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This Week In Crazy: Hail To The Antichrist!

There’s nothing wrong with Planned Parenthood that a Christian conquistador couldn’t fix. Did you know Obama’s the son of Satan? We’re just getting started here. It’s “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Rachel Campos-Duffy

2015-07-13-rachel-campos-duffy-cpac-2013-gage-skidmore-640Unless you’re strapped to a chair, lids splayed open, Clockwork Orange-style, and forced to watch Fox News day in and day out, you can be forgiven for missing Outnumbered, the network’s daily exercise is well-dressed, roundtable trolling.

The noontime conservative chatroom is a reliable fount of tone-deaf, ignorant remarks. For instance, you might remember Outnumbered host Rachel Campos-Duffy as the one-woman straw-man factory who blamed ISIS’ successful recruiting tactics on American schools’ emphasis on multiculturalism.

This Tuesday, she had some words of wisdom for the feminists out there: “Make the sandwich, darn it.” Otherwise, she cautions, your marriage will end in tears.

In a discussion spurred by a recent study suggesting that Republicans have happier marriages than Democrats, Campos-Duffy posited that GOP couples’ marital bliss was owed less to politics than to religion:

I know for myself — and I know in the Greek Orthodox Church it’s the same idea of sanctification, that marriage is a sacrament, it’s a holy thing. And my job being married is to get my husband and my kids to heaven with me. And I think that changes the whole perspective.

(Conservative Christian moralist Josh Duggar has certainly proved himself to be a deserving poster boy for the Republican version of sacred, happy, “one man/one woman” marriage.)

So when feminists and liberals get divorced, Duffy exclaims, it’s “because they won’t make that sandwich.”

Check out the video below, courtesy of Raw StoryThen get back in the kitchen.

Via Raw Story

Next: Keith Sullivan

4. Keith Sullivan

Discussing an alleged rape case at a New Hampshire prep school, criminal defense attorney Keith Sullivan said on Fox News this week that text messages between the accused 15-year-old rapist and his alleged victim would prove that “there was no forced rape.”

For someone who passed the bar in 1998, one would think Sullivan would know better than to wade into this Todd Akin-esque morass of redefining rape, which never ends well for conservatives.

In another strange description that appeared to blur the clear line between consensual sex and rape, Sullivan said, “Many women have what’s known as ‘regret sex.’ They feel dirty afterward; they feel guilty.”

In the New Hampshire case, Sullivan said it was “a possibility” that the alleged 15-year-old victim just regretted having sex, and that perhaps being young made her feel guilty.

The boy (now 19) accused of the rape is innocent until proven guilty, of course. That said, Fox News, why should you give legal authorities a platform to accuse women and question their credibility — in this case, that of a 15-year-old girl —by suggesting that, rather than being sexually assaulted, they merely regretted having sex?

Oh right. You’re Fox News, and this is what you do.

Via Media Matters

Continue reading: Bryan Fischer

3. Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer is a… how can we put this politely? A human toxic waste dump; Deepwater Horizon in corporeal form; a bigoted thug with a Bible and a blog, whose rhetoric is so hateful his own hate group had to temporarily disown him.

In the last few months alone, he argued for Americans’ God-given right to capital punishment, blamed a conservative white gunman’s rampage on Obama (of course), and declared the SCOTUS marriage equality ruling to be worse than 9/11 because it “blasted the twin pillars of truth and righteousness into rubble.”

And now he has compared Planned Parenthood to human sacrifice as practiced by the Aztecs.

In a post published on the American Family Association’s blog Thursday, Fischer argues that the “hideous barbarism of Planned Parenthood” is a sign that “the pagan rituals of the Aztecs have returned from the bowels of Hades with a vengeance.” (Culture conflation is the least of this witless cesspit’s sins.)

Cutting brains and hearts out of living babies is as ghoulish, demonic, and horrific as anything done by the benighted pagan tribes of the 16th century. If there ever was a contemporary organization birthed in the nether regions of hell itself, Planned Parenthood is it.

For human cruelty, barbarity, savagery and utter inhumanity, the Aztecs had nothing on the modern priests of paganism who engage in human sacrifice 327,000 times a year in Planned Parenthood clinics, each one a virtual pagan temple.

It is long past time to immediately and completely defund Planned Parenthood, and then investigate it, prosecute it, and put it out of our nation’s misery.

