Who Lost Last Night’s Debate?

I’m borrowing this image from Wonkette to set the tone for today’s inevitable Hilldo vs Bernbro skirmishes:


Some folks around here have been fretting about the increasingly acrimonious tone of the Democratic primary campaign for weeks. Not me. I think the drawn-out tussle in 2008 ultimately strengthened then-candidate Obama and kept everyone focused on the race, giving voters more of a stake in the outcome (and thus a reason to turn up at the polls).

But now I’m officially joining the worrywarts. Last night’s debate was nasty, sarcastic and personal. I think Sanders realizes New York is his last stand, and I don’t blame him for trying to win. But if he loses, a grownup needs to pull him aside and tell him to dial it back before he damages our chances in the fall.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz certainly can’t be that grownup. Maybe it’ll fall to our designated national adult, President Obama. But someone damn sure better do it. The Democrats lost the debate last night. Read more

When Scooter and the Big Man bust this city in half

Which GOP candidate has establishment media been most in the tank for? Atrios writes of Rubio:

The blatant cheerleading for Rubio by our supposedly “objective” press has been one of the funniest things about this primary season. I don’t really get it, as he just seems to be horrible. Not horrible because he’s conservative and I don’t like conservatives, but horrible because he’s just a horribly inept candidate.

But I think it’s tough to top Matt Bai’s fluffing of Christie:

Pretty men to tell you all those pretty lies

As you may know, I am fueled creatively by my massive hatred of David Brooks. Sometimes, though, I forget that he’s not just a right-wing nut, he’s also exceptionally intellectually dishonest. Yesterday, in the wake of the Rubiobot’s dismal performance in New Hampshire, he wrote that:

Marco Rubio, who has become the most intellectually creative of the presidential contenders, has given us a book, “American Dreams.” He moves beyond the Reagan-era emphasis on top marginal tax rates. He moves beyond the Mitt Romney distinction between makers and takers.

The title of the column is Marco vs. Larry (which might be a good title for a rom-com where Michael Sera and Ryan Gosling compete for the affections of Emma Stone), and the idea is that Larry Summers also has some kind of a good economic plan but it’s not as good as Rubio’s because it’s not Burkean enough.

Anywho, it’s Rubio porn, meant to buck up the spirits of mythical moderate Republicans and/or get tote-baggers talking about what a serious guy Marco Rubio is. The least Bobo could have done was begin with “Dear Penthouse Forum”, so his readers would know where the column was going.

Contrast this with Michael Gerson’d dead-on piece about Donald Trump’s prospects in South Carolina:

Trump appeals fairly broadly in South Carolina — many opponents of Trump I talked with in the state report having some relative who loves him. But there are lots of angry, rural white males at his rallies. They have reason to feel disadvantaged in our economy and overlooked in our politics. This is mixed here (as elsewhere) with baser motives. On racial matters, according to one senior South Carolina Republican, Trump is using “not a dog whistle but a train whistle.”


Republicans who remain unreconciled to the Trump dynasty now comfort themselves with one scenario. After the shock of early Trump victories wears off, some candidate in a winnowed field will need to rise and restart the race. “Trump,” this heretofore mythic figure will argue, “has won some early primaries in the South. But he has a ceiling of support — just 35 percent in the GOP — that dooms him with the national electorate. So, here I am, the only candidate who can unite the party and win a majority in November.” At that point, the spigots of Republican money will open and the electoral terrain — in Illinois, Missouri and Ohio, and eventually in New York and California — will dramatically improve.

All of which depends on two questionable assumptions. First, I can remember when Trump’s ceiling was supposedly 25 percent. After a series of victories, it may rise again. Second, this scenario assumes that any of the mainstream candidates are capable of cutting the alpha down to size.

Gerson hates Trump at least as much as Bobo does (he’s devoted several columns to this topic) and in many ways he is just Bobo with extra Jesus sauce. But at least he has the decency to write columns about what is actually happening in the GOP primary, rather than mash notes to a pretty robot who probably won’t finish higher than third in the next primary.

The boom anime babes who make me think the wrong thing

More wise, tough talk from the very serious daddy party:

GOP strategist Rick Wilson dismissed the “childless single men” who support Trump’s presidential bid.

“The fact of the matter is, most of them are childless single men who masturbate to anime.”

Instead of masturbating to American-made internet porn like real patriots!

Straight outta Hopkins

I love the flute in the new Ben Carson hip-hop radio ad.

Your purple prose just gives you away

Bobo’s latest mash note to Rubio-Ryan was less of a bodice-rippper than usual but oh what a last line:

If Ryan and Rubio do emerge as the party’s two leaders, it will be the wonkiest leadership team in our lifetime.

He’s got big balls and she’s got big balls

I agree with Steve M. that this reduces conservatism to its true essence:

Rich Lowry told Megyn Kelly that the reason Trump is going after Carly Fiorina is that ‘she cut his balls off with the precision of a surgeon‘ in the last debate and thus she has become a much bigger target for Trump to take aim at.

That’s what it’s all about: quien es mas macho?

Update. This email a reader sent young Conor is amazing:

Trump fights. Trump wins. I want an Alpha Male who is going to take it to the enemy. I am tired of supporting losers. I used to vote for President based on their positions. Now I am going to vote for President based on emotion. I want a strong man to be president, an Alpha male, somebody who is going to rip the other side a new one. I am tired of losing the fight before we even have a fight. That is why I support Donald Trump. Ted Cruz is my second choice. Never Jeb!