October 21, 2007

Meanwhile...

... here's what it looks like chez Stephen Green. Deep snow. Where on earth is he? Wherever he is, he promises to drunkblog the Republican debate that's about to start. I don't know if I can stand to sit through another debate, but.... WAIT! Last time, I got the idea of blogging the hell out of the first half hour of the debate. I think I'll do that. Green has his drunkblog gimmick. My gimmick with be blogging the hell out of the first half hour.

0:02: The audience is boisterous. We don't realize this after Tom Tancredo is introduced to polite applause. But Ron Paul gets a cheer, and then Mike Huckabee gets wild applause (that causes his eyes to twinkle and his dimple to deepen mesmerizingly). Next is Rudy Giuliani, and the cheer is perhaps a little louder, possibly echoing off his gleaming domed head. Ooh, now it's Mitt Romney, and he's got his hair carefully tousled to put a little Elvis-y strand right in the middle of his forehead. The cheering seems to have hit a plateau, which holds steady for all the rest of the candidates, so that even Duncan Hunter seems popular.

0:03: Chris Wallace tells us he's going to probe into the all-important matter of who is the real conservative. He informs Rudy that Thompson has said he's soft — he says "sawft" — on abortion and gun control, and he's never claimed to be a conservative. So who's the most conservative? Chris ends with a big, silly smile. It must have been fun saying that to Rudy's face. Rudy laughs and says he can't comment on Fred. We see Fred in the split screen, and he scratches his face. Apparently, Fred's tell is the face scratch. (It's mine too, so I notice.) Rudy cites George Will, who said that Giuliani ran the most conservative government in the United States in the last 50 or 60 years. The banner at the bottom of the screen says "Thompson on Giuliani/Soft on abortion." Rudy goes through his favorite statistics on bringing down crime and taxes and balancing the budget. He "drove pornography out of Times Square." And you have to take into account that he did this in a liberal city with a very liberal City Council.

0:05: Now, Chris hits Mitt with Thompson's you're-not-a-conservative indictment. Romney seems to ignore the question and plug in a pre-written speech. "You know this is a critical time for our nation and for our party." We need to put together a coalition. The way Ronald Reagan did. That seems bad, but then it seems good when he says the name "Hillary Clinton" twice. Why bother with Fred? The person to fight off is Hillary.

0:06: Fred Thompson then gets a complete softball: Have these two convinced you they're conservative? He tells a joke about Teddy Kennedy. Essentially: he's fat. We see Romney in the split screen yukking. Thompson ticks off his record of conservatism, which goes back to his reading of "Conscience of a Conservative" in his college days. In the Senate, he had a 100% pro-life voting record, he says, scratching his philtrum. Then he quickly reels out all the non-conservative positions Giuliani has, as the time bell goes off. He deserves credit as he proves he can talk somewhat fast and is willing to attack.

0:08: Rudy gets to rebut. "Fred was the single biggest obstacle to tort reform in the United States Senate. He stood with Democrats over and over again." He chops the lectern over and over again. He brings up that $54 million lawsuit about the lost pants. The man that brought the lawsuit ought to have had to reimburse that family he sued. He cost them over $100 thousand. Fred Thompson basically cost them $100 thousand. Hmmm. Can Rudy bring down Fred with pants?

0:09: Okay, Fred, you have 1 minute. "Talk fast." He wastes 20% of that time chuckling over the fact that he only has a minute. (A minute that I am blogging the hell out of.) Fred plays the federalism card. He voted for tort reform when it was about securities or products liability where it was "interstate commerce," but the rest of it belongs at the state level. "That's our system," he says strict-construction-y. Then, he blames Giuliani for suing over the "sanctuary cities" law.

0:10: Giuliani, with only 30 seconds, says the "sanctuary cities" policy in New York was good. Otherwise, they'd have to report every illegal alien who reported a crime. The way he did it, he brought down crime. He took "the crime capital of America" and made it the safest large city in the country. "The Senator has never had executive responsibility. He's never had the weight of people's safety and security on his shoulders. I have. And I think I outperformed any expectation." Excellent use of 30 seconds.

0:11: John McCain gets the "Quien es mas macho?" question at last. How it must have irked him to wait through all of that to get his turn. Attacking Romney, he points to his long years of service, and has the great line, "I led. I didn't manage for profit. I led for patriotism."

0:12: Wallace tells Romney — whose Elvis-lock has disappeared — that McCain just accused him of "conning people." Romney chatters out a list of accomplishments and gets back to the subject of Ronald Reagan. "Who will be able to build the house that Ronald Reagan built?" He seems to realize that's not a good phrase. (If Reagan already built the house....) "Who will be able to strengthen that house? Because that's the house... gonna build the house... that Clinton, Hillary wants to build." And Romney, Mitt garbled that pretty badly. His lines are preplanned and he's too nervous. But, again, he's the only one taking shots at Hillary.

