The 12 Most Galling Moments Of The CNN GOP Debate

Oh man. If I hadn’t known better, I literally would have thought that last night’s GOP debate was an improv exercise in which each candidate was required to say something more horrible than the last. Unfortunately, it was real, and one of these vicious idiots is going to be an actual nominee for President of the United States. Which is horrifying.

Here are some of the worst moments:

1. Bobby Jindal saying “Immigration without assimilation is invasion” and then insisting that racism doesn’t exist in America.

Look. I get it. Bobby Jindal probably has some real personal issues regarding this. He’s a second generation immigrant who clearly has put forth a lot of effort into being what my immigrant relatives would have called being real “Meddigan.” It’s natural to want to feel tied to your past, to want to hold on to traditions and feel proud of them–and to have exorcised that from his life completely seems to have caused some internal conflict and, quite frankly, he seems deeply resentful of people who have managed to become a part of this country without rejecting that part of themselves. Also, he seems to be in pretty deep denial over the fact that racism exists, even though he has almost definitely experienced it himself.

His feeling was that immigrants who come here should speak English and adopt our values and culture while rejecting their own. You know, because NASCAR is just that great. But really, this stems very much from a fear that immigrants who come here will identify with our current minority groups rather than aspire towards WASP culture. This is also why Jindal and his colleagues are terrified of immigrants. At the end of the day, it has nothing to do with how deeply they love only speaking one language, or the loss of jobs or anything like that. It’s that they think those people are not going to vote Republican, and that someday, all these “ethnic” people (in quotes, because everyone is some kind of ethnic, duh) are going to outnumber the WASPs and they won’t be as in charge of the culture as they’d like.

2. Rick Santorum listing the reasons you “might know” Rick Santorum, forgetting the actual reason people “might know” Rick Santorum.

Rick Santorum gave himself quite the introduction–during which, according to my mother, he had a big ol’ “And what a good boy am I!” look slapped across his face.

Some of you may know me because I led the fight to end partial birth abortion. Some of you may know me because the I led the fight to end welfare as we know it, put people back to work, reduce poverty and reduce the federal budget.

Some of you may know me because I successfully put sanctions on the Iranian nuclear program in Congress, over opposition of both parties initially.

But hopefully, most of you know me most because I’m the proud father of seven children with particularly a special little disabled girl, who is the heart and core of my heart and married to a wonderful woman named Karen for 25 years, who is the love of my life.

Aside from the fact that partial birth abortions aren’t a real thing and one might as well lead the fight to end the war between the unicorns and the centaurs — Rick Santorum clearly avoided the main reason people “might know him.”

And that, friends, is the fact that due to a glorious effort from Dan Savage to make his name synonymous with “the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex” after Santorum said a number of particularly reprehensible things about gay people, insisting that it was the same thing as bestiality and incest!

That’s why we know you, Rick! That’s why.

3. Carly Fiorina’s description of an imaginary Planned Parenthood video.

There was a moment there, when she responded to Donald Trump’s comments about her looks and simply said that women heard what he said, where I thought “OH, hey — not bad Carly Fiorina!”


But any good will I’d had towards her was lost the moment she started imagineering a completely non-existent video of Planned Parenthood killing a live baby to harvest it’s brain.

Fiorina implored President Obama to watch this video, which she claimed featured “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.”

Except he can’t watch that video, because it doesn’t exist! She made it up! Now, I don’t know if she was just too busy to actually watch the footage, and figured something like that had to be on there somewhere or something or what, or if it was some kind of pipe dream she had or what, but it definitely doesn’t exist! At all! For any reason!

4. Everyone else on stage also pretending that those Planned Parenthood videos hadn’t been thoroughly debunked.

How do you do that? Really! I mean, I suppose it is possible that they’ve all been campaigning so hard that they weren’t aware that the videos had been thoroughly debunked and proven to show that Planned Parenthood workers were not “selling fetus parts” so much as they were donating them to research (which seems like a better and less wasteful option than throwing them in the trash) — but they have advisors and shit. Someone at some point needs to tell one of them about this. They’re all just standing up there repeating the same lie, and not one person, including the moderators, even bothered to mention that the videos were fake.

The next thing you know, they’ll be talking about Santa Claus like he’s a real person.

5. Rick Santorum trying to be all captain labor rights for a second … and then suggesting a mere 50 cent increase on the minimum wage over the course of three years.

I admit it. I got nervous for a second, thinking that Rick Santorum was going to say a thing that was not objectively horrible and mean and thereby disrupt the order of the universe. When it came to the minimum wage discussion and he started acknowledging that the people who work for business owners might also matter, I started thinking he might have been spending some time listening to Pope Francis.

But then he explained that his suggested increase for the minimum wage would be 50 cents over the course of three years, and insinuated that this would bring it up to historical levels in purchasing power. Which it would not! The minimum wage in 1970 was $1.60, which would be $9.83 today. To boot, when you factor in inflation, it’s actually a lot more expensive to rent or buy a home or apartment today than it was back then. A 50 cent increase? That’s insulting as hell.

