Mitt Romney

Tom Tancredo Defeats Charles Logan

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(I changed this post around after I realized I'd mixed up the order of the debate Qs.)

Jesse's basically got it right on the Ron Paul-Rudy exchange, but I noticed something else from the debate round it led up to.

In the fourth round of the debate (defined by far, far better questions than the Chris Matthews belch-fest in early May), Brit Hume asked the field to answer a hypothetical question: What if terrorists detonated nukes in American cities, we captured some of the terrorists linked to the attack, and you were the Decider? It sounded a lot like Charles Krauthammer's defense of torture in the Weekly Standard, and unsurprisingly John McCain used the chance to stake out his stance against that. The rest of the field took the chance to brag about their theoretical terrorist-slaughtering skills: Mike Huckabee bravely (in his mind) said we should call attacks on Americans "murders."

Basically, it was a question about how the candidates would behave if they were president in an episode of 24. Tom Tancredo cleared that up with his answer: "I'd be looking for Jack Bauer at that time." Please note that this was perceived in and outside of the debate hall as an awesome answer. Stephen Green:

We all are, buddy. We all are.

Sister Toldjah:

LOL!

Guys, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but Jack Bauer is a fictional character. He's played by Keifer Sutherland, star of such classics as The Lost Boys, Young Guns, and Brotherhood of Justice. He can't save us and neither—again, I'm sorry—can Green Lantern. Michael Brendan Dougherty tried to get at the GOP's Bauer obsession in a recent, brilliant American Conservative cover story, but here's the short version: too many conservatives fantasize about the war on terror in lieu of studying the actual war on terror and making morally uncomfortable decisions about whether we can "win it." What's it say about the GOP field that they're more comfortable answering hypothetical questions about a terrorist plot on a TV show than answering questions about the Iraq War—which, you know, actually exists? Nothing good.

But did Paul win the debate? As Mitt Romney might say: Golly oh-gosh, heavens no! If it wasn't for the reanimated corpse of Tommy Thompson or Jim Gilmore, the clown costume that walks like a man, Paul would been the obvious loser of the debate. As is, he merely tied for 8th place and will be remembered as "Rudy's pinata." He has less chance of winning the GOP nom now than ever, which is really something. If the other 9 candidates plus Fred Thompson died in a horrific baking accident, the GOP would draft Lyndon Larouche before nominating this guy.

(BTW, I didn't liveblog because I attended a debate-watching party with a small group of Rudy supporters.)

NEXT: The Mayor in the Plastic Bubble

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  1. As I said before, Rudy got the biggest applause from the audience, but JUST FOR THAT AUDIENCE. Look at the friggin’ polls! Bush’s sinking approval ratings is because of Iraq and his brash militaristic foreign policy.

    Ron Paul’s views has credibility the Democratic apologists WISH they had.

  2. huh? What are you? A rudy supporter? Saying Ron Paul didn’t win? WTF???

    Ron Paul is over 30% in the Fox News polls, he was the only one who could turn thoughts into words and not put them into a filter process called “lying to be politically convenient”.

  3. Given the Jack Bauer worship, I have to ask whether any of these candidates have even watched 24. Wasn’t the last season about a president who let a terrorist attack happen just to secure a source of cheap oil? Isn’t that something right out of Michael Moore territory?

  4. Paul’s excellent views on non-intervention, diplomacy and the risks of nation building will all be washed out by the media painting him as “the goofy guy who says we ‘deserved’ 9/11.”

    :-/

  5. Thanks. Like I needed some pessimism to cheer me up.

  6. I am so sick of the ticking time bomb scenario. Don’t these idiots know that islamic terrorists don’t use timers?

  7. I attended a debate-watching party with a small group of Rudy supporters.

    Whatever strands of respect I had left for you David, just unraveled and blew away.

  8. The whole hypothetical scenario was hogwash: no grunt terrorist would know the whole attack plan, like where the next attack would come directed it. This knowledge is intentionally kept high on the command chain.

    Even terrorists aren’t retarded.

  9. huh? What are you? A rudy supporter? Saying Ron Paul didn’t win? WTF???