0:12: McCain gets a chance to take a shot at Romney for saying he'd ask his lawyers whether he needed congressional authorization to attack Iran. McCain doesn't think much of lawyers: "Those are the last people on earth I'd call in." He feels great about saying that. There's a big cheer from the audience. And he's got a big smile on his face. He'd "call in" his own ability and experience. In other words, he's got a huge repository of knowledge and judgment, so he only needs to think for himself. That's leadership! Is that the kind you want? That's what he's offering. He turns to Romney and scolds him for "fooling" people about McCain. McCain starts chopping at the lectern as he says words like "believe" and "steadfast." He's got the qualifications and he's proud of it, he says, very earnestly, and then, after he says them, he remembers to smile.

0:15: Romney assures us that if U.S. security were at stake, he'd act immediately. But the decision to take the country to war shouldn't be done on a "half-cocked basis." And he's back to Hillary Clinton: she's trying to say that Bush went to Iraq without Congress, but he went to Congress.

0:16: Carl Cameron asks Ron Paul about his support for gay marriage. Paul can't hear the question, and he's got a ridiculous look on his face as he strains to hear. That doesn't seem fair. Paul talks about how all marriage should just be a private, religious matter. Well, that's so far from the current law, so it doesn't make much sense that he proceeds to talk about how a constitutional amendment is unnecessary. You have to face the fact that the state is involved in marriage. Then he garbles in a federalism point. The states can handle it. Then it's not a private, religious matter. I don't support the amendment, but I hate this kind of mixing of the issues. He is incoherent.

0:18: Romney argues for the gay marriage amendment. We need a national standard. If one state allows same-sex marriage, "it's going to spread to the entire nation." (I'm sure some people will hear that as making gay marriage sound like a disease.) He says we need to strengthen "the institution of marriage in this country by insisting that all states have the right to have marriage defined as between a man and a woman and we don't have unelected judges — liberals — standing up and saying we're going to impose same-sex marriage where it was clearly not in their state constitution." Look that quote over. It's very strange. He seems to be saying that federal law should protect states from their own judges. Why?

0:19: Giuliani is brought in on this question, and he seems to agree with Romney, though he says we "don't need a constitutional amendment at this point." But if 3 or 6 states' courts required gay marriage, we'd need the amendment. That would be a "real problem." When he was mayor he did 210 weddings and "they were all men and women." He pauses and lets the audience perceive a reason to laugh. They laugh. He smiles. He adds, "I hope." Carl Cameron is acting like he's having a hard time not bursting out in hysterics. I'm disgusted with everyone I see on screen right now. Oppose legal recognition of same-sex marriage if you must, but don't laugh at the people who feel this nontraditional love. "You've got to give me a little slack here. It was New York City." He's pandering to the "values voters."

0:21: Finally, Huckabee is brought in. He acts like he's happy that he wasn't caught up in the Romney-Giuliani-Thompson tiff. Let them "shed each other's blood" and then he'll be there to run for President. Giuliani acts like that's simply hilarious. He claps with glee. Huckabee tells us he doesn't want to fight those guys. He wants to fight for us. Good face saving. One issue he wants to fight for is "the sanctity of human life." He says that with fervor. He talks about the Declaration of Independence and "inalienable rights." Most of the signers were clergymen. (Oh?)

0:23: Cameron confronts Thompson with his lobbying for Planned Parenthood. "Frankly, I'd forgotten about," he says, noting that he just made "a few calls."

0:24: McCain says something mature.

0:26: Tancredo yammers.

0:27: Hunter's allowed to speak. No one cares.

0:28: Well, my half hour's almost up. All the candidates have spoken, and they've just handed off the questioning to Wendell Somebody or Somebody Wendell. This is the real half-hour mark, even if there are 2 minutes to go. The subject is education or health or education and health or something. And I see this as the signal that I've done my job. What the hell! This isn't a job. My friends, you're on your own!

80 comments:

Simon said...

A great service to evangelical voters -- how much hell you can blog out of the candidates presumably reflects how much hell was in them to start with... So if Huckabee's all he claims to be, presumably you won't be able to find much hell to blog out of him. ;)

Simon said...

"And you have to take into account that he did this in a liberal city with a very liberal City Council."

If he wins, he'll be going to be doing stuff in Washington D.C. with a Congress that will almost certainly be under liberal control.

B said...

Good news for Republicans:

October 20, 2007
Zogby Poll: Half Say They Would Never Vote for Hillary Clinton for President

While she is winning wide support in nationwide samples among Democrats in the race for their party’s presidential nomination, half of likely voters nationwide said they would never vote for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows.

The online survey of 9,718 likely voters nationwide showed that 50% said Clinton would never get their presidential vote. This is up from 46% who said they could never vote for Clinton in a Zogby International telephone survey conducted in early March.


You know there's 2 ways to not vote for somebody: cast a vote for someone else, or don't vote at all. I think Hillary's camp is hoping for another third party Perot-like, Dobson-backed candidate to split the vote and usher her in as a minority President just like Bill was.

