A full complement of Republican presidential candidates gathered for the battle royale at the Ronald Reagan Library in Seamy (Simi) Valley, California. And though he was only there in spirit, the Great Communicator could easily have supplied the power for the entire proceedings had the networks harnessed him spinning in his grave like a rotisserie chicken in the middle of a power surge.
The 8 challengers for his mantle didn't just break the Gipper's 11th Commandment, "Thou shall not speak ill of other Republicans," they stomped on it with football cleats and shoved it down a sewer grate with a broken rake handle. It was a red meat, power-tie slam dance with operatic overtones.
Eyes on the prize, Newt Gingrich cautioned panel mates to keep the attacks focused on Obama, while castigating the media for trapping them in this internecine warfare. The rest of the contingent affectionately dismissed his admonition the way a group of Oakland Raider tailgaters would an elderly aunt wandering into a discussion on blitz protection. Newt Gingrich - the soul of reason. Something has gone horribly awry.
Durst has a little to say about each of the nutjobs in turn. And Huntsman.
But there's plenty of time. This was just the premier stop for the traveling abattoir. There are dozens of chances for continued bloodletting until either Perry or Romney drops from the death of 1000 cuts, or they take each other out in a murder- suicide pact. While Team Obama roots for Perry from the sidelines the same way Jimmy Carter cheered on Bonzo's sidekick back in 80. Be careful what you wish for.
Murder-suicide would be good. The difference is, Reagan may have been sane. A Bachmann-Paul candidacy would not, but it'd be fun to watch.