The dishonest, manipulative videos that Fischer cites are part of a long, immoral, and hypocritical campaign to discredit and demolish Planned Parenthood, the national organization that provides basic health services to low-income women (of which abortion accounts for 3 percent).

The careless use of Grand Guignol imagery that Fischer splatters on the page doesn’t make his attacks on women’s health any more compelling; it does somehow make him even more repulsive. We didn’t think that was possible.

Next: Tristan Emmanuel

2. Tristan Emmanuel

Have you checked out lately? It’s the faux-news arm of an anti-LGBT hate group, whose stated purpose is to dish out politics, culture, and commentary that’s “fueled by the Word of Life” and cut free “of the totalitarian left’s barbwire.”

Well, they’ve gotten right to the bottom of this whole Barack Hussein Obama travesty playing out in the Oval Office. Conservatives who believe the president is a secret Muslim, gun-snatching, race-baiting, Kenyan-Sharia-fascist-hippie-peacenik-Nazi, are really missing the point.

The fact is the Commander-in-Chief is really just the Antichrist in disguise.

This truth bomb comes from BarbWire’s director of development, Tristan Emmanuel, who exposes Obama’s secret eschatological agenda in a column subtly titled “The Anti-Christ? Obama’s Disregard About Pastor Saeed Says It All.”

Emmanuel writes:

Obama’s deplorable responses to the atrocities against Christians isn’t just pathetic – it is evidence of a much more insidious evil. Obama, in my estimation is, if nothing else, an anti-Christian bigot who is motivated above anything else with the irradiation of the American Christian zeitgeist.

[…]  What disappoints me is the pathetic criticism and mealy-mouthed manner of conservative critics. I can’t count how many conservative pundits trip over themselves to moderate their words against Obama, calling him “naive”, “wrong-headed,” “misinformed,” and (this one is the best) “out of touch.”


No… he’s totally in touch. He’s not naive. He is thoughtfully evil. He is the modern day Nero (minus the perversion). And like Nero he blames Christians for the uprisings. He obfuscates the obvious evil of his parental religion – Islam. He knows exactly what he’s doing. And what he is doing is systematically destroying the Christian heritage and zeitgeist of America. And if he has his druthers – across the globe.

“You think me extreme?” Emmanuel says, before going on to claim that “Obama embodies all the characteristics of the legendary nemesis.” (Yes, we do think he’s extreme. Most of these fruitcakes are not polite enough to ask us what we think, so kudos to Emmanuel.)

“And frankly,” he concludes, “I wouldn’t surprise me [sic] if he goes down as history’s Anti-Christ of Revelation.”

Via Right Wing Watch

Next: George Zimmerman and Andy Hallinan

1. George Zimmerman and Andy Hallinan

George Zimmerman“This Week In Crazy” received a lovely package this week: a mixed-nut basket of Islamophobia and gun-lovin’ Confederate pride.

Remember George Zimmerman, the night watchman and celebrity boxer who gained notoriety for killing Trayvon Martin? Well, Zimmerman, the Floridian who “stood his ground” by chasing down and killing an unarmed teen, has teamed up with the owner of a “Muslim-free” gun store to sell prints of Zimmerman’s Confederate flag painting in order to pay the store’s way through a civil liberties lawsuit. Whew.

This must be the densest concentration of right-wing crazy ever packed into a single story. (This week, anyway.)

So Zimmerman and the gun store owner, Andy Hallinan, created a mini-documentary (embedded below) and submitted to an interview on Florida radio (samples of which are available below for your listening displeasure, courtesy of Right Wing Watch). It’s best to hear this stuff from the horse’s mouth, however noxious that equine breath may be.

It’s as if every addled, extreme far-right position mated and birthed a conservative Chimera — a fire-breathing freak of nature that lives perennially 50 years in the past, with 10 arms carrying 20 guns, and five pairs of paranoid eyes, each looking over a separate shoulder for someone new to shoot.

Photo above: Simon Hunt

This Week In Crazy: Beware The Gaystapo Goon Squad!

Homophobes, misogynists, bigots… what a wonderful world. Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Kim Davis

This is just getting ugly. The right of same-sex couples to get married in all 50 states, which was enshrined in the SCOTUS ruling in June, continues to be obstructed by a cluster of obstinate local government officials and the special interest groups that back them in court. And now — even after losing in court — a clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky named Kim Davis is doubling down on the “religious liberty” bunk and ignoring a federal judge’s order to begin issuing marriage licenses.

