Watching the first debate from the party of Abraham Lincoln, this sprang to mind: these people are a confederacy of dunces. If we had issued a casting call for a band of rattlesticks, we could not have found a more fitting ensemble. By making the dunces connection, in no way do I disparage the great book of that same title. Nor would I ever dishonor the thousands of men and boys who laid their lives down in the futile defense of what was once known as the Confederate States of America.
Before us now stands a field of would-be commanders whittled down to five, or is it four? And not a Robert E. Lee or Ulysses S. Grant among them. We see a theater of operatives so grossly diminished in stature that the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan crawled out of his fetid swamp to promote the front runner. A front runner who accepted that endorsement with a proud shooting outward of his strong right arm. Followers of your Fuhrer, heil in kind!
But next slumps out from stage right the far weightier endorsement. A man of consequence and a former contender himself. How the bigger-than-life governor from the great state of New Jersey delivered that clap on the front runner's back with a straight face is beyond comprehension. To study Gov. Christie's blank mask expecting even a twinge of conscience was an exercise in projection. Not one muscle, not one blink, nothing but a grand buffoonery of pandering. As if we required further proof of the man's vapid character.
What a relief it will probably be for the governor when indictments finally come down from the Bridgegate fiasco. Perhaps he can then pack off to the luxurious country club of incarceration, Eglin Air Force Base in Pensacola, for a happy sabbatical penance at golf and tennis, perhaps even a salubrious weight loss regime. It was Eglin, if you remember, where E. Howard Hunt and other Watergate conspirators did time for Haldeman, Erlichman, and Nixon's undercover plan to deep six the Democrats. Fast forward to the vision of Christie emerging in the pink, hale and hearty, ready to boot lick again. Recruited to serve time in The Trumpmeister's second and third terms. As Gabriel Garcia Marquez so beautifully put it: "He was the perpetual President with a fishbone driven through his soul."
Chris Matthews handily dubbed this duo of happy warriors the Bruise Brothers. Suddenly, the clock sped backwards, pages spiraling off calendars, year before year, and I was returned to a prior life in New York City with John Belushi and Danny Aykroyd -- those glory days! I said to myself -- not even in the same league! John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd had more authenticity and genius and yes, integrity in their hearts and minds than D. J. Trump and C. J. Christie will ever muster. And yet, and yet, I can see Belushi inhabiting El Gato Grosso, mimicking with precision the iguana eye bulge of Christie's indignation, his finger-pointing reprimands. Oh my god, yes! John would have nailed Chris Christie to the old rugged cross with the sound of a battalion swell of angels laughing their wings off.
I had the privilege of observing both of them up close, but Danny in particular when he would sit in front of his TV in his dentist's chair and study political figures he was working up for SNL. What a fantastical talent to be able to twist your features into the facades of presidents and other pretenders, assuming their gestures, talking the talk, miming their specific tics.
Can't you just see John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in the black suits and ties, black hats and sunglasses, skewering the rhythmless, soulless dunces that are Donny "the Blowhole" Trump and Hurricane Sandy "Fats" Christie? Roll over Beethoven! I see the true Blues Brothers shagging like mad to "Bend Over!" (If you catch my drift.) "Let me see you shake a tailfeather." I'd give my good right arm.