[Guest post by DRJ]
If I’ve learned one thing on the internet, it’s that the go-to guy for debate live-blogging is Vodkapundit.
Here are my favorite quotes and moments from Vodkapundit’s live-blog of the debate (remember, he’s on Mountain Time), including a few moments from the candidates themselves:
2:01pm Today’s debate focuses on the economy, but what everyone will really be watching is Fred Thompson’s debate debut, and on Ron Paul’s newly-fat wallet.
2:03pm Thompson says we’re not heading towards recession, but he gave no actual numbers, and he froze up halfway through on the R word. Then he segued in (along with a covering cough) into some generalities about overspending. Followup question: But people THINK we’re going into recession, you idiot! (I’ve paraphrased) What will you do??? HUH?
The moderator just saved Fred’s bacon, by sounding more like a b-tch than he sounded out of his depth.
2:05pm Compare and contrast with Mitt Romney, who sounds smoother than a smoothie smoothed over with fine-grit sandpaper.
2:07pm Chris Matthews got in a question, delivered to Rudy Giuliani — who sounds quite patient (and pretty honest), explaining to Matthews that the President doesn’t actually control or predict the economy. So far, Mitt and Rudy have made me forget Fred.
2:09pm Ron Paul takes a simple question about the time, and explains how to build a watch. He’s going on about inflation — at near-record lows — and how it’s the real inflation causing the recession poor people are already in, and how the gold standard will save us, and Masonites are running the Federal Reserve with their zombie pirate enforcers. Or something.
The boring part of a debate, where everyone gets to chime in on the economy:
2:19pm Sam Brownbaspack [he is Vodkapundit, after all] doesn’t want to raise your taxes. That’s a brave stand to take at a Republican debate. Next, he’ll do a cameo in the Sex & The City movie, and come out in favor of strappy sandals.
2:36pm We’re more than a quarter the way through Fred Thompson’s debutante debate, and he’s been a wallflower all night long. His dance card has hardly any names on it. What we’re really seeing today is the Mitt & Rudy Show. Maybe things will change after the first commercial break, when — if I may switch metaphors — Fred’s corner man has to slap him awake.
2:42pm Finally, a question about the AMT! Fred T says, “we shouldn’t confuse the wealth of government with the wealth of the nation.” In other words, ditch the AMT (or maybe bracket for inflation), and let people keep their money. Amen, brother. And his delivery was the best he’s done so far.
Turning to Iraq:
2:49pm McCain says that, had he been President on 9/11, he would have not said “Go shopping!” Instead, he’d have asked Americans to volunteer. I would have walked across broken martini glasses to vote against McCain in 2000. Was I wrong?
2:51pm Non-English speakers can tell when Paul is talking about Iraq, because his voice goes up two full octaves. Also, he accused us of having an “empire.” And that our overseas “adventures” are bankrupting us. And yet — we’re still spending less on defense than we were in the ’50s or ’60s. And we’re not exactly imposing our will, ala Rome. Don’t let this man near foreign policy. Or a history class. Please.
3:01pm Matthews mentions that Hillary is sponsoring legislation requiring the permission asked about at 2:57pm [to attack a fleeting, strategic target in
IraqIran – correction thanks to Alphie]. Rudy ties it back to 9/11 — his signature move — and how a quick strike in Afghanistan in 2000 or so might have prevented 9/11. Paul tried to interrupt, but failed. His voice was so high this time, that my dog went nuts and wet on the carpet. I get the feeling this happens more than the Paul campaign lets on.
There was a lot on energy and I’m going to include it because I’m from the energy-producing part of an energy state. You can skip it if you want:
3:02pm Rudy makes sense on energy independence, and how it we could turn Iran into “a paper tiger.” What he fails to mention is, we’re not going to get there from here. Also, Rudy sidestepped the follow-up question about drilling off the California coast. You know what? Cali is going to vote Democrat next year, so screw’em. Drill, baby, drill!
3:04pm Brownback can’t tell the difference between a hybrid at E85 fuel. Oops. Now the enviros will never vote Republican.
3:05 Hunter: “You’d better drill every place you can.” Translation: “What VodkaPundit said about California.”
3:07pm Meanwhile, McCain tries to take both sides and “wouldn’t drill of the coast of [California/Florida/etc]” unless the people of those states gave permission. Fat chance.
3:09pm Loaded question for Brownback: “Shouldn’t we let the free market determine what happens with ethanol?” And the entire state of Iowa held its breath.
3:11pm Same question to Thompson, who claims that “ultimately it’ll be the free market [to decide].” And this man has actually spent time in Washington? Did he learn nothing while he was there?
3:13pm Mitt Romney is talking oil, but he could be talking Iran, Iraq, earmarks, pig knuckle subsidies, hairdressers… he just always sounds the same. I don’t think I could deal with that for four years.
3:15pm Ron Paul wants to cut all subsidies, and Lord knows he’s right. But all I could think was, “Will somebody please tell him to spend some of his five million on a suit coat that actually fits?”
The big finish:
3:16pm How do you bring confidence back to the economy? Mitt: “First, be confident.” Great answer, delivered like a Stepford Wife answering “Yes” to… anything.
3:17pm It’s still the Mitt & Rudy Show. On today’s episode, Rudy is taking on Hillary like they’re both already the nominees. And it works every time he does it. It’s the domestic version of his 9/11 judo.
3:20pm Tancredo: “Standing on principle is a wonderful thing. Too bad we didn’t do it when we were in the majority.” There’s the best line of the night, bar none.
3:28pm Now Mitt is taking on Hillary, thus returning us to the Mitt & Rudy Show. On the next episode, Mitt & Rudy agree: That woman is crazy and mean!
3:30pm If this debate were being held anywhere but Michigan, would any of these candidates be spending so much time sucking up to unions? (Ohio and Indiana excepted.)
3:32pm “I have been a union member. The Screen Actors Guild still counts, right?” Fred’s first gag of the debate! And it was nearly funny!
3:39pm Thompson finally sounded strong, answering a question on how to help US automakers. His answer: Get trade agreements that let them compete, and relieve them of their health care burdens. The first part I understand. The second part made me think of HillaryCare.
HillaryCare kills every good conversation so I’ll end this one now.