Because no one with 40%+ negatives has ever won the Presidency.

Maxine Weiss said...

Malibu ! Why isn't Althouse covering the Malibu fires?

Maxine Weiss said...

"I have enjoyed driving through Malibu since childhood. My parents taught me to enjoy beauty, not envy it. I am always sorry to see beautiful things destroyed, they are beautiful, whether you are rich or poor. I am sorry to see beauty destroyed."

(Not written by Maxine, obviously---who lives her life with nothing but envy and covetousness!)

rcocean said...

"Malibu ! Why isn't Althouse covering the Malibu fires?"

I know, it worries me sick. Is Ed Asner Ok? What about Warren Beatty, or even Ned Beatty?

I hope I can sleep tonight.

rhhardin said...

April 28 2006 McCain said

You also mentioned about my abridgement of First Amendment Rights, talking about campaign finance reform. My response to that criticism is I worked in Washington and I know that money corrupts, and I and lot of other people were trying to stop that corruption, and obviously from what we've been seeing lately we didn't complete the job, but I would rather have a clean government than one where quote first amendment rights were being respected that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean goverment.

He then spent the rest of the week explaining what he meant.

Simon said...

McCain's thing about the lawyers is a cheap, crowd-pleasing shot. I thought Romney's remark at the previous debate was entirely reasonable.

Maxine Weiss said...

What if they held a fire in Malibu, which burns to the ground....and the rest of the Country roars with laughter?

"The blaze began just hours after presidential candidate Barack Obama was in the area "

(Ah, well that explains a lot! )

http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/malibu-on-fire/

hdhouse said...

Two observations from the left side:

1. At least these guys are out in the open about their fascism.

2. Can we change the rules and have Bush run for a 3rd term? He seems almost benign compared to this rabid pack.

Simon said...

rhhardin said...
"[On] April 28 2006 McCain said ... 'I would rather have a clean government than one where quote first amendment rights were being respected that has become corrupt.'"

Which is why I question your fitness for office, Senator - you place your own opinions and priorities above and ahead of the system of government that your oath of office demands you support and defend. What other provisions of the Constitution will Senator McCain cast aside when he determines they're an inconvenience, an obstacle to what he'd "rather have"? Government that's only limited when it's convenient to be limited isn't limited at all.

Stephen said...

Ann,

We live in Monument, Colorado, on top of Monument "Hill." At 7,500 feet, we're about at about as high an elevation as you can be while still living (just barely) on the east side of the Rocky Mountains.

It's lovely country, but you've got to own some really good shovels.

Maxine Weiss said...

If the rich pay the most in taxes, don't they get priority in firefighters....?

Uh-oh.

zzRon said...

"McCain's thing about the lawyers is a cheap, crowd-pleasing shot."


He was only refering to the lawyers who dont comment on the Althouse blog. So dont be too hard on him. And yes, it WAS crowd pleasing :-).

rcocean said...

McCain represents a strain of Republicanism that's always puzzled and irritated me.

A mad bomber in foreign policy, constantly reaching across the aisle to Hug Ted Kennedy, pandering to the MSM with the Gang of 14 and the attacks on Jerry Falwell/POTUS and the constant hurling of "racism" at those who oppose Amnesty.

His popularity makes me wonder if I'm in the right party.

rcocean said...

"The blaze began just hours after presidential candidate Barack Obama was in the area "

They always blame the black man.

Palladian said...

Turning the "gay marriage" thing into a laugh line was totally disgusting. Really. It always takes these debates to remind me why I am not, nor will ever be, a Republican, at least as long as they keep pandering to the increasingly irrelevant "values voters". The President's job is not to monitor the country's "values".

I just wish the other party weren't, in their own way, just as disgusting. It takes Democratic debates to remind me why I'm not a Democrat.

Ugh.

Maxine Weiss said...

"They always blame the black man"---rcocean

Well, he sure did beat a hasty retreat.

I thought blacks liked barbeque.

(Ouch)---You know I'm just kidding!

Anyway the least he could have done was rolled up his sleeves and helped in fighting it.

After all, if Malibu burns to the ground....all of his financial support goes with it!

zzRon said...

"It takes Democratic debates to remind me why I'm not a Democrat.

Ugh."


Amen.

Mortimer Brezny said...

He seems to be saying that federal law should protect states from their own judges. Why?

Somne rights, like property rights, are just too important. See, e.g., http://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1949/1947/1947_72/.

Mortimer Brezny said...

They always blame the black man.

They're saying he's on fire. It's a compliment.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Oppose legal recognition of same-sex marriage if you must, but don't laugh the people who feel this nontraditional love.

Isn't the humor here that Giuliani didn't check? They looked like male and female pairs, but he doesn't "know".

rcocean said...

Obama has read James Baldwin's "The Fire Next time".

Connect the dots.

Titus24 said...