6. The overwhelming support for the elimination of birthright citizenship.

Birthright citizenship is one of the things that has, to use a Trump term, made America great. It’s in our Constitution! And it’s funny how much these people say they love our Constitution and yet are somehow not so keen on what is actually in it.

If we were to eliminate everyone in this country who was here because someone in their family emigrated here and then had kids, our population would surely dwindle. To boot, pretty sure none of those Mayflower material people ever took a citizenship test provided to them by the original residents of this land mass, so they’d have to get the boot for sure.

7. Mike Huckabee refusing to understand how the Supreme Court works.

Huckabee went on for a hot minute about how everyone needs to go back to their “9th Grade Civics Class” (sorry Huckabee, I actually tested out of that!) to somehow prove that the Supreme Court overstepped their bounds when it came to legalizing gay marriage–and insisted that if he were president he would override their decision. Which, no, he actually would not be able to do.

Because what SCOTUS actually did was “interpret the Constitution” and decide that gay marriage bans violated the constitution rights of gay Americans. Which, yes, it is their job to do. It is not, actually, their job to make sure everything stays just as it was when this country was founded, otherwise, nothing would have ever changed.

8. Huckabee’s insistence that Christians were being persecuted, and that we need to make “exceptions” for people like Kim Davis, while Rick Santorum compared Davis to Martin Luther King, Jr. and a Columbine student who was shot for refusing to renounce her faith.

First of all, even if you for some reason believe that private business owners should be allowed to discriminate against gay people because of their religion, Kim Davis is acting on behalf of the government. She is a government employee! And the government does not get to inflict religious beliefs upon the citizenry of this country. That, actually, is real religious liberty.

Years ago, people like Lester Maddox demanded to be given an “exception” and be allowed to discriminate against black people because they only wanted white people in their restaurants. Bob Jones University, a religious institution, was engaged for years — up until 1983 — in a battle with the IRS, because they didn’t want their tax exempt status revoked for refusing to admit black students, and then agreeing to only admit married black students. Why? Because they believed that the bible prohibited interracial marriage. They didn’t get exemptions, they should not have gotten them, and neither should Kim Davis. Sorry!

As far as Santorum comparing Davis to either MLK or a Columbine student goes? The important distinction here is that NEITHER OF THOSE PEOPLE WERE FIGHTING FOR THE RIGHT TO DISCRIMINATE. Which is what Kim Davis is doing. No one is saying you can’t have faith, or you can’t have your religion! Go! Have! Do! But you don’t get to use your faith to infringe upon the rights of others. That’s not OK. Duh.

9. Donald Trump suggesting that the world would not laugh at us if he were President.

OH, right. I’m sure the whole world would take us real seriously if we elected the host of “The Apprentice” as our commander-in-chief. Maybe next, England could vote Simon Cowell Prime Minister! And perhaps Trump’s entire cabinet could consist of the ladies of “The Real Housewives New Jersey” and the hosts of “Dancing With The Stars”! Perhaps instead of elections, we could have rose ceremonies! Just turn everything into a giant spectacle.

I mean, christ, I would laugh at us if Donald Trump were president. And then I’d hope he’d eliminate the whole birthright citizenship thing and do so retroactively, so I could just go on back to Italy.

10. Nearly all of the candidates could not name a single American woman, outside of their own relatives, who should be on the $10 bill. Trump said daughter Ivanka (who he continues to be creepily obsessed with), Ben Carson said his mother and Mike Huckabee said his wife. Jeb Bush suggested Margaret Thatcher (not American!) and Josh Kasich volunteered Mother Teresa (also not an American!). The only viable suggestions were Clara Barton (aww, Scott Walker paid attention in junior high!), Rosa Parks (the closest the debate got to discussing issues of race which is to say NOT AT ALL), Abigail Adams and Susan B. Anthony. Weak. WEAK.

11. Donald Trump suggesting that vaccines cause autism, which for the love of god, they do not.

“Just the other day, 2 years old, 2½ years old, a child, a beautiful child went to have the vaccine, and came back, and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.”

Between this and the Planned Parenthood bullshit, these GOPers need to spend more time looking at Snopes or something. Jesus christ.

12. The sheer horror that Donald Trump, DONALD TRUMP OF ALL PEOPLE, who has been a bad Late Night joke since forever, might actually have a shot at being President.

I laughed at first, but I have been legitimately nervous ever since being reminded by my mother that “OH, you don’t know how hard we laughed at the idea of Ronald “Bedtime for Bonzo” Reagan thinking he had a shot at being President. Even harder than when George W. Bush ran, I’ll tell you that. Look how that turned out.”

I really don’t want to think that we’d elect Donald Trump president, but the fact that he’s considered a serious candidate at all is starting to really scare me.