This is the same county clerk who was the subject of a video that went viral in July, showing a gay couple attempting to get a marriage license and getting blown off by the craven bureaucrat. The ACLU subsequently brought an action against Davis, and on Wednesday a federal judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, ordering her to resume issuing licenses — a ruling conservative Christians say “advances the homosexual agenda.”

Davis was represented by Liberty Counsel, a law firm that advocates for anti-gay, anti-abortion policies, and is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. They issued a statement Thursday saying: “Kim Davis did not sign up as a clerk to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Her job duty was changed by five lawyers without any constitutional authority. At a minimum, her religious convictions should be accommodated.”

In his opinion, U.S. District Judge David Bunning said that Davis’ Constitutional right to practice her religion was not at all under threat from same-sex couples, writing:

[Davis] may continue to attend church twice a week, participate in Bible Study and minister to female inmates at the Rowan County Jail. She is even free to believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman, as many Americans do. However, her religious convictions cannot excuse her from performing the duties that she took an oath to perform as Rowan County Clerk.

On Thursday, however, she refused to obey the judge’s order (she had previously ignored Kentucky governor Steven Beshear also). And she isn’t even the only clerk in Kentucky doing this — let alone the country.

Next: Ted Nugent 

4. Ted Nugent

Mike Licht via Flickr

Speaking on Bill Keeler’s radio show Wednesday, “Freedom drenched killer American music” aficionado Ted Nugent weighed in on the whole fracas that erupted when Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump made crass remarks about Fox News host Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle after she grilled him during last Thursday’s GOP debate.

The Nuge said he was a “big fan” of Trump since he believes in “bold, aggressive, unapologetic truth,” and that he’s not a fan of Kelly since she pretends to be a member of the status quo — “either that or she’s just getting stupid.” Bottom line, quoth Nugent: “Donald Trump is the good guy, currently Megyn Kelly ain’t.”

Of course his remarks about Kelly were not at all limited to her journalistic competence or politics: “Sometimes when I’m loading my magazines,” he said, referring to ammunition, “I like to just look at her. And I usually sit naked on the couch dropping hot brass on my stuff.”

Media Matters has a rundown of Nugent’s long, sad history of misogyny. But it’s okay. Even if he manages to alienate every woman on Earth, he’ll always have his guns.

Via Media Matters

Next: Erick Erickson

3. Erick Erickson and RedState

Naturally, Nugent wasn’t the only misogynist troll to weigh in on the Kelly/Trump row this week. But at least Nugent is consistent. Erick Erickson, editor-in-chief of the right-wing blog RedState, is a hypocrite.

First Erickson banned Trump from the conservative candidates’ summit he organized last weekend on account of the billionaire businessman’s comments, saying: “No legitimate candidate suggests somehow a female asking questions is doing it because she’s hormonal.”

Then Erick “I’m Not One To Judge” Erickson turned around and published a featured blog post from one of his site’s contributors, which claimed that Hillary Clinton lacked a “unique selling propostion [sic] beyond proving even a homely woman can sleep her way into power.”

Media Matters highlighted Erickson’s double standard — that some women you’re allowed to target, and others you aren’t — and his habit of making sexist remarks, while providing a link to the original post.

RedState‘s response to Media Matters highlighted the central dilemma of calling attention to trolls — at the end of the day, you’re really just feeding them. (We suppose we are guilty of this too.)

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 4.20.07 PM

Yes, as a matter of fact, we did.

Via Media Matters

Next: Pat Robertson

2. Pat Robertson 

PatRobertsonScreenshotConservative televangelist Pat Robertson is blowing hard gusts of hate this week, calling same-sex marriage part of a “flood of evil” that threatens to overwhelm the United States.

In a recent edition of The 700 Club for the Christian Broadcasting Network, Robertson asked viewers: 

Who would’ve thought, 30 or 40 years ago when we began, that the Supreme Court would’ve said that homosexuality is a constitutional right? Who would’ve thought that the Supreme Court would’ve said marriage between homosexuals was a constitutional right? Who would’ve thought that the slaughter of babies, over 55 million of them, would’ve been declared a constitutional right by the Supreme Court?

Who would’ve thought after 55 years of broadcasting at CBN, Robertson would still be spewing the same closed-minded trash?

