Arthur Digby Sellers in his iron lung
History will be made today, and I’m not just talking about this blog’s most obscure Lebowski reference. I’m talking about Super Tuesday—the finest Tuesday in the land, after Taco Tuesday, when 11 states hold their primaries and determine who is a viable candidate and who is Ben Carson. This year’s Super Tuesday is especially exciting. On one side of the aisle, the Democratic Party is poised to nominate either the first woman or the first socialist Jew. Which will it be? The woman, because she hasn’t threatened to disrupt the richest industry in America. But maybe something surprising will happen, and the socialist Jew will catch up.
The Republican nominating contest is even more thrilling. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are locked in a game of chicken, but it’s the kind of chicken where you both drive toward a cliff. Ben Carson is locked in a refrigerator at the dump. And Donald Trump, the billionaire reality TV star who announced his candidacy by calling America’s largest immigrant population “drug dealers and rapists” at a mall, is poised to destroy the Republican Party. Unless my dad finds a genie and causes John Kasich to win all eleven states, today is probably the day Trump clinches the nomination. Our outcomes from there are soft fascism, woman president and/or third party.
Today is a watershed no matter what happens. We’ve talked a lot about politics this year, and I keep making secret plans to knock it off after this election is over. You’ll notice, if you look at the most popular posts widget to your left, that none of them is about politics. But god dammit, this is the weirdest election of my lifetime. It’s way weirder than 2012. Whatever happens today, tomorrow is going to look a lot like history.
Moderator Maria Bartiromo contributes as much to this photo as she did the debate.
I tuned into the sixth Republican debate hoping to watch a spider fight a banana slug, and I was not disappointed. But I was also scared. Back in June, when Trump had yet to enter the race and governors dominated our nominating predictions, Jeb! Bush seemed like the saddest thing that could happen to the GOP. Now his warlike nepotism looks quaint. Ben Carson ventured into the realm of speculative fiction last night with his vision of a simultaneous cyberattack and electromagnetic pulse, but Trump and Cruz articulated the real doomsday scenario. Today is Friday, and the Republican nomination has become a contest between a billionaire too dumb to see the truth and a sociopath too smart to speak it. Won’t you choose the lesser evil with me?
“I will validate your petty resentments or, if you prefer, your despair.”
Oh boy: a new Quinnipiac poll released today has Donald Trump leading the Republican field with support from 27% of respondents nationwide—10 points ahead of Marco Rubio and 11 points ahead of both Ben Carson and Ted Cruz. All other candidates polled at 5% or less. Three out of four Republican front-runers are insane, you guys. These are exciting times to have access to national polls which, we should remember, are poor predictors of actual outcomes this far in advance. Still, in preparation for taking up the mantle of leadership, Trump told Fox & Friends he would kill terrorists’ families:
“I would knock the hell out of ISIS… [and] when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. I say ISIS is our number one threat, we have a president who doesn’t know what he is doing and all he’s worried about is climate change, he thinks climate change is something that’s going to go kill us.”
Only an idiot would concern himself with climate change, when world events offer so many better opportunities for violent revenge fantasies.
Marco Rubio implements US policy in Syria.
Once in a generation, someone invents a story so powerful it rewrites the world. For our generation, that story was the Iraq war, and we will probably watch sequels the rest of our lives: ISIS, proxy war in Syria, ethnic nationalism returns to Europe, Ahmed Goes to Camp(s), et cetera. As made-up stories go, “we invade Iraq and they love us” is Huckleberry Finn, and the rest of us are writing Hardy Boys. Further fictions pale. Yet Kurt Schlichter’s What Defeating ISIS Would Look Like proves that in the field of literature, there is still a lot of work to be done. A taste:
The Americans published daily body counts. This horrified liberals, but delighted the American people, who for too long had had no good news nor any way to measure success.
Now hit that More button and eat the whole meal.
Victorian street pundits wait for Mr. Rubio to bring them a Christmas.
We can now safely close the voting for Quintessential Headline of the 2016 Election with Slate’s entry, Pundits Have Long Been Saying Rubio Is on the Rise. Now There’s Finally Some Evidence to Back That Up. Both political betting markets and pundits seem to consider Rubio the favorite to win the Republican nomination, which is strange, since he hasn’t polled above 11% since Donald Trump entered the race. But now Rubio has been endorsed by Senator Corey Gardner of Colorado and Senator Steve Daines of Nilbog. He’s also been backed by billionaire Paul Singer, although Singer has not technically given him a bunch of money yet. And it turns out the Gardner/Daines endorsements move Rubio up to fourth place on Five Thirty-Eight’s endorsement tracker, which seems like less than the favorite position. But the Republican phenom for which there was no evidence now enjoys scant evidence. Pundits rejoice! Further deflation after the jump.