No, I did not watch the first set of Republican debates, for the simple reason that I am not in fact a Republican and therefore technically have no skin in this particular game: when the primary rolls around next year, they will hand me a card with a large D on it, unless I change my registration between now and then, which I haven't done in forty-three years and don't expect to do any time soon. The reason for this, briefly, is that in my state, the Democratic Party, or whatever vestiges of it remain after being reduced to a mere 37 of the 149 seats in the legislature, still acts mostly like a political party of old, unlike its national version, which exists solely to hoover up dollars and guarantee the availability of infanticide.

So my interest in the GOP, at least before primary season, is pretty much academic; were I supporting any of the GOP types currently on board, I'd probably opt for Carly Fiorina, who does withering scorn better than any of the competition, including Donald Trump, and who is much reviled for sacking many thousands of employees during her time as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, despite the fact that firing people is not only a useful function, but a necessary one, especially in places like woefully overstaffed Washington, which grows like kudzu and needs more than mere pruning. And I admit to wanting to see Fiorina and Empress-Designate Hillary Clinton on the same stage, because, goshdarn it, train wrecks are fun. Usually.

Then there's the case when they're not fun. This is Donald Trump's department: the unfun train wreck, the triumph of bluster over, well, everything that isn't bluster. If you believe the pollsters, a lot of the Republican base responds positively to this sort of thing; given the fact that the GOP on the national level spends far more time trying to engage in "bipartisan" mischief than in trying to keep its base happy — the Democrats do a far better, or at least far more efficient, job of keeping their client groups glued together — the base is in no mood to listen to the same old thing, and Donald Trump, bless his flinty little heart, is not the same old thing. "Immigration reform," desired by both Chamber of Commerce suits and La Raza types, means nothing to Trump: he'd close the border with no more thought than he'd give to closing a parking lot at a casino. And let's face it, he's an equal-opportunity insulter, having leveled attacks on both Megyn Kelly and Frank Luntz after the lights went down.

It's not at all hard, therefore, to see why right-of-center folks might look forward to an Era of Trumpefaction:

The Republican party has become a big fat weed growing in Liberty's pepper pot. It's sucking all the nutrients from the soil, hogging the sunlight and using all its might — in willful collusion with the Media and Democrats — to crush anything that might upset the status quo — and consequently our slide into tyranny.

The arrival of some demagogue to commence the culling was inevitable. On cue, along rode Trump. He's practically the 4th rider of the apocalypse in the eyes of the gentry. Brash, loud, outspoken — a natural rabble-rouser and born counter-puncher — with fame and money enough to go completely rogue. He looked at the bloody pustule the RePubliCAN'T leadership nurtured, marched right out into the middle of the festering, gaping tear, and planted his flag like a Spanish Conquistador.

And the fact that Trump's conservative bona fides are pretty weaksauce doesn't seem to matter to his fans: they're plainly tired of going along to get along.

Still, the More Civility types, the ones who will use only the finest-quality, hand-honed, micro-finished blades to stab you in the back, will figure out some way to trump Trump — for "the good of the country," doncha know. There are those who thought Fox News itself was trying to sabotage Trump during the debate. (Much has been made of Trump's financial support of the Clinton machine; not so much of Rupert Murdoch's.) And I'm not sure Trump can call in enough markers to cover his backside when the long knives arrive.

So, then: Carly Fiorina. She will be painted as gaffe-prone because hey, that worked so well with Sarah Palin; she will be criticized as a traitor to her sex for not supporting the fetal-body-parts marketplace; about the only thing they can't call her is a liar, because prevarication would infringe upon Hillary's long-established business model. This is not, I hasten to add, an endorsement.

Yet.

The Vent

#928
  9 August 2015

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