A Haiku Recap Of The Losers' Debate On CNBC

Four men do their best. Yet none of it will matter. Life, for them, is pain.

Tonight on teevee
We bail out some losers

Why do this, at all.
It's a bafflement indeed.
Alas, here we are.

George Pataki here.
Also we've Rick Santorum.
And Bobby Jindal.

Who is the fourth one?
Guess. Come on! Take a wild guess.
Lindsey Graham! That's right.

Your hosts tonight though?
We got Carl Quintanilla.
Also Becky Quick.

Plus there's John Harwood.
And assorted other folks
From CNBC.

Harwood touts those who
Run as outsiders so, guys
What about it? Answer this.

Bobby Jindal says
Let us shrink the government.
Santorum agrees.

Pataki, well, huh?
Walking both sides of the street
In and out, okay.

Lindsay Graham next.
Wants to talk about the VA.
And about Clinton.

Tomorrow, it seems
Never seems to happen, guys
Says rueful Jindal

Then Jindal belches
More about socialism
Europe? So, so bad.

"Hey! 9/11!"
"9/11! Nine-one-one!"
Lindsay's old refrain.

"We need a flat tax,"
Says Rick Santorum, who adds
He is way pro-growth.

George Pataki next
Says Obama holds our troops.
In hugs? No: hostage!

"Nonsense on a stick."
Says Harwood for some reason.
Sounds quite delicious.

Here, I must admit,
My attention? It trailed off.

It is a sad joke
That these men fruitlessly stay,
In a race that's lost.

Is this even good
For CNBC's ratings?
Likely a low bar!


Cramer wants to know right now:
Can we cyberbomb?

Cramer says to Graham:
"You are a hawk," and lo, look!
Graham grows two large wings!

Literally a hawk!
Graham is a noble raptor,
Soaring o'er the stage.

Harwood, more earthbound
Brings up corporate taxes
Snore snore snooze, ennui!

Jindal has a plan.
T'will never be enacted.
Not ever, never.

What I think right now?
This here moderating crew?
Getting some practice.

Except for Cramer!
He's turning men into hawks!
And hawks: into men.

Carl Quintanilla
Asks Graham about climate change.
"SKREEEE!" says the hawk, Graham.

"Squawk, squawk," says hawk-Graham
Cool, 'cause CNBC has
A show called Squawk Box

"RAAAAAAAAH RAAAAAH," angry hawk-Graham
Rants us to the commercial.
You can catch your breath!

And now I worry
How long is this thing, my God?
How long is this thing.

I asked on Twitter
Hey guys, how long is this thing?
"Too," came the reply.

There is some yelling,
To which Pataki objects.
He wants time to talk.

But not that much time!
Becky Quick quickly ends it.
Sparing he and us.

On what path are we?
Jindal: "Toward socialism."
Right, right, got it, bro.

Harwood asks Lindsey:
"Corporations overseas?
Yea, nay, what have you?"

Lindsey is a hawk!
Did Harwood forget Cramer?
Forget those magicks?

Hey, Rick Santelli!
Good thing, good thing. Welcome, dude.
Needed some more smarm.

First say Santelli.
Then say Pataki. Out loud.
Repeat and repeat.

Good news everyone:
Santorum on Ex-Im Bank!
We can all die now.

Beer merger question!
Asked to ... Rick Santorum, eh!
He is not concerned.

To be honest, Rick.
You're being Panglossian
About small brewers here.

I would recommend:
Listen to my podcast, Rick.
We cover this.

An observation.
Given enough time to watch,
Bobby and Rick blur.

Both men have a trait.
When they speak, it sounds like sobs.
Sobs and racking breaths.

George Pataki though.
He is having an effect
(Called "Dunning-Kruger").

Santorum invokes the man
Bedeviling them.

Maybe I'm crazy?
Did Jindal just brag about
Closing hospitals?

Lindsay, who's a hawk,
He has mellowed out somewhat.
Showing softer side.

Yes, by which I mean:
A "side" that doesn't mention
9/11, guys.

Tony Fratto says,
Graham might get a bump from this.
I mean, sure, I guess.

The thing is, Tony,
This is what's been said each time
These debates occur.

So far Carly's win
Has not been replicated.
By the rest of them.

But okay, Lindsey.
If anyone deserves this.
He can punch out Trump!

It's the lightning round!
Jindal likes the Super Bowl.
And softball questions.

Finally, mercy.
It's time for closing statements.
Thirty seconds each

"America is great."
Says Lindsey Graham: the hawk-man
Destiny's raptor.

Pataki meanwhile:
Wants you all to know tonight.
He is not cray-cray.

Santorum speaks next.
Manufacturing's his schtick
Since 2012.

Finally, Jindal.
"This is our hour," he's convinced.
Socialism, boo!

And so it's over.
And the losers will depart.
Sing them all to sleep.


For the latest updates on tonight's debate, visit our liveblog.

Jason Linkins edits "Eat The Press" for The Huffington Post, and co-hosts the HuffPost politics podcast, "So That Happened." Listen to the latest episode below: