May 3, 2007

Simulblogging the Republican Debate.

1. Yes, I'll do it. And I'll do it without TiVo assistance. Going TiVo-less is not just to make me completely spontaneous. I don't want to get bogged down in it. Once I start pausing, I start feeling responsible for everything. But there will be a transcript later for that. And, dammit, I want the TiVo for "Survivor"!

2. I didn't realize there was a debate today until someone asked me this morning if I was going to watch it. Oh, no. I guess I am. But how many candidates? 8 for the Democrats was pretty annoying, though the 8th guy -- Gravel -- did provide some comic relief. I have to listen to 10 Republicans? 10! Who the hell are they? 10? Let's see there's Giuliani and McCain... uh.... and Tommy Thompson but not Fred Thompson... conversation about whether Tommy gets any boost in popularity by having the same name as the strangely longed-for non-candidate Fred... so, come on, you only got 3. There's 10! Where's my coffee? I can't believe you don't even remember Romney. Oh, yeah, Romney. How could I forget? Who else? A Senator from Kansas? A Senator from Kansas, really? Not Dole... Brownback! Oh, he's from Kansas. How perfectly boring. Huckabee. Oh, yeah, Huckabee. He used to be fat. Yikes, that's still only 6! Who are the other 4? And I'm committing to listening to them? Ron Paul. He might be amusing. Who else? I look it up: Jim Gilmore, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo. Oh, the pain.

3. The Reagan Library set is glossy, what with the reflection on the underside of Air Force One, suspended over the heads of the audience. So are you pouring a big glass of wine and planning to take a sip whenever anyone says "Reagan" and drain the glass if anyone says "I knew Ronald Reagan, and you're no blah blah blah"? Nancy Reagan is there, sitting with Arnold Schwarzenegger. The voiceover guys are gushing about how "regal" the setting is. Chris Matthews gives a snazzy introduction, brimming with enthusiasm for Reagan. Reagan Reagan Reagan. Agghh. Where's my wine glass?

4. Ooh, it's closed book. No notes allowed. The first question is about optimism (like Reagan's) and pessimism (shown in the current polls). Giuliani has one minute, and he leverages in statements about immigration, health care, and the war on terror. McCain is next. He stammers a bit but sounds very strong -- and angry at the congressional Democrats for cheering surrender in Iraq. Tommy Thompson looks awful, but he lays out a point-by-point political solution for Iraq. Mitt Romney looks great.

5. They're all asked if they'd amend the Constitution to let Arnold Schwarzenegger run for President. Nearly all of them say no. Right to his face. Take that. Now, we're getting some questions submitted and voted on through Politico.com. That's a nice touch. What does Romney dislike most about America? He just acts like the question is: What do you love about America?

6. Values! In other words: abortion. Okay to "repeal" Roe v. Wade? All must answer. All say yes, with different levels of passion. Giuliani says it's okay to "repeal" it, but it would also be okay for a "strict constructionist" judge to uphold it based on stare decisis. Romney is confronted about his change of mind on abortion rights, and he clearly says he changed his mind. Wasn't that purely political? He denies it and ties his change of mind to thinking about cloning. I don't believe that.

7. McCain: "I know there's good and evil in the world. I've seen it."

8. Can a business fire an employee because he's gay? Tommy: yes.

9. Romney is asked about religion, and he is speaking very well about it. Matthews keeps asking the question about whether religious faith has any relevance to the presidential race. The right answer here is rather obvious, and I think everyone on the stage knows what it is. A person's religious faith gives rise to values that matter in public life, but which religion it is doesn't matter and we shouldn't argue about that. It's really just a matter of saying that in a clear and inspiring way: America is great because of our religious tolerance, etc.

10. Halfway into this, I'd say the person making the most headway is Romney.

11. Romney takes a shot at the McCain-Feingold Act in the middle of an answer about abortion. He's referring to the effect of the Act on issues ads close to the election (something that is before the Court in the Wisconsin Right to Life case argued last week).

12. Stem cells. Tommy Thompson talks about the research going on at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. That appealed to me.

13. Wow! Romney on health care! I have no idea if his policy is good. I'll have to read about it. But his form of expression was great here.

14. Tax. It's very hard to compare tax policies on the fly. Thompson struck me with his idea of dealing with the AMT by giving people the option of a flat tax: you get whichever is lower. He brags about all the vetoing he did as governor of Wisconsin and acts like he could bring that vetoing style to the White House. But Wisconsin has an extremely strong veto power. You can't do that in the White House.

15. A yes-or-no question: Do you believe in evolution? It looks like 3 of them raised their hands on no, but I didn't quite catch who.

16. Gilmore is asked a question and I realize he's made no impression on me so far.

17. Brownback is too conservative for me, but I give him credit for speaking well. He's a good voice for his position, not that I want it to succeed. "This is a set of quality candidates" he says, when asked what he doesn't like about Giuliani. I like that he doesn't take a shot at Rudy. Clearly, the two men have very different positions. People can see that, and it's cool of Brownback to be magnanimous about it.

18. Giuliani seems natural and good-humored. I think he's showing what he is in an attractive way. A moment ago he was asked the sort of pop-quiz question that isn't at all about trying to find out what his policies are: explain the difference between Shiites and Sunnis. He does it exactly right. Later, Thompson gets a question like that: How many Americans have died in the Iraq war? I don't like this sort of smart-ass question, especially when only some of them get hit with one. The idea is to see if they'll screw up. There's nothing to be learned in a positive way. Let's just see if this guy is clueless.