    Ron Paul is over 30% in the Fox News polls, he was the only one who could turn thoughts into words and not put them into a filter process called “lying to be politically convenient”.

    All that proves is that most Americans don’t watch the debates. Geeks like us do. Before all of this is over, the news media (all facets) will have painted Ron Paul as an Al-Qaida agent and the water cooler crowd will buy it: hook, line, and sinker.

  10. Luckily I didn’t catch this meeting of philosopher kings. Did the I-R-A-Q thing even come up?

    Maybe instead of debates, they could just take turns making up novelty lyrics about blowin’ up arabs to old pop tunes. (“Bomb Iran” is already taken).

  11. The whole hypothetical scenario was hogwash: no grunt terrorist would know the whole attack plan, like where the next attack would come directed it. This knowledge is intentionally kept high on the command chain.

    Even terrorists aren’t retarded

    Absolutely, right. It’s all rhetoric. They think they’re still fighting SPECTRE.

  12. The simple fact of the matter is that the Republican candidates are remarkably undifferentiated on the issues other than Guiliani’s waffling abortion stance and McCain’s hatred of free speech.

    That means that precisely by becoming the pinata, Paul has elevated himself. He’s the only person saying anything remotely different from the other prepackaged answers.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see him rise into the 5% or 6% range, simply because there are SOME Republicans who oppose the war and have no candidate to express their position. And if he gets that high he’s in the race until New Hampshire. Surely that’s a good thing?

    We all knew he couldn’t win. But if he becomes one pole of the intra-party debate [such as it is] isn’t that the best we could ask for?

  13. Thanks, Fluffy. Justified or not, you give me hope.

  14. I didn’t see the debate, but it certainly sounds like Ron Paul either made a mistake or let his words be twisted.

    If it had been me (and if I was on fire, in terms of quick thinking) I would have shot back at Guiliani:

    “Are you seriously claiming that you’ve never heard anyone say that U.S. foreign policies–for example, the U.S. economic embargo and constant bombing of Iraq, U.S. support of the repressive regime in Saudi Arabia, and U.S. significant foreign aid to Israel–might have something to do with the 9/11 attack?”

    “I can understand how you might think that is wrong, but it doesn’t seem possible that you’ve never heard anyone say it.”

  15. Whatever strands of respect I had left for you David, just unraveled and blew away.

    Dave is working on a piece about the Giuliani campaign.

  16. “We all knew he couldn’t win. But if he becomes one pole of the intra-party debate [such as it is] isn’t that the best we could ask for?”

    I would love to see Dr. Paul make this statement in a debate:

    “I believe that I am the only candidate for President, Republican or Democrat, who will never go to war without first obtaining a declaration of war from Congress. I challenge even one Republican or Democratic opponent to pledge that he or she will not go to war, except following a Congressional declaration of war, as demanded by the Constitution.”

  17. Three Cheers to Fluffy’s comment. Ron Paul knows he won’t win the Repub. nomination. He’s there to get the message out that you can be anti-war and not be a socialist. The news media will have to report this fact now because of the whole Rudy bravado. As the neocon mesage continues to fail some people might pay more attention to Ron Paul, and I don’t think libertarian ideals will be hurt by that, at all.

  18. My former boss Ron Paul is finished. Rudy just demolished him. It wasn’t even just a whipping. It was a complete smash over the head.

    I’m almost embarrassed for Ron. He truly doesn’t get it that these Islamo-Fascists want to convert us or kill us. It’s not our foreign policy they hate; it’s our culture!

    Ron Paul should now just resign his Congressional seat and go quietly away to his beach house in Surfside Beach.

    I cannot believe I spent 12 years of my life working for this guy. What a waste!

    Eric Dondero, Fmr. Senior Aide
    US Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)
    1997-2003
    Ron Paul for Congress Campaign Coordinator, 1995/96
    Travel Aide, Ron Paul, Libertarian for President, 1987/88

  19. Actually, TommyThompson was remarkably reanimated in smacking down AlanColmes during the wrap-up. Unfortunately, Hannity stepped in and broke it up.