Good evening republicans. I think they are all great and will vote whichever one has the r behind their name.

Who cares about the debate, the Red Sox are on.

rcocean said...

I wish they'd change the format and have the candidates ask each other questions. A good example, was Hume's question on Medicare and SS - a waste of time. These issues cannot be answered with 2 minute sound bites. In any case, the differences between Repubs were minor

Without a detailed analysis (Gasp, with Numbers) its impossible to determine either the scope of the problems or to judge which alternatives are reasonable. Any solution will have to bi-partisan, complex, and subject to months of negotiations and analysis.

Having the candidates ask the questions vs. the press would highlight the differences - exactly what we need as Republican voters.

Titus24 said...

Last night I went out dancing in Boston and they have a thriving gay scene.

Go Boston. The gays in Boston are pretty hot. A mix of Italian, Irish and everything in between. Overall, a nice mix.

I drank too much last night and fell asleep in a bush on Commonwealth Avenue on my walk back home from the bar. I was tired.

Titus24 said...

Also, the Boston gays are serious body builders. I was incredibly impressed with their arms and chests. Good job Boston gays.

The Boston Gays are also really butch. The southern gays tend to be the queeniest and ugliest. Combine the southern accent with the gay and it is a feminine combination. Not that there is anything wrong with the feminine gay I just don't want to do the feminine gay. The feminine gays started the Stonewall Riots and most of the feminine gays I know are tough as shit just very gay.

Combine the Boston accent with the gay and it is pretty hot. Also, the italian and irish and gay combination tends to be very hot too.

Shopping is very good in Boston too. Every important designer has a store here which speaks loudly in my book. Boston's very euro. Athens of America is what they call it. Also, the Boston people tend to be thin and gorgeous. I am talking about the city of Boston people. The girls are very hot. Nice tits, clothing looking good and tiny waists and well placed expensive acoutrements.

JackDRipper said...

1. At least these guys are out in the open about their fascism.

2. Can we change the rules and have Bush run for a 3rd term? He seems almost benign compared to this rabid pack.


One of those men will be the next president of the United States. He will select I'm guessing at least 2 supreme court justices.

My money is on Romney. I see Mitt beating the broom rider by 10 percentage points 55 to 45.

Ralph said...

Men dressed as ladies are always humorous. Ask Monty Python. Ladies dressed as men, no, but Marlene was hot in white tie & tails.

Maxine Weiss said...

Katrina 2005:

"You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals, as Jack Cafferty just pointed out, so tragically, so many of these people, almost all of them that we see, are so poor and they are so black....." ---Wolf Blitzer, CNN

Malibu 2007:

"I know, it worries me sick. Is Ed Asner Ok? What about Warren Beatty, or even Ned Beatty?"--rcocean, Althouse News Channel

Maxine Weiss said...

Oh, and I love how Althouse gave Wolf Blitzer a pass, back in September 2005:

"Blitzer's type of error was far different from Campanis's. He didn't express a specific prejudiced belief about race. He just got tangled up in his own news-prose." ---Althouse (9/2005)

(Because, of course, Althouse knows for a fact that Wolf Blitzer is free from any prejudice whatsoever. Newspeople have absolutely no bias! It was a semantics problem, and couldn't have possibly been anything else!)

Maxine Weiss said...

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2005/09/they-are-so-black.html

Palladian said...

"Men dressed as ladies are always humorous."

Well, excluding Maxine.

Fred Soto said...

You guys have to be kidding me if you think a Republican is going to win in 2008.

Ron Paul was laughed off the stage on his Iraq policy arguments and I'd say he is the GOP's only hope at defeating the Democrats. If not for respectable characters like Huckabee, McCain and Ron Paul, the GOP would be left with pro-War spewing, troop and God exploiting, anti-Hillary propaganda machines... i.e. the front-runners.

2008 is going to be much worse than 2006, and until you recognize that it is the GOP's "ways" that have pissed off Americans, you are just going to fall into the same trap. The GOP can NOT win on the issues, this election falls on the Iraq War and President Bush.

The "anyone-but-Hillary" strategy reminds me of the anyone-but-Bush campaign of 2004... we all know how that turned out. Of course, we could always attack Iran and help tip the scales a little bit so we can handicap the dems, naaaah, that might be too obvious.

Blake said...

Fred Soto,

I think you're neglecting the degree to which Democrats are pissing off the voters, and Hillary's negatives, which if B is right, are not to be sneezed at. And with the media seemingly dedicated to her election--notice only the L.A. Times(!) discussing her dodgy campaign contribution issues--I don't see another Dem in a good position to take the lead.