19. Guy! They're all guys! It just hit me. They're all white too. Should be a question on that.

20. National ID card. McCain's all for it. Ron Paul lights on fire: ID cards are eeevvviiilllll.

21. Romney lights into Patrick Fitzgerald and the way he went after Scooter Libby. I like the way Romney is cool and controlled but gets passionate -- in a controlled way -- when it goes with his issue. Or do you think he's too slick? I think he's doing well. He's seems ready to play the role of candidate. Republicans ought to want to take advantage of that.

22. I confess to being moved to tears by Brownback talking about the sacredness of Terri Schiavo's life (even though I disagreed with what the Congress did). I'm impressed by the way this man believes what he believes and expresses this. But, of course, it would be a terrible mistake to make him the candidate.

23. Hey, Chris Matthews is doing a great job. He's keeping it lively, without seeming like he's lording his power over them. He's making it seem like fun, when it can't be fun. Nice going.

24. Closing statements. Jabbery details. Moving too fast. Okay. Time up. Stop already.

25. Giuliani uses his time to compliment the President, giving him credit for the lack of additional terrorist attacks after 9/11. He distinguishes himself in the group by going positive here.

26. In the after show hubbub, we see Romney getting into a photogenic encounter with Nancy Reagan.

27. The commentators. They're going to go on for another 90 minutes. Wow. Who will listen?

28. Glenn Reynolds has a good collection of links to other "live-blogging." I can't bring myself to use that term when I'm not there in the room. He includes a link to me, which is nice, and characterizes me as blogging "from her very own perspective." Well, yeah. What are other people doing?

81 comments:

R2K said...

: )

B said...

25 minutes into it, at least 5 of these guys would be miles ahead of any of the Democratic field so far.

I mean, c'mon, they've got lifetimes more experience in running administrations, not to mention actual plans and ideas. The Democratic debate was so anti-Bush, "just trust me cause I'm not Bush, even though I've never accomplished anything of great measure" BS that at least I have actual hope for the future after some of this one.

Revenant said...

Bah, I don't get the resistance to letting naturalized Americans run for President. Who is more American than a person who worked or fought to come here and then went through all the hassles and troubles to achieve citizenship? That's true patriotism, in my opinion.

I seriously doubt Arnie could actually *win*, mind you -- but it would be nice if he could run.

johnstodder said...

Given that the presidency is an open seat next year, my proposal is to have the Democrats and Republicans debate together during 2007, and not break off into party debates til '08. To reduce the unwieldy numbers of people, draw lots within each party's candidate list, so the matchups are set at random. And, don't hire Oprah in drag, I mean, Brian Williams or anybody like him, to ask the questions. The questions should be pointed policy questions, not touchy feely, and questions that require you to think rather than regurgitate talking points. Lets see what these jackasses are made of! Make them sweat! This should be at least as tough as an oral argument in front of an appellate court or PhD committee.

Mortimer Brezny said...

This debate is absolutely terrible. There aren't enough interactive questions and the candidates are filibustering too much, to their own detriment. It is too talky, rather than crisp.

The gotcha questions are good. But general questions suck, and I'm sick of them. Chris Matthews lacks the precision of the other questioners and the lack of discipline exercised by the candidates is his fault.

XWL said...

The Dems were stupid to run away from Brit Hume moderating a debate hosted by FNC.

Having an adversarial host (like Chris Matthews is being) is helping the Republican candidates sharpen their message.

Having 'Oprah in anchor drag' (as someone else already put it), hurt the Democrats and made the whole affair rather mushy.

And Gov. Romney is doing himself well, as has Mayor Giuliani, Sen. McCain not so much.

He looks and sound cranky, not good, not good at all (and his message isn't different enough to pick a weaker vessel for that message when compared to Romney or Giuliani)

None of the others are going to given a chance to get traction it seems.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Brian Williams was much better.

Is it so hard to ask Ron Paul whether he would repeal McCain-Feingold?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Having an adversarial host (like Chris Matthews is being) is helping the Republican candidates sharpen their message.

Ugh. He isn't adversarial. He's just lame and allowing them to bloviate. The other questioners are much better.

Palladian said...

I can't believe someone asked them if they "believed" in evolution. I mean, what is this, the 1872 presidential election?

Tim said...

Nineteen more months of this to come, and already I am tired.

Revenant said...

I can't believe someone asked them if they "believed" in evolution. I mean, what is this, the 1872 presidential election?

Well, the majority of Americans *don't* believe in the theory of evolution. Depressing, isn't it?

On the plus side, at least we don't have anywhere near the percentage of anti-GM wackos that Europe's got.

George said...

This is the best piece I've read on Fred Thompson's appeal to conservatives...by a former TN newspaper editor... (via Insta)...

http://www.metropulse.com/articles/2007/17_18/coverstory.html

He's the man to beat...

Tim said...

"Clearly, the two men have very different positions. People can see that, and it's cool of Brownback to be magnanimous about it."

Brownback must know he cannot win. He's trying to do something else (give voice to social conservative, provide some gravitational pull to the right during primaries), but doesn't want to unnecessarily alienate a prospective nominee (does anyone really think the Reps will nominate anyone but Romney, Rudy, Fred or McCain?).

CR said...

I'm glad you're watching this. The sound keeps fading in and out, making it unbearable to watch. Thanks Comcast.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Why does the Republican field suck so bad?

Guiliani is okay. Romney is phony. McCain is alright. Huckabee gave some strange answers and Ron Paul is the only person on there who has a consistent, coherent perspective.

Revenant said...

Brownback must know he cannot win. He's trying to do something else (give voice to social conservative, provide some gravitational pull to the right during primaries), but doesn't want to unnecessarily alienate a prospective nominee

He might be aiming for a VP spot on a Giuliani or Romney ticket. Both men have extremely shaky "social conservative" credentials, and Brownback's rock-solid in that regard.

Tim said...

"Why does the Republican field suck so bad?"

