Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf [Blitzer]?
I can’t blame anyone for not watching CNN’s reality show involving the
four five (I forgot either Ben Carson or John Kasich; I’m not sure which, both were blurs) remaining GOP Presidential hopefuls in Houston last night. After all, how much can one person take of the “policy” discussion of these candidates? I would not have reminded you of it today except for one thing. Throughout the proceeding last night I was vaguely reminded of Mike Nichols’s film version of the Albee play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (except the Republican’s remarks weren’t witty and a hapless Wolf Blitzer was not present to “moderate” the discussion at that party). But once Donald Trump revved up, the comparison was clinched for me. He sounded just like Martha (Elizabeth Taylor) when she said:
“I’m loud and I’m vulgar, and I wear the pants in the house because somebody’s got to, but I am not a monster.”
Simply to admire the absolute perfection in vulgarity (hurled at two chaps, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, more than deserving of it), I urge you to take a look at the performance of the New York billionaire with the working vocabulary of a fourth grader. And fortunately, the Washington Post has published a transcript of the proceedings, so that you don’t have to risk experience the stomach churning performance of three characters who are by temperament, experience and political philosophy thoroughly unqualified to be President of the United States, but, because Providence has long ago ceased guiding the afairs of this nation, may become President. (The experience in Houston was perfectly summarized by Nick in the Nichols’ movie: “I’m tired, I’ve been drinking since nine o’clock, my wife is vomiting, there’s been a lot of screaming going on around here!”)
I will tease you only with a few examples (almost all the good lines came from Donald Trump):
On Ted Cruz being crazy:
TRUMP: When you [Ted Cruz] say crazy zealot, are you talking about you? Crazy zealot — give me a break.
(Compare: George: Well, you make me sick. / Martha: That’s different.)
On Rubio’s “performance” in the New Hampshire debate
TRUMP: I watched him meltdown on the stage like that, I’ve never seen it in anybody…
TRUMP: … I thought he came out of the swimming pool…
(Compare: George: Be careful, Martha. I’ll rip you to pieces. Martha: You’re not man enough. You haven’t the guts!)
(And for the not-so-subtle phallus reference, compare: Martha: Some men would give their right arm for the chance! George: Alas, Martha, in reality, it works out that the sacrifice is of a somewhat more private portion of the anatomy.)
On Rubio’s lack of business experience:
TRUMP: … — well, you [Marco Rubio] don’t know a thing about business. You lose on everything…
(Compare: Nick: To you, everybody’s a flop! Your husband’s a flop, I’m a flop… Martha: You’re all flops. I am the Earth Mother, and you are all flops.)
On Rubio’s business and ethics:
TRUMP: Here’s a guy — here’s a guy that buys a house for $179,000, he sells it to a lobbyist who’s probably here for $380,000 and then legislation is passed. You tell me about this guy. This is what we’re going to have as president.
(Compare: Martha: I looked at you tonight and you weren’t there! Finally snapped! And– and I’m gonna howl it out! And I’m not gonna give a damn what I do, and I’m gonna make the biggest goddamn explosion you’ve ever heard!)
To show that other characters have interesting lines, here is Rubio’s response to the last one:
RUBIO: Here’s a guy that inherited $200 million. If he hadn’t inherited $200 million, you know where Donald Trump would be right now?
TRUMP: No, no, no.
RUBIO: Selling watches in (inaudible)
(Compare the follow up to the last comparison: George: You try and I’ll beat you at your own game.
Martha: Is that a threat, George, huh?
George: That’s a threat, Martha.)
Last night was not as intelligent as Albee’s dialogue, but then again there was no intelligence available on that stage. Anyway, we shouldn’t be surprised at a Republican debate descending into vulgarity. It’s just as George said to Nick:
So you get testy, naturally, don’t worry about it! Anybody who comes here ends up getting testy, it’s expected. Don’t be upset.