Hot and still this near-noon Thursday here in California’s Central Valley, and once again bright, glaring sunshine to melt the air before it even touches your skin — a bit overboard, but close enough.
Across the InterWebs this morning plenty of recaps on the Republican presidential debate last night — I didn’t watch, and I also didn’t catch the interview of T-Rump by shitty, nasty Tucker Carlson on Twitter (no ‘X’ needed for me) with just about all the reviews ran the gamut from boring shit to nonsensical shit. Yet all carried a terrible, dark shadow across our future.
One of the best in the surreal category came via the wonderous Alexandra Petri, even though insane, was closer to the ludicrous tone of how Republicans are handling our current worrisome situations.
And even beyond horror:
The GOP is run by climate deniers. https://t.co/hRKrg69MsW
— Dr. Leah C. Stokes (@leahstokes) August 24, 2023
Despite a huge laundry list of terrible shit oozing through us nowadays, the biggest, most terrifying is climate change. No one, rich or poor, American or French or Greek, no one will escape — eventually the entire planet will go up in flames. There’s really no denying it even as wildfires burn out of control, due to the hottest summer in the planet Earth’s history. We’re really, really fucked if we don’t do something about burning fossil fuels, starting like maybe yesterday.
One of the best in the business, Aaron Rupar at Public Notice this morning boils down the shit coming from the GOP/T-Rump and our future:
Though I obviously watch way too much right-wing media for my own good, I won’t pretend to understand how Republican voters process things. Hell, we’re talking about people who by and large believe that the biggest liar in the history of our politics is more trustworthy and honest than own their friends and family. But with that caveat out of the way, here are a few of my big takeaways from the evening (with video!).
One of the most memorable moments from the debate (for me at least) came when moderators asked candidates by a show of hands to indicate if they believe human-caused climate change is a thing. For rational people with integrity, raising your hand in that situation would be a no-brainer. But with the exception of Asa Hutchinson, not a single Republican candidate did it.
Climate change is probably the biggest existential threat facing civilization, and yet Republicans won’t even acknowledge the science that’s staring them in the face. In a sane country that’d be enough to disqualify these candidates from the highest office in the land. And I should also note that the portion of the debate about abortion wasn’t much better than the climate stuff.
And in the Carlson/T-Rump interview:
As I noted on X, Carlson obviously did very little prep and at points seemed to almost be mocking Trump with his interjections. As if to illustrate the silliness of the whole thing, Carlson began by asking Trump if he thought Epstein killed himself. Trump, who of course was once buddies with Epstein, seemed uncomfortable, but Carlson didn’t press the question as Trump changed the topic. More humorously, Trump later revealed that he still thinks you need to present ID to buy groceries.
One newsworthy moment, however, came right at the end, when Carlson asked Trump if “we’re moving toward civil war.” Trump responded with a word salad that notably didn’t contain the word “no.”
Is that the sort of rhetoric that will play well in a general election? Probably not. But it’s the sort of rhetoric that will keep Trump’s base riled up, ready to direct harassment and threats toward judges and prosecutors involved in his cases. And with Trump set to be arrested and arraigned in Georgia on Thursday, his legal problems are probably front of mind, especially given the lack of a viable primary challenger.
Again, we’ll have to see if Republican voters think differently, but it was my sense that there really wasn’t a breakout performer during the first debate. DeSantis got through it without major damage, but the lack of attention on him was in part a reflection of his diminished stature. Vivek generated a lot of heat, but I wouldn’t exactly say he made a positive impression. Haley attacked Trump but also indicated she will still support him no matter what. Pence did well relatively speaking but is so far down in the polls that he may have a hard time just qualifying for the next debate. Everyone else was just there.
Look, I’d love to be wrong and for a serious challenger to emerge to the guy who’s musing about civil war just ahead of his latest arraignment, because any Republican would be better. Well, except for DeSantis. And Vivek seems pretty awful too. Actually, we’re probably better off just rooting for all of them to lose.
And in real life, supposedly an ad lib of reality:
GOP — the party of pure assholes, or not, yet here we are once again…