Who would’ve thought nearly $57 million would be donated in 2014 to CBN, the same company whose founder and host questions whether members of the LGBTQ community have the right to live openly in the United States?

Who would’ve thought any person who has been alive as long as Robertson — 85 years — would still not have learned that love wins?

The mad would-be prophet of the airwaves also said this week that only the draconian Biblical laws in the Book of Leviticus dealing with homosexuality apply. God-fearing, heterosexual Christians, need not worry, Robertson says. Jesus fulfilled all the laws for Christians, and apparently paid all Christians’ tabs.

Just be sure to love God and love your neighbor as yourself, Robertson added.

But what if your neighbor is gay, Pat?

Since the Bible seems inconclusive, should we consult the Supreme Court?

Next: Linda Harvey 

1. Linda Harvey

Linda Harvey is the president of Mission: America, an Ohio-based conservative Christian, anti-gay, anti-trans advocacy group, which believes that “homosexuality is not normal and natural” and that America is a “gravely ill” nation that can only be saved by “the blood of Jesus Christ” Oh, and the Southern Poverty Law Center considers them a hate group.

Harvey is a former ad exec who started the group in 1995, their site says, “after years of being ‘part of the problem.’ Lord, forgive us.”

She’s also a blogger for the perennially cracked WND, where in a post published Tuesday, titled “‘Equality Act’: Gaystapo’s Latest Attack,” she rips into the “fascist attempt” of the “gay lobby” to dismantle the First Amendment to the Constitution, and lays out her case against the “Equality Act,” which, according to the Human Rights Campaign, would “guarantee explicit, permanent protections for LGBT people.” The horror.

Harvey’s not having any of that. In nearly 1,000 words of verbal ipecac, inveighing against “Christ’s enemies,” the “sexual anarchy lobby,” “homosexual advocates,” and “gender-bending people,” she describes the act as “tyranny” and a “weapon of revolution” against American Christians of conscience. “Christianity,” she says “is now a target to be obliterated.”

Unpacking her ignorance, she writes:

If you support religious liberty – or say you do – you cannot support the “Equality Act.” It kills religious liberty. And an amendment won’t fix it…

[…] “LGBT” pressure groups do not dictate Christian doctrine, first of all. Our Almighty God has already done that. And they define “discrimination” as any opinion they don’t like, even if the view is based on reality.

Homosexuality is not inborn – it’s not like race – and the behavior is harmful to individuals and societies. These identities and attractions do not characterize separate types of “persons” (as the Obergefell majority ruling incorrectly assumed). So they are not defensible under the 14th Amendment.

[…]  We must not let them do this. This bill should be Priority No. 1 to defeat this year, next year and as long as it takes. Everyone needs to make it clear to congressional representatives that this fascist attempt to dismantle the First Amendment, to defy parental authority and to drive Christians out of jobs simply cannot happen.

Harvey concludes by saying that the “so-called ‘Equality Act’ is not about equality – we already have that. It’s about calling evil good, calling sin a right, and about punishing and silencing the voices of morality and faith.”

It is encouraging to hear that “we already have that,” Ms. Harvey. We’re not exactly sure who gets to be included in your particular “we,” but if you could just step down from that soapbox you think is Sinai, you might find that equality is actually a lot more elusive in this country than you think.

Photo: Glenn Halog via Flickr

This Week In Crazy: Special GOP Demented Debates Edition

Bluster, braggadocio, blowhards, oh my! The twin GOP debates that aired on Fox News Thursday were a buffet of bravado, casual misogyny, ignorance, xenophobia, leaps of illogic, flights of folly, and vaults of vacuousness, as the 17 candidates performed their strange dance of the damned in response to the clarion call of conservative crazies — “Be loud! Be angry! Be president!”

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing. It’s our special GOP Debate Edition. Starting with number five:

5. Ben Carson

Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson answers a question at the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland

So much for “do no harm.” Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson is apparently cool with torture. What he isn’t cool with is talking about torture.

When asked during Thursday night’s primetime Republican presidential debate whether he would reinstate the practice of waterboarding Gitmo detainees, Carson said:

What we do in order to get the info that we need is our business. And I wouldn’t necessarily be broadcasting to everybody what we’re going to do…. We’ve gotten into this mindset of fighting politically correct wars. There is no such thing as a politically correct war.

