23 March 2016

The Cruz-Trump debate: best two out of three falls

Last night Donald Trump won Arizona while Senator Cruz took Utah, leaving Gov. Kasich in the dust of the west. The Republican party has reached a point where the most hated U.S. Senator within his own party is now the "establishment" or "stop Trump" candidate. There's little to choose between the two front-runners, but if forced to choose in some nightmare scenario I think I'd go with Trump, trusting that the billionaire would be so thoroughly checked by his own party -- assuming, as I do, that he doesn't have the fascist tendencies hysterics attribute to him -- that he'd do little damage despite his obvious idiocy, while Cruz is a smug stone cold ideologue whose face I can't look on for long without feeling an urge to punch it. As the Republican campaign appears increasingly to be a two-man race, the real debate between them -- as opposed to the talk shows they and Kasich occasionally participate in -- has found its appropriate level.  They and their supporters have gone past ad hominem attacks to ad feminam or ad uxorem tactics. It's no longer enough for Trump's opponents to note, as I did yesterday, that their nemesis performed briefly, and not so long ago, as a professional wrestler. Moving beyond that, one anti-Trump organization enraged the candidate by posting a cheesecake shot from her teen years of Trump's current trophy wife, arguing that such a creature, however, comely, was unworthy of the title of First Lady. Trump holds "Lyin' Ted" responsible despite the Senator's disclaimers, and warns Cruz that he can "spill the beans" on Mrs. Cruz if further provoked. The Texan responded to the threat by calling Trump a classless coward, which might have meant something if either man had a real sense of honor. Meanwhile, a Washington Post reporter has saved Trump some of his trouble by speculating (with some sources) on what the "beans" might be on Mrs. C. Things should really get interesting if Trump takes this spat beyond social media and starts attacking Mrs. C at rallies or, better still, at a debate. Senator C. might well sew up the nomination if Trump does something like that, as long as the Senator can pull off a Stone Cold Stunner. Of course, while Cruz celebrates Kasich could hit him with a chair -- except that the candidates stand at lecterns at the debates. The debate organizers should consider changing that arrangement if they want a debate Republicans would really understand.

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