the primetime debate in his home state, made the cut at the 10th spot, edging out former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. 

Candidates that did not make the cut will participate in a separate debate earlier on Thursday. Those Republicans are: Perry, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Jim Gilmore and George Pataki. 

First off, I think it’s somewhat ridiculous for FOX to enforce an arbitrary cut-off for the debate. This isn’t American Idol. No one has voted yet, and they’ve already set a distinction between major league and minor league candidates, which I think effectively ends the campaigns of everyone in Tier 2. Yeah, they’ll have a “separate debate” earlier in the day, which about as many people will watch as will participate. It’s almost like the singles table at a wedding: “Bobby, I think you and Lindsey will get along smashingly. Yes, you just met a half hour ago but you’re both polling poorly, so you have that in common.”

Let’s also take a moment to consider that four governors (Gilmore, Jindal, Pataki, and Perry), and two senators (Graham and Santorum), who despite what you might think of their politics have some practical experience, won’t be on the same stage in a primetime debate for the GOP presidential nomination with the former star of The Apprentice. That is Trump’s occupation, by the way. That’s why most voters even know his name. It’s not like Steve Jobs is still alive and is running. No one sits down to watch Hulu on their “Trump Tablets.”

And Trump is arguably still the most appealing of the “major league” candidates. I suppose Bush is supposed to get credit for being the only closeted asshole of the bunch.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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More on Trump…

From Politico:

A new Monmouth University poll has Trump at 26 percent, easily topping his competitors. The next-closest candidates — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — are at 12 percent and 11 percent, respectively. 

Both the new Monmouth survey and an average of the five most recent live-caller polls — Fox News’ criteria for whittling the list of Republicans down to 10 candidates for Thursday night’s debate — reinforce the tiers that have developed since Trump upended the race by surging to the top.

Beneath Trump, Bush and Walker are five more candidates who are hovering around 6 percent in the poll average (and scored between 4 percent and 6 percent in the Monmouth poll): pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

I suppose the theory (or at least the hope from the Bush campaign) is that majority of GOP primary voters will eventually unite behind Jeb. But the folks supporting Cruz, Huckabee, Paul, even Carson and Christie seem more likely to back Trump. He is more similar to all of them in temperament and rhetoric. I wonder if the GOP establishment will at some point pressure Walker or Rubio to withdraw as their supporters seem likely Bush voters.

I know it’s almost a year until the GOP convention but gee, Jeb, your dad and your brother were both president. You were governor of a state for a while and now you’re losing to Donald Trump by 14 points? That’s only acceptable if the poll was conducted by Trump himself.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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Trump Voters…

Some of my favorite comments from Donald Trump supporters via Facebook:

“I’ve been wrong but as of right now this man has my VOTE UNLESS I FIND OUT HE ISNT A CHRISTIAN OR HE DOESNT BELIEVE IN GOD. What else is there ? We have to have someone who can’t be bought if there is a future. I can be utterly negative and say Lord come quickly but doesn’t the word teach us to live as though we are going to live forever and live as though our Lord could come anytime?”

“Not saying I agree with everything this guy says but FINALLY a guy running for office that isn’t pussified and PC. I think at the very least the country will lean towards him to show the other politicians to grow a pair!”

“THIS is why I’m voting for this cornhole, He’s not ANYONE’S puppet and he says what he’s thinking. GOOD or BAD All I keep hearing him say over and over is “Let’s make America Great again!” got my vote.”

“That’s the way things should be in politics, no compromise with anybody but with the country.”

“Untouchable like Elliot Ness”

‘We all remember Obama using the word CHANGE and Lord knows he sure did CHANGE things to being worse than ever. If u want real, positive CHANGE in this country vote for Trump. He really doesn’t need anybody’s special interest money and he won’t owe anything to anybody and he definitely will create jobs and secure our borders.”

“This is why The Donald is dangerous to the republicans, democrats, and every lobbyist in Washington, the money can’t influence him!! I dunno, everybody thought it was crazy for an actor to be governor of California and then president. Is the Donald the next Ronald? Anything dangerous to the establishment in Washington is more than likely good for the American people. Donald J. Trump is a very real threat to the establishment!!!”

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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Trump VIII….

The very first U.S. president was a general, as were many who followed him. However, military operations are much different now. There aren’t that many Pattons or MacArthurs left. I think this is why Trump is so popular among conservative voters. He’s a “business magnate,” which the modern-day equivalent to a pirate or a conquistador. And deep down, Americans — who rejected the monarchy and embraced democracy, which is a form of monarchy that is spelled differently — have an affection for the emotional unstable borderline personalities that were prominent on the throne. That is true leadership to them. Measured diplomacy is skullduggery. They don’t want their leaders to be politicians… that’s for ambassadors. And, after all, can’t you picture Trump, more so than Jeb Bush and especially Lindsey Graham, in the following scenes?

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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Hairy legs and all…

I… have nothing. I’m sorry. This is just mic-drop stupidity here.

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore told a church gathering on Sunday that the U.S. Supreme Court “destroyed the institution of God,” when they legalized same-sex marriage earlier this month.