For someone who has trumped up his talents as a doctor, citing his signature medical achievement of being the first surgeon to separate conjoined twins at the head (an accomplishment he mentioned in his closing debate remarks), it is especially appalling that Carson would even suggest that torture is acceptable

It makes one wonder how he may have responded had he been asked about the other methods of torture used against detainees by U.S. military and non-military personnel, as revealed in the Senate’s report on the CIA’s tactics:

“Dr. Carson, what about stress positions?”

“I know a great chiropractor.”

“Would you be willing to employ sleep-deprivation techniques?”

“If the United States is in danger, we don’t have time to worry if these people are getting enough sleep.”

“Rectal rehydration or feeding?”

“If the person won’t eat or drink, I mean, right? God gave us a brain — and an anus.”

Setting aside the horrifying moral ramifications, it has long been known that information extracted via torture is almost always unreliable, and the CIA’s torture program, according to the Senate, failed to produce valuable intelligence.

Next: Donald Trump

4. Donald Trump

Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate Trump answers a question as fellow candidate Walker listens at the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland

Donald Trump has done quite a lot to lower the bar on polite discourse during the early stages of this election cycle. But Trump’s running-of-the-bullsh*t rhetoric didn’t begin with his candidacy. The candidate-cum-carinival barker has a long history of speaking his mind — and his mind is awfully lewd and deluded.

Debate moderator Megyn Kelly raked him over the coals for his “disparaging comments about women’s looks,” including tweets in which he referred to them as “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals,” to say nothing of his repulsion for breastfeeding women.

“Only Rosie O’Donnell,” Trump quipped. The former talk-show host responded on Twitter:

“I don’t, frankly, have time for total political correctness,” Trump added before turning the tables on Kelly:

What I say is what I say. And honestly, Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you although I could probably maybe not be based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that.

What a statesman! Here’s one for the nightmare file: the thought of President Trump sitting across the table from heads of state in Geneva or Vienna or some place — telling, say, Angela Merkel she’d look good on her knees.     Next: Bobby Jindal


3. Bobby Jindal Bobby Jindal

Each of the Republican candidates is going to have a very busy first day in office, if elected. Rick Perry promised to bring a whole drum of Wite-Out to erase Obama’s executive actions. Scott Walker has suggested he’d bomb Iran shortly after his inauguration. And Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal vowed to open a can of executive whoop-ass on Planned Parenthood in the form of a Department of Justice probe and a presidential order siccing the IRS on the nonprofit — a move that would be, by the way, illegal. When asked whether he would be willing to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood, he affirmed that he would defund the group “absolutely,” but disingenuously suggested that if the government were to close down over the issue, it would be President Obama’s fault: 

In terms of shutting down the government, I don’t think President Obama should choose to shut down the government simply to send taxpayer dollars to this group that has been caught, I believe, breaking the law, but also offending our values and our ethics. […] Absolutely [Republicans in D.C.] should fight to defund Planned Parenthood, and I don’t think the president should shut down the government simply to send our taxpayer dollars to this group.


The Bayou blockhead isn’t even the most anti-abortion candidate on the ticket, as we shall see…
Next: Mike Huckabee

2. Mike Huckabee

Mike HuckabeeIf you want to stand out as a social conservative in this crowd, you have to say things that are quite insane — what with Marco Rubio refusing to grant exceptions in his abortion ban for rape and incest and Scott Walker basically saying if an unborn fetus kills its mother, that’s okay with him. But former Arkansas governor, guns and grits aficionado, and cognoscente of far-right Christian kookery Mike Huckabee was on hand to take the primetime GOP debate’s conversation about the many ways to gut and kill Planned Parenthood to a dispiriting new low.

Defunding the nonprofit women’s health clinic was not enough, he said. As president, Huckabee vowed, he would extend personhood rights — namely the protections of the 5th and 14th amendments to the Constitution — to unborn fetuses. With this little bit of legal jujitsu, it’s not even necessary to overturn Roe v. Wade. Legal abortion becomes, ipso facto, unconstitutional. Huckabee elaborated:

I think the next president ought to invoke the 5th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution now that we clearly know that that baby inside the mother’s womb is a person at the moment of conception.

The reason we know that it is is because of the DNA schedule that we now have clear scientific evidence on. And this notion that we just continue to ignore the personhood of the individual is a violation of that unborn child’s 5th and 14th Amendment rights for due process and equal protection under the law.

