Ted Cruz: Really puts the sack in sad sack.
Ted Cruz: Really puts the "sack" in "sad sack." Rich Koele / Shutterstock.com

Well, the jerk store called, and they've got a fresh batch of presidential candidates. It's seriously shaping up to be a Trump-versus-Cruz race, God help us, and last night's GOP debate was enough to give any decent person nightmares of what the next ten months are going to look like.

In a way, I'm kind of glad that these are the two assholes the Republicans are clustering around. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are two of the least likable people to ever escape from Arkham Asylum, and as soon as normal Americans start paying attention to politics (which will happen in two weeks, when the Iowa caucuses happen), the contrast between the Democratic candidates will make Bernie Sanders seem like a savior and Hillary Clinton a beloved aunt.

I hope. Please, America, don't fuck this one up. I can't bear four years of what we witnessed on stage last night.

The stars of the debate were of course hairy grapefruit Donald Trump and Ted Cruz's Mrs. Doubtfire jowls. The two candidates spent most of their time going after each other, while the other party guests struggled to keep up. For now, the race clearly belongs to these two men.

They started by fighting over Cruz's eligibility to run, since he was born in Canada. (Just about every lawyer under the sun agrees that he is eligible, so this is just Trump sowing fake doubt.) Cruz pointed out in response that Trump's mother was born overseas; so... zing, I guess.

Cruz also attacked Trump for being a New Yorker and therefore a "socially liberal" manipulator of "money and media." Trump shot back with a defense of New York that was legitimately moving, in a moment that threw progressive viewers into a fit of panic that Trump was actually starting to make some sense.

Jeb! Bush attacked Trump for his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country; Rubio attacked Cruz for flip-flopping on various issues.

"I appreciate you dumping your opposition research folder on the stage,” Cruz sneered at Rubio in that snotty tone of voice that just makes you want to punch something. Rubio was snotty in return: "It’s your record," he said, then (let's imagine) snapped his fingers in a z-formation.

There was a period, a few weeks ago, when Rubio really seemed to have a shot at the nomination. But aside from that retort, he was mostly just limp and forgettable last night. He was periodically upstaged by Chris Christie, who was a burbling dick, as usual, and called Obama's State of the Union address "story time."

Ben Carson, meanwhile, is almost totally forgotten and not a moment too soon. He tried to keep up with the conversation on ISIS but he's still clearly out of his depth. "ISIS is a very serious problem," he explained at one point. Oh okay, thanks for the heads-up, professor!

Also, John Kasich was there. Could someone from his family please come pick him up?