  20. Eric Dondero, Congratulations, You just blasted a man for telling the truth. BTW Islamo-Fascists is a stupid term, Fascism was created by Europe.

    Also, you’re an idiot. I agreed 100% with what he said. I hope your comment was sarcastic.

  21. Eric Dondero, I can see why you’re no longer working with Ron. You are right there with Rudy in living in your bubble thinking foreign policy has nothing to do with 9/11, Anti-American political stances from foreign nations and did nothing to contribute towards the action of terrorism.

    I’m sure the rest of the big-government Neo-Con candidates would welcome you with open arms.

    In the meantime, I’ll be sporting my Ron Paul bumper sticker with pride.

    Brian Defferding
    Comic Book Artist
    2001-2003
    http://www.deftoons.com/politicalcartoons.html

  22. With friends like Eric Dondero….

  23. Eric, if Muslims hate us for our freedom, why didn’t they hate us for our freedom in 1928, when we were more free, and they were less modern?

    If it’s their religion’s aversion to modernity and hatred of freedom that makes them want to hate us, they should have hated us EVEN MORE then. For some strange reason, however, prior to 1948 I don’t know of a single instance in which Muslim terrorists attacked the United States. Strangely enough.

  24. Say what you will about Harry Browne but I wish to Gaia he was a humble congresscritter from an ugly part of Texas cause he looked presidential and had just a tiny bit of media savvy and flair. Browne choose the LP nomination to his ego stroking detriment, Paul choose to be a poorly spoken humble congressman by defacto of delivering most the babies in his district — why can’t us libertarians find the best of both worlds…I love Ron Paul despite being a pro-immigration, Chinese owning the Panama Canal = good, pro-abortion libertarian and will gladly vote for him in the California primary but with a heavy, anarchist, will never vote again heart.

  25. Eric’s comment was so absurd I was sure he was being sarcastic. I though the commenters above were idiots for taking what he said at face value…then I checked out his website 🙁

  26. I can’t find the results of Fox’s viewer poll at Foxnews.com.

    Does anyone have a link?

  27. Of course, I know Ron Paul is too good to be President. The only way the Republicans will nominate him is if they all take LSD before going to the ballot box and mark Ron Paul’s name thinking they’re accessing the Great Chain of Being.

    As with most independent candidates, the question is if Paul gets enough votes to be worth stealing in future elections, the way Nixon decided to steal George Wallace’s voters, or both parties stole Eugene Debs’ voters. You can say that Wallace and Debs failed to get elected, but they showed that their programmes were attractive to large number of voters.

  28. I believe the would-you-torture hypothetical was actually at the very end, and Ron Paul gave a good answer – not the answer Weigel mentions, which was to a different question earlier.

    Ron Paul, in response to the terror hypothetical, pointed out that the government still hasn’t caught Osama, who is likely in Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons. He said it’s absurd to talk about far-fetched terror hypotheticals when the government has been blundering and killing and wasting hundreds of billions and failing to catch the people who actually attacked five and a half years ago. I thought that was a good answer.

  29. If Islamic extremists terrorized the USA because of its foreign policy, why do they terrorize Israel? What’s wrong with Israel’s foreign policy? Why did they terrorize Spain? Why did they terrorize Indonesia?

    It can’t just be foreign policies of all of those countries. I think the USA was targeted because the USA’s such a prominent target and has symbols like the World Trade Center.

  30. Robert, I think it’s possible that the element of Israel’s foreign policy that creates a leeeeeetle bit of controversy is the part where they decided to occupy territory that is outside their borders for a few decades, and after announcing their withdrawal from parts of that territory decided to periodically return to kill someone they forgot to kill the last time they were there.

    Spain had ground forces occupying Iraq. I haven’t noticed any attacks on Spain since those ground forces left. You’d think that if it was all about reversing the Reconquista and hating the West and modernity and freedom and all that, Spain would be pretty high on the list. It’s also readily accessible. Where are all the attacks on the hateful freedom to drink sangria and eat gambas while ogling pretty women in Spain?

    You got me on Indonesia, though.

  31. Eric,

    You worked for Ron Paul for 12 years before realizing he believes in a a non-interventionist foreign policy?