It’s time that we recognize the Supreme Court is not the Supreme Being, and we change the policy to be pro-life and protect children instead of rip up their body parts and sell them like they’re parts to a Buick.

Invoking this dubiously defined “DNA schedule,” Huck concluded that modern science proves that life begins at conception — but apparently ends when you’re a woman who benefits from the treatment and health care that constitute 97 percent of the services Planned Parenthood provides

Next: The Moderators

1. The Moderators

Stupid reigned supreme on both sides of the stage Thursday night.

At the end of the debate, reading a question submitted on Facebook, Fox News host Megyn Kelly said, “I want to know if any of [the candidates] have received a word from God on what they should do and take care of first.”

“Any word from God?” Kelly added, posing the question first to Ted Cruz.

Asking a candidate what his first act as president would be: good question. Asking how their faith influences their political decision making: fair question. Asking if they’ve received “a word from God”: absurd, irrational question that mars the integrity of the office and insults the intelligence of voters.

Unless we’re to believe any of the GOP presidential candidates are prophets communicating with the Man (or Woman) Upstairs, Kelly’s audience-generated inquiry was criminally silly, and a slap in the face to voters who care about actual policy issues.

But you have to hand it to Kelly — she doubled down on the dumbness by combining two issues into one ridiculous statement posed as an asinine question. Speaking to Marco Rubio, Kelly said, “A woman just came here to the stage and asked: What about the veterans? I want to hear more about what these candidates are going to do for our nation’s veterans. So I put the question to you about God and the veterans — which you may find to be related.”

What was the actual question there? We just heard an opportunity for candidates to spit out a canned, worthless non-answer about God and the troops. Win-win.

Nice job, Fox moderators. You succeeded in showing U.S. voters little to nothing new about the Republican candidates, except that they are as similar as they are awful, and that you are well matched.

Okay, Tapper. Ball’s in your court. 

Illustration: DonkeyHotey

Debate Memo: Who’s In, Who’s Out, And What To Expect

It’ll be a night of drama: Donald Trump vs. Jeb Bush; everyone else vs. Donald Trump; and probably Donald Trump vs. the moderators. And at the early debate, someone there will just be trying to break out of the minor leagues and get signed to the majors.

But beyond that, every candidate could have something to gain, or something to lose. It’s going to be a dramatic night.

The first Republican presidential debates of the 2016 race are happening Thursday night in Cleveland — there will be a primetime debate featuring the top 10 GOP candidates according to national polls as determined by debate host Fox News, and seven other Republican candidates who will participate in a separate debate airing while most of the country is at work or on the way home.

Here’s what you need to know, and what to expect from the GOP candidates.

Round One: The Minor League Debate

Rick Perry
Who: Former Texas governor and speaker of the “oops” moment heard round the world, Perry began wearing glasses as a campaign strategy, referred to the Charleston shooting as an “accident,” and once likened opposition to LGBT rights to Texas governor Sam Houston’s refusal to support or join the Confederacy. Also, he was indicted on two felony counts.

What to expect: He will hopefully remember his talking points this time.

Continue reading: 5 Things You Need To Know About Rick Perry

Rick Santorum
Who: Former Pennsylvania senator who, despite being sympathetic to creationismscience,” told the Pope (who is a scientist) to leave “science to the scientists.”

What to expect: He likes to play the underdog.

Bobby Jindal
Who: Louisiana governor and Duck Dynasty devotee, who announced his candidacy with an avant-garde short film, Jindal once participated in an exorcism in college, is staunchly opposed to gay marriage, and wants to abolish the Supreme Court.

What to expect: He’ll probably make a big deal about “religious liberty” (read: discrimination).

Continue Reading: 5 Things To Remember About Bobby Jindal

Carly Fiorina
Who: Former Hewlett-Packard CEO who lost an election for a Senate seat in 2010, Fiorina is the only woman in the Republican race, but happens also to be opposed to equal-pay, is big into cybersecurity, and is concerned about men watching porn at work.

What to expect: She will take senseless potshots at Hillary Clinton.

Lindsey Graham
Who: South Carolina senator whose gambit for internet stardom was a video of him mutilating his own cellphone, Graham also said Hillary Clinton could not be trusted because her husband lied about an affair.

What to expect: Resentment that he isn’t at the big-boys table.

George Pataki
Who: Former New York governor who is pro-choice and pro-gun control.

