When I heard the news, at first I thought it was a joke. Now that I know it to be true, I am certain it is a joke.
Donald Trump plans to moderate a Republican candidate debate on December 27th.
The inaugural episode of “The Presidential Apprentice” (a term coined by Jon Huntsman’s staff) could feature an all-star cast, if anyone else besides Newt Gingrich agrees to appear. At this hour, Newt will stand alone facing probing questions from The Donald. No other candidates have signaled their intention to show up for this vanity exercise of Trumpian proportions, although I hear that Gary Busey and Dennis Rodman are on standby. OK, I’m kidding about Busey and Rodman, but if they joined this GOP gaggle on stage, would the forum be any more ridiculous?
Trump: “Newt, question one – why would I make a great President?”
Gingrich: “Ah…well…given your prodigious wealth, no one could buy your support, but we’d have to limit your access to the interns.”
Trump: “You’re fired.”
Two candidates have clearly stated their intentions not to attend, and I stand to applaud them both. Ron Paul was unequivocal in his refusal to bow down to Trump, although he is unequivocal about everything. He said appearance at the event is beneath the office of the Presidency. Jon Huntsman, who could use all the free publicity he could muster, also declined the invitation. Trump, ever the statesman, accepted these regrets by calling both men “a joke”. It takes one to know one.
Why would anyone in their right wing mind show up for this denigrating affair? Could be Newt heard it was an affair and figured he’d be right at home. The remaining players clearly have better plans for the evening, like sticking a fork in their collective eyes. That’s gotta hurt less than listening to Trump asking ratings-grabbing questions of national importance for 90 minutes like, “Ginger or MaryAnn?” If these GOP contenders really wanted to spend time with a fake politician, they would be better served fielding questions from Richard Dreyfuss as Bob Rumson, the ornery opponent to the beloved widower President Andrew Shepherd. “Candidates, where do you stand on the Crime Bill and Fossil Fuels Bill?” Those answers I would like to hear. “Mr. Trump, those pieces of legislation are ripped right out of the Sydney Ellen Wade liberal playbook! Saul Alinsky!”
The self-appointed impartial moderator of this circus has already said that if he doesn’t like any of the candidates, he’ll launch his own independent run at the White House. Would anyone show up if Sarah Palin organized a debate, but stipulated first that if she didn’t like the answers, she would place her name in nomination at the convention? I would prefer Trump skip the debate farce and just run already. This country needs a reality TV show host whose claim to political fame is accepting Internet conspiracy rumors as fact as its Commander-in-Chief. Too bad time has passed Geraldo by. We’ve been without a mustached President for too long now.
Donald Trump as Debate Moderator – the title implies someone who provides moderation, something Trump is serially incapable of. It would not be a debate – it would be a job interview to work for Trump, and if you don’t meet his expectations, well, he’ll just do the job himself. Ivanka? Donald, Jr.? What do you think?
If publicity is all this is about, let’s dispense with the pretense, and let’s do this Survivor style. Seven candidates, starving themselves, and competing each week for the media immunity idol. How about a little Fear Factor? Each candidate gets shot out of a cannon into an Occupy Wall Street encampment. Then they are forced to eat their own words (YUCK!). In the final segment, the candidates have to avoid being run over by Sarah Palin's One Nation book tour bus. Good luck with that.
Better still, I suggest Extreme Makeover: Iowa Edition. Each candidate begins by presenting their policy positions on everything from immigration to taxes to climate change from 2004; then we watch them conduct an extreme position makeover to meet the expectations of the newly radicalized base of the party.
Now I know for sure – it is a joke.
For more insightful takes on Mr. Trump: