As The Empire Falls

Gladiators were forced into mortal combat for the entertainment of the audience in the coliseum. It hasn’t changed all that much. Where wine and other potent potables were served and there was revelry in the stands, we now have armchair pundits sitting around, sucking down beer, chewing bratwurst and ribs while handicapping (placing the odds on) the Republican candidates in the arena.

A bloodbath has been the result. Some candidates sees politics is a dirty and nasty business; more bloodsport than diplomacy. For a man involved in politics as long as Newt Gingrich, it’s got to be noted the man is remarkably slow on the uptake. But that’s the history of his campaign; he takes one step forward then gets thrown for a loss by his own people knowing him the best and most. It doesn’t look good on the page everybody’s reading over coffee and crumb cake.

Gingrich was rejected by the state of Virginia because his campaign workers failed to qualify him with the appropriate number of voters’ signatures. He’s dead in the water there. Rick Perry’s organization has the same integrity of operation. His people must have trained with Gingrich’s. Competence is not a required qualification, nor is the lack of it noted until it’s obvious the troops in the trenches are all away enjoying tea.

Gingrich was slammed so hard during the campaign in Iowa he lost more blood that a cow during slaughter. Luckily this steer has a thick hide from years of political chicanery of his own. The scar tissue won’t be seen until it’s cut, cured and split to reveal all the defects in the leather. And they are there to be seen.

Herman Cain was hammered. Nobody told him participating in gladiatorial combat when you’re armed only with good ideas and little else is suicide. Nobody in this pseudo-roman extravaganza of political mayhem gives a blip about ideas, ideals and/or truth, justice and the American way. They want to bleed the opponents dry then finish them off after getting a “thumbs down” from the gallery (voters). When the accusers slid their knives across his political flesh the roar from the audience was deafening because first blood was officially drawn. Cain fell not knowing what hit him.

Tim Pawlenty, early on, showed he had no stomach for the bloodshed to come. He also had little loyalty for the people standing for him the longest. He bailed after the very first small-scale test, a straw-vote, showed Michelle Bachmann (the hometown favorite and evangelical golden girl) to be the favorite flavor of the moment. He’s in Minnesota hunting ducks or ducking this hunt while he licks his wounds.

This campaign delivered more flavors of the moment than Baskin Robbins on a new flavor discovery junket.

The tastes of the people haven’t matured. This campaign has earned a track record for confusing platforms (?), posturing and arthritic positioning for a battle stance they can’t defend.

To explain: is this supposed to be about developing a strategy, a course of travel, the ideas and ideals to contrast conservatives against the liberals? Isn’t it supposed to be about finding the best candidate to put those issues across to America? Or is it an exercise of sending in a Judas goat (the media) to lead these intelligence challenged, self-aggrandizing gerbils to self-destruct? There’s been no indication or proof showing this isn’t what’s happening. Soledad O’Brien asks questions concerning subjects so old they’ve grown hair; then shortly after, Bachmann left the arena. Romney’s minions pummeled Gingrich. Gingrich finally struck back. Perry slammed them all with a vengeance when he stumbled into the arena. Gary Johnson slit his wrists and went to third party candidacy hoping somebody would notice or care.

All of this malarkey appears orchestrated by the political parties and the media. Bread, fish and wine for the masses. Entertainment with a readily replaceable cast of characters is the product. No disruptions like challenging Obama will interfere.

The bread is spoiled, the fish are rotten and the wine is vinegar. But the gladiators willingly keep slashing and hacking each other. And the audience falls with the empire.

Thanks for listening.

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