Thursday, August 11, 2011

Live-Blogging the Republican Debate


Well, I expect to hear a lot of Obama-bashing tonight, and it was there already in the first two answers (Bachman and Romney).

Sad to see Gary Johnson again not allowed to participate. I've been following him on Twitter, and I noticed that he seemed depressed. "People will start to notice us," he said. That's not exactly rallying the troops.

Romney, asked if he would have vetoed the budget bill, seemed to dodge the question.

Ron Paul is talking too fast, as usual.

Pawlenty repeated his charge that Bachman's "record of accomplishment in Congress is non-existent." Apparently this means she hasn't written legislation that passed both houses. Isn't that an unfair criticism? The last five years have been bad ones for someone with her ideology to pass legislation. Her answer was that she has been leading the resistance, which seems like the right answer to me.

Chris Wallace asks Gingrich about his staff quitting on him and Gingrich, and Newt gets all huffy. The crowd seems to like it, but I didn't.

Cain: I am learning. Well, good, but Presidential OJT hasn't worked that well for us.

Panel member Byron York: He has 19th-century hair.

Someone once described Rick Santorum as having "a punchable face."

Romney just came out as a tenther! The feds only get to do what the Constitution says they can do. That's his main defense of Romneycare: this ought to be done by the states.

Pawlenty is taking swings at Romney and Bachman, both in the top three. Someone has been telling him to become Macho Man.

Ron Paul says that under the federal Constitution, the states have a right to do bad things (like force people to buy health insurance). True. Then Santorium goes berserk, saying that this means that they have the right to legalize polygamy and impose enforced sterilization. What a complete moron.

Gingrich keeps objecting to tough questions as "gotcha questions." Oh, just answer them, dang it!

Quite a heated exchange between Santorum and Ron Paul on Iran policy! I'm with Paul on this one, as you may know.

Paul points out that Bachman's "no miranda rights for terrorists" involves convicting someone of being a terrorist without due process.

She also would do "anything" to prevent Iran from getting a nuke.

If you thought Afghanistan and Iraq were quagmires, just wait until we invad Iran, Michelle!

I could swear I just heard Santorum say Iran will destroy civilization as we know it. And people used to say the Ronster is the crazy one.

The audience keeps booing tough questions. Bachman has quoted the Bible saying wives should be subissive. Would she be submissive as pres? Her answer is that she interprets the Biblical notion of submissiveness as "respect."

Romney says marriage should be a federal issues. With a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Paul takes a laissez-faire position on what marriage is. Good!

Now they're fighting about who is the most pro-life. So far, two are in favor of criminal sentences for doctors who perform abortions. Why not the woman? I've never understood that. If it's murder, isn't she at least as guilty as the doctor? The pro-life Weltanschauung is an impenetrable mystery to me.

Gingrich just took a more or less Paulian position on the Federal Reserve. Amazing how much more mainstream Paul is than he was four years ago. And he hasn't moved an inch!

I thought they were going to spend the who evening attacking Obama. No, they mixed it up with each other, plenty.
They are summarizing now. The last event I live-blogged was an hr. long Obama speech. It was excruciatingly boring. This 2-hr. event was much more interesting. Frightening at times, but interesting.

How this debate affected my opinion of the candidates:

Romney: About the same.
Bachman: Lower (on the issues).
Paul: Higher.
Pawlenty: Lower (as a person).
Cain: Higher. Fixed some earlier mistakes.
Santorum: Lower. Much lower. In every way.
Huntsman: Lower (on the issues).
Gingrich: Higher on the issues, lower as a person. At this moment he's being interviewed on TV, and he's still bitching about Chris Wallace's questions.

Cris Wallace: Higher!
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