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Good night for Marco and Jeb. Bad night for Il Duce and Cruz. Wash for Kasich. Bye-bye, Ben.

I think Donald Trump went to a level of nut job we haven't seen before...If anybody thinks this man is going to be President of the United States, he's on something.

--Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), on tonight's debate in South Carolina

Seems to me that Il Duce had his worst night. Kasich did OK; Marco and Bush did well. Cruz? Not so much. And I think tonight we said  goodbye to Ben Carson, I think.

So we'll see whether the people of South Carolina are really the fools the polls say they are. And lets' hope they remember what Il Duce had to say about George W. Bush and Planned Parenthood tonight.

He played his usual game of overtalking everybody and shouting them down, taking their time as well as his own and attacking them when they tried to hold him accountable. And, of course, his favorite tactic: changing the subject whenever confronted with a question he doesn't want to answer.

The guy is just so damned transparent. But like Europe in the '30's, we have a lot of folks who can't see what they don't want to see. There are plenty of folks who are looking for somebody to express their anger and tell them what to think. Their minds won't change tonight; you can't be reasoned out of what you were never reasoned into.

I think Jeb, Marco, and Kasich all showed that they are grownups any of whom we could be comfortable with having in the Oval Office, Cruz and Trump demonstrated why no reasonable and thinking person could react to the prospect of their being there with anything but horror and revulsion. We'll see what the polls say in the next day or two. But the crazy things he said about Dubya and actually praising Planned Parenthood certainly ought to hurt him. Of course, nothing he does or says, no matter how stupid or crazy, seems to hurt him.

I suppose we can hope that maybe some of those who have hitherto been Trump Chumps have finally realized that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes even though thus far they've seemed to be pretty blind. It was lots of fun watching Jeb and Cruz succeeding in getting under Duce's thin skin. They're crazy if they all don't spend the whole next debate doing that. Trump's skin is notoriously thin, and it's the surest way to expose him for the unpresidential phony he is.

While I wish Jeb well in principle, the problem is that he did so well that we might not end up getting down to one "establishment lane" candidate as quickly as we need to. And we need to. If we don't get down to a single candidate to oppose Trump and Cruz and consolidate all those centrist votes soon, Trump will have the nomination locked up before we do.

Now Trump is talking about God and saying that you have to tell the truth. He, who 1 John 1:8:10 notwithstanding, claiming to be a Christian who doesn't repent because he never has anything to repent for.

It should be noted, btw, that Cruz confronted Duce with something he denied having said by promising to put videos of him saying them on his websites tomorrow. And then, when Cruz did the same thing, Rubio promised to put a similar video of Cruz saying it on his website.

My prediction is that both will post those videos, which will prove their points beyond doubt- and that Cruz's video won't matter a bit to anybody who hasn't seen through Il Duce by this time.

Bottom line: (quite literally): Trump and Cruz stumbled, Bush and Rubio are back, Kasich was a wash, and Ben Carson didn't say very much in what is probably his farewell performance.


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