What to expect: He will try to play the Giuliani card and invoke 9/11, while everyone else wonders what exactly he’s doing at the GOP debate.

Jim Gilmore
Who: Uh… one sec. Let’s see here. Former Virginia governor, apparently.

What to expect: People to ask, “Who?”

Continue reading: Round Two: The Primetime Showdown!

Round Two: The Primetime Showdown

Donald Trump
Who: Real estate mogul, mouthpiece of the GOP id, loudmouth “birther,” and reality TV star who’s been doing well in national polls — not so well with people of color, veterans, immigrants, mainstream Republicans, or the Republican Party in general; refers to self in the third person; likes to talk about walls.

What to expect: He will not attack anyone unless he is provoked.

Continue Reading: 5 Reasons Donald Trump Is The Republican Party5 Reasons America Needs Immigrants More Than It Needs Donald Trump, and 21 Questions For Donald Trump

Jeb Bush
Who: Former Florida governor with a checkered historybaby brother and son of former presidents; has made a series of gaffes on domestic policy issues, women’s health, the Iraq War; also just has an awful lot of bad ideas; spells his name with an exclamation point.

What to expect: He’ll have to try very hard to protect his tenuous status as the frontrunner-whose-name-is-not-Trump.

Continue Reading: Jeb Bush’s 5 Worst Ideas So Far, 4 Things To Remember About Jeb Bush, and Jeb Bush’s Ethical Blind Spot

Scott Walker
Who: Union-busting, anti-choice Wisconsin governor, Walker has polled well and his SuperPAC raised more than $20 million in its first quarter — from under 300 donors; thinks ultrasounds are cool.

What to expect:: He will get fooled again.

Continue Reading: 6 Things To Know About Scott Walker and What Democrats Should Fear Most About Scott Walker

Mike Huckabee
Who: Former Arkansas governor, conservative Christian, and evangelical favorite, Huckabee recently said President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran was like marching Israelis “to the door of the oven,” a very subtle reference to the Holocaust.

What to expect: He’ll invoke his four pillars: God, guns, grits, and gravy.

Ben Carson
Who: Carson, a retired neurosurgeon with no political experience, at some point in June was somehow leading a poll. He’s says fixing the economy, by cutting taxes, is the best way to address poverty; compared Obamacare to  9/11, Nazi Germany, and slavery; really hates pork.

What to expect: He might speak a little faster than usual and try to beat you at a board game.

Ted Cruz
Who: Texas senator with some serious SuperPAC muscle behind him (they’ve raised a combined $37.83 million, with the biggest individual donor to any SuperPAC thus far giving $11 million, and another individual giving $10 million); staunch opponent of same-sex marriage.

What to expect: He’ll shout about same-sex marriage “infringing” on Americans’ religious freedom.

Marco Rubio
Who: Florida senator and son of immigrants, Rubio has been seen by some as a frontrunner. His campaign and outside supporters have raised some $45 million, but…

What to expect: He will duck a question about his personal finances.

Rand Paul
Who: Kentucky senator and son of former GOP presidential candidate and libertarian luminary Ron Paul, Rand is a Tea Party favorite. Unfortunately for him, the head of his SuperPAC was indicted the day before the debate on charges of violating campaign finance laws related to Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign.

What to expect: He’ll go off about his “flat tax.”

Chris Christie
Who: Bombastic, ethically challenged, “combat ready” New Jersey governor widely known for the Bridgegate scandal (to say nothing of the several other reasons he should really not be president); enemy of teachers, commuters, and Bruce Springsteen; put his arm around Obama once and got lambasted for it.

What to expect: He will to tout his record as a twice-elected Republican governor in a heavily Democratic state, and not to keep his voice down as he “tells it like it is.”

Continue reading: 8 Reasons Chris Christie Shouldn’t Be President (Other Than Bridgegate)

John Kasich
Who: Ohio governor, former Lehman Brothers honcho, and renowned “ass kicker,” noted for his anger management issues, and for bucking the conservative trend by expanding Medicaid in his state and standing down to unions, Kasich slipped into the top 10 after being one of the last candidates to enter the fray

What to expect: It’s his opportunity to introduce himself to Republican voters as a sensible, credible, and competent candidate with an enviable hometown advantage in a crucial swing state.

Continue Reading: 5 Things To Remember About John Kasich and The Kasich-Walker Debate

Illustration: DonkeyHotey