The stakes are getting higher. It’s still 2015, but it’ll be over in a heartbeat. We’ll all go home for Thanksgiving, Star Wars will come out and shut the country down for a day or two, then Christmas, Auld Lang Syne, roll credits. Suddenly it’s 2016 and we have to start seriously thinking about who our next actual president will be. The preseason is ending. The underdogs are about to cut their losses and pack it in. The wheat is being separated from the chaff.
So last night’s GOP debate at the Milwaukee Theatre had a sense of urgency as frontrunners asserted themselves and underdogs fought tooth and nail to establish relevance. And you, the politically engaged citizen, need to know exactly what happened, without political slant, without commentary. You need to start thinking about the future. So what follows is a straightforward timeline of the debate’s events, exactly as they happened. Draw your own conclusions.
07:09 – The candidates have assumed their positions on stage at the historic Milwaukee Theatre. The house lights go down and Joey Ramone’s solo composition “Maria Bartiromo” plays to silence and several loud boos as the song’s namesake sits down behind the moderator desk.
07:12 – Neil Cavuto takes a moment to explain that two candidates have been eliminated due to poor performance. “They’re dead. Someone killed them. Not us. Don’t send me any emails about it, because I’m as scared as you. The men who killed Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee would kill me, and any one of you, at the first sign of the beginning of an inclination of just one false move.”
“How did they die?” asks Bartiromo.
“Shot through the windows of their cars. Just like that. They never saw it coming,” says Cavuto.
07:15 – Donald Trump is first to speak. He is surrounded by four actors in identical suits and gold toupees. Trump gestures to them one by one and grins. “These guys are all gonna play me in movies. Different movies. Two more than Steve Jobs. All at once, too.”
“Is one of those actors Louis C.K.?” asks Bartiromo.
Louis C.K. takes the microphone. “Acting sucks. Donald Trump is an asshole.”
“Yeah, I am! A winning asshole!” says Trump while finger-gunning, to wide applause.
07:19 – Jeb Bush is sweating profusely.
07:20 – Neil Cavuto throws the first question to Dr. Ben Carson. “Your reputation has come under fire after your assertion that the Egyptian pyramids weren’t tombs at all, but grain silos. This theory is fascinating. Can you expand?”
“Yes,” replies Carson. “Uh, according to the research I’ve been given the privilege of examining, these pyramids were impossible for humans to make with the technology available at the time. I believe, and some researchers believe as well, that the only way these could have been built was with the assistance of, I won’t say aliens, or, uh, spacemen, but I will say at least interdimensional beings of some kind, time travelers – we just don’t know. Nobody knows everything. I don’t claim to have the answers. Something helped these people. Maybe Mr. Trump would know.”
07:25 – “You’re a loser. Science fiction is for losers. Little spaceships zipping around, zap zap zap. I turned down Spielberg on this picture because he made too many spaceship movies. My real life is exciting enough, I told him. Your fee is too high, I said. Merchandising rights? No. I keep those. Get out of here. Danny Boyle will do this thing just for the experience. Goodbye.”
07:27 – Jeb Bush is sweating profusely.
07:28 – “Look,” says Carson, “after I was shown that research, I was shown, you know, other research. Planes and ships just disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle. It was a documentary I was shown, very powerful. But I couldn’t finish it. I fell asleep. My nephew said you can… you can download shows on the internet, that you could find anything there, but when I had him look for this documentary, he said it didn’t have any ‘seeders.’ TV shows are not plants! They teach us things. There are interdimensional beings killing American citizens in the Bermuda Triangle. We need solutions now. How many of our citizens have to die? How many?”
07:30 – Marco Rubio offers a rebuttal. “You present a compelling argument that this is a problem we should address, but asking questions is not enough. This is a real issue that needs to be solved by real people. What sort of organization would you set up? How would you stop these, and enough double talk, they’re not interdimensional beings, they’re space aliens, how would you stop space aliens from taking down planes in the Bermuda Triangle?”
07:34 – “It would pay for itself,” says Carson. “We would take their advanced weapons and reverse engineer them, then apply the findings toward technological innovation in the mili- uh, private sector.”
07:35 – Jeb Bush is sweating profusely.