I'm not saying the Reps are a shoo-in but I'm saying this particular race to the bottom is highly competitive.

blogging cockroach said...

sox win sox win sox win sox win sox win

on to the world series...

with all due respect professor
i don't know why anybody in their right mind
would want to watch a bunch of politicians tell you lies
when you could be watching truth and beauty and goodness

the boston red sox

how do you know a politician is lying
their lips are moving

how do you know baseball is being played
the red sox are on

i'm glad titus had fun in boston
although i don't recommend crashing in a bush on comm ave
if i were a cruder cockroach i'd ask whose bush it was
but i'm not so i won't

anyway red sox nation it is
and if the republican stiffs don't appeal
and you really dislike sen clinton
you can always write in josh beckett
who i bet could also throw a strike like pres bush
when he throws out the first ball
only it would be a 98 mph fastball on the outside corner at the knees

Revenant said...

It was suggested to me earlier today that the Republican ticket would end up being Giuliani/Huckabee. That sounds about right at this point.

Titus24 said...

The Sox won!!!!

The city is on fire right now, not literally.

How exciting.

One other Boston nugget. Their baseball and football teams are amazing. Tom Brady is hot and goes out with Giselle-how fabulous is that? Also, I want to do Manny and Jacoby Ellsbury.

Fred Soto said...

Blake: I don't underestimate the hate that exists against Hillary Clinton on the Republican side of the table. What I know about politics -today- is that our system and discourse has become very polarized. That way I see it is: Republican candidates don't have a chance with "registered Democrats". Whereas the war is dividing the Republican base. I think there are more anti-Republicans than we release and a lot of them happen to be Christian. Between voter apathy on the right, a divided GOP and the Iraq War, I just can't see enough voters coming out to push the GOP over the edge.

Let's assume for a moment that you're right.. that statistically, it is a dead heat for the Presidency. If that is true, then the GOP has one of two ways to win: win over Independents (highly unlikely as better than 75% are leaning towards "Hillary care") OR get a 3rd party candidate to split the vote. Ron Paul as an independent might cripple Democrats as much as he might steal from the GOP. If he runs as a 3rd party candidate, then all bets are off.

Fred Soto said...

Sorry for typos, it's late.. and yes, congrats to the Red Sox. They played a phenomenal game and made a great comeback. It'll never beat the miraculous comeback against the Yankees a few years ago, but it was still pretty exciting to watch.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

I knew that Titus would have to be a big time red sox fan. I hope he enjoys the ambience of beantown. Let's go Rockies!!!!!!

Invisible Man said...

Boooo Red Sox! My Indians were robbed I tell you.

And the We-Hate-Hillary brigade is only going to make her stronger.

Ralph said...

Whereas the war is dividing the Republican base
Not in the way you think. We all want to win, except for the Pauline nutters, who probably aren't Repubs anyway. The question for us is who will continue the fight better, and not just in Iraq. Remember at this time in 1991, people thought GHWB was a shoo-in because of the Gulf War.

hdhouse said...

Frankly I was wondering why FIXED NOISE was airing the East Dogbutt, GA town council candidate debate.....then I think I recognized Ducken Cover, that tin foil wearing rascal from California...hwat was he doing in Georgia?...it occurded to me that Georgia was in a water shortage so here were a half dozen or so white males, all with about as much chance or reason to be president of the united states down there pissin' in the lake...

Where's the toast Maxine?

Revenant said...

The city is on fire right now, not literally.

Yeah, the literal fire is over here in San Diego. Yellow skies and orange sunlight are actually kind of pretty.

Trooper York said...

Hey, Lucky lives near San Diego. I hope he is ok.

Freeman Hunt said...

It was suggested to me earlier today that the Republican ticket would end up being Giuliani/Huckabee.

Good Lord, I hope not as far as the VP goes. I cannot understand why people like Huckabee as a candidate. It's like liking Obama. They like him without knowing about him. Someone look at his record and tell me he's a small government guy.

Ann, just an aside, remember when you were annoyed with him about the covenant marriage thing?

Revenant said...

They like him without knowing about him. Someone look at his record and tell me he's a small government guy.

I'm not thrilled about the idea either, but it wouldn't stop me from pulling the level for Rudy -- and it would probably make millions of social conservatives feel better about doing so.

Danny said...

0:19: Giuliani is brought in on this question, and he seems to agree with Romney, though he says we "don't need a constitutional amendment at this point." But if 3 or 6 states' courts required gay marriage, we'd need the amendment. That would be a "real problem."

More of a problem than marrying your second cousin and then divorcing her? More of a problem than cheating on your second ex-wife with two different women? Honestly, what bizarre moral justification do these so-called "value voters" have for pledging support for Giuliani?

Revenant said...

Honestly, what bizarre moral justification do these so-called "value voters" have for pledging support for Giuliani?

He'll be running against Hillary Clinton.

Any other silly questions?

hdhouse said...

yo revenant -

the question is serious. if the only reason you would consider one of these bozos is "its not hillary" then just don't vote.....vote for someone you think can lead. don't just cast a negative vote.

I can see the republican slogans now: "i might be a worthless lying sack of shit but i'm no woman" or "i might have the moral standards of a dog in heat but i didn't marry bill".

sounds like winners to me.

