Scary Scrum of Candidates

A Republican roster ready for the Exorcist Steps.

D.C. officials dedicated the famed Exorcist Steps in Georgetown with a plaque the day before Halloween, and director William Friedkin and author William Peter Blatty were on hand.

With all the real scares at home and abroad, it is strange that we take such pleasure in imaginary ones. Several Republican presidential candidates, for example, appear to suffer from demonic possession. Ted Cruz looks like an evil doll in a horror movie. I only have a laugh button for Hillary Clinton, but I admit it gets a bit scary if you press it enough.

Since there is no trick-or-treating in my building, I ate the candy myself as I followed the hashtag #NewGOPDebateQuestions mocking Republican candidates for blaming the RNC and CNBC over the questions they were asked last week. Secretary Clinton faced hostile questions solo for eleven hours at the Benghazi hearing, whereas the Republicans split what they dubbed "gotcha" questions among the ten of them for just two hours.

Clinton got in hot water last week for saying she is not entirely opposed to the death penalty. I sympathize, though my praying for God to "call home" various obnoxious pols is not exactly the president's kill list. Chris Christie claims that the Black Lives Matter folks want to kill cops, which is not what they say. They want to end police violence (though their decentralized structure would make it easy to infiltrate them with agents provocateurs). There is ferocious resistance to the notion that police should be subject to the laws they enforce. I think we can honor officers killed in the line of duty while holding accountable their colleagues who behave like racist thugs.

If you think you are crazy, check out this actual Raw Story headline: "Ben Carson blames reporters as his story about trying to stab a friend falls apart." We are truly hell-bound if a presidential candidate has to portray himself as a knife-wielding maniac to get elected. Then there is financier Paul Singer, who is pro-gay yet supports the anti-gay Marco Rubio.

Overseas, ISIL claimed credit on Halloween for downing a Russian airliner over the Sinai, which authorities disputed. Meanwhile, President Obama has ordered Special Ops forces into Syria. If you oppose this, as do people from Bernie Sanders to the Cato Institute, it is worth noting that Hillary is more hawkish than Obama. Unless Sanders beats Nate Silver's odds and wins the nomination, the choice will not be between war and peace but different degrees of hawkishness. It is like the Vox headline, "Hillary Clinton gets less Wall Street money than you think." As Barney Frank once observed, "It could be worse" may be true, but it is not a winning campaign slogan.

I keep getting ominous Democratic fundraising messages labeled "Catastrophe" and "Failure to Respond." If we don't all die from a gay asteroid (it is simpler these days just to assume everything is your fault), I might be arrested for not donating to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee so they can help Chuck Schumer.

Mike Huckabee and Martin O'Malley are spamming me despite my not having given to either of them. Cory Booker wants my help for his senate campaign, despite his having supported private school vouchers for D.C., which I don't like and on which he (my close correspondent) did not consult me.

Hillary Clinton thanked me for a birthday greeting I never sent. My failure to sign her card was not from hostility but impatience with the pretense that these hotshots who wouldn't know me from a TSA agent are sending me personal notes. (I don't need to know what they are hiding in their body cavities.)

Granted, I am always happy to get my annual White House Christmas card, paid for by the DNC. I doubt I will get one from President Cruz, though I have a complete collection from Presidents Romney, McCain, Kerry and Gore. Speaking of alternate history, Bibi Netanyahu has retracted his claim that a Palestinian cleric gave Adolf Hitler the idea for the Holocaust. He seems to be in competition with the GOP presidential field to see who can say the most outrageous thing and still get elected. I am making no bets.

This piece originally appeared in the Washington Blade and Bay Windows.