Last night we got to watch the GOP engage in one more installment of everyone’s favorite contest of will, strength, and wit: The Biggest Liar (sometimes known as The Lying Game). Want to understand how the show works? Think Jeopardy! except it tests mendacious belligerence instead of general knowledge — or The Biggest Loser, except our contestants are rapidly expelling hot air and untruths instead of dropping pounds.
And instead of charismatic hosts and slick emcees, you’ve got moderators who don’t know their facts and seem to trip over their own tongues — and each other — giving the contestants more ammo for lobbing their fiction-bombs right to the audience.
Well, why waste more time and government money with an introduction? Let’s cut our spending and take a quick (and, in tribute to the night’s theme, lightly fictionalized) look at some of the night’s biggest liars:
Lindsey Graham, from the kiddie table: “Make me commander-in -chief and this crap stops!” There was a lot to unpack here. One might say that even his exhortation to be made POTUS was so unrealistic as to border on a delusional untruth. Also not true? The promise that “this crap stops.” Even if Jesus Christ returned to earth, was elected President of the United States and took charge of our military, the system would still be so royally screwed that much of this crap would not, indeed, stop.
Carly Fiorina: Her lie was one of numbers, so it felt less audacious than some. She pivoted away from her total failure as a businessperson, towards something about women’s jobs being lost under Obama. What she failed to mention was that every single one of those women was someone she personally let go from HP, sending each one a pink slip that said, “Scram!”
Marco Rubio: This contestant really didn’t want to admit he was smoking a J outside the Senate offices, hanging out with the other members of the T-birds when he should have been inside voting, so he deflected the issue of his missed votes: “Hillary sucks, amirite?” he said. “Hey, look, over there, it’s an abortion!” Everyone ran and looked, and when they came back, they declared him the winner of the debate.
Ben Carson: His documented ties to super-sketchy nutritional supplement company Mannatech (this led us to ask: “does it have electrolytes?”) were dismissed by the soft-spoken, verging-on-sociopathic contestant as “pure propaganda.” What he omitted to mention, however, was that said footage may have indeed been propaganda, but it certainly featured him in a starring role. “Mannatech!” he says in the unearthed video. “Pick some up on your way back from the gun store and then go back in time to kill baby Hitler!”
Mike Huckabee: He got very distracted from the lying game by a blimp. “Dad!” he yelled. “Daddy?” Rubio patted him gently on his bald palate.
John Kasich: His lie was to position himself so as to appear reasonable and moderate compared to the yeehaws and mouth-breathers around him.
Ted Cruz: He defended each one of his opponents by repeating, in detail, all the accusations that had been leveled against him or her. This may have been sneaky, and conniving, but it was kind of brilliant. Props to Cruz (even though he wants to send all women to a forced-birth colony and initiate mass gay divorces). He also dissembled by saying Social Security was insolvent. It’s fine, people. Oh yeah, and he used the word “Menshevik” to describe Bernie Sanders, who is clearly a post-Trotskyite.
Chris Christie: Puh-lease. The failed New Jersey traffic regulator pretended to be outraged about the idea of the government regulating fantasy football while ISIS runs wild. But in the meantime he was secretly using his avatar, “Springsteenrules911,” to bet heavily on his ideal fantasy squad.
Rand Paul: He was just sort of there. Definitely headed to elimination.
Jeb Bush: He fibbed on several counts: the most egregious one was his insistence, over and over again, that he is optimistic about America. We all know that he, Dubya, Babs, Poppy Bush, and the whole clan are stewing in misery now that the dirty tactics, demagoguery, and pandering they pioneered are now being used against them. Clearly, he thinks America is going down the tubes simply because he’s not leading in the polls.
Another white lie? That he’d give a Democrat a big warm kiss. We all know it would be a big, cold kiss, as cold as the ocean lapping up against the family compound in Kennebunkport. He is a Bush, after all.
Donald Trump: He swore up and down that he didn’t say anything about Rubio being Mark Zuckerberg’s personal senator.
Except it was on his website. That’s why this morning’s headlines read: “Donald Trump says he never slammed Mark Zuckerberg. It’s literally on his campaign site” and “Donald Trump got called out for denying something that’s on his campaign website.”
Unfortunately, none of his voters care about the truth at all.