This Weak in The GOP Vol. 16


March 24, 2016

This week marked a significant turning point in the Republican race for the presidency, as the GOP has now joined the rest of the country, and indeed the rest of the world, in realizing “holy shit, Donald trump is going to be the Republican nominee!” To combat this, the GOP has rolled out all of their rising stars — Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush — to try and put the hatepaste back in the tube.

This seems to somehow involve rallying behind Ted Cruz. Here’s a little tip to the GOP — if you need to moderate yourself by rallying around Ted Cruz, it is highly likely that your re-invention/rebranding efforts have not exactly been a success.

Bush, the artist formerly known as Jeb!, helpfully stepped in, with that famous Bush-sense-of timing, to endorse a candidate after 34 elections have already been held. Bush’s message to the GOP: Don’t worry, Republicans, Jeb! Can Fix It!

Jeb’s active engagement in the campaign — something he might have wanted to try while he had actually been running— is a bank shot: picking one candidate, not because that one is the right choice, but to prevent someone else from winning. It is so shocking and awe-ing of a Bush to have a clear target the evidence points to, yet go after someone else entirely. All he needs to do now is find a coalition of the willing, and boom — Mission Accomplished!

Bush even went a step beyond just trying to course-correct for the party. He actually endorsed Ted Cruz in an effort to derail Trump’s campaign. There are legitimate questions about the sincerity and effectiveness of Bush’s last-ditch effort. With many observers noting that, if Bush were serious about ruining Trump’s campaign, he’d join it. But as the late Marco Rubio (and Dan Quayle) would say, “There’s no “i” in ruin.” (Actually Rubio’s version would go like this: “There’s no “i” in ruin. Let’s dispel with the myth that there’s an “i” in ruin.”)

Meanwhile, the embracing of Cruz by establishment republicans proves definitively that he is the Mr. Barrow (of Downton Abbey fame) of the Republican Party — everyone finds him really creepy and phenomenally unlikable, but by the series finale they’re all warming up to him. GOP voters are quietly thinking to themselves “Dammit. Why did we kill off Matthew! (see what we did there with the exclamation point?) after season 3?” Apologies to Downton Abbey fans for the spoiler. Here’s another: Neither Mr. Barrow, nor Matthew Crawley, nor Ted Cruz will be the GOP nominee in 2016.

But for now, let’s make like a news network and get back to Donald Trump.

This week Trump apparently ran out of black people and protesters to threaten so he opted to instead threaten the Chicago Cubs, with a Fercotti Brothers-like threat of “You’ve got a nice baseball team here, Ricketts. We wouldn’t want anything to happen to it.”

Who threatens the Chicago Cubs? And how? What are you going to do to scare the Cubs, tell them it’s the playoffs? Make them face left-handed pitching? Announce Steve Bartman as your running mate? Seriously though, threatening someone for failing to endorse! Say what you will, but Chris Christie is already having some say in the direction of Trump’s campaign.

As for Cruz, he has proposed the idea of having US government entities patrol, secure and monitor certain targeted US neighborhoods. He did so while simultaneously earning the endorsement of the establishment wing of the less-government, more privacy, more freedom GOP. The irony is so palpable you could punch it at a Trump rally. Or cut it with a knife. Unless it was wearing Ben Carson’s cousin/friend’s belt buckle.

Also this week, a pro Cruz Super PAC launched an ad featuring a mostly nude FLOTUS-in-waiting, Melania Trump, in an effort to alert Utah voters that, unlike Cruz, Trump’s values are out of step with religious sensibilities. This is the second time semi-nude women have featured in ads advocating for Cruz, a self-identified Porn-Again Christian.

As this latest pornography scandal began to swallow the news cycle, Cruz sought to distance himself and his staff from the controversy saying “We are not going to get Down and Dirty VII in this race. Now everyone get back on the bang bus….err…campaign bus and let’s blow.”

Trump, outraged by the way others have been portraying the classy relationship he and his classy wife have, threatened Cruz with a tweet (because nothing is more threatening than a tweet) that Ted ‘better be careful’ or else Trump would ‘spill the beans on your wife.’ (In an ironic twist, “Spill The Beans on Your Wife” won the coveted “Worst Title of a Porn Film” award at the 2015 Adult Video News (AVN) Awards* this past fall.)

Last…and indeed least, Gov. John Kasich (R-You still running?) continued to campaign this week with all the momentum of a Blockbuster Video store in 2016. He is like the Energizer bunny without the energy. His new motto is “If at first you don’t succeed, heck…if at 2nd, 3rd, 4th, all the way through 34th you don’t succeed, win your home state and pretend you planned for a brokered convention all along.”

Kasich soundly rejected the idea of serving as a VP for any of his fellow candidates saying “Me? John Kasich, VP? VP John Kasich? Vice President of the United States, John Kasich? Vice President Kasich? Me? Serving as the Vice President of the United States of America? John Kasich, President of the United States Senate?…” and continued that way until press coverage broke away to fellow midwesterner, Speaker Paul Ryan, who was holding a press conference about how to handle the soon-to-be-minted Republican ticket — a ticket that Speaker Ryan did not seem to think would include Vice President John Kasich.

That is largely the week that was in the Grand Ole Party.

Now before Democrats get too excited at their prospects, they would do well to remember theirs is a party that has, on at least one occasion, lost races to Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki (sp?), Rick Perry, Louie Gohmert, Rand Paul, Ron Paul, Ru Paul, St,. Paul, Paul Lynde (aka Lindsey Graham) and a host of others. It is also a party in which you regularly hear members say, “I hope they don’t smarten up and nominate a Rubio/Kasich ticket!”(motto — we don’t make nearly as many dick jokes as the other guys do, or as we used to — hey, it’s me, Kasich…I didn’t make any dick jokes.***)

In other words, a ticket comprised of two guys who, collectively, went 4 and 68 in contests so far, with 2 of those wins coming in territories outside the continental US, is giving the Democratic Party nightmares.

Maybe, for their sake, next week’s edition should be called “Probably Not Weak Enough In The GOP.”

*AVN is the trade group for the adult film industry, representing the interests of such stars as Jenna Haze, Alexis Texas, Peter North, Asia Carrerra and…well, at least that is what we are told by an industry insider.** For more information on AVN and to view AVN videos click here.

**The actress from Ted Cruz’s ads

  • **Yes it is a long and unwieldy motto, but they assure supporters it will all be worked out at the convention. The wonderful, magical convention that will salve all wounds, nominate winners, smooth over hurt feelings, heal divisions in the party, make trickle down economics work, all the while killing terrorists, arming teachers and shrinking the size of government.

(Correction: an earlier version of this piece stated that Speaker Paul “Rex” Ryan is from Ohio. Alert reader LdC caught the error and shall remain anonymous — because who in the hell would want to be recognized as reading this crap? We would like to offer an excuse — something like: ‘well, with Speaker Ryan changing his tune so much this week, we thought he had also changed states.’ Or ‘with the rise of Trump, maybe he entered the witness protection program and only told us.’ Or we could go full Trump and say ‘that’s the thing, you can’t tell who the good ones are…who belongs here and who doesn’t. We either have an Ohio, or we don’t.’ But, the truth is much plainer. The author is a simpleton and an idiot. A good-hearted one, but a simpleton nonetheless. We regret the error and we apologize to either the people of Wisconsin, the people of Ohio or both.)

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