Gov. Ron DeSantis at the Republican presidential primary debate on Aug. 23, 2023. Source: Screenshot/Fox News
In case you missed last Wednesday’s Dadaist performance piece, the one called “Republican Primary Debate,” when one woman and seven men shouted for two hours on live TV, here’s the highlight reel:
Things started off grumpy and soon deteriorated.
Fox moderators Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum played “Rich Men North of Richmond,” a hit song hostile to fat people and the gub’mint by a fellow with an angry beard.
The candidates, who spend most of their waking hours in a state of rage, looked extra-cheesed off. Nobody told them this would be on the test.
When asked to raise their hands if they agree humans cause climate change, Ron DeSantis who is, as you are aware, governor of a state where there is no climate change WHATSOEVER, pitched a little hissy fit, hollering, “We’re not schoolchildren!”
His tone was that of an aggrieved 6th grader whose mother has just said no, you can’t have your birthday party at Hooters.
Biotech Bro Vivek Ramaswamy jumped in: “The climate change agenda is a hoax! People are dying of bad climate change policies!”
Hell, yeah! It was 114 in Milwaukee on debate day, the city had to close the schools, the asphalt was melting, and the Panther Pilsner began to boil in its bottles, but only an anti-American groomer wimp would support lowering carbon emissions.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a jerk before jerkiness became the Republican Party house style, glared at Biotech Bro: “I’ve had enough already tonight of a guy who sounds like ChatGPT standing up here.”
Funny thing about the Biotech Bro: While most adult humans have 32 teeth, he seems to have 40-odd, each with its own light emitting diode, almost blinding the audience as he yipped, “Drill, frack, burn coal, unleash nuclear!”
Meanwhile, in an alternate, but equally warped, space-time continuum, Donald Trump told Tucker “a frozen food is a good food” Carlson that the Jan. 6 insurrection was a great day for America, with all those fine Americans saying, “It was the most beautiful day they ever experienced. There was love and unity.”
Back on Planet Murdoch, the fellow from North (or is it South?) Dakota with the eyebrows and the bad leg tried to get a word in, but nobody would let him.
Former Vice President and bunny-daddy Mike Pence, still psyched that Trump’s braying mob failed to murder him that day at the Capitol, reminded everyone that he’d given his “life to Jesus Christ my lord and savior,” therefore he supports a national abortion ban because, you know, little babies.
Sen. Tim Scott, who, like Biotech Bro, sports some righteous choppers, said, “Absolutely!”
He kept saying, “Absolutely!” even when it made no sense.
Nikki Haley, Trump’s U.N. ambassador, smacked her lectern and said, “Unelected justices didn’t need to decide this issue” — abortion — though it should be pointed out that the Supreme Court did exactly that in Dobbs.
DeSantis suddenly lurched forward like a Chevy Nova with a malfunctioning spark plug, barking about a Florida woman named Penny “who survived multiple abortion attempts.”
It was actually only one attempt, unless you also count her father trying to unplug the incubator where she lay, a tiny newborn.
Penny’s dad initially tried a coat hanger on Penny’s mother, but it didn’t quite work.
This was, by the way, in 1955, 18 years before Roe.
DeSantis didn’t seem to understand that his story is more an argument for safe and legal abortion than for outlawing it but, if a stick has a wrong end, he’ll grasp it with both hands and both feet, like a two-toed sloth.
The man never did manage to reset his program to “human speaking,” but his algorithms did throw up a few of the “debate points” laid out in the leaked strategy memo recommending he take a “sledgehammer” to Biotech Bro.
Unfortunately for DeSantis, Biotech Bro just smirked and called him a “Super PAC puppet.”
Meanwhile, somewhere on the other side of a wormhole, Tucker Carlson who tweeted that “I hate him passionately” thing in an entirely different universe, nodded as Donald Trump mused about building the Panama Canal, observing, “We lost 35,000 people because of the mosquito.”
Back on this burning planet, Asa Hutchinson, former Arkansas governor and Never Trumper, scandalized at the behavior of his fellow aspirants, clucked like Foghorn Leghorn when Henery the chickenhawk tried to big himself up.
The guy from South (unless it’s North) Dakota broke down and defended education: “The idea that every school district, state, and every teacher is somehow indoctrinating people is just false.”
Most of the candidates looked like he just suggested making puppy-and-kitten smoothies.
Sen. Scott said he’d shut down the Department of Education and “break the backs of the teachers’ unions.”
Biotech Bro was all like, “Me, too!” He also wants to raise the voting age to 25, unless you pass a citizenship test like in the good old days of Jim Crow.
He said young people need to learn things like it was the Constitution that “won us the American Revolution,” even though the Constitution was written nearly 12 years after the American Revolution.
Not to be outdone in bellicosity, DeSantis threatened to invade Mexico and kill an indeterminate number of people “stone dead.”
Back through the looking glass
Meanwhile, through the Looking Glass, Donald Trump informed the Twixxerverse that “crooked” Joe Biden is the worst president ever and has skinny legs which “look terrible on the beach,” Vice President Kamala Harris “speaks in rhyme,” and regulations have messed up our water pressure.
Water comes “from heaven,” said TFG, but now you don’t get enough of it out of the shower “to wash your beautiful hair.”
Back in Milwaukee, each candidate looked straight into the camera for their closing pitches. Pence promised “a conservative agenda;” Tim Scott declared, “If God made you a man, you play sports against men;” Nikki Haley loved on the police.
Biotech Bro squeaked, “God is real. There are two genders. Fossil fuels are a requirement for human prosperity.”
Then he did a little dance that called to mind that scene from “The Lord of the Rings” when Gollum exults on Mount Doom just before he falls into the fire.
When it was his turn, Ron DeSantis packed in most of his talking points: He’s a “blue-collar kid,” though he went to Yale and Harvard; he was in Iraq with the Navy SEALS (he forgot to say he was not himself a Navy SEAL); and he would make America great again, again, and possibly one more time for good measure.
Then, as the audience watched in horror, the muscles around his jaws began to twitch and judder as his lips stretched.
Children screamed in terror, strong men ran from the room, even stronger women averted their eyes.
The governor of Florida was attempting to smile.
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