The Nicest Clown Car in All the Land

Politico has yet another terrific story about all the 2016 Republican nominee wannabes, accompanied by this tremendous image of all the players in this go-around's Game of Groans:

image of a grid of smaller images of the following Republican politicians: Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal, Mike Pence, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Rob Portman, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, and Paul Ryan
"Big Tent."

The story is about how this collection of bozos needs to be nice to each other during the next presidential primary, instead of tearing each other apart, so whoever wins is in the best position to beat Hillary Clinton.

(Because this, like every other news article about 2016, is taking as read that she will be the Democratic nominee, despite the fact she has not even announced her candidacy.)

The reason for this article, and others like it, is because Republicans have convinced themselves that extended, bruising primaries is why they've lost the last two elections, and not because John McCain was an angry, entitled grump who failed at concealing the hot cauldron of rage beneath the transparent veneer of a terse smile stretched thinly across his face, and who chose an epic dipshit as his running mate, nor because Mitt Romney was a mannequin from the 1% Store whose attempts at seeming folksy made him seem like a clueless dolt, and who literally said out loud that people aren't entitled to food, nor because their party's entire platform is rank garbage, nor because Barack Obama was a superior candidate by virtually every metric.

Nope. None of that. They lost because their long primaries with lots of debates ultimately weakened their nominee, because of all the bad stuff the other nominees said about him in the process.

Presumably meaning things like, "He is barely even anti-choice," and "He doesn't support bombing the fuck out of other countries like I do," and "He hardly even hates immigrants."

Anyway. Our favorite clown wrangler, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, decided after the last presidential election that this presidential election would not be plagued with the same problem of voters getting such a good look at the GOP's reprehensible candidate, so he condensed the primary calender and reduced the number of debates.

Which is really sad for me, personally, because I love watching Republican debates. I can't get enough of them.

But none of that matters if the candidates aren't nice to each other, to make sure that one of them wins, darn it!

Great strategy. A strategy so amazing, in fact, that it takes Newt Gingrich to be the voice of reason (oh boy; you have officially derailed):
Newt Gingrich, one of the short-lived insurgent front-runners in the 2012 primary, dismisses the party's desire to avoid bloodletting as "nonsense."

"There's a wing of the Republican party which would like life to be orderly and dominated by the rich," said Gingrich, whose own candidacy was enabled by a super PAC funded by $21 million from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam. "And so they would like to take all of the things that make politics exciting and responding to the popular will and they would like to hide from it. The fact is, if you can't nominate somebody who can win debates and come out of the contest stronger, they wouldn't have a chance to beat Hillary in the general."
Leaving aside everything that's wrong with that, his point that primaries serve to prepare a candidate for the general election is a good one. Candidates, especially those who have never before run for national office, need that experience.

But, hey, if the Republicans want to keep a low profile while they figure out which of the two dozen men and zero women vying for the presidency will represent them, lest voters get a look at them before they start their "I'm Not a Democrat! (And that's all you need to know.)" campaign against whoever the Democratic nominee is, have at it.

At least McCain and Romney were prepared. It could be fun to mix things up by watching a Republican get destroyed in a whole new way, too.

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