Truth has officially become not only stranger than fiction, but vastly more amusing.

The circus surrounding the upcoming recall election on Oct. 7 has made California politics the best source of laughs since George W. coined the term “strategery.” Wednesday night’s debate did not disappoint.

The gubernatorial debate included Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, Green Party candidate Peter Miguel Camejo, independent Arianna Huffington, Republican candidate #1 state Sen. Tom McClintock and Republican candidate #2, the ever-lovable killing machine Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Moderating the debate was Stan Statham, arguably the worst moderator in the history of political debates and president of the California Broadcasters Association.

Though valid points were made and intelligent things said, the real beauty of this debate belonged to the pure comedic genius – or slavering incompetence – of Statham, Schwarzenegger and Huffington.

“I’d like to admonish the candidates very politely, because we’re supposed to stay on topic. I don’t know how Ms. Huffington got to Republican sexual morality and balancing the budget, but she managed to do so,” Statham said.

“That’s our Arianna,” joked Arnie.

Statham had just broken up one of many verbal mud wrestling matches at Wednesday night’s debate. It began with Huffington’s response to a question about balancing the budget. She had wandered off into a speech on corporate tax loopholes and the politicians who allow them when she was interrupted by Schwarzenneger.

“I love it. Arianna, let me say one thing. Your personal income tax has the biggest loophole – I can drive my Hummers through it. That’s how big your loophole is. Let me tell you something: I don’t know what you’re talking about. I cannot believe you.”

Personal attacks such as these flourished under Statham’s watchful eyes. He even endorsed them.

Huffington was having issues staying on topic the whole night and was interrupted by Arnie in the middle of one of her rants. But, as she noted, she was not easily intimidated.

“Let me finish. Let me finish. Let me finish. You know, this is completely impolite and we know how this is how you treat women and we know that, but not right now.”

Statham leapt to Arnie’s defense: “I’m going to decide it is my personal privilege as moderator that that was a direct and personal attack on Mr. Schwarzenegger, so would [Arnie] respond?”

“I would like to say that I just realized I have a perfect part for you in ‘Terminator 4.’That’s it.”

He also suggested that perhaps Huffington could use “a little more decaf.”

Statham’s confusion increased throughout the debate, reaching a pinnacle near the end of the night.

“We’re trying to find out who you are, Governor Schwarzen… Pardon me, I’m getting mixed up here. I’m going to have to lower my meds. Governor Huffington, what would you do for local government?”

I could be out of line here, but it seems like he could use an increase in medication.

In the end, he began to simply give in to the candidates.

Huffington suggested during another conflict with Arnie that they “see who can talk louder in a foreign accent, all right?”

“Well, all right,” said Statham.

At that point, having lost all credibility already, he could do anything but throw in the towel. If only certain candidates would do the same.

Write in Daily Nexus opinion editor for Cory Anthony governor.