  32. “It’s not our foreign policy they hate; it’s our culture!”

    We didn’t deserve 9/11 because of our culture! Why does Eric hate America?

  33. Something else that’s interesting is the media coverage of the Rudy/Paul incident. Compare the NY Times article to the LA Times one. The differences in emphasis are telling.

  34. “…too many conservatives fantasize about the war on terror in lieu of studying the actual war on terror and making morally uncomfortable decisions about whether we can “win it.” What’s it say about the GOP field that they’re more comfortable answering hypothetical questions about a terrorist plot on a TV show than answering questions about the Iraq War – which, you know, actually exists? Nothing good.” -dw

    Yeah. That’s it. As the answers for the hypotheticals became ever more bellicose and cartoonish, I kept thinking – have we learned nothing? Even George W Bush now recognizes that his “bring it on” bravado was a mistake. What ever happened to the notion of statesmanship? Was there a single statesman on that stage? I don’t understand who they think their constituuency is – the 28% that still think we belong in Iraq?

    Anyway, it is possible to sort through the remaining options and and make an educated guess at the likely End State in Iraq. If I was a cynical sort, I might suspect that the administration knows where we are heading also, and their only remaining objective is to keep it from happening on their watch.

  35. patr84, I just found this sentence from the NY Times article you linked to:
    “All the candidates once again offered strong affirmations of their support of the war in Iraq, reflecting the general consensus among them”.
    WTF?! Seriously, how difficult is it for the journalist to chuck in a qualifier like “with the exception of Ron Paul”? Unbelievable. This kind of coverage is enough to make you fall in line with the normally loopy the-big-media-is-silencing-dissent crowd.

  36. Sounds like Eric can go hang with Glenn Reynolds in the “former libertarians driven insane by 9/11” club. Why do I get the impression that these people’s understanding of “libertarian” probably goes no deeper than low taxes and no gun control?

  37. Despite being railroaded by the political spin machine all through the post debate “analysis” (if you can really call it that), Ron Paul more than held his own on the real issue at hand.

    The thing we Republicans should be asking ourseves is, “What does the constitution say?”

    Take a step out of the political spin room long enough to actually read the thing and you’ll see that Ron Paul is the only real choice we have. The limited government stance of Ron Paul is the closest thing to a founding father we have going for us. The rest of the candidates are puppets by comparison. Just take a quick look at the amount of money the “top 3” have at their disposal and ask yourselves: “To whom do these men now owe their allegiance?”

    When a so-called “2nd tier” candidate can come into the debates and incite the American public to give him 30% of their votes in a text messaging poll that should have EASILY gone to one of the top 3 with all the money, something is wrong with the party and the national mood.

    The fact is, the American people are THROUGH buying the propaganda. They are tired of the interventionalist, neo-colonialist, foreign policy that only gets us into unconstitutional wars. They are tired of not having a choice but that which exists in the narrow margain between Puppet A and Puppet B.

    Ron Paul is the only man standing on that stage tonight that deserves the Republican nomination, and incidentally, he’s the only one that could actually WIN without rigging the election.

    That’s my word. If you want to find out more about Ron Paul that the major media will not DARE tell you, type his name in a youtube search and prepare to be informed what being a “conservative” is all about.

  38. I’m disappointed in “Reason,” of all places, accepting and reinforcing the caricature by the media and the hooting and hollering goose-stepping debate audience of Ron Paul as Rudy’s “pinata” in that exchange. If you really care about Reason and truth over applausometers and dishonest gamesmanship, then give Ron Paul his due and affirm rather than deny that he won that exchange hands down, and call Guliani out on his self-righteous and totally disingenuous cheap play to the safely mindless. (On second thought, Jesse Walker, as opposed to this poster, for the most part at least did the latter.) To Ron Paul’s credit, it took some courage to calmly reiterate the correct position after the crowd so clearly demonstrated its opinion of that position. Gen. Smedley Butler, the most decorated U.S. Marine at the time, eloquently expressed the same position early in the last century in his classic essay “War is a Racket.”

  39. https://www.reason.com/blog/show/120220.html#702278

    Oh, that’s nothing… Keep watching as time wears on and you’ll see BOTH Democrats and fake Republicans alike running scared.

