How much stranger, cruder, and outrageous can the republican campaign for the presidential nomination get?
The days leading up to last night's GOP debate in Iowa hovered somewhere between a no holds barred game of king of the mountain and an episode of Pawn Stars on Acid.
There are so many tales of what went down prior to the debate there will probably never be a true accounting of the facts. It goes without saying we won't get them from Donald Trump and frankly, Fox News has never distinguished itself as a reliable source of the truth.
What we do know is Trump didn't want any part of Megyn Kelly. He was so frightened of her questions he threw a fit and demanded she be replaced at the moderator's table. That put Fox chief, Roger Ailes in the position of reopening a feud with El Donald, or caving into an ego maniacal diva who is convinced he not only owns the conservative movement, but should be in charge of its information machine.
In short, last night was a power play to see who is really in control of the American right wing media. The outcome of the struggle remains unclear.
When Ailes wouldn't give in, Trump, faced with not getting his way, decided to hold a separate event at the same time as the Fox sponsored debate. He claimed his presence elsewhere would pull the plug on Fox's ratings because, of course, everyone in the world really wanted to see him rather than the losers who were stupid enough to be running in opposition to his craziness.
To show his charitable side he also promised the event would become a fund raiser for the benefit of several military veteran charities.
That's when things went a little sideways. Ted Cruz, proving he cares about veterans--but only if he gets something out of it--announced he'd donate $1.5 million to the same charities, as long as Trump would debate him one on one tomorrow night.
Not to be left out, Carly Fiorina offered the charities $2 million, but only if she could debate Trump last night. As a back up plan she said her campaign would match Cruz's $1.5 million if the two of them allowed her to participate in a threesome on Saturday night.
Trump didn't bite on any of the offers, so the charities and the vets they serve ended up getting fucked.
Well, maybe not entirely. Trump claims last night's appearance, carried live in part by CNN and MSNBC, raised $6 million for the vets. Unfortunately we only have Trump's word for it, so no one can really be sure how much, if any, of the money will reach the organizations. After all, this is the same guy who tweeted that 15,000 people attended one of his rallies in a Tulsa, OK arena which only holds 9,000 for such events and, by all accounts, still had a few seats available by the time the candidate showed up a half hour late.
By today The Don was claiming Fox was begging for him to come to the debate as late as yesterday evening. Fox, on the other hand was saying Trump's ego was so out of control he was demanding $5 million in order to appear on stage with the rest of the hopefuls. It is the exact sum he promised to raise for the charities at his separate event.
This afternoon, Mr. Trump has, with great flourish, declared victory in his war with Fox. He told a crowd in New Hampshire, "When someone doesn't treat you properly you gotta be tough. You gotta be strong. That goes for the country. When you're not treated properly you gotta stick up for your rights."
It's a response which begs the question, how is running out on a debate moderated by a woman, you've described as a bimbo, prove you're tough?
Indeed, when the Russian thug, Vladimir Putin treats you, "improperly," which is a sign of strength? Facing the ruthless bastard down at the table, or running away, to hold a glitter filled American flag draped, fundraiser for charity?
Unfortunately for us and possibly the world the normal rules don't apply to Donald Trump. He could get the living shit beat out of him by Floyd Mayweather in less than one round , but he'd still say, despite video evidence clearly showing otherwise, he won the fight. And the yokels who follow him will believe every word he says.
That's the nature of Trump reality. Think about it. In that amorphous world of treating people properly, the NY Times reported that today, at the same rally in NH he claimed victory over Fox, Mr. Trump used the terms, "a bad guy, a liar, a psycho, and a dirty dog," to describe the publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader because he endorsed Governor Chris Christie for the nomination. If memory serves, Megyn Kelly didn't use any of those terms when she was questioning Don Trump a few months ago.
His claim, last night during a CNN interview, to have won most of the debates is--like the crowd size in Tulsa--simply another fanciful boast. Trump knows it and ultimately realizes he can't intellectually compete with the rest of the GOP field. However he, even more than a gullible media, understands his strength. Like any good carnival midway barker, Don Trump is best at selling the rubes on the idea of winning those bright pink stuffed toy elephants hanging in the kiosk. When it comes to answering questions about the legitimacy of the game he's offering and what it will cost the players, he isn't nearly as glib, or convincing.
No wonder the man ran away from confrontation on a Thursday night in Iowa.
For him, it isn't the art of the deal--it's the magic of the spiel.
sic vita est