The “Republicans” Debate (August, 2023)

What if they gave a party and nobodies came?

2 min readAug 24


Photo by Ronda Darby on Unsplash (Guys not on the debate stage.)

My scorecard:

Asa Who?

Chris Christie would put Hunter Biden in jail for ten years over a gun application. Now that, Vivek, is what “vengeance and grievance” looks like. I thank Christie for defending the Constitution and Mike Pence. But let’s not forget that he’s an awful person.

Mike Pence says he would support the man who tried to corrupt him and sat idly by while MAGA morons tried to kill him. Good thing Mike has accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior; he needs all the saving he can get. Pence deserves recognition for doing his job on January 6. He deserves contempt for saying he would support Trump anyway.

Were I given to Trumpian nicknames, Ron DeSantis’s would be Ron Pissantis. He was “with” the seal teams. Lawyering, but still, if stolen valor is the only kind available, what pol wouldn’t take it? At least he served. Ron shouted a lot in the debate, but he didn’t engage, not even to claim that he was not “bought and paid for,” as Vivek said everyone else on the stage was. But then, DeSantis is bought and paid for, so maybe his silence was honesty. Another awful human being, proudest of whom he would punish.

Vivek Ramaswamy should get elected to something before he runs for the Big Chair. He’s got fuck you money, so he says “fuck you,” if not in not so many words, as often as he can. I think he introduced himself very well last night, calling to mind two aphorisms: When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time, and it’s hard to make a good first impression the second time around. Vivek would pardon Trump if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue. What a class act, with the emphasis on “act.”

Et tu, Nikki? I don’t think much of anyone who has not denounced Trump as a person unfit to hold office. So the fact that Gov. Haley performed better than anyone else on the stage cuts no ice with me. On the contrary, the more otherwise competent a candidate is, the more infuriating it is that he or she can’t or won’t tell the truth about Trump’s unfitness. I don’t know how anyone who values our form of government can support Trump. But then, maybe she’s lying. That would make her hypothetical support acceptable, and what does that say about her party?

Tim Scott was there, too.

Doug Burgum was not.




Self-description is not privileged.