    Al this serves to reveal what many of us have suspected all along – BOTH SIDES ARE BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY THE SAME PEOPLE.

    The “top tier” candidates are “top tier” for a reason…because they’ve sold their souls and their principles to be there.

    You can look at political contributions as advertising revenue… People contribute to political campaigns because they want to see certain viewpoints and agendas put forward into the mainstream. Much of this revenue originates from the same sources that control what we see in the mainstream news, because a handful of companies own it all.

    Ron Paul is a wild card that they must suppress at all costs. To truly understand who is behind all this inside wrangling, it helps to follow the central banks and the Federal Reserve bank. Look at who owns the Federal Reserve, because it’s NOT the American people. The elite get together every year in their little Bilderberg and Council on Foreign Relations meetings and determine not only American foreign policy, but the policy of the entire developed world, and they do it through the institutions I mentioned above, among others.

    If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you better look into it lest you remain a fool. If you already know exactly what I’m talking about, you’re probably already a Ron Paul supporter and I don’t have to waste my time explaining to you why he is the only Republican who would right this wayward ship.

  40. “If Islamic extremists terrorized the USA because of its foreign policy, why do they terrorize Israel? What’s wrong with Israel’s foreign policy? Why did they terrorize Spain? Why did they terrorize Indonesia?

    It can’t just be foreign policies of all of those countries. I think the USA was targeted because the USA’s such a prominent target and has symbols like the World Trade Center.”

    Some of you people are truly clueless. Not being hateful here, just stating facts as I see them.

    Have you not heard of Palestine? How about Lebanon? Do you recall that it was Israel that invaded Lebanon in 2006, not the other way around? Do you realize that Palestine is still for all practical purposes an occupied territory? Do you recall that until 1947, the state of Israel didn’t even exist? Did you know that the same family who owns a large stake in our central banking systems, the Rothschild family, funded the Zionist movement to create the state of Israel?

    I realize that even saying the word “zionist” flags me in many of your minds as some kind of terrorist nut, but I’ll forgive you your ignorance. You can’t help if you’ve been brainwashed by corporate media all your lives.

    Let me put it to you this way…Israel gets its weapons from the United States of America. This is a good deal for us since our primary manufacturing export these days (since everything else has been shipped to China, that is) is MILITARY ARMS. Israel keeps the same interventionalist policies we do, and there is plenty of evidence to support this if you simply utilize a search engine and do some reading.

    The Israeli lobby is a powerful one in this country because they have successfully tied the fate of Israel in the minds of dispensationalist (aka Apocalyptic) Christians with the fate of all mankind.

    It is a cheap persuasion, particularly since the antichrist could just as easily be an Israeli Jew as an Iranian, a Russian, or an Italian. But, hey, it works. As long as the pastor says so, many believe it without question.

    I, myself, am a Christian, and I am openly opposed to the idea that we must follow the whim of Israel, which is oftentimes used as cover to gain support for an oil and land-grab campaign anyway.

  41. I forget who was the mayor of New York on 9/11. It is seldom brought up. How that qualifies a man to be president I have no idea.

    Am I the only one who thinks none of those ass clowns on stage tonight are going to win their party’s nom?

    Why does everyone in the media hate Ron Paul? Oh, right. Because he occasionally talks sense about US foreign policy. He doesn’t think we were attacked for our freedom. He is a real alternative to the other 9 candidates, and therefore must be crushed.

  42. Man, I still can’t get used to having this Weigel guy around. They asked Ron Paul in the debate if he’s running in the right party….is Weigel writing for the right magazine?

    I’m not one to quash bad comments about Paul, but Weigel’s scribblings seem to be very much influenced by the people he was watching the debate with. I can imagine all kinds of “ooooooooh…snap!” and lots of hootin’ and hollerin’ while Paul was gently getting his point across and Rudy was reminding everyone what a brave motherfucker he is.

    Did Giuliani win that round because he was the bigger dickhead? Fine, let him have that crown.