Pogo said...

"don't just cast a negative vote."

Piffle. Negative votes are a time honored way of preventing unwanted candidates from being elected.

Not that one is our only option, given that None of the Above doesn't exist, and that non-voters don't have any effect on the elction at all, save for ceding the decision to a smaller group.

I suspect that, just like most JFKerry votes were anti-Bush, most GOP votes will be anti-Hillary.

Bilby said...

I believe this is the article by George Will that Giuliani referred to. I remembered it because it contains a peculiar formulation in which Will apparently uses data showing a greater acceptance among the public of homosexuals as an indicator of changing attitudes about abortion.

Simon said...

Revenant said...
"[Freeman Hunt said that people like Huckabee without knowing about him. Someone look at his record and tell me he's a small government guy.] I'm not thrilled about the idea either, but it wouldn't stop me from pulling the level for Rudy -- and it would probably make millions of social conservatives feel better about doing so." (Emphasis added)

It's a given that Giuliani will need to pick someone much more reliably conservative as a veep as the price of mollifying the base. IIRC, Ann's answer to my question a few months ago about whether she could still support Giuliani if he chose someone much more to the right -- I think the examples I gave were Newt or Michael Steele, and I'd still argue that Steele ought to be considered as the veep, although Huckabee fits equally well into the hypo -- was that yes, and he needs to do whatever he needs to do to make social conservatives feel better about supporting Rudy.

Fred Soto said...
"Ron Paul was laughed off the stage on his Iraq policy arguments and I'd say he is the GOP's only hope at defeating the Democrats."

He got laughed off stage because he comes across as a total loon, even to a lot of people who're sympathetic to his message. As for him being the best chance of defeating the democrats, that's laughable.

"[T]his election falls on the Iraq War and President Bush."

Bush isn't on the ballot, and as for Iraq, we'll have to see were we are in a year's time.

"The 'anyone-but-Hillary strategy reminds me of the anyone-but-Bush campaign of 2004... we all know how that turned out."

It came within striking distance and a halfway competent candidate could have closed the deal.

"I don't underestimate the hate that exists against Hillary Clinton on the Republican side of the table."

It's not just on the Republican side of the table, and its existence isn't condititional on your understanding of it.

hdhouse said...

and there is the ringing endorsement of a turd in the punchbowl group of candidates if i every heard it. my god, man. one looks embalmed, another looks like he lost his little mustache on the way over, one believes in creationism, one has as many positions as days...so you'll vote for one of these fools, these absolute pandering beanbags who would as soon lie to you as kiss your ass rather than hillary.

just wanted to see the level of thinking she is up against. when it gets to zero give us a call.

hdhouse said...

oh and Fred...yes we know Bush isn't on the ballot...but those who think that Bush is the be all and end all of wisdom are on the ballot.

You can go hours without the mention of his name. But he is the leader of your party. Explain that.

Paco Wové said...

"what bizarre moral justification do these so-called "value voters" have for pledging support for Giuliani?"

I think it's called "The guy's a skunk, but he'll advance policies I like, and he's better than the alternative".

MadisonMan said...

Was Bush mentioned in this debate?

The way to preserve marriage is to make divorce laws stricter. None of this we drifted apart irreconcilable differences nonsense. What America needs is a popular Gay politician (Larry Craig?) to push for the toughening of divorce laws.

Simon said...

hdhouse said...
"oh and Fred...yes we know Bush isn't on the ballot...but those who think that Bush is the be all and end all of wisdom are on the ballot."

I think you'll be lucky to find one guy on that stage who will candidly say he thinks well of Bush, let alone thinks of him as the "be all and end all of wisdom." Most of the candidates namecheck Reagan - none of them namecheck Bush. Of course none of them are going to come out and say "the guy in office is a putz," - you don't get far telling the American electorate they made a mistake last time out.

Windbag said...

Assuming Hillary gets the nod from the Dems, it'll be interesting to see the contrast between her and the Repub that she'll face. If it's Rudy, will the comparison be the jilted vs. the jilter? What if it's McCain? Senator vs. Senator? Can Hillary's fake Southern drawl compete with Fred's authentic drawl? What if it's Ron Paul?? Ethel Merman vs. Fred Astaire?

hdhouse said...

windbag...please, don't mistake that hillbilly bonbon for anything resembling a president. an actor with an autopilot script hardly a president makes.

Fred Soto said...

simon: What is so laughable about Ron Paul's candidacy?

Is it the whole "I'd like to help the U.S. get back to the basics... we need to restore the Constitution, protect our freedom, put an end to reckless spending" argument? How about the "we should be good examples of Democracy, we can't force Democracy on a people at the barrel of a gun" argument? Maybe the whole "It's not the Christian way" spiel turned you off... what is it?

