All smackdown aside, this really is a fucked-up crew of moral degenerates, for the most part. When John Kasich and John Ellis Bush are the least objectionable contestants on your little game show, you know you have a problem.
- Bush has finally learned to punch back at Trump to some extent, still not quite enough to keep up with the master trash-talker, but better than he has been. It's almost like someone finally pulled him aside and pointed out to him that the current mood of the Gooper base is not about facts, but about who's got the biggest pair. Unfortunately for Bush, he's still temperamentally a limp-dick beta who sincerely wishes to be an alpha, but he's just not. He's destined to spend thousands of dollars per vote until either he runs out of money, or Trump finally steps on his own dick for good.
- Rubio pulled out of his robot problem well enough, and may even find himself back in the thick of it as the establishment's favored son. As long as those persistent rumors don't start sticking to him, he remains the dark horse most likely to pull back into it. Regardless, he's still an oleaginous little shit, so he should do just fine with this crowd.
- Trump seemed a bit under the weather, perhaps a bit rattled by the chorus of boos that welcomed his usual volleys of insults, which Trump naturally characterized as "lobbyists" and "supporters" of Bush. Rubio and Cruz also made attempts to ankle-bite Trump. It's entertaining and cathartic to watch this bewigged Cheeto get a taste of his own medicine, especially with the crowd joining in.
- With Scalia's sudden death, of course the opening question revolved around SCOTUS policy, and whether the current president should be allowed, per constitutional dictum, to appoint Fat Tony's replacement. You already know where they all landed on that particular question, just as you can bet your next ten paychecks that, had Scalia (or more to the point, Ginsburg or Breyer) died in the final year of Fredo's lame-duck term, these lying cocksuckers would have had the opposite answer. The intellectual dishonesty of these animals knows no depths.
- As the resident constitutional expert (just ask him!) and personal friend/acolyte of Scalia, Cruz wasted no time at all hopping on the still-warm corpse and propounding the depth and acumen of Scalia's jurisprudence. Bear in mind that Scalia, among other notorious decisions in his nearly three decades on the SCOTUS, seriously believed that a court presiding over a death penalty case has no obligation to hear new evidence that might exonerate the accused. They are going to come to regret their hasty decision to stonewall Obama for the next nine months, but in the meantime, their smarmy defenses of this moral monster are pretty pathetic.
- Why is Ben Carson still in this? He looks and sounds lost, disoriented, like he wandered into the proceedings. He doesn't know jack shit about what it would take to run this country, but he at least knows that much, that he's completely out of his depth.
- Say this much for Trump: he may be full of shit, but he doesn't back down, and he doesn't worry about politely lying for the sake of decorum. In going after Bush, who is using his still inexplicably popular brother to stump for him in South Carolina, Trump decided to hang 9/11, the Iraq War, and the current ISIS/Syria-fueled chaos around Fredo's -- and by extension Jeb's -- neck. Interestingly, Rubio assisted Bush in attacking Trump in response. It's bad enough to hear Jeb trotting out the "he kept us safe" canard, but at least it's understandable. Rubio tried it out just because he's every bit as cynical and opportunistic as Trump himself.
- Out of the remaining six candidates, John Kasich came off (comparatively) as the most intelligent and competent of a bad lot. That will basically make him this year's Jon Huntsman.