Other Things We Learned From the Republican Debate on Saturday (Besides Mitt Romney's Poor Betting Choices):
So it was that the Republican candidates who are deemed worthy of attention (which somehow includes Rick Santorum but not John Huntsman or Buddy Roemer, both former governors) held another goddamn debate in goddamn Iowa last night. Goddamn Iowa, we might note, is one of the whitest goddamn states in America, which means it tells us approximately nothing about how nominations or elections are going to go, but its caucus is still honored like some bloated, louche lord of the manor who must be fed peeled grapes by the nude boy children of his subjects.

Yeah, you've all heard about Mitt Romney's stupid-ass offer to bet Rick Perry $10,000 dollars that he was right about something in some damn edition of some fucking book he wrote that he changed later because he's just that way. For the Rude Pundit, it wasn't so much the juvenile amount of the bet and the context of Romney's excessive wealth versus the poverty of the nation. It was that Romney was such a fucking bully about it. Not charming, not having-a-larf, just pushy and assholish. And, yeah, it was a low blow when Gingrich said to Romney, "The only reason you didn't become a career politician is you lost to Teddy Kennedy in 1994." But fuck Romney. The nomination was his to lose and that tool's blown it again and again. And he might have blown it for good on Saturday.

Other horrors in this spectacle of the decline and fall of the Republican party:
1. Benjamin Netanyahu is the greatest living American. And Israel is the most important state in the union. It's the location that got mentioned more than any other (besides the United States), and Romney and Gingrich got into a fight over who's got the longest Bibi: "I've known Bibi since 1984," said Newt. Countered Mitt, "I've also known Bibi Netanyahu for a long time. We worked together at Boston Consulting Group," which was in 1976, so Romney's balling Bibi for nearly a decade longer than Newt.

2. Newt Gingrich can tell the most obvious lies without even blinking. "'Palestinian' did not become a common term until after 1977," he offered porcinely. The New York Times archive would like to disagree over 10,000 times. And for those who say that many of those references are to some people or other who aren't really what we think of now as "Palestinians" and that, as wise and wide Newt has said, they are an "invented people," the Rude Pundit offers this from a May 8, 1921 article titled "Palestine Natives Oppose Zionism," which says that Christians and Muslims from Palestine are seeking "justice for the Palestinians."

Oh, hell. What else do you want to talk about here? Bottom line: Santorum's a creepy idiot who has family values shoved up his ass like spiked beads. Ron Paul is Ron Paul is Ron Paul (even if he seemed like Don Knotts running for president in a kooky movie with a chimp as his running mate). Most frightening, Michele Bachmann actually came across as saner and more in control because, compared with the flailing Romney and the failing Perry, she was (or maybe it was just fun to see her go after Romney and Gingrich).

Mostly, though, there was Romney, who was having a non-stop hissy fit, and Gingrich, who can say the most batshit things, but say them with such calm and poise that he jowl, "Young people oughta learn how to work. Middle class kids do it routinely. We should give poor kids the same chance to pursue happiness," as a call to loosen child labor laws and people will actually applaud. He could say " if we do survive" about a potential battle with Iran and no one will think, "Umm, did you just say you think we're all gonna die?"

Republicans have lost this election before it started. All that matters now is seeing how long Mitt Romney goes before the barely contained rage inside him bursts out. And how long until someone actually listens to exactly what the hell Newt Gingrich believes.

Frankly, President Obama should just ignore these fools and merely campaign on giving him a Congress that wants to accomplish something.