If the party did truly turn to its Libertarian roots, if it did embrace a limited government philosophy and support an all-inclusive nation... then the worshiping of Ronald Reagan would be welcome with open arms. As it stands, the party is putting forth a bunch of frauds; none of the front runners are interested in Ronald Reagan principles or limited government for that matter.

Simon said...

Fred Soto said...
"simon: What is so laughable about Ron Paul's candidacy?"

Well, for starters, people who run for the Presidency who have no actual chance of wining are laughable per se. But even aside from that, in Paul's case, it's the fact that he and many of his supporters come across as (and may actually be) loony. That doesn't mean that he's wrong about every issue, or that I disagree with him on every issue, but it's reached a point where I'm frightened to talk about federalism and small government for fear that people will think I'm one of these nutty Paulistas. It's not enough to be right about a lot of issues - you have to be sane and competent. And if Paul is either of those things, he sure doesn't come across that way. He's the worst imaginable flagbearer for the issues he claims to care about, which irritates me all the more because I really do care about federalism and small government. These are issues that I care about that he and his nutjob followers are discrediting. "I do consider myself a small government federalist ... [but while] I'm close enough to the libertarian pole myself to be out of the mainstream [myself], I'm here to tell you that Paul is so far out of the mainstream that he's practically aground on the far bank. His vision is of not merely limited but outright emasculated government; I'm with Grover Norquist so far as starving the beast is concerned, but he's on his own on the drowning it in the bathtub part." I think that a large part of his appeal has been driven by the fact that a lot of Republicans "are sickened by the behavior of a putatively Republican government whose attitude towards government spending between 2002 and 2006 was to fiscal conservatism what the Roman orgy was to prudery ... and in repulse, in reaction to the betrayal by elected leaders, are perhaps embracing a candidate who is also sickened by that behavior.... I think the Paulistas - those who weren’t already hardcore libertarians, that is, which is the core of it - have been so carried away with a candidate who talks about limiting government that they haven’t paused to consider just how much Ron Paul would limit government."

"If the party did truly turn to its Libertarian roots..."

The Republican Party's "Libertarian roots"? That's an interesting piece of historical revisionism.

Simon said...

By the way, Fred - another clue about why conservatives (even libertarian-inclined conservatives like me) don't like Paul: you wrote the other day that Paul is a "revolutionary," and that's language I keep hearing from Paulistas. What did Edmund Burke tell us about revolutions, Fred?

Simon said...

Or maybe it's because he comes out with total rot like this on his website: "We need a new method to prioritize our spending. It’s called the Constitution of the United States." Because of course, the Constitution micromanages the federal budget. And this is hot on the heels of the usual waffle objecting to the Federal Reserve, which makes me think he actually buys the argument that Constitution forecloses the Fed, which is right up there in the realm of nutjob lines with the perennial favorite "the 16th amendment doesn't allow the income tax." The Constitution settles some questions, but it leaves a lot of others open. Learn the difference.

Palladian said...

RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL

uh oh... It is contagious!

RON PAUL RON PAUL RON PAUL

Help! I can't stop now!

RON PAUL RON PAUL

Simon said...

Palladian - over the last few years, customers will sometimes ask me how they can increase traffic to their websites. I was asked that question last week and I suggested the customer say something disparaging about Ron Paul, because it seems to me that the instant a blog mentions his name, a swarm of Paulistas emerges to act as if they're just the most superior and intelligent people in the room. They're a lot like the 9/11 truthers, come to think of it, in terms of behavior.

Trooper York said...

met him on a Monday and my heart stood still
Da doo Ron Paul , da doo Ron Paul
Somebody told me that his name wasn’t Bill
Da doo Ron Paul, da doo Ron Paul

Yes, my heart stood still
Yes, his name wasn’t Bill
And when he walked me home
Da doo Ron Paul, da doo Ron Paul

I knew what he was doin' when he caught my eye
Da doo Ron Paul, da doo Ron Paul
He looked so quiet, but my oh my
Da doo Ron Paul, da doo Ron Paul

Yes, he caught my eye
Yes, my oh my
And when he talked on my phone
Da doo Ron Paul, da doo Ron Paul

Da doo Ron Ron Paul, da doo Ron Ron
Da doo Ron Ron Paul, da doo Ron Ron

Palladian said...

"They're a lot like the 9/11 truthers, come to think of it, in terms of behavior."

Some of them probably are 9/11 "truthers".

Original Mike said...

RuPaul! RuPaul! RuPaul!

(sotto voce: what?)

Never mind!

Trooper York said...

Answer: Paul Pierce, Paul Pierce, Paul Pierce!
Question: What has more stitches than a box of baseballs?

Alan said...

"Most of the signers were clergymen. (Oh?)"

I can't confirm the accuracy of this listing. But I would expect to see at least few clergymen listed if Huckabee's claim were accurate.

Additionally:

"Although two others had been clergy previously, John Witherspoon of New Jersey was the only active clergyman to attend -- he wore his pontificals to the sessions."