Easy. Because they aren't Senate Democrats willing to surrender in Iraq.

Next.

Tim said...

"He might be aiming for a VP spot on a Giuliani or Romney ticket. Both men have extremely shaky "social conservative" credentials, and Brownback's rock-solid in that regard."

Agreed that that is possible, but I think that's a reach for him if that's what he's thinking.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Because they aren't Senate Democrats willing to surrender in Iraq.

No, offense, but I voted for Bush in 2004 and would prefer to vote for a Republican. But what I saw tonight was not impressive. Most Republican primary voters likely agree, which is why Fred Thompson has such buzz.

So go next yourself.

Revenant said...

Not necessarily a reach. Mondale and Quayle were pretty much nobodies too, chosen to shore up their Presidential candidates' political resumes.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Ron Paul won the debate in my opinion. The others need practice and Tancredo is way out of his league.

Reliapundit said...

ann - you wrote:

22. I confess to being moved to tears by Brownback talking about the sacredness of Terri Schiavo's life (even though I disagreed with what the Congress did). I'm impressed by the way this man believes what he believes and expresses this. But, of course, it would be a terrible mistake to make him the candidate.

23. Hey, Chris Matthews is doing a great job. He's keeping it lively, without seeming like he's lording his power over them. He's making it seem like fun, when it can't be fun. Nice going.

YOU NEED HELP!

hdhouse said...

At the next debate, are the republicans going to bring on the mnost likely candidates or continue on with this group? I mean, as a democrat I don't mind if this is what they want to run but golly...why are they giving up so early?

downtownlad said...

"Can a business fire an employee because he's gay? Tommy: yes.

Lovely. I'm certain he doesn't think a business can fire an employee because he's back. And I'd be pretty certain that he doesn't think a gay business owner can fire Christian scum.

Someone should call him on that.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I admire your ability to do this kind of post.

I am strongly pro-life and I was o.k. with Rudy's answers. He loses "good standing" points as a Catholic, but as an executive, he's fine.

Tim said...

"So go next yourself."

O.k., seriously now, if they're so bad, how come the most likely of them beat Hillary! in the head to head polls?

They may be far from ideal, but it's not exactly like our politics is conducive to attracting the best people, is it? We pretty much deserve, all of us, the candidate we get.

Want better candidates? Then work to make our politics more attractive to better people.

boston70 said...

That was painful.

10 old white men.

Poor president Bush, how many Reagan and hope/optimism comments? Nothing, zilch, about Bush.

It's nice to know, per Tom Thompson, that my employer can fire me because I am gay-that's reassuring. But I guess Wisconsin is doing wonderful things in stem cell research, of course way behind the more glamourous biotech hubs-evil Boston/Cambridge and more evil San Francisco/Berkeley.
A better question for Thompson would be can a gay owner of a stem cell research company fire someone for being, gulp, straight?


Giulanni is toast. The social conservatives are going to freak about this performance.

I thought McCain was going to fall over, very excited.

Romney is a total opportunist. He was pro-choice two years ago, became a member of NRA in December, but now is a life long hunter since he was 15-except he has hunted twice: once when he was 15 and this past year-only small varmints though. He was going to be better than Kennedy for the gays. He's plastic and fake.

I agree with Ann. I don't agree with Brownback but he is articulate and he presents his views well in a non-nasty way.

I thought Huckebee was the best.
He seemed smart, funny, articulate and presentable. Also, he is from the south and heaven knows the country goes gaga over southern candidates-real americans-as opposed to us other pieces of shit.

The Hilary Clinton question actually makes Hilary look really bad and it is going to make democrats think twice about electing her.

There is something about Chris Matthews-his face looks like he is in his 50's and beginning at his neck he looks 70.

The entire thing seemed like some game show. Too fast, too many candidates and not enough time. It will be better when they start knocking some of the dead wood off so you can get to know some of these candidates better druing the debates.

michilines said...

28. Glenn Reynolds has a good collection of links to other "live-blogging." I can't bring myself to use that term when I'm not there in the room. He includes a link to me, which is nice, and characterizes me as blogging "from her very own perspective." Well, yeah. What are other people doing?

And that's what this little exercise was all about.

Revenant, you are still stuck in a pre-evolution mindset. Claiming that Americans think one way or another with no support means that you think people actually believe you when they read it.

Most don't, Revenant.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I thought the debate used the wrong gotcha questions. No "Raise-your-hands" question about repealing McCain-Feingold? No question about gay marriage w/r/t appointing Supreme Court Justices? No question to Brownback about what he'd do specifically to end the genocide in Darfur? Or his hold on the federal judges from Michigan? No question to McCain about his flub weeks ago on distributing condoms in Africa?

The waste of a question to Ron Paul on whether he'd abolish the IRS? (Why not ask him if he would have vetoed McCain-Feingold, if softballs are the thing to do.)

I liked the gotcha questions that were substantive and worked:

Tancredo, supposedly a free markets guy, doesn't want to repeal the federal law banning the private sale of organs? The dolt barely even understood the question. It was a libertarian question, not a liberal one.

Guiliani is running as tough on terror and botches the difference between Sunnis and Shiites? Stop. The. Bleeding.

Thompson thinks the President has an obligation to be the number one racial uniter in the nation. What the hell is that? That's God-awful nonsense.

Huckabee blatantly lied about attacking Mitt Romney. His only flaw, really, other than refusing to concede global warming exists and then pivoting to call on evangelicals to take care of God's earth. I didn't see, but if he also said he doesn't believe in evolution, then his fervent religiosity becomes a downside. Not in the primary, but in the general.

Romney is engaging but strikes one as phony. His overly cute explanation of his change from pro-choice to pro-life was the stuff little kids do to postpone getting into trouble. Just admit you stole a cookie from the cookie jar.

