Granted, I'm a bit slow, but I never will understand this twisted compulsion on the part of so many fawning Republican presidential candidates to make the pilgrimage to New York to supplicate themselves before Donald Trump, the Great Pumpkin of the GOP.
When it comes to having any discernible juice to influence the outcome of the Republican presidential nomination process, Trump has about as much clout as Ron Paul in resolving the European debt crisis.
But one after another, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and the recently politically speaking dead man obfuscating Herman Cain all made the trek to the gaudy Trump Tower, which makes 50 Cent's bling look like understated elegance.
I can't remember if Rick Santorum — who has become the Where's Waldo? of the campaign trail — has shown up to receive the real estate mogul's air kiss. But neither can anyone else.
A couple of candidates, most notably Jon Huntsman and Paul, have had the good sense to realize they have better things to do, like playing Angry Birds,than to loofah sponge Donald Trump's ego.
As if this year's Republican primary campaign, with its sex scandals and front-runners du jour, hadn't already turned into something out of Jersey Shore meets The Gong Show, now things have taken an even more bizarre twist with Trump announcing his own presidential debate.
So far, all the Republican candidates with the exception of Gingrich and Santorum, the stump's answer to the witness protection program, justifiably have recoiled in horror at the thought of subjecting themselves to Trump's squinty-eyed grilling out of fear perhaps the Great Orange Julius will order them to create a marketing campaign for Depends.
First, the Dec. 27 keister-kissing is to be carried on the Ion network, which can be located at Channel 27,500 on your cable system. A public access channel dedicated to Tajikistan goat herding probably has more viewership.
Second, the Great and Glorious Yam has yet to rule himself out completely as a potential presidential candidate. Please, Lord, let him run!
And thus the candidates, which are looking more and more like a collection of aluminum siding hucksters, gypsy roofers, a Mary Kay saleswoman doing penance and tea party pinups, are expected to subject themselves to questions from a megalomaniacal gadfly, who may have his own political agenda to undermine their campaigns — as if they aren't already doing a pretty good job at that all on their own.
You know the candidates see a debate moderated by the Great and Wondrous Cheddar Block as a bigger setup than Joe Pesci buying the ranch in Goodfellas when a figure like Huntsman, who is polling behind Occupant, To Whom It May Concern and Whatever, takes a pass.
Give the cranky Paul some credit for calling a pomade a pomade, writing off the Trump debate as "clownlike," which considering the moderator's separated-at-birth link to Ronald McDonald, cuts awfully close to the truth.
When the Great Tangerine Dream learned the bulk of the Republican field was avoiding his debate, he threatened to cancel the event. That had the same effect of Roseanne Barr pledging never to sing the national anthem again.
And thus, after consulting his mirror, Trump insisted he planned to go ahead with only Santorum, who is trailing behind Sasquatch, a toe tag and all 16 of Sybil's personalities, and Gingrich, who will be selling copies of his latest book, Infidelity For Dummies, after the debate.
The Great and Mystical Carrot Top would proceed with this meaningless exercise in hubris if the only people on the stage were Meat Loaf, Gary Busey and a Kardashian to be named later, because this was never about a presidential public policy discussion. It was always about Donald Trump finagling another opportunity to get before a camera, even if it was on a cable channel with less viewership than Phyllis Diller's fashion tips blog.
And he won't stop there. Trump noted he might issue an endorsement in the GOP presidential primary. That would carry about as much weight as Joe Paterno throwing his support behind a candidate to succeed him as Penn State's football coach.