Trump scores his biggest endorsements yet in Tom Brady and Vladimir Putin, while Ted Cruz has the blessing of Sarah Palin, who looked like she was going to have an orgasm on national television. Putin was less emphatic than Sarah, but nonetheless heaped praise on the Republican front runner, calling him, "a bright and talented person without any doubt." Oddly enough, this endorsement might drive a wedge between Donald and Ted, as Ted is ardently anti-Russian, and we all know what Sarah thinks of Russia.
The Republican nomination process has now become a veritable cluster fuck. This was just the capstone to a crazy week that saw the Republicans go at it again on the Las Vegas strip, pitching limited nuclear war, cluster bombs and any and all means necessary to bring ISIS (or ISIL) to heel. Ben Carson compared fighting ISIS to taking a tumor out of a child's head, some lives will undoubtedly be lost but Syria will thank him in the end. Assuming there is any Syria left, or Middle East for that matter.
Only Rand Paul stood there shaking his head, wondering what the hell was going on. He chose to single out Chris Christie, who was busy matching bluster for bluster with the other seven would-be commander-in-chiefs. But, as David Roberts noted in this Vox article, Rand pulled back in his criticism so as not to spoil the show. World War III be damned. Judging from the audience's hoots and hollers, no action was too much when it comes to taking the war to the Islamic State. If this brings about the End Days then so be it, the religious conservative base of the Republican Party is ready.
If anyone had any doubts who was driving the Republican Party this year, these doubts were dispelled Tuesday. The GOP has sold itself to the Nativists and religious nabobs of its base. It's like one of those old Vaudeville shows where the guys on stage will say anything and do anything to draw cheers from the crowd. If all else fails throw a pie in someone's face, only to get it thrown back at you. This is Trump's show.
Rand wasn't even supposed to be there. Chris had been called up to replace him, but at the last minute Rand was given a spot, thanks to a late-breaking Fox poll that gave him barely enough popular support to be on the main stage. This meant that George Pataki was called in to be the fourth at the side table. This didn't stop our undercards from showing who had the most bluster among themselves. Mike Huckabee had harsh words for the Millennials, making it sound like he would bring back the draft so that the military could fly however many sorties are necessary to bring these radical Muslims to heel. Lindsey Graham seemed on the point of tears, evoking the memory of George "Dubya" Bush's administration.
Lindsey puts ISIL squarely in Obama's lap, like all the others. They think everything was just fine under our past commander-in-chief, seeming to forget that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had spiraled out of control and Robert Gates was brought in to clean that cluster fuck up. Gates stayed with the Obama administration through 2011, managing the pullout from Iraq, which at the time no one raised any complaints about. But, now that the "Islamic State" has emerged from the ruin, Republicans are desperate to get boots back on the ground, as they seem to believe that "war is a force that gives us meaning," to borrow from Chris Hedges. Of course, Chris meant it ironically, but there is no sense of irony in the Grand Old Party. The GOP takes everything at face value and only looks back in history (mostly Biblical history) to bolster its own points.
I'd like to think the Republicans are digging their own graves. It is hard to imagine that the vast majority of the American public looks on these debates and this crazy election year for anything more than entertainment value. I can only hope that very few persons (even Tom Brady and Vladimir Putin) take these guys seriously. If they do, woe be it to our proud nation. If you thought George Bush was a bad president, anyone of these guys would be immeasurably worse.