Ron Paul had the best night. If he stays in and a lot of these bloviators drop out, it's going to be a problem for the top three. It wasn't until he ripped apart the idea of a National ID that everyone on stage changed their tune. Every candidate who modified his position in the wake of Paul's lecture on liberty looked small and dishonest. I mean, usually the libertarian sounds like a nut, right? Except he sounded like the only honest and legitimate Republican on stage. He killed. He absolutely killed.

Fred Thompson is one smart man.

Hillary sucks, I agree. But I don't think any of what I saw, other than Huckabee's, Romney's or Paul's performance would successfully win a debate against Edwards or Obama. Or Biden on a good night.

Mortimer Brezny said...

He's plastic and fake.

Best Romney comment ever.

Realist said...

Giuliani answerered the Sunni/Shia question exactly right? He stumbled all over himself and the answer was nonsensical to me.
I swear I heard Tommy say Shibely or Shively instead of Schiavo, but hey, she's off the welfare rolls, right?
I didn't see any black faces all night, and I don't mean on stage.
If somebody held a gun to my head and said I had to vote for one of them it would be the good Dr. Paul.

Invisible Man said...

Huckabee wins!!!

Even though he's not getting through, I do find Huckabee to be the best of the lot. Like boston, I find it him smart with a good touch of charisma. As for the rest, Mitt is a joke. If Fred Thompson enters the race, Mitt will still be the best actor in the bunch. Guiliani is the only candidate in the field who might get hardcore Christian conservatives to vote for Hillary after that performance. And McCain was decent if not very old, but the war drumming is going to make it hard to get elected.

After this debate, I have no doubt that the CW is right on that except for the Democratic candidate actually peeing him/herself on stage at a debate, that the Republicans are toast in '08.

Cedarford said...

Guy! They're all guys! It just hit me. They're all white too. Should be a question on that.

I can see it now.

"How come none of you are a handicapped black lesbian in a wheelchair? Isn't that what America needs? The pinnacle of diversity manifested in one person?"

Well, how about leaving out a Muslim or Jew instead of Christian and coming from poverty in an inspirational way - and doing something out of type like being a black Muslim lesbian iceskater in a wheelchair with skate blades instead of wheels or a mentally handicapped Jewish war hero with mixed black and hispanic heritage up from destitution - and now with appropriate affirmative action benny points showing their superiority - running for President."


Best answers were Mitt Romney, Huckebee, and Thompson's. McCain the media whore struggled. Giuliani held his own, but didn't rise like the 3 best did....

And credit to Matthews who all too often comes across as a Democratic hack best suited to fetch Tip O'Neill's luggage or coffee, as he used to. He was a good moderator, did a nice job. Some of the questions were good too, forcing candidates out of formulaic resonses.
Best example of good questioning was in the Democratic debate where the question was a WMD detonated 1 mile offshore - which completely threw Democrats, inc Obama off their game that perfect safety comes from 100's of thousands more polyester-sporting Federal Gov't employees and "heroes" inspecting everything coming in to ship ports to airports to elementary schools to "keep the children perfectly safe."

Of the three best in the debate, Romney, IMO, gained the most.

David53 said...

Romney was on Leno last night. He seemed to connect well with the audience. He'll be one of the final three at the end of it all.

Revenant said...

Claiming that Americans think one way or another with no support means that you think people actually believe you when they read it.

You're a bit confused. When I say something and don't provide supporting evidence, that's not because I expect people to believe me -- its because I don't care if they believe me or not.

If you want to believe that most Americans accept the theory of evolution, hey, go right on ahead. I *wish* that was true, but it isn't.

Saint Russell said...

NBC is saying that Brownback, Huckabee, and Tancredo are the ones who identified themselves as not believing in evolution.

Mortimer Brezny said...

This explains why Peggy Noonan did not mention Huckabee in her op-ed piece on the debate.

Mark Daniels said...

I thought that Huckabee was more impressive than I expected he would be and Giuliani less.

Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo came across as the fringies they are.

McCain looked more like the McCain of old. He was unrepentant on the war, though critical of its management.

Romney was the John Edwards of the debate...calculating, way to clever.

Thompson probably torpedoed his candidacy by seeming to favor discrimination against gays. I couldn't believe he said that!

Mark Daniels

michilines said...

You're a bit confused.

Nope.

This post had the desired effect.

It's just a little circle. Dogs chasing their own tails type thing anyway. The lamity of the comments makes my point better than I could myself -- well that and Ann plugging Glenn Reynolds plugging Ann plugging Glenn Reynolds plugging Ann plugging Glenn Reynolds . . .

Revenant are you dizzy yet?

The Exalted said...

22. I confess to being moved to tears by Brownback talking about the sacredness of Terri Schiavo's life (even though I disagreed with what the Congress did).

heh.

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm certain he doesn't think a business can fire an employee because he's back.

I agree. If you fired every employee who came back, who would do all the work? That sort of madness ought not be allowed.

Revenant said...

Revenant are you dizzy yet?

No, but I confess that whatever point you think you've been making has escaped me. Fortunately for me, I'm pretty sure I don't care what it is.

ShadowFox said...

Oy! It's quite amusing to read this bunch of comments and compare it to comments on the same debate on lib blogs. Pathetic!

Ann, you're just sold on Romney because he's not as butt-ugly and old as the rest of this bunch. Golden Boy is more plastic and robotic than Hillary--watching him in a debate gives you a very good idea why Hillary is so unlikable on stage. But Romney is far worse.