Whoa, that’s harsh. I wonder what drove them to do such a thing?

“Despite what they think, it’s not their doing. Satan drives us. He’s out there destroying everything God created including us as human beings.”

Oh, so the devil made them do it. What else has John Milton been up to?

In comments later, Moore elaborated on the sexual revolution before rambling on about gender roles, saying,  “When you start teaching kids that they have the right to choose whether they are male or female. When you talk about three or four years old, you know what they think. They don’t know much. They may learn fast. And when they get in their mind they can be a man if they’re a girl or a woman if they are a boy, I don’t know what the end is going to be. Except it will come down to things like when you take your little girl to the girl’s bathroom and you wait outside and you see some guy with hairy legs going into that bathroom, what are you going to do? What are you going to do? Are you going to stand back and let that guy go in the bathroom with your little girl?”

It seems like he’s advocating for violence against trans women. He doesn’t say “Are you going to stand back and let your little girl go into the bathroom…” with the person who doesn’t even have the decency to star in a Nair commercial. He says, “Are you going to let that *guy* go in the bathroom…”

Maybe because I’m not insane and all, but I don’t understand this obsession with transgendered people using what some insist is the “wrong” restroom. From the Duggars to this guy, the specter is always raised of sexual predators lurking around the stalls. Isn’t it possible these people just want to use the restroom? When I’m there, sex is the last thing on my mind. It’s usually the sixteen ounces of coffee I drank that morning.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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Fear and Loathing in Bastrop

The office of the Bastrop County Republican Party is in an old lumber mill on Main Street, with peeling brown paint and a sign out front that captures the party’s feelings about the Obama administration: “WISE UP AMERICA!”

Inside, county Chairman Albert Ellison pulled out a yellow legal pad on which he had written page after page of reasons why many Texans distrust President Obama, including the fact that, “in the minds of some, he was raised by communists and mentored by terrorists.”

In my mind, I was born on Krypton, raised by a kindly farm couple, and mentored by the artificial intelligence of my dead dad. Unfortunately, that has no bearing on reality.

I also wonder if the contents of Ellison’s yellow legal pad are as cogent and rational as Jack Nicholson’s manuscript in The Shining.

So it should come as no surprise, Ellison said, that as the U.S. military prepares to launch one of the largest training exercises in history later this month, many Bastrop residents might suspect a secret Obama plot to spy on them, confiscate their guns and ultimately establish martial law in one of America’s proudly free conservative states.

This already sounds paranoid, but it’s especially absurd in light of the fact that Obama has gone on record as opposing military tactics from the police when dealing with civilians. But I suppose that was the radical Black Panther Obama who wants to let packs of Negroes run wild, setting fire to businesses, and terrorizing honest, law-abiding Americans. Today, Ellison is afraid of the Chairman Mao Obama who is going to turn America into a third-world dictatorship. Some might presume that because Obama has done nothing like this during his almost seven years in office that he probably isn’t going to get to around it. However, maybe the radical Black Panther Obama has been so busy eating fried chicken and watermelon that he’s going to have to pack all this in before the end of next year.

They are not “nuts and wackos. They are concerned citizens, and they are patriots,” Ellison said of his suspicious neighbors. “Obama has really painted a portrait in the minds of many conservatives that he is capable of this sort of thing.”

I dunno. “Nuts and wackos” seem a fair description of people who believe, with no compelling evidence, that an elected leader is either philosophically or even practically capable of establishing “martial law” in a free state.

Here in the soft, green farmlands east of Austin, some say the answer is simple: “The truth is, this stems a fair amount from the fact that we have a black president,” said Terry Orr, who was Bastrop’s mayor from 2008 to 2014.

Orr said he strongly disagrees with those views, and he supports Jade Helm. But he said a significant number of people in town distrust Obama because they think he is primarily concerned with the welfare of blacks and “illegal aliens.”

“People think the government is just not on the side of the white guy,” Orr said.

Yeah, if only the white guy could get a break in the United States.

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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Trump in Flames…

My friend Aaron Elstein at Crain’s has a fun piece on the further unraveling of professional asshole Donald Trump.

Macy’s has become the latest corporate giant to part ways with Donald Trump.

The retailer said Wednesday that it would stop selling the Donald Trump line of menswear on its shelves since 2004, saying it was “disappointed and distressed” by  the presidential candidate’s recent remarks about Mexican immigrants.

The New York-based retailer’s move comes two days after NBCUniversal said it would no longer broadcast the Miss USA or other beauty pageants owned by Mr. Trump. Four days earlier, Spanish-language network Univision bid Mr. Trump adios.

In just one speech, Trump managed to alienate Hispanics and do serious damage to his own financial interests. Let’s agree that he should not even be near the White House for a tour.
 
Serious candidates or at least mentally stable adults would have had a sit-down with leaders of the Hispanic community where he made amends and tried to move on from this. Instead Trump just doubles down. I can’t immediately think of a declared presidential candidate who torched his path to the White House so quickly and completely: New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Florida… I could probably beat him in those states now.
 
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Posted by on July 1, 2015 in Political Theatre

 

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