  43. I realize that even saying the word “zionist” flags me in many of your minds as some kind of terrorist nut, but I’ll forgive you your ignorance. You can’t help if you’ve been brainwashed by corporate media all your lives.

    Talk about clueless….

  44. Geez. Do you really think he meant that literally? Perhaps he meant that he would seek out people who, like the fictional character, would not shrink from drastic action in that context.

    I guess we’re doomed to this level of political commentary on a more or less permanent basis. Damn 24-7 news outlets. We’ve got a permanent election media circus on our hands because of them.

  45. Federal Dog –

    The Jack Bauer comment is even less forgivable if he meant that he would find Jack Bauer in real life. Without the writers of the show to make his shit turn into gold, Jack Bauer is a two-bit loser and thug. That’s the real problem with the debate’s thought experiment – unless you have the writers of a Fox show or the creator of a thought experiment available to contrive that precise situation, it can’t possibly arise. It takes two unknown factors – whether there actually is a third bomb, and whether the person in custody knows where it is – and makes them knowns, despite the fact that this is epistemological balderdash. You can never really know those two facts when making the decision to torture. The only valid way to construct the question is to ask, “You have someone in custody who may or may not be a terrorist, and there may or may not be a third bomb. Is it torture time?”

  46. I wholeheartedly agree with Paul that our history of foreign intervention, playing sides against each other and overseas meddling has indeed come with ramifications, and that our role of world policeman should be greatly reduced, if not scrapped altogether.

    However, I think Europe in particular does have an ongoing problem with radical enclaves that DO “hate ’em for their freedoms,” as evidenced by the cartoon riots, Theo Van Gogh murder, altering school lesson plans, and a whole laundry list of other actions that go against western liberal freedoms that tend to skirt under the radar.

    True, countries like the Netherlands, France, Norway, etc, haven’t been “attacked” by 9/11-style terrorists and aren’t lumped in with America and Israel in AQ videotaped diatribes, but they’ve got some problems to deal with from within that don’t tend to make loud headlines.

    Again, I support Paul and his non-intervention position. But not all grievances are created equal.

  47. He can’t save us and neither – again, I’m sorry – can Green Lantern

    You’re just saying that because you lack the willpower necessary to wield the ring.

  48. some kind of terrorist nut

    no just a nut, and one with an amazingly short memory. anyway…

    one can agree with ron paul’s views and statements and still be convinced that he’s a shitty candidate and a very poor spokesman for libertarian thought.

  49. Paul came close to winning in an unscientific fox news poll. So I blow my nose at those sayers of nay about Ron Paul.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,272493,00.html

  50. So, after Revolution #9, President Giuliani (the Walrus) formally announces, “I buried Paul?”

  51. Obviously they didn’t mean that they would literally search for Jack Bauer, but they do seem to prefer the hypothetical ticking time bomb scenario (where we have perfect information on everything, including the terrorist’s psychology, so we know he’ll tell the truth under torture rather than lie to buy time for the attack, yet we don’t know the location of the bomb) over real life (where we are unsure about a lot of things, including whether the guy in custody really is involved, whether he really does know what we need, and whether he’ll tell the truth or instead tell a lie to buy time).

    In real life, people who have that much information have more options than torture, and people who don’t have that much information are in no position to justify torture.

    And, yeah, the conservative fascination with 24 has always puzzled me: In season 5, a President who looked like Nixon and had the doofus personality of Bush was persuaded by evil advisors to perpetrate a WMD hoax as a pretext for military action in an oil-rich region.

    Fortunately, that would never happen in real life…oh shit!

  52. Of course it was Brit Hume who asked the “ticking time bomb” question. This has been a hobby horse of Brit’s for a long time as he has tried to justify the use of torture by the United States. Brit thinks it is brilliant because, given the premise, it is hard to answer that we shouldn’t do “whatever it takes” to get information.

    It also plays well with the swaggering macho of the “Daddy Party” who will, by God, kick ass and take names when it’s needed. That was apparent in the “I’m truly a hard-ass” responses of all the tough-guy GOP debaters.

    Only poor old McCain, who is the only one who has actually been tortured, would stand up for what the United States used to represent to the world, a nation with higher standards and a real belief in doing what is right.

