Thursday, March 3, 2016

Life Through the Looking Glass

I am reticent to discuss politics anywhere - including but not limited to here - but am constrained to wipe the dust off of my Political Science B.A. to offer what are nothing other than one man's observations of the 2016 Presidential Campaign now that Super Tuesday is in the rear-view mirror. 

Irrespective of your party affiliation or your allegiance for a particular candidate, if you cannot appreciate the unintentional humor that Florida's junior Senator provides every time he utters a declarative statement, then you might want to road trip to Oz and ask the little gray-haired fellow lurking behind the curtain to hook you up with a sense of humor.  As of this morning, the GOP has held a contest in which votes are counted, whether a caucus or a primary, in fifteen states.  Thus far, Marco Rubio has finished first in exactly one of those fifteen contests.  Senator Rubio captured Tuesday's caucus in Minnesota.  

If you are a student of electoral politics, as am I, then you likely know something that I am fairly confident Senator Rubio does not, which is that emerging victorious in Minnesota - and only in Minnesota - is not a recipe for success.  I forgive him for perhaps not knowing that since the last time it occurred in a Presidential election was 1984 when Walter Mondale carried but one state (Minnesota) as well as the District of Columbia and when Senator Rubio (the great "Reagan Republican" he is) was still three or four years away from being old enough to vote.  

Similarly, and I say this as someone who is a registered Republican, I find it hard to believe that I am the only registered Republican who finds the Party's hand-wringing over Donald Trump to be fucking hilarious.  Once upon a time, the GOP was indeed the Party of Lincoln.  However, in the 21st Century it allowed itself to be transformed into the Party of Bachman, of Palin, of Huckabee, and of Rove.  Donald Trump may be a lot of things but one thing he is not - and has never been - is dumb. The atmosphere that permitted the rise of a well-known, self-funded, charismatic, anti-GOP establishment candidate is one that the GOP itself first created and thereafter cultivated.  The GOP should change its motto to "We Have Seen the Enemy and It Is Us".  

Hypothetical scenario/question for any and all fellow politico-nerds who might pop by here today. Presume as a starting point that on Super Tuesday the GOP's presumptive "establishment" candidate, Ted Cruz (we shall set aside for purposes of this hypothetical that Senator Cruz was the driving force in the governmental shutdown a couple of years ago that resulted in good people - including my brother Bill - getting shafted by Uncle Sam), earned seven-first place finishes and five second-place finishes.  Let us assume furthermore that the charismatic, anti-GOP establishment outsider, Trump, managed to win only three contests (including his home state) and finished far up the track in several others. Let us assume, also that Super Tuesday's results allowed the gap between the front-runner (Cruz) and the second-place candidate in terms of total delegates earned to widen.  

With me so far? 

Under the hypothetical I have created in the preceding paragraph, point me to the historical model that the GOP is desperate to employ this year, which is how to come together behind the candidate who - to date - has been at best the second choice of primary voters in fifteen states (a/k/a "30% of the United States") in a desperate attempt to deny its constituents' overwhelming first choice the party's nomination?  I will admit that I am not nearly smart enough to find where it is they are looking to, in American electoral history, as their guide or their blueprint for what they are openly and ham-handedly doing presently.  For better or for worse, the GOP created the opportunity of which Mr. Trump has availed himself.  Their not-too-subtle effort in cutting their own nose to spite their face is, to me at least, equal parts amusing and bewildering. 

Frankly, I cannot look past the GOP's willingness to rewrite Cruz's own story in an effort to convert him into an "establishment candidate" and the work of fiction that it is.  I know not how anyone else feels on this point but I am constrained to point out to the Canadian-Cuban-Texan, Mr. Cruz that there is no one who holds a grudge quite like an Irishman.  Senator Theodore willfully and consciously opted to fuck my brother and everyone else employed by the Federal Government when his tantrum in the Senate led to the shutdown of the government.  If I live to be 1,000, which no one (including me) hopes happens, I shall neither forget nor forgive what he did.  He can feel free to put a match to the tip of the Maple Leaf Cigar on which he rode into Texas and use it to fuck himself.    

But I digress.  

Nothing I saw, read, or heard on Tuesday night prepared me for the spectacle that was New Jersey's Governor fulfilling his new role as Trump's Man Friday at Trump's Florida press conference. Overnight, Chris Christie has morphed into the GOP's Tom Papa - performing a short set and hoping to score a few laughs (although Papa is very funny) while warming up the crowd for the evening's headliner, Donald Trump, who plays the Jerry Seinfeld role opposite Christie's Papa.  Every time I thought what I was watching could not possibly become any more embarrassing for Christie, I was proven wrong.  

Among the many things I read about the emasculation of the Governor, the one that struck me as having more than just a mere hint of proof was this piece by Mark Liebovich.  As someone who voted for him in both of his successful Gubernatorial campaigns here in New Jersey, I find that which he has allowed himself to become to be sad almost to the point of being pathetic.  

And to think that up until 9:00 pm Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday night, the worst part of Christie's day had been the chorus of New Jersey newspapers calling for the Governor to resign, which resignation would leave him available to follow Mr. Trump around from stop-to-stop and hone his skills as an opening act.  

Have hashtag (#freechrischristie), will travel. 


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