This week, the nation once again survived an onslaught of goblins and ghouls. I'm talking of course about Wednesday's Republican debate. Candidates, campaigns, and RNC chair Reince Priebus all chided the moderators for not focusing on substance. I assume they are talking about substance like deporting 11 million people, taking health insurance away from 25 million Americans, or pursuing massive tax cuts for the rich. Perhaps they mean Trump's tax plan, which would cost $10 trillion over 10 years. Or maybe it's Carson's "tithing" tax plan that would pay for only 28 percent of estimated government spending. If "substance" means forcing candidates to account for the real world consequences of their proposals, then perhaps the candidates should be thankful for the absence of substance. Because those consequences would be much scarier than anything any of us saw on our doorsteps last night.
FOX and the Republican elites have been playing the long game in the shadows. They thought they had their men in Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush. What they didn't foresee was a celebrity billionaire with nothing to lose. Trump was also playing the long-game except right out in the open for all to see. And he is the one who might very well succeed.
Well, that was entertaining, wasn't it? We refer, of course, to the grand spectacle of the first Republican presidential debates, held last night on Fox News. Since this is all anyone's talking about in the political world today, we are going to follow suit and devote most of this column to our reactions.