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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Little Dogs and Big Dogs

 With three major  candidates still going for each other's jugulars and two others barely hanging on, last night the Republicans held their 13th and last debate (better called "playground scuffles"), before Super Tuesday occurs in just four more days, after which I hope they hold no more of these things, or that, if they must, the media of all kinds won't pay so much attention.

  Confrontations of any sort, short of those that appear on chessboards, have never appealed to me anyway,  and debates are especially distasteful.   But when Republicans hold them?  Ugh!   Yet they call themselves "the party of Lincoln," a known great debater. Suddenly recalling what Lincoln did about the slaves,  they would love to say "the party of Reagan" at least as much or even more.   But it's noticeable that they hold back on doing that, because even they know that that doesn't resonate nearly as well.  In his contests against Carter, Reagan got a lot of "gotcha" mileage out of constantly saying "There he goes again," and I could never understand why that was never called out for being what it was – without substance of any kind and childish in the extreme after the first or second time.

From the internet accounts of last night's melee, you would think that Carson and Kasich have already dropped out and weren't even present, though they were.   That left  only Rubio and Cruz to see what they, individually or in unison, could do about cutting the longtime frontrunner, D. J. Trump, down to size – a tall order for them even when it came to physical height.   CNN gave the impression that Rubio if not Cruz succeeded in that, but Talking Points Memo in a very eloquent post maintained that Trump dominated, and I buy the point that he was far from buried but not the use of the word "dominated."

From everything I read, all I could see was an image of a large dog on the order of a malamute or an ovshanka being constantly barked and nipped at on both sides by two little yip-yappy yorkshire terriers and shaking them off while continuing to trot on in its usual direction, and if Trump received a slash or two, it was always self-inflicted, such as when, famous for being foul-mouthed himself, he attacked a former Mexican president for using one of America's favorite obscenities in reference to the wall along the southern border that Trump promises to build while making Mexico pay for it, or when what for all the world looks like a recently revealed Ponzi-type scam involving a supposed university with his name attached to it was suddenly flung at him like a barrage of fresh cow patties, and Trump seemed to be left two bottles short of his usual six-pack of ready replies. or when he made the surprising statement that he was being audited and therefore could not show his tax returns at this time.  (Later some experts strongly doubted that.  Still, it prompted the two terriers to instantly promise that they would show theirs as early as today.  Naturally neither man did any such thing.  Meanwhile it seems quite likely that Trump has so many hustles, deals, and what-not going that he couldn't release his returns even by next January!)

While hitting on my analogy I remembered that in his heyday, one of the principle nicknames that Bill Clinton's many fans had fondly used for him was "Big Dog."   And I also remembered that when Clinton thought the Repubs weren't making a good point, he  liked to throw some home-brewed Arkansas in their faces by saying, "That dog won't hunt."

For those and other reasons, that's why dogs come so easily to mind for analogies when  talking about shaky politicians.   But one good thing about these Republican shoutfests is that they are certainly giving the Democrats a lot of raw materials to use when, this coming summer and fall, the Big Push comes to the deciding Shove.


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