    The right wing in America continues to wallow in fantasies about Jack Bauer-style macho in regard to terrorism. Meanwhile, they have led us into a disaster in Iraq, with another, possibly larger, crisis looming in Pakistan. Oh yeah, and Osama bin Laden remains at-large.

  53. And, yeah, the conservative fascination with 24 has always puzzled me

    They got hooked during that season (2d season?) where LA was going to be nuked, and they coasted on that loyalty for a couple years.

    That season of 24 was a big boon for them. It made people who would not have supported the invasion of Iraq support the invasion of Iraq. It made people who would have strongly opposed the invasion of Iraq publicly, and in no uncertain terms, hold off on serious criticism until 2007 (when everybody’s piling on). It made everybody forget about the anthrax.

    Probably the only way to escape the pernicious influence of 24 was to never watch the show. Recovery time from the damage of the 2002 season is estimated at 5 years for an average guy, regardless of your place on the hawk versus dove spectrum.

    That said, the show probably has burned up its goodwill with neocon crowd by now.

  54. Torture? Sure! As mayor of New York, which was attacked by terrorists on 9/11 (pause for applause), I used torture effectively to reduce crime. I also used it on people who got it my way–kind of like Jack Bauer (pause for applause).

    I only wish that I could’ve tortured those bastards who destroyed the World Trade Center on 9/11 (pause for applause).

    Did I mention that I just happened to be mayor during the 9/11 attacks? (pause for applause.)

  55. Afterwards, Sean Hannity completely lost his cool with Ron Paul, constantly interrupting and asking “don’t you think we have a moral obligation?” in reference to being the world’s policeman. Paul, who is obviously not a good debater or eloquent spokesman, should have answered that “The president of the United States has a moral obligation to defend first the interests of Americans. As to others, no,
    there is no moral obligation. if you, Mr. Hannity, have one, then put on a uniform, pick up a gun, and go fight in whatever hell-hole of a country you wish.” Until Americans get over being made to feel guilty everytime some
    thug somewhere in the world commits a crime, and feeling compelled to send your son and daughter to stop said thug, then America will continue to be embroiled in the feuds of others.

  56. @Eric Dondero

    I cannot believe I spent 12 years of my life working for this guy. What a waste!

    I do have one reservation about Ron Paul – how could he have allowed a nutjob like you work for him for 12 years? He’s got some ‘splaining to do about that one!

    Return to the Crotch of America from whence you came, troll, and darken our doorstep no more!

  57. creech,

    Good answer. Overall, I agree. Just one thing, who can send their sons and daughters to war? I think you have to be an adult to sign up.

  58. I don’t think conservatives/Republicans have a monopoly on “Bauer-philia”. I think a lot of the political left are enamored of the idea that all they need to do to keep the nation safe from terrorism is send out more special ops guys to do their thing, without dirtying the sacred hands of government or distracting it from more important issues like wealth redistribution.

    And to my mind it’s not using the term “Zionism” that flags someone as a terrorist nut. It’s referencing the Rothschilds.

  59. I know I’ll regret this, but…

    Dave, did you watch the second half of season 2 of 24? The part where it turns out that the oil companies were trying to start a war?

    Just checking.

  60. I didn’t watch the debate.

    My reaction to reading the Jack Bauer line was, a bullshit question deserves a bullshit answer, and it’s funny. David’s accusation that Tancredo and his supporters are sincere in their faith in Jack Bauer to save us, took me aback. Really? I thought that sort of inability to distinguish fact from fiction was limited to AM radio hosts and fans of reality TV.

    I’m sad that Ron Paul let Rudy get the better of him. If he was a little quicker he could have totally thrown that back in his face and buried him with it. Alas.

    Also, given Ron Paul’s extensive public record, the impossible bullshit senerio question, and Rudy’s against the rules spontanious interuption, am I off the deep end in suspecting this was a set-up scripted in advance?

  61. After reading the asinine comments most of you made about the debates, I am reminded why there will never be a Lib president.

    Ron Paul indeed !!

