Saturday, January 07, 2012

Desultory In-Progress Debate Notes

9:01pm Central Time: Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ ... there are "major party" presidential candidates running on a platform of sending troops back into Iraq?

9:05pm: Obama wrapped up Iraq on the Bush timetable. He "surged" Afghanistan, amped up the drone war in Pakistan, launched a renewed covert war in Somalia, honchoed the takedown of bin Laden ... there's just no way to get around his "national security" flank from the hawk direction. But a bunch of these bozos are trying. As usual, the only one talking a lick of sense on foreign policy is Ron Paul.

9:07pm: Santorum notices that the Iranian people think America is cool -- then says what we need to do is keep trying to change that. Because the best way to overthrow an unfriendly regime is to do everything you can to keep its popular support level at the highest level possible.

9:13pm: Riffing on break commentary -- 53% of Americans support ending marriage apartheid. Republican candidates: "Fuck'em."

9:15pm: Newt Gingrich thinks that every issue is a "very big, very important topic." Ask him about his bunions and he'll roll out a plan for massive revisioning of NIH.

9:17pm: Mitt wants to get rid of all the "loopholes and deductions" that keep the poor politicians so destitute. Santorum wants to get rid of all the deductions except the ones that are actually there, so that it can be 1955 in Pennsylvania's factories again.

9:20pm: Mitt and taxes, sittin' in a tree ... Says we're "inches from not being a free economy any more." Because, you know, back in the days of Nixon's wage and price controls, things were so much freer.

9:21pm: Oh, shit, Paul's giving an economics lecture. Everything he's saying is absolutely right. He also sounds like he's about to scream "get off my lawn!" at any second.

9:23pm: That one guy from Texas, the other one, Rick somethin' or other, is flapping his gums. He's got the whole "get off my lawn" tone thing going, too. Someone plug in the shrill-meter.

9:24pm: Huntsman's glad someone's actually letting him speak this time. Mitt's rambling. He seems very much off his game tonight. He's worried he'll fall below 40% next Tuesday. He's right to be worried.

9:27pm: Newt thinks that Obama is a radical European socialist now. Quite a transformation from Kenyan anti-colonialist, huh? But now he's trying to make Romney into Obama, and I admit Romney looks more like Switzerland than Swaziland. Santorum looks ... lost.

9:28pm: Santorum will "use the language of bringing people together." As long as they're heterosexual and there's no contraception involved, of course.

9:30pm: Anonymous is ... China.

9:35pm: Huntsman: A trade war is a bad idea. Mitt: China will swerve first.

My partial impression (I came in way late): So far I'd say that Huntsman is picking up some points (that break into Chinese was gold), Santorum and Romney are cratering, Newt and Paul are holding their own, and Perry should have gone ahead and dropped out last Tuesday.

OK, wow, it's over. Or are there closing statements still to come? If that's it, I'm thinking the bloom came off Santorum's rose in a pretty big way already, but that the big loser was Romney. He sounded shrill and defensive, the whole time I was watching. Yes, it's over. Talking heads now. Buh bye.
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