let the free market decide

The Republican Party plans to auction off the bottom seven GOP presidential candidates on eBay. The party said the move will channel money to the low-polling stragglers and simplify the debate format.

“Look, we’ve got nothing against Rick Santorum and Bobby Jindal, even if obviously voters do,” said a GOP spokesman. “This is threefold: it gives those boys a chance to raise money, it raises their visibility, and it gives the electoral process back to the average voter. Win. Win. Win.”

Fox GOP Kids Table Debate” by DonkeyHotey via his flickr photo stream and used under a Creative Commons license. https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/20319204396/in/dateposted/
“Fox GOP Kids Table Debate” by DonkeyHotey (CC)

The GOP has come under criticism for a primary process that seems, so far, to have been hijacked by billionaires. The Koch Brothers reportedly have already purchased Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and billionaire Donald Trump has paid his own way to the top of the polls.

The new format, said the party, means the average Joe has as much a chance to purchase the next president as the average billionaire.

“Now nobody can fault us for the perpetuation of a middle-class-crushing plutocracy with no conscience, no morality, no accountability, no limit to its greed, and absolutely no regard for human life once it’s born,” said the Republican Party spokesman. “And that’s just off the top of my head.”

Trump responded with a Tweet: “Hey, Rick Santorum, if I buy you on e-Bay will they throw in a set of pool furniture?”

The bottom seven, according to the latest polls, are: former Texas governor Rick Perry, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York governor George Pataki, former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

Republican operatives said the party is still working out the details of the auction, which will be held before the next debate. The debate is scheduled for Sept. 16 on CNN and will feature only the top ten poll-ranked candidates.

A GOP source said the party is negotiating with several national retailers to “incentivize” average voters into participating in the auction by offering discount coupons so that, for instance, when a voter bids a dollar on a candidate they might get 50 cents off on a quart of motor oil.

The Federal Elections Commission said it’s not sure if selling presidential candidates outright — instead of the established tradition of buying them with bribes after they have been elected — is illegal.

“After the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling, which opened the floodgates for unlimited corrupting cash, it seems like anything is fair game,” said a spokesman. “But we’ll tune into the auction just to be sure.”

The GOP maintained the auction will be entirely on the up and up and in keeping with the electoral process in this country. “It’s a one dollar, one vote thing,” said a spokesman. “Or, at least that’s where the bidding starts.”

None of the seven candidates could be reached for comment. They were at a Koch Brothers campaign fund-raiser at Canyon Ranch, in Tucson, Ariz., working in the snack bar.

Trump Tweeted: “You BET I want fries with that!”

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Image: “Fox GOP Kids Table Debate” by DonkeyHotey via his flickr photo stream and used under a Creative Commons license.
Jeffry Scott

Jeffry Scott

Jeffry Scott is a former staff reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution where, over the course of 24 years, he covered two of the biggest trials in the city's history -- the racketeering trial of former mayor Bill Campbell, and the trial of courthouse shooter, Brian Nichols -- and wrote features on travel, food, politics, movies, TV and advertising, and covered breaking news on the metro desk. He left the paper two years ago and is living, quite happily, in St. Petersburg, Fla., as a freelance writer.