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As we head into the GOP debate, the primary is starting to resemble the end of Reservoir Dogs.


There’s a scenario that Quentin Taratino has returned to time and again in his films, with the major characters all pointing guns at each other. In Hollywood lingo, this is known as a “Mexican stand-off.” Donald Trump has little love for Mexicans but under his influence the Republican contest is turning into one long Mexican stand-off. Jeb Bush’s super PAC is trying to destroy Marco Rubio’s candidacy with a barrage of ads mocking him for his attendance record in the Senate and taste in footwear. Rubio is entangled in a war of words with Chris Christie. Nikki Haley was used as a surrogate to undermine Trump in a State of the Union response that was supposed to be aimed at President Obama. Meanwhile, everyone from John McCain to Rand Paul is slyly using a birther argument to raise questions about Ted Cruz’s electability. 

Presiding over this bloodbath is Trump, the master of insults who has forever affixed the label “low energy” to Jeb Bush while insulting Caryl Fiorina for her physical appearance and comparing Ben Carson to a child molester. As befits a Tarantino movie, it’s a largely all-male production, with Fiorina as the token woman.

The Mexican stand-off rarely ends wells. Most parties usually end up dead. The worry for the Republicans will be not just who gets killed, but who survives. If the victor is Cruz or Trump, the party could face an even bigger bloodbath in the fall.