The main stage GOP debate began in South Carolina at 9PM EST via Business Network and so far the tone of circus - debate gives it too much dignity - is aimed completely at pandering to Teabaghistan and the most extreme elements of the ignorance and bigotry embracing GOP base. To listen to Marco Rubio, one would think that Barack Obama has led a communist coup against America. Indeed, to listen to Rubio et al, I feel as if I have been living in some alternate universe from the imaginary world in which the GOP contenders and Teabagistan have been inhabiting. The irony is that the economic malaise of the middle class has nothing to do with Barack Obama and everything to do with the failed policies of the GOP under the misrule of Obama's brain dead predecessor.
As for Donald Trump, he slickly finessed the GOP establishment vetted comments of Nikki Haley about the siren song of the angriest voices and turned his anger, hate and bigotry into an applause point for the knuckle dragging audience. Trump may be a Hitler like demagogue, but he definitely learned how to pander to those with little education and low IQ's during his years on reality TV.
Up to now in the debate, only John Kasich sounds as if he is half sane and not totally willing to prostitute himself to the foulest elements of the GOP base and America. My further thoughts will be share in a post in the morning.
Part of me still finds it hard to realize just how ugly and how extreme the Republican Party has become. It bears no resemblance to the party in which I was an activist for the better part of a decade. I do not know how anyone morally decent, sane and/or educated can be a Republican nowadays. My main hope is that if the GOP nominates a far right extremist, as happened in Virginia in 2013, the GOP slate will lose across the board and perhaps the much needed death of the GOP in its present form will accelerate to finality.