I've watched Romney for his entire political career--when he ran for governor in Mass, back in Utah, his faux pas after faux pas in the Senate race against Kennedy (one does not go to Dorchester, point to a boarded up building and call it "the Kennedy country"). If Bush's smirk bothered people, Romney's rubber smile will undo him for sure. The only thing more plastic is his wife, Ann, and he keeps her well hidden.

OK, perhaps there is one more thing more plastic than Ann Romney--Laura Bush. Back in 2000, some lunatic remarked, "She's such a breath of fresh air after Hillary." Uh... really? She's on more pills than Kitty Dukakis and more botox than the entire Hollywood set. And that's a "breath of fresh air"?

Actually, reminiscing about Romney, it wasn't just his own mouth that sank his Senate campaign--it was really his wife's TV appearance. She was a perfect image of a Stepford wife--no life whatsoever. Romney's numbers were competitive until that interview--the next day, no chance!

But back to Ann's blogging, point by point.

2. If Ann does not know about Brownback, Tancredo and Duncan, she's been living under a rock (like most bloggers, she probably has). The only one I don't recognize is Gilmore. Paul is a fixture--and a favorite of the ultra-left. Not so much because of his politics, but rather because he's a live wire. He's the only one capable of inserting any life into this pale white geriatric fest. Gilmore stayed invisible through the debate--an utterly forgettable character. Gary Bauer had more life.

3. With all the comments about the library, Ann forgot to mention the tomb! RR is buried in the library. As one lib talk show host remarked, you'd expect this to be a candle-light ceremony. And robes. I expected a bit more slithering before the Master and a bit more Bush bashing. But there was plenty of both. Tweetie is right on schedule.

4. Closed book? Good thing Jim Bunning is not one of the candidates. When does Tommy not look awful, even when his talking points are perfectly sound? Romney?--the original Star Wars action figures had more life in them.

5. Arnold? Who cares?! No, really, who cares about that question? Romney--see above. Fake, rehearsed, dumb as shoe polish.

6. When someone mentions "strict constructionist", I think "stranglehold" with emphasis on "strangle". Perhaps the image I have is of a "strict constrictionist"--yes, that must be it. It's all BS from get go. It's obvious that Romney and Guiliani are faking it. Romney bringing in cloning is a calculated political move because his people think cloning is such a big issue with conservative. Uh... Mitt? You only look more fake when pandering.

7. Of course, you do, John--every morning when you look in the mirror!

8. Good thing Tommy can't drop any further down. That answer killed him nationally, even if he were to make it out of the primary. He won't, so it doesn't matter.

9. Ann is so in love with the guy, she fails to notice that he doesn't answer any of the questions (but see 5 and 6 above). I recall the same pattern in his Massachusetts gubernatorial debates--not one answer to the questions posed. Lucky for him, his opponent dropped the ball in the last debate and lost the support. Not going to happen here.

10. See 9.

11. Ann, he's not taking a shot at the bill--he's taking a shot at McCain. Yes, John is standing right there! I know it's hard to notice with 9 stiffs next to him--he blends in so well with the undead.

12. Electoral non-issue. In fact, probably a loser in most states, even some in the Bible Belt. Also a pot-shot at NR sitting right in front.

13. Ann, if you have not heard about MA health care bill, you really have been blogging too much. It's been all the rage. Romney is lying through his teeth--he did not propose the bill, he damn nearly vetoed it. His advisers told him to sign the bill as is because it would look good on his presidential resume. But he fought it until the last minute, even asking if he could send it back for reconsideration and amendments without vetoing. He might get away with this BS here, but it will catch up with him down the line. By the way, the consensus on the bill seems to be that it's a good start, nothing more. And it might not be so good for the medium-sized businesses--not so small that they would qualify for state assistance and not large enough that they could absorb costs. But, like I said, it's a start. Of course, once a few of these losers will drop out, the remaining ones will start screaming "socialized medicine!" and shove it down Mitt's throat.

14. Watching Thompson and reading Ann's comment makes the picture very clear--not ready for prime time. He does not understand the difference between state politics and national politics. In fact, he doesn't even know there is a difference.

15. Watching this bunch, I don't believe in evolution either. Ug! The sound of knuckle-dragging on the floor!

16. Good point. He still hasn't left an impression.

17. Back in the days... such people were called sophists... No, he's not angling for VP--that's what Tommy's doing despite all his denials. Brownback plays well in Kansas and Oklahoma, maybe Texas and the more conservative parts of Colorado. But he won't survive the South even if he makes it that far. He should be gone after the first three primaries, if not earlier.

18. Guiliani almost always seems natural and good-humored, unless he talks about ferrets. Why doesn't someone ask him about Bernie Kerik? You know that if he makes it out of the primaries, that will be the first question--how can a man hoping to ride his national security credentials recommend a mafia-connected, corrupt cop for a top national security job? Ann's right on with the Sunni-Shia point. Is this guy really as electable as most Republicans think? His cross appeal is based on his old image as a liberal Republican. Once he stands alone, if he sticks with the current message, he'll lose the cross-appeal, and if he goes for the cross-appeal, he'll lose the base. He may be close or in the lead in mock match-ups now, but when it's for real, he'll drop through the floor--it will be worse than Dole.

19. HA! Maybe JC should have run to make it look more interesting.

20. Ron Paul is the only true libertarian in the bunch. He'd probably outlaw the NSA if he had a chance.

21. Ann, "cool and controlled" = robotic; "passionate" = fake outrage. How can you not see it! Yes, he seems "ready to play a role of a candidate", just not ready to be one.

22. Tears? This is one of the most moonbat issues ever! Remember Porkys 2? Get the flock out of here!!

23. Yeah... Tweetie keeps it lively, sure--it's called "pitching softballs". There is not one meaningful question so far.

24. What? No questions about the cost of hair care? I am disappointed. I wanted to know how much Guiliani pays for the combover.

