Get used to it. They are dedicated cultists, and their strength lies in the fact that cults share the same mystical thoughts, forever dividing good and evil. They meet regularly as a group under the light of television cameras, their only concession to modernity. They engage in secret handshakes and passwords (jobs-killing and tax-cutting), the latter to lure skeptics to their ritualistic realm.
As a homogeneous group, they are Brave New Worlders who have much in common with the products of Aldous Huxley's Central Hatchery and Conditioning Center, and he might be pleased to be vindicated in his literary alert that the world is a-changing in ways that we might not apprecicate.
There is still another dimension to their strange presence. It's the fact that they represent a numeral that has long fascinated mathematicians. There are not six nor two nor eight candidates, but nine. Pure magic, and quite fitting for cultists.
Having taken a 24-lecture on-line math course last year to help me balance my checkbook and figure out a department store's layered discounts, I learned all about the uniqueness of nine. According to the math-minded, if you multiply any number by nine, the sum's digits will always up to nine. No other numeral can make that claim! Example: 9 x 781 = 8829. So, 8+8+2+9 = 27. And 2+7 = 9)
But we were talking about the mystical Notorious Nine, weren't we? Well, yes. But I paid good money for the course and figured that someday the strange nine factor would be useful to politics. Thank God that Chris Christie didn't didn't screw everything up by making it 10. On the other hand, is it cruel to add that these nine cultists don't add up to much of anything?