It seems Huckabee manufactured the claim out of thin air. All the more reason the GOP should spend 40 years in the wilderness to rid the party of such nonsense.

Fred Soto said...

Simon: So you're saying that the Republican party doesn't have its roots based on Libertarian thought? If that's true.. what the hell does it mean to be a Republican, then?

Ronald Reagan was probably more Libertarian than he was a "Republican" as per today's standards.

I've always considered the GOP based on limited government principles and strict Constitutionalism. I guess if you say I'm wrong, then I must be wrong.

I've met far crazier GOP neo-Cons than I have crazy Libertarians. In my view, it takes a certain "type" of Republican to consider libertarianism a party for loons. I'll just call them teapots.

:)

Simon said...

Fred, the GOP draws at least as much from the conservative well as from the libertarian well, although there's obviously an overlap of areas of mutual agreement (low taxes, federalism and small government, for example). And I didn't say libertarianism was loony, I said Ron Paul is a loon - click the link and read. This silly idea that Ron Paul is okay because he's for "limited government principles and strict Constitutionalism" is like saying that anyone who isn't colorblind is a great painter.

As to the invocation of crazy neocons, it's my observation that the term neocon has become the epithet of choice to describe any person with whom one agrees, regardless of whether that person adheres to any of the policy positions associated with neoconservatism down the years. The term's utility was already hanging by a thread when it was being used to describe Dick Cheney, but I think it reached the point of absurdity when Pat Buchanan, of all people, was called a neocon.

Bilby said...

Ron Paul isn't helped one bit by his followers who spam online polls and sit on Google looking for anything written about him so they can spam it with canned speeches. They can yammer all day about limited government or whatever, but their behavior is counterproductive in the extreme. Especially hilarious is that they apparently believe it means something when Ron Paul wins an online poll.

Fred Soto said...

I love Pat Buchanan.. he is -not- a neo-Con. Neocon is the new "Liberal," it's true.

'Extremists' seem insane to people on the outside and passion rarely contributes to the appearance of 'sanity'. Your comment reminds me of evangelical Christians. They are viewed as crazy by many people, yet if you get to know them, you'll find they are among the nicest people around. The E- word is almost as dirty as the N- word, which has leapfrogged the L- word.

Anyway, I agree with your last few comments so I'm done yammering.

G'night :)

Revenant said...

Ronald Reagan was probably more Libertarian than he was a "Republican" as per today's standards.

Goldwater and Reagan pushed the Republican Party in a more libertarian direction, certainly. But the Republican Party's "roots" are have very strong roots in federal interventionism. Heck, Abe Lincoln -- the first Republican president -- is widely hated by many members of the Libertarian Party for a list of reasons to inane to go into.

Reagan and Goldwater weren't bringing the party back to its roots. They were moving the party in a new direction that was, arguably, closer to the roots of *conservatism* -- but the Republican Party's roots aren't uniformly conservative ones.

Were Reagan around today, he would be labeled a "neo-con". He was very much in favor of expanding democracy through the use of military force. The only real foreign policy difference between Bush and Reagan is that Reagan had better advisers. Their goals and underlying philosophy were much the same.

I love Pat Buchanan.. he is -not- a neo-Con.

The "neo" that most readily comes to mind for old Pat is "-Nazi". The man sure does hate him some Jews.

Anyway, Ron Paul's definitely a nut, and I'm annoyed that he's running for President. I left the Libertarian Party specifically because they kept running fruicakes like Paul for office instead of nominating one of the numerous educated and intelligent libertarians out there.

Revenant said...

One more thing:

Your comment reminds me of evangelical Christians. They are viewed as crazy by many people, yet if you get to know them, you'll find they are among the nicest people around.

"Nice" is not the antonym of "crazy", Fred. Evangelical fundamentalists are, indeed, usually nice people. That doesn't change the fact that (for example) creationism is a nutty thing to believe in. They're very nice, and very misguided.

Simon said...

Fred Soto said...
"I love Pat Buchanan..."

That figures, since Ron Paul's foreign and trade policy is lifted almost word-for-word from Buchanan's canon. ;) And of course, it's wrong no matter whose mouth it comes out of. Isolationism and protectionism doesn't work (although I do admit to agreeing to an extent with Paul's hostility to certain kinds of international agreements).

"Neocon is the new "Liberal," it's true."

I'm not sure it is. That's the meme that's been spread, but it seems to me that when people use "liberal" as a derogatory term, they're referring to people who actually are liberals as that word has been understood. When I call Ted Kennedy a liberal, sure, it's meant to be derogatory, but he actually is a liberal. When someone calls, you know, Sam Brownback or whoever a neocon, it's meant to be derogatory, but it comes across as incoherent because it's often aimed at people who aren't neoconservatives. You can call George W. Bush a neocon, and I suppose you could argue that Cheney could be called a neocon at least so far as foreign policy is concerned, but when it's applied as an indiscriminate insult it reveals a profound ignorance of modern political thought.