25. Distinguish? I have another word for it--brown-nosing. It's not pretty. He's had a bit of practice since first praising W for the great job he did on 9/11 the first time. At least it does not look as forced this time. Still fake, still BS. But there is a logic behind it--the minute 9/11 stops working for Bush, Rudy's toast. That's the only horse he has.

26. Mitt loves posing for camera--he's been polishing his teeth ever since leaving Michigan in daddy's car, straight from the factory (Papa Romney was AMC chairman before being governor--Christ! Does anyone remember AMC? Gremlin? Pacer?).

It's sad, really. There is a morbid air about these proceedings--and it has nothing to do with being held effectively in a crypt.

Oh, yeah! The numbers are in already. And it's not pretty for Golden Boy. It's only California polling though... Still, how did Gilmore do best among the minors? In fact, Gilmore's numbers are barely below Romney's!

No surprises, really. The numbers are almost exactly the same as tracking polls (although those with Fred and Newt included).

Revenant said...

If Bush's smirk bothered people, Romney's rubber smile will undo him for sure. The only thing more plastic is his wife, Ann, and he keeps her well hidden. OK, perhaps there is one more thing more plastic than Ann Romney--Laura Bush.

Um... Bush won.

Twice.

ShadowFox said...

Um... Bush won. Twice.

Different dynamics. Romney does not have the kind of machine that pushed the message. Besides, that's, sort of, the point--no one's going to fall for it again.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

ShadowFox wrote:

Watching this bunch, I don't believe in evolution either. Ug! The sound of knuckle-dragging on the floor!


Heh.

Johnny said...

"A person's religious faith gives rise to values that matter in public life, but which religion it is doesn't matter and we shouldn't argue about that."

Yeah, atheists have no values.

Johnny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jaycurrie said...

"All must answer. All say yes, with different levels of passion."

My brand new LED is now dotted with Stella....I'm still laughing

Realist said...

Rudy's erudition on display:
MR. VANDEHEI: Mayor Giuliani, this question comes from Eric Taylor (sp) from California. He wants to know, what is the difference between a Sunni and a Shi’a Muslim?

MR. GIULIANI: The difference is the descendant of Mohammed. The Sunnis believe that Mohammed’s -- the caliphate should be selected, and the Shi’ites believe that it should be by descent. And then, of course, there was a slaughter of Shi’ites in the early part of the history of Islam, and it has infected a lot of the history of Islam, which is really very unfortunate.

MR. VANDEHEI: Governor Gilmore, a politico.com reader

hdhouse said...

I think he kinda anticipated that question don't you? Good heavens. Other questions he wandered around like a rented mule and that he snaps out a few crisp sentences. Don't you get it?

And as to Fred, Good old Fred, he appeared to be a dithering fool now that he is off script. Why, he looked older and more doddering than McCain if that is possible

Fen said...

Newt Gingrich

ShadowFox said...

Rudy's erudition on display

Yeah, he seems to have rattled that off, but he forgot a few details along the way. Doesn't matter--most people watching don't have a clue.

He was asked this question once before and blew it. He learned his lesson--sort of. Not to worry--MSM will ignore it.

"A person's religious faith gives rise to values that matter in public life, but which religion it is doesn't matter and we shouldn't argue about that."

Yeah, atheists have no values.


I was going to make that point as well, but, with the multipage essay that I posted (;-) I forgot. Ann, if you want to have a reminder why the argument that religion gives values is complete BS, just go read Frederick Douglass.
A person's religious faith can contribute to all sorts of values--like holding some people to be superior to others, or holding some people to be subhuman. It can justify killing--think of women in Pakistan and other Muslim countries (but Islam does not have a monopoly on evil religious practices). And let's not forget the Inquisition--and, no, some parts of Christianity are no more civilized now than in 1492. And let's not forget that Ann's namesake was an apologist for the Nazis through the 1930s and 40s as a Lutheran theologian (and he was not the worst of the kind).

Back to the actual debate, the best morning headline of the day--from the Telegraph (London): Republican hopefuls ignore Bush but praise Reagan.

AllenS said...

"some parts of Christianity are no more civilized now than in 1492"

Which parts? That was 515 years ago.

EnigmatiCore said...

For well over four years, I have had Democrats explaining to me at every single opportunity why I should not give my vote to Republicans-- and they have done little to explain why I should give my vote to Democrats, especially since I am not a dove.

Meanwhile, the GOP has done nothing to explain why I should not give my vote to Democrats other than that I am not a dove. Last night did not change that at all. Worse for them, they did not really do all that much to tell me why I should vote for them.

You have 10 of your best and brightest up on stage all night, and none of them makes a good argument against the other party and for his own?

I was really hoping Rudy would acquit himself well, but he seemed to lessen himself to his peers instead of transcending them.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Ron Paul is the only person on there who has a consistent, coherent perspective."

Consistent, I will give you. Coherent? Very debatable.

Doable, practical, appealing, sane? Not even close.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Guiliani is running as tough on terror and botches the difference between Sunnis and Shiites? Stop. The. Bleeding."

Since you are attacking what passes for 'my guy' in the GOP side here, how did he botch the answer?

"MR. GIULIANI: The difference is the descendant of Mohammed. The Sunnis believe that Mohammed's -- the caliphate should be selected, and the Shi'ites believe that it should be by descent. And then, of course, there was a slaughter of Shi'ites in the early part of the history of Islam, and it has infected a lot of the history of Islam, which is really very unfortunate."

