Sunday, August 5, 2007

"I changed my position." and other thoughts on today's Republican debate -- Part 1

You're looking live at Des Moines, Iowa, where the Republican candidates for president are....OK, who's kidding who? This debate was held at 9:00 am in the East, 8:00 am in Des Moines. No one watched this debate live. It's a Sunday morning, what were they thinking. The hell if I'm going to get up early to watch these nine goobers debate. I recorded it and am now turning it on about 8:30 pm.

  • This is the first Republican debate in Iowa? What have they been doing for eight months.
  • These guys all look like they are still half asleep, except for McCain, who appears to have had a bunch of coffee.

  • And away we go...Sleepy Sam Brownback, what's the deal behind your robocalls? Well, Mitt is a loser, I said so, and my ad is true.

  • Mitt, are any of those facts untrue? Pro-life. Pro-life. Pro-life. I won't answer your question, I'm pro-life. Mitt isn't doing well, he's stammering. "I changed my position." No kidding. That will be the punch-line of any number of commercials. He's going to wish he hadn't said it that way. It is the perfect sound bite.

  • So Mitt, since you've said that a candidate should speak for himself, why did you say these things about Rudy Giuliani? Tough job being the front-runner, eh Mitt?

  • Giuliani defending his pro-choice position well, saying it's about keeping government out of personal decisions. That's the only way to go if he's going to neutralize this question.

  • Tommy Thompson looks like a bullfrog. Hey Tommy, Is Giuliani a good Catholic? No, but let's talk about issues, George, not about each others attacks.

  • For what it's worth, George is off to a good start if the debate is supposed to be a "Gotcha!" exercise, but he's not yet asked a candidate to explain their own position. Every question has been couched in "this guy stands for this, is that right?" That's a lousy way to run a debate.

  • McCain isn't as awake as I thought he was. That's what happens when Tommy Thompson speaks. That and the dog starts barking.
  • Softball to Ron Paul, how do we get out of Iraq? ABC knows how he's going to answer, and they are going to use his strong anti-war answer as a foil for the rest of them.

  • Oh, and why is Duncan Hunter talking about about Russia and the Berlin Wall? "I was there when we did Central America." So was David Vitter. (Tip your server and try the veal. I'll be here all week).

  • Mike Huckabee is the only one who sounds grounded. I don't agree with him on much, but he sounds like he's reasonable.

  • Sam Brownback looks puffy. Too much sun maybe? Not enough sleep?

  • Looks like the one black Republican in Iowa got a good seat right behind Stephanopolous and where the cameras can see him.

  • McCain thinks that if the Iraqis can come together to celebrate soccer, they can form a nation. And that is why he's past his prime.

  • Romney with a good line: "In one week, Obama has gone from having tea with our enemies to bombing our allies." A wax figure of Ann Romney nods in agreement.

  • Tancredo is pissed that he hasn't had a question yet. And now he's yelling. I'd do just as well not hearing him again. He apparently thinks we haven't pounded the Iraqis enough. I get the idea that if he were president, he'd say "go ahead, kill them all. Let me know when you're done."

  • Tommy Thomson looks like a milk jug. Michelle says he looks "like a caricature," but she can't put her finger on exactly what.

  • He's still talking. I need a nap.

  • Paul: "We can achieve much more in peace, then we can in these illegal unconstitutional wars."

  • McCain just said he was "one of [the war's] greatest critics." Is he senile? Has he been paying attention to himself for the last four years?

  • Huckabee wants to give the people the same health care plan that congress had. John Kerry ran on that platform last time and lost. Nice to see that's back on the table.

  • Tommy Thompson says: "The problem is, Governor Huckabee is correct." I say the problem is, Tommy Thompson looks like a beanpot.

  • Duncan Hunter says it's not the government's job to provide "womb to tomb" health care. And he blames the immigrants.

  • These guy depress me. "More market forces in health care" is another way to

  • Oh look, here's Obama's head on a platter. Take a swing...Rudy agrees! Wow, someone agrees with a Democrat. Mitt doesn't, he's going back to the meet with our friends, bomb our enemies thing. I don't think it's a bad thing for Obama to have all of these out-of-touch Republicans criticize him for being out of touch.

  • George finally asks a good question. So Bush wants to spread democracy around the world, and all of these Middle Eastern nations keep electing radical enemies of the US. What do you think of that? Huckabee talks about something else. Paul calls

  • Giuliani says Democracy is more about rule of law than about elections. That is what it's all about right there. That is why, no matter how progressive Giuliani sounds on some issues that I cannot imagine voting for him. If he has to choose between rule of law or elections, he thinks "rule of law" comes first. And the rest of them do too. Good grief.

  • Mitt Romney wants to "move the world of Islam toward modernity." I'm sure they appreciate that. Not at all condescending and paternalistic there Mitt, huh?

  • Tommy Thompson is completely incoherent.

  • Whoever had Sam Brownback in the Ronald Regan sweepstakes, come up and cash in your ticket. I don't think he realizes that Egypt is already a democracy.

  • Huckabee with a strong answer on infrastructure. Giuliani has decided that he's going to talk about the "liberal Democrats" in every answer. He knows that he is soft on conservative issues, so his strategy is obviously to look more conservative by talking about the Democrats each time.

  • But...I think Giuliani is winning the first half. He seems to be setting the tempo. A number of the other candidates have been piggybacking his ideas, he seems like the leader on the stage.
Time for a break. More after the commercial.

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