The Carly Fiorina Show (See Dick)

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina talks to a restaurant patron during a campaign stop at the Starboard Market, Friday, 14 August 2015, in Clear Lake, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

“There was no major scandal or faux pas to bring Fiorina down. While the impact of her debate performance may have worn off over time, why did she suffer this fate while Trump, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio have continued to gain from their debating styles?”

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

Call it a personal weakness: I love me some Dick.

Dick Morris, that is.

It is an eternal question: How does Dick Morris still get work? After all, who the hell still listens to Dick frickin’ Morris? True enough, people like me, but that’s the thing. Check this out:

Fiorina showed an eclectic knowledge of national affairs and fluently recited key facts about our weakened defense posture. She seemed like a nonascorbic, scandal-free alternative to Clinton.

Then, what happened?

There was no major scandal or faux pas to bring Fiorina down. While the impact of her debate performance may have worn off over time, why did she suffer this fate while Trump, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio have continued to gain from their debating styles?

While The New York Times contributed to her fall with a front page article chronicling―and bashing―her record at Hewlett Packard, it was the bloggers who brought Fiorina down. The Times story regaled the saga of how Fiorina had induced HP to buy Compaq despite evidence of its declining clout, and emphasized the 30,000 layoffs under her tenure as CEO.

The bloggers really did a number on Fiorina, explaining her lack of conservative credentials. They quoted her 2010 comment, during her contest with Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer that Roe v. Wade was “settled law” and noted her endorsement of Marco Rubio’s plan for amnesty for immigrants here illegally, her support for Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court and her willingness to weaken Proposition 13, which holds down property taxes in California.

The blogs left Fiorina bleeding.

For Morris and McGann, “the larger story here is the extreme sensitivity of the Republican primary electorate’s evidence of impurity in the presidential candidates”, which itself leads off the sort of petulant paragraph that reminds why we all love us some Dick. The entire article is historical-romantic comedy―hiroco? Gesundheit!―gold. And the thing is that there is plenty of evidence of conservative electoral puritanism, but what of the rest of the Republican Party? It is not just that Morris and McGann omit entirely Ms. Fiorina’s astounding dishonesty about Planned Parenthood, and her stubborn, clumsy retort to the resulting controversy really would not seem encouraging to establishment Republicans who still bear questions of electability in their analyses.

The real question for Carly Fiorina here is Trump, not Carson. The retired neurosurgeon and active conspiracy theorist has cultivated his potsherd credentials hawking books on the church circuit; he is the values candidate who will chase strong after the frontrunner. The fecund family values field this year has settled on the newcomer, the rising star, leaving old names like Huckabee and Santorum to suck dust. Indeed, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker might well have been a jack of all priggish trades, and his violative family values credentials, including the coolness of forced penetration and supremacism as a virtue of citizenship, might well stand beyond question, but it wasn’t enough for the former frontrunner to fend off the shiny new thing, and now the Cowardly Badger is a former presidential candidate. Dr. Carson’s success is in the family values sector; Republicans with a mind toward winning the general election would worry about his nomination. Red meat for the base is one thing, but how would the RNC deal with his war inside women, hatemongering, lying, or even general disdain toward reality.

True, not fair. Trick question: It’s the RNC in all its flaccid, impotent uselessness.

Carly Fiorina’s fight is for votes from Republicans who intend that their Party should be able to at least put up a fight in the general election. And among these, weeks of lying, even after getting caught out, and on an absolutely vital issue the Party is willing to stake itself on, at that, does not play well.

Naturally, as Mr. Morris and Ms. McGann remind by their focused false apathy, this question that has everything to do with Ms. Fiorina’s viability has nothing to do with their analysis.

Go back and read it again:

There was no major scandal or faux pas to bring Fiorina down. While the impact of her debate performance may have worn off over time, why did she suffer this fate while Trump, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio have continued to gain from their debating styles?

That paragraph is a tell. First, it directly states the opposite of reality; second, it pivots to a non sequitur.

It really is an old trick, a sleight that stopped working a long time ago. The old mobster bit: “So there I was, mindin’ my own business, not breakin’ any laws or anything .....”

No, seriously, like, the punch lines are all for regret. Don’t believe me? Try it with Sen. David Vitter” “Not like he’s been caught bein’ a pervert, or anything.” Or Sarah Palin: “Well, you know, everybody gaffes up sometimes, even someone of her exceptional intelligence.” Or George W. Bush: “All those things they say about him, and after he worked so hard to make sure every word he said about it all was true and fair and accurate.”

Or, as Dick Morris and Eileen McGann would have you believe: “There was no major scandal or faux pas to bring Fiorina down.”

And there are so many punch lines to regret. We’ll just go with something about dicking around.

But, yeah. You know? This is why it’s worth paying attention. Sometimes. Er … ah ....

Ladies and gentlemen, Dick Morris. And, well, you know, Eileen McGann.

____________________

Image note: Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina talks to a restaurant patron during a campaign stop at the Starboard Market, Friday, 14 August 2015, in Clear Lake, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Benen, Steve. “Carly Fiorina stubbornly pretends fiction is fact”. msnbc. 28 September 2015.

—————. “Caught in a fib, Fiorina refuses to acknowledge misstep”. msnbc. 21 September 2015.

—————. “Fiorina bests Trump while stumbling over facts”. msnbc. 17 September 2015.

—————. “Fiorina doubles down on Planned Parenthood falsehood”. msnbc. 18 September 2015.

—————. “Fiorina ironically blasts politics as ‘a fact-free zone'”. msnbc. 30 September 2015.

Morris, Dick and Eileen McGann. “Fiorina: A Falling Star”. Real Clear Politics. 14 October 2015.

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