Give the Republican Party this credit: at least their nomination process is entertaining and thought provoking.
While it may not all be good press, the fact remains that more people are talking about the GOP and its death race-eqsue style of choosing a presidential candidate than the snooze-fest offered up by the Democrats.
Sure, affordable college is a nice crusade, but is that all you've got?
On the other side of the aisle its all war against Christians, defund planned parenthood, build a wall, and ISIS at our back door. Whereas the Democrats are giving us "Good Will Hunting," Republicans are wowing us with their own political version of "The Terminator," including sequels.
It's captivating television, and garnering plenty of attention for the ideas and goals of the Republican candidates; that is, if the audience can turn away from the explosions to actually pay attention to the plot.
But as tends to occur when so much is happening at once, certain, and sometimes important, story lines become lost. It's hard to really examine Jeb Bush's tax plan, for instance, when you keep trying to wrap your head around how Donald Trump possibly believes Mexico will pay for a border wall.
Lately, two of such story lines have emerged, yet they are slipping away and it upsets me. One is a good thing, a big, beautiful gift to the GOP. The other is yet another reason why Trump should not be this far ahead in the polls.
In GOP-nomination race spirit, let's start with the bad. In the middle of this month, just ahead of the second Republican debate, Trump went to Southern California to give a "foreign policy speech" on a retired battle ship.
While that speech lacked much on things foreign or policy, the more interesting bit was the endorsement he received from the hosts of that rally, Veterans for a Strong America. Trump spoke about how it was great to receive the support from thousands of veterans.
Turns out that's not the case, at least not with this one endorsement. Turns out Veterans for a Strong America is actually a political action group that lost tax-exempt status in August. The group has not filed any tax returns in three years, according to a report from CNN.
It was also reported that the group had about $30 in the bank when it last filed with the Federal Election Commission in the spring. To top it all off, there is little evidence to show that Veterans for a Strong America has any members other than founder Joel Arends.
Attendees of that speech reportedly paid between $100 and $1,000 to hear Trump talk about…stuff. Afterwards, the Trump campaign said it had no idea of the issues surrounding Veterans for a Strong America.
Nice bit of judgement there from the man who seeks the most powerful seat in the land.
But, what else did we expect from a guy that likes to talk now and ask questions (such as those dealing with accuracy) later? In fact, I think this group and Trump go well together.
Something you don't often hear together is the GOP and minimum wage reform. They seem to treat the idea that raising the wage to account for, say, cost of living adjustments, is absurd. Any idea of a compromise for the fact that more minimum wage jobs are now filled by people supporting a family, and less by teenagers looking for a a start, is quickly dismissed.
Enter, thankfully, Dr. Ben Carson.
During the action-packed, disorientating second GOP debate, Carson mentioned a novel idea: two minimum wages, one that is a starter and another that is a sustainer. One can remain low since it is designed for a starter job, the other can be used for those who are seeking any sort of work so they and/or their families don't starve.
I realize that it's not going to be that simple. Before implementing the measure, we would have to decide where to draw the line. Is it based on age, experience, circumstance? Do we factor income coming from other parts of the household?
But the simple fact that a GOP candidate threw this idea forward is positive. Carson was very intelligently offering an area of compromise where Democrats and Republicans are becoming increasingly divided.
Unfortunately, Carson then went on to throw American Muslims under the bus in his own, Trumpy way. Any chance for his dual-minimum wage idea to gain any momentum disappeared behind a "Don't Tread On Me" t-shirt and a picket sign to protest the construction of a mosque.
I'm sure there's some good to be found in this action-filled epic about a dozen or so men and woman scratching and clawing their way to pick up the GOP staff and lead. But as I'm sure infamous director Michael Bay understands about how to truly entertains confused masses, it's more fun to watch things blow up.