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Theater of absurd that is the political process becomes more serious

February 01, 2012

Donald Trump is back. As my dad used to say to me with a shake of his head, I have it too good, too good, too good.

If I’ve seemed a little down lately, it’s because the Republican presidential field has been losing cuckoo-heads at an alarming rate.

Some of it is understandable, like Herman Cain; in the end, you will never get Americans to trust a skinny pizza-shop owner.

But when we started losing the crazies who were really interested in becoming president of the United States, and not just on some glorified book tour or self-promotional junket — well, that’s bad for business.

But you knew in the end that asking the publicity hounds to stay away from the presidential race was like asking a catfish to stay away from rotting frog guts.

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Sure enough, they have begun to come trickling back.

First came Cain, who lent his place on the ballot to Stephen Colbert in South Carolina. Then, apparently fearful that playing straight man to a late-night comedian might damage his gravitas, he came out and endorsed the guy who thinks that a history of adultery and ethics violations is sound preparation for the Oval Office.

The two front-runners, meanwhile, have been fighting and clawing in a way that is most unbecoming of any potential statesman. Sadly, however, their behavior has become the rule in politics these days, not the exception.

I’m a cynic, so it doesn’t surprise me that our political classes at all levels and in both parties have yielded to such anger, animosity and hatred. What surprises me is that all this hostility has come to the surface AFTER the introduction of Viagra.

I mean, considering what hound dogs elected representatives are under normal circumstances, I kind of assumed that assisted by a Viagra-assisted tailwind, so to speak, they’d be too busy chasing interns and call girls to have much interest in stalking each other.

But apparently not, because Trump came out of the woodwork this week to tell ABC: “I’m friendly with both (Newt and Mitt). I respect both. I like both …. They both want my endorsement. We’ll see what happens but, in a very short time I’ll be making an endorsement. Not today, not right now.”

Well, I for one can’t wait. The only way this could be any better is if he put his endorsement into a vault underneath the city of Chicago and then got Geraldo to open it on live television.

Trump went on, of course — he always does — to say of the government: “The biggest problem is, what are they doing with our money? Where is it going? Why can’t they cut expenses?”

I think it’s really cool when someone whose business has gone bankrupt, who has been forced to liquidate property to Asian investors, who once racked up a reported $900 million in personal debt and $3.5 billion in business debt, can see his way clear to lecture the rest of us about finances. Say what you will about the deficit, but at least the U.S. pays back its bond-holders.

But then he’s got that Miss Universe gig going for him, so I am by no means implying any failure on his part.

But who will he endorse, Newt or Mitt? They are two very different people, so he can’t possibly like both.

Still, I suspect he will come out and endorse the winner, whomever it might be. Trump is nothing if not flexible.

The only alternative would be for Trump to run as a third party candidate. But don’t bet on it. I’m lucky, but I’m not that lucky.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 6997, or via email at timr@herald-mail.com. Tune in to the Rowland Rant at www.herald-mail.com, on antpod.com or on Antietam Cable’s WCL-TV Channel 30 at 6:30 p.m. New episodes are released every Wednesday.

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