Reprinted from Mike Malloy Website
Presidential Candidates Exchange Insults During 11th GOP Debate
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I am certain the Republican standard-bearers are glad its Friday. Whew. Just when you think it can't get any stranger, there it is. The GOP debate last night was a jaw-dropping freak show -- more like a pro-wrestling free-for-all than a presidential candidate debate. Penis references, insults, personal attacks -- and that was just the audience. What was up with that crowd? Did they think they were at a hockey game?
And now tonight, Donald Trump had to suspend his rally in New Orleans at least two separate times so his thugs could forcibly expel protesters. The shape of things to come no doubt. With Chris Christie as his own personal Tony Soprano, who would dare try to mess with him?
The NY Times sums it all up nicely:
"The Republican debate on Fox News on Thursday night was an argument over whose was bigger. Whose lies. Whose poll numbers. Whose ... wherever.
"A gobsmacking day of intraparty pie-throwing ended with Donald J. Trump, from the stage of the Fox Theater in Detroit, assuring the American public that the size of his male appendage was just fine. 'I guarantee you,' he said, 'there's no problem.'
"There was a time when I might have been stunned. There was a time when Mr. Trump kept his anatomical allusions to post-debate interviews, when he referred to the moderator Megyn Kelly -- who was tough on him at his last debate on Fox, in August -- as having 'blood coming out of her wherever.'
"I might have been shocked, once, at this whole debate -- the hooting audience, the barking candidates, the NSFW content -- but those days are over. The memory is already fading. This is our life now...
"The prime imperative of Mr. Trump is that he not be made small. He must be yuge! Hence his anatomical defense. Hence his calling Mr. Rubio 'Little Marco.' Hence his endless referencing of a CNN poll that showed him with 49 percent of the Republican vote. (Tip to any struggling TV network: Commission a poll that finds Mr. Trump with 65 percent support. He will mention your brand name until the end of time.)
"There will be plenty of punditry about whether the sustained fire on Mr. Trump is hurting him. Everyone went at him Thursday: his opponents onstage; the debate moderators with their graphics and fact checks; and the party's 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, who gave a perhaps unprecedented speech excoriating Mr. Trump as a 'fraud' who lacked the comportment to be president.
"It was a passionate argument. But it's not clear that Mr. Trump and his opponents are even speaking the same language. They attacked him for lies; he answered with size.
"Mr. Romney denigrated Mr. Trump for his ideas, his lack of specifics and, above all, his character. He cast him as a declasse mountebank who bilked students at his Trump University. This was not a serious man for serious times! 'His personal qualities,' Mr. Romney said, 'would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill.'
"That's a damning line against a more traditional candidate, but Mr. Trump would rather build a shining casino on the Strip. He answered back Trump-style. Mr. Romney was a 'loser' who was irrelevant after 2012. Mr. Trump claimed, in terms that may have previewed his raunchy turn at the debate, that the candidate Mr. Romney groveled for his endorsement: 'I could have said, 'Mitt, drop to your knees.' He would have dropped to his knees.'
"It seems the best way to beat Mr. Trump is to make him small, and the best way to make him small is to beat him. Maybe Thursday's media whirlwind was the start of that -- who knows anything anymore? -- but it made the debate, the news cycle, the world, all about him, Trump Trump Trumpity-Trump. It was done, to borrow the hashtag of the social-media movement against him, in the spirit of #NeverTrump, but the practical effect was #AllTrump, #AllTheTime.
"The Republican Party hung a giant target on Mr. Trump's back. But that meant he ended the day reassured, for the umpteenth time, that his was in fact bigger."