What part of that answer strikes you as being incorrect? The Wikipedia says:

"Shī‘a Islam, also Shi‘ite Islam or Shi‘ism (Arabic شيعة šīʿa), is the second largest denomination of the Islamic faith after Sunni Islam. Shias adhere to the teachings of Muhammad and the religious guidance of his family (who are referred to as the Ahl al-Bayt) or his descendents known as Shi'a Imams. Muhammad's bloodline continues only through his beloved daughter Fatima Zahra and cousin Ali which alongside the prophet's grandsons are the Ahl al-Bayt. Thus, Shi'as consider Muhammad's descendents as the true source of guidance while considering the first three ruling Sunni caliphs a historic occurrence and not something attached to faith. "

That fits with Rudy's answer. On to Sunni:

"They represent the branch of Islam that accepted the caliphate of Abu Bakr due to him being chosen by majority, thus elections, or Shurah, in the caliphate being the first distinguishing factor in Sunni Islam."

Again, that is what Rudy said. Where's the flub?

Fen said...

You have 10 of your best and brightest up on stage all night, and none of them makes a good argument against the other party and for his own?

Newt Gingrich.

And I agree that the 10 [too many for a good debate] were unimpressive. I'm still on the fence re Giuliani and Romney. I'm still against McCain.

EnigmatiCore said...

Ann: "A person's religious faith gives rise to values that matter in public life, but which religion it is doesn't matter and we shouldn't argue about that."

Johnny: "Yeah, atheists have no values."

Non sequitur. That does not follow from what Ann said. Often, atheists have different values than religious people. And those values matter in public life as well.

Fen said...

Who is more American than a person who worked or fought to come here and then went through all the hassles and troubles to achieve citizenship?

Agreed. Arnie's story is the American Dream. But the problem with changing the law is not him, its who would come after.

Fen said...

A person's religious faith can contribute to all sorts of values--like holding some people to be superior to others, or holding some people to be subhuman.

Certainly, but lets not pretend atheists are any different - they often displace their spiritual energy into other "religions" like Socialism and Global Warming. Atheists are just as capable of monstrous acts in the name of their own "God".

ShadowFox said...

enimaticore:
Non sequitur. That does not follow from what Ann said.

I read "johnny"'s remark as sarcasm. And it does follow directly from Ann's comments--her implication appeared to be that to have values you must subscribe to a religion.

allens:
Which parts? That was 515 years ago.

I should have said "Christendom", not "Christianity". Does that make it more obvious?

fen:
Certainly, but lets not pretend atheists are any different - they often displace their spiritual energy into other "religions" like Socialism and Global Warming. Atheists are just as capable of monstrous acts in the name of their own "God".

Fen--we actually agree on something! For my money, organized
atheism is a religion as well, although, obviously, one lacking a deity. Irrespectively of that particular point, nothing I said absolves atheist of monstrous or idiotic acts--there are plenty.

Two extra points that I failed to mention--following Ann's outline too closely.

1. Rudy commenting on Iran looking into Ronald Reagan's eyes and "two minutes later" turning over hostages. Obscene pandering bullshit! Never mind that there was a trade of arms for hostages--even the most dimwitted Reagan partisans know this. Reagan people demanded that the Iranians hold the hostages until after the elections when they found out that the Iranians were going to release the hostages. Rudy's brown-nosing like there is no tomorrow. Makes him look like a loser.

2. Did it occur to anyone that this was a bunch of rich, aging men commenting on abortion, as if they had any idea of what they were talking about. Never mind that Rudy and Mitt are about as consistent as airline on-time arrival.

Fen said...

Did it occur to anyone that this was a bunch of rich, aging men commenting on abortion, as if they had any idea of what they were talking about

Not really. I've never thought that race, age, or gender disqualified anyone from discussing issues. YMMV.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Again, that is what Rudy said. Where's the flub?

The flub is on the videotape, not on the transcript. You can piss your pants while hitting a double, but the pissing in your pants probably won't be on your baseball card.

AllenS said...

"I should have said "Christendom", not "Christianity". Does that make it more obvious?"

Christendom means: 1. Christians collectively. 2. the Christian world.

Somethings are more obvious. Keep digging.

ShadowFox said...

Allens--that's what I meant. If I keep digging, will you fall through?

EnigmatiCore said...

"her implication appeared to be that to have values you must subscribe to a religion."

I have always gotten the impression that Ann is either an atheist or an agnostic. I could be wrong, though.

Revenant said...

Besides, that's, sort of, the point--no one's going to fall for it again.

I don't know why people would stop falling for it now -- we had a plastic phony for a President for most of the 1990s. The thing is, most people don't pay attention to politics, and you have to watch for a while to spot the phonies.

Revenant said...

Never mind that there was a trade of arms for hostages--even the most dimwitted Reagan partisans know this.

Well, I'll defer to your inside knowledge of what dimwits believe. But intelligent people are aware that the arms-for-hostages deal was for the hostages held by Hezbollah in Lebannon -- not for the US embassy hostages.

Reagan people demanded that the Iranians hold the hostages until after the elections when they found out that the Iranians were going to release the hostages.

Yeah, yeah, and the Clintons killed Vince Foster, and FDR let Pearl Harbor happen on purpose, and Nixon faked the moon landings... yawn.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Yeah, yeah, and the Clintons killed Vince Foster, and FDR let Pearl Harbor happen on purpose, and Nixon faked the moon landings... yawn."

We can add to this list that Bush had advance knowledge of 911 and that he lied about WMD. I would join your yawn except for how prevalent these views are.

Galvanized said...

It's not necessarily that the National ID card is evil; it's more for what it's a precursor. I am totally against it. It is a blatant violation of individual liberties -- read and see what one will be UNable to do without his Real ID card. It will not stop terrorism, and it will be an invitation to more identity theft...that is until the government decides that chip implantation is preferable -- and, oh, the money to be made there by VeriChip! That stock will soar once the IPO is approved. Real ID as an introduction to fascism in America? No way.