07:36 – Donald Trump chimes in. “Sorkin was writing one of these. Not good enough. Fired him. Too wordy. Belongs on TV. And of the four other scripts I’ve seen, two have huge problems in the third act. They’re a mess. They make my rise to the presidency too exciting. I win too much. People won’t believe it. I need to take it down to make it realistic. I’m cutting things out. I’m killing whole pages of all my great dialogue and replacing it with training montages. People love training montages. Rocky. Great film. Love Sly. He’s a friend. Gets better every movie.”
07:40 – Carly Fiorina rebuts. “Donald Trump was right to turn down Spielberg. The man can’t direct entertainment anymore. Lincoln and Bridge of Spies, they’re designed for history classes. They’re boring. Donald Trump is absolutely right about this. But do you think a man whose energies are split between negotiating with Paramount and the White House will be able to bring this country back?”
07:43 – “Sony. It’s Sony. Paramount lowballed me. Bob Evans, still a good friend though. They never recovered from letting him go!”
07:44 – Maria Bartiromo asks Senator Rand Paul how he plans to reconcile national security concerns with his non-interventionist foreign policy. He unbuttons his jacket, revealing a bulletproof vest.
“ABA Xtreme Series HP02 Level II. Fifteen times stronger than steel. $845 plus shipping. That’s the first thing you do. The second thing…”
He reaches beneath the podium.
“Three words. Bug out bag. You can buy one, sure, there are some great companies out there who make these things ready to go, but this is really the only part of a survival strategy that you can personalize, so I recommend you – wow, Jeb Bush is sweating a lot – make your own. Now pay attention, because this will keep you alive for a week after it’s all over, if you play your cards right. These are the basics. Hunting knife. Multitool. Flashlight. First aid kit. Solar-powered AM/FM radio. Cameras still on me? Water. Trail mix. Gloves. Tarp. Skillet. Flints. Money won’t help you out there, so take a few things you can barter.”
07:58 – Ted Cruz: “Hold on, this is insane. We will not switch to a bartering economy that fast after the country goes bust. One week? What the, excuse my language, hell is wrong with you?”
08:00 – “I know what I’m talking about. Don’t laugh. Why are you laughing? I should be laughing. You’ll die first. I’ll survive. I’ll make it. We will already be operating as a bartering economy in more desolate areas when it comes time to use a bug out bag. Bartering is inevitable. So listen. The three main things people will barter are duct tape and hard liquor, the higher the proof the better. I keep three bottles of Everclear and Wild Turkey in here. Last one, most important, bullets. Any kind of bullets. Take as many of these things as you think you’ll need. Unless you want to die, like my friend Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz will be eaten by irradiated dogs.”
08:02 – Carly Fiorina accuses Rand Paul of being a maniac and complains that she can “smell alcohol on his breath right now.”
08:03 – “I am not a maniac. I’m a survivor. When the world ends, President Rand Paul will live. He will be the last American alive when the outsiders are here, come hell or high water. Rand Paul will wander the wasteland and laugh at the bodies of the foolish ones who didn’t listen to him. My bunker is immaculate. You have no idea how skilled I am at leading this country. You’re blind to my power. Yes, I’ve been drinking. Why not? It’s all over anyway. Drink. Everybody drink. There’s no cowardice in enjoying yourself when you’re out of time, and believe me, it’s all over. It’s been over for a long time. We knew that after Waco and then we forgot. But I didn’t forget. No ma’am. America is already lost.”
08:07 – Jeb Bush is sweating profusely.
08:08 – Bartiromo asks Donald Trump if he’s really prepared to go up against someone with a political history as entrenched as Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
08:09 – “The pitch? We’re way past that. These are all greenlit. But sure. Fast and the Furious meets Goodfellas. Done. Everybody wants to see that. Marty Scorsese is directing at least one of these things. Leo DiCaprio is booked. Good kid, very sweet kid. That’s him to my left. You couldn’t even tell. Kid’s brilliant. Had dinner with him last night. He lost $397,000 to me in a poker game. He’s gonna win every award there is.”
08:10 – Neil Cavuto thanks the candidates for participating as Jeb Bush collapses on stage. He’s dead.