Four For the Fourth and the Grateful Eight pt. 2

gr8ful Not long after the ‘kiddy debate’ had ended, the viewing audience was pushed onto the next venue; the big show…the Grateful Eight. The remaining candidates took the stage for this evening’s race to the White House. Those on the stage for the ‘adult debate’ were retired neurosurgeon Benjamin Solomon “Ben” Carson, real estate developer Donald John Trump, Florida Senator Marco Antonio Rubio, Texas Senator Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, former Florida Governor John Ellis “Jeb” Bush, former CEO and alleged demon from Hell, Carly Fiorina, Kentucky Senator Randal Howard “Rand” Paul and Ohio Governor John Richard Kasich.

I didn’t know what I had placed myself into by holing up inside the Church to watch this double header, uninterrupted. By the end of the evening I was suffering from campaign overload and needed to take pause before writing my thoughts and observations. The recap of the grateful Eight would have to wait. This period of relapse, this political overdose stretched into more time than I anticipated and just as I planned to sit and finish out my report, the world was hit with the shocking news of an attack in Paris. A handful of armed thugs pulled off an orchestrated killing spree in France and the entire world was left shocked. I went out the rest of the weekend and tried to flush that out of my head. I put myself on a whirlwind jaunt, drowning my mind with mushrooms and whiskey, pot and MDMA. I tried to focus on the Grateful Eight analysis but couldn’t. The heinous shootings in Paris wouldn’t get off my mind until late Sunday. By late Sunday I felt I could get back to finishing off a post about the debate.

The visuals started out by throwing an introduction to audience attendee and recently selected Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. This seemed more interesting to me, personally, than what might be brought out on stage tonight. We’ve had the sad face of John Boehner pouting to us for some time so now I wanted to know about Ryan’s nefarious schemes for the future but this was not the night for it…we weren’t here for that monster tonight.

Next came the introductions and soon all eight participants on stage were off and running their strategic attack against one another. There wasn’t as much back and forth bashing of each other as had been the case in earlier (Republican and Democrat) debates. Donald Trump had the most caustic shoutdown of the evening when he yelled “I don’t have to hear from this man!”, referring to Governor John Kasich. It’s events like that which make me focus on the delivery of the message, the subtle nuances in tactics being applied between the candidates. I could see the nervous hand wringing Jeb Bush came out with, whining about not getting enough air time. A spike rose up when he uttered the name “Obama”; it brought a round of applause from the audience and Jeb was revived from this. He started spouting off about bringing back a variety of repealed policies and right in the middle of that rant, he evokes the name “Clinton”. The Clinton evocation doesn’t earn him quite as large a response as did Obama and soon, Jeb sinks back into a hole of repression. What a blood sport campaigning can be. The short quips directed from Rand Paul to Marco Rubio and Donald Trump[ were priceless. Paul has this demeanor about him that reminds me of an early English dandy, or some southern gentleman who became a talk show host. He can be poignant, but his body language reeks of sarcasm and pomp.

There were more great displays of performance by all eight but to go into all the instances would be a few pages of text and here at the Church, I’m trying to keep the sermons a reasonable length. The debates happen so quick that we hardly get an opportunity to dissect and savor one before another one pops up. All this, preceding the godless act in Paris made me wonder when the Republican voters will settle on a candidate. Anyone they rally behind will have to face the Clinton or Sanders machine once it gets down to the end wire of the twenty sixteen race. Anyone one wins from that showdown will be our next President and have to face whatever rash of terrorist attacks spring up. Even as I write this they have announced two airstrikes in Syria by France. A shitstorm might be on our horizon and we all should be hoping for a leader that can stand up to it. The averaged numbers of Republican voters hasn’t shown a big surge of favor for any of the Grateful Eight (or the other four, for that matter). Do they not seem concerned enough about winning this election? Is the taste of George Bush Jr. still too fresh in their mouth to support another letdown candidate? Has their selection left them so apathetic that they would even accept – grudgingly – a Hillary Clinton Administration? The election is less than a year away……time ticks on….


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