At last we've reached peak politics
"Donald Trump defends the size of his, umm, digits," tweets CNN's Greg Krieg, sharing today's trending headline that during last night's debate, Trump felt compelled to "guarantee" his size, triggering an explosion on Twitter and causing us to officially reach peak politics (at 25,000+ shocked shares). "Now waiting for the penis to defend size of Donald Trump," jokes The Guardian's Xan Brooks. There's no turning back now, folks. "This election y'all," pithily concludes CNN's Chris Moody. Zinger of the day goes to Eric Kleefield at National Memo, however: "Obviously, the term for people who question the size of Donald Trump's penis should be 'Girthers.'" To be fair, of course, Trump was goaded into "going there" by his opponent Marco Rubio, who in recent days has invoked the old insult about the correlation of male hand size to genitalia. "Tonight I heard a few firsts in a US presidential debate: penis size, yoga, a candidate insulted as 'little,'" realizes Kyung Lah, also at CNN. That last one was a patented Trump affront frequently aimed at Rubio, by the way, which is probably what made him go for Trump's jugular -- er, crotch, as it were. Here's the Vine you probably didn't want, but will watch anyway. "Do you think Andrew Jackson talked about his dick? Probably, right?" snarks BuzzFeed's Claudia Koerner. At Business Insider, Rob Price pretty much speaks for everyone in tweeting, "I'd say this election can't get any lower, but..."
So that leaves us with five big questions after such a vulgar Republican debate, according to Frank Bruni, who tweets, "Trump has succeeded at infusing the presidential race with a vulgarity that’s breathtaking. My debate analysis." Peter Oborne alternatively suggests, "Or, to put it another way: Can we afford a giant prick in the White House?" At the Free Beacon, Matthew Continetti writes, "50 years of conservatism ends w/ billionaire bragging about his genitals on national tv. I felt sick. My column." And of course, that wasn't the only gif-able moment; there was also this delightfully awkward incident. "Behold. The least cool moment in American history," declares Richard Chambers. Of course, when it came to time spent blustering, the interruption-happy Trump dominated with more than 12 minutes spent speaking, overshadowing Cruz's roughly five minutes, Rubio's slightly less than five and Kasich's mere four-and-a-half minutes. And when Trump was talking, he invoked a lot of tall tales: he repeated that false claim about flights home by 9/11 hijackers' wives, girlfriends, families, he contradicted what he said under oath about the Trump University fraud claims just weeks ago, and all this while the business world is pushing back on his various claims of successes: "@FortuneMagazine to Trump: Actually, you don't run a Fortune 500 company," pointedly tweets The Hill. In the end, however, as MSNBC's Benjy Sarlin morosely observes, only voters can judge this horror show of a debate. Click on that link just for the lede alone, we entreat you. And with Republicans in a tailspin, a group forms to draft Paul Ryan for U.S. president.
So only after a night like that would headlines like the discovery of a bloody knife buried at O.J. Simpson's old estate get buried beneath the fold (we see you, TMZ). "Viral marketing for American Crime Story has gone much too far this time, I feel," muses The Guardian's Sam Thielman. Or the fact that Brazil's police just raided the home of ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. "Needless to say, intense day in Brazil: Lula, country's most towering politician, held for questioning," explains NYT's Simon Romero. Or how about the U.S. adding 242,000 jobs in February, or El Chapo supposedly entering America twice while on the run after his prison break? Perhaps the biggest buried lede of all: the fourth season of House of Cards dropped overnight, and somehow we overlooked it because of last night's lunacy. Now that's a feat.