Revenant said...

It will not stop terrorism, and it will be an invitation to more identity theft

I don't see how. Identity theft is already trivially easy; if someone hasn't stolen your identity yet it is just because nobody's wanted to.

Will it stop terrorism? Of course not. Will it make it easier to identify who is or isn't a real American citizen? Of course it will. That has advantages that go well beyond well beyond terrorism -- for starters, making it a requirement to show such ID before voting would go a long way towards eliminating voter fraud.

Galvanized said...

Not only to vote, but also to board a plane or enter any Federal building. What you are essentially doing with Real ID is allowing the government to slap a barcode on you. And what to do when AAFTA goes through, and our borders with Canada and Mexico are erased? Make it a requirement worldwide, of course. To accept Real ID is to open a slew of infringements on individual rights, which we are ignorantly, apathetically allowing to be frittered away while corporations and government support it.

Jack said...

19. Guy! They're all guys! It just hit me. They're all white too. Should be a question on that.

What question would you ask the candidate, exactly? "Why are you not black?" or "Do you wish you were a woman?" There may be a problem here, but it is surely not the candidates' problem.

Revenant said...

Not only to vote, but also to board a plane or enter any Federal building.

I really don't see the downside in knowing who is entering Federal buildings or boarding airplanes with me. I think refusing to allow people of unknown identity to do either of those things is a fantastic idea.

What you are essentially doing with Real ID is allowing the government to slap a barcode on you.

I already have numerous "barcodes" on me -- social security number, driver's license number, voter registration number, etc. Replacing them with a single "barcode" is a benefit to me. I lose inconvenience, not privacy.

And what to do when AAFTA goes through, and our borders with Canada and Mexico are erased?

If our borders with Mexico and Canada were erased -- which of course will not be happening -- I would *definitely* want a way of identifying who was and wasn't really American. I.e., a national ID card.

Galvanized said...

Revenant said:
I lose inconvenience, not privacy.


Unfortunately, much of America has your attitude toward this issue. Americans have systematically sold out their rights to privacy/individual rights for the sake of both 1)convenience and 2)rash consumerism. Unfortunately, time will show us all that we were ignorant in doing so.

Galvanized said...

As for erasing our borders -- economic or otherwise -- being an impossibility, Revenant, are you aware of the private meetings that large corporations and government are having to determine these things? The Amero and a borderless North America are indeed a possibility. AAFTA is a farce, however, and in the interest of big business, not citizens of Mexico, America, or Canada. But it would be proud to believe that it could never happen. Many Americans will sell out even their nationality for the sake of convenience and money, especially in the anti-American climate that exists now.

Revenant said...

Americans have systematically sold out their rights to privacy/individual rights for the sake of both 1)convenience and 2)rash consumerism.

You've confused privacy with anonymity. If you want to keep to yourself, ok. If you want to interact with society, we deserve to know who the heck you are.

This has nothing to do with consumerism and everything to do with entirely rational suspicion of people who put a high value on the ability to lie about their identity during social interactions.

As for erasing our borders -- economic or otherwise -- being an impossibility, Revenant, are you aware of the private meetings that large corporations and government are having to determine these things?

Yeah, I googled AAFTA -- the first few hits were for air rifle fanciers, but I noted the various tinfoil hat sites ranting about the New World Order.

Yawn.

ShadowFox said...

You've confused privacy with anonymity. If you want to keep to yourself, ok. If you want to interact with society, we deserve to know who the heck you are.

Perhaps you'd like a striped uniform to go with you public identity. How about a tattoo of your barcode--perhaps not your forehead, but some more inconspicuous place, like your ass.

While you're at it, why don't you find out the reason Bob Barr has become an advocate for privacy after his forced retirement.

On a different note, those who thought that Romney was a camera hog were right. The Golden Boy went overtime on many of his questions--as did Giuliani--and the two of them got the most question. By contrast, McCain got less TV time than everyone but Hunter. McCain got nearly 5 min less camera time than Romney--and that's not counting Romney's gallop toward NR. The number of question ranged from 12 to 19 and corresponded directly to the rankings in previous polls, except for Mitt skipping over Rudy and McCain for the top spot. If that's because of the interactive questions, that means that the moderator did a poor job--seeing that someone gets more questions in one part of the debate, he should have deflected attention toward others where he could. He did not.

On the other hand, the questioning of Romney is understandable--he is the least known of the three and has been most successful with self-promotion. So it is possible that people wanted to find out more about him. Of course, for Romney, that can backfire, as the more you know him, the less there is to see. He's a man with a scripted life and it shows.

Revenant said...

Perhaps you'd like a striped uniform to go with you public identity. How about a tattoo of your barcode--perhaps not your forehead, but some more inconspicuous place, like your ass.

As counter-arguments go, that ranks alongside "if we legalize gay marriage, people will have sex with their dogs".

While you're at it, why don't you find out the reason Bob Barr has become an advocate for privacy after his forced retirement.

Bob Barr's previous obsessions were (1) fighting the atheist-homosexual "plot" to "infiltrate" the boy scouts and (2) forcing mandatory 10 Commandments displays and prayer in schools -- the lack of which, according to him, caused the Columbine shootings.

So if you want to hop on his latest wingnut bandwagon, you go right on ahead and squeeze in there next to Galvanized. You can pass the time talking about the corporate-government conspiracy to flood America with Canadians and implant us with microchips.

Galvanized said...

Yes, Revenant, there were many "wingnuts" like us who didn't vocalize enough when Hitler and fascism rose to power. And your same kind of arrogance and ignorance silenced them until nothing could be done. Some of us rightly believe that history could indeed repeat itself. We shouldn't assume that we today are any better.