  62. It’s a poorly kept secret that I am the current Green Lantern,* and I take offense at Dave’s not-so-subtle words of criticism. I most assuredly could save you, but I choose not to. I was going to save you on July 4 as kind of a present to the United States, but now I’m going to wait another year, since you offend me so.

    * Revealed in ish 331 when arch nemesis, thoreau, The Impregnator, publicized my secret identity.

  63. “I’m almost embarrassed for Ron. He truly doesn’t get it that these Islamo-Fascists want to convert us or kill us. It’s not our foreign policy they hate; it’s our culture!”

    It isn’t an either/or proposition. They hate our culture and our interventionist foreign policy puts that culture in their faces, exacerbating the problem.

    I really find it bizarre how the moderator’s suggestion that we “invited” the 9/11 attacks by bombing Iraq somehow became attributed to Paul.

    Paul should have bit back way harder than he did. He should have upstaged Rudy, saying something like “is that how your going to run the White House? Mischaracterize arguments you don’t like for cheap political punches?”

  64. Maybe Ron Paul should have whipped out America’s sealed juvenile court records.

    Didn’t deserve it, huh? Have you seen what kind of country we’re talking about here?

  65. I’m almost embarrassed for Ron. He truly doesn’t get it that these Islamo-Fascists want to convert us or kill us. It’s not our foreign policy they hate; it’s our culture!

    Bullshit. Had we never been involved in the Middle East during the Cold War, and never tried to play power politics to get the “right” people into power, then terrorists wouldn’t hate us. Hell, even if we’d just played power politics with a little more subtlety and understanding of the region, 9/11 (and other terrorist attacks) would never have happened. Absent our interventionism in the Middle East, we’d get sermons about how evil culture in America was on Friday, while the congregants (or whatever the members of a mosque are called) went out the other six days of the week and enjoyed American culture. Only in neo-con fantasy land are suicide bombers motivated by hatred of American culture, rather than maybe being encouraged by that hatred. In the absence of American intervention, the Islamic fundies would be just as isolationist as the paleo-est of paleo-cons; they wouldn’t want to risk losing power over their congregations by exposing them to American culture.

    Eric’s comment was so absurd I was sure he was being sarcastic. I though the commenters above were idiots for taking what he said at face value…then I checked out his website 🙁

    Yeah, Mr. Dondero doesn’t appear to be the sharpest tool in the toolshed. He’s just an average, ordinary, everyday tool.

    However, I think Europe in particular does have an ongoing problem with radical enclaves that DO “hate ’em for their freedoms,” as evidenced by the cartoon riots, Theo Van Gogh murder, altering school lesson plans, and a whole laundry list of other actions that go against western liberal freedoms that tend to skirt under the radar.

    I think a large part of that can be explained by the major differences between Europe and the US. For starters, casual racism seems to be far more common in Europe than here, and is certainly more socially acceptable. It’s hard to feel welcome in a culture where everyone hates you.

    Secondly, assimilation in Europe means something different than here. It seems worst to me in France, where there’s only one way to be French that’s acceptable. In Britain, Spain, Germany, etc., they have some experience of different cultures within their countries, and have learned to live with them; France has been France of Borg since the eleventh century or so. But even in those countries where there are some different cultures, they’re still pretty similar. It doesn’t seem to me that there’s any experience with dealing with a pretty radically different culture. In the US, whatever our problems, we’ve been able to deal with different cultures, and assimilate them without erasing them. Hmmmm . . . there’s an essay there about the history of American immigration; suffice it to say that we started with the most similar cultures, and got experience dealing with dissimilarity. Now we could probably allow anyone to come here, and that group would be able to adapt to America without too much violence. I suspect that even Islamic fundies would adapt, because (like Orthodox Jews) they’d just close themselves off from the rest of the country. Europe’s response to ethnic tension has always been violence (witness the trigger for the first World War). America’s response has been accommodation.

    Don’t really have a third point, but I think that the violence in Europe has less to do with the Muslims and more to do with cultural patterns that go deep in European history. It’s not that they hate Europe for its freedoms; it’s that those freedoms offer a convenient excuse for deeper problems.

  66. I just forwarded a good Prospect article to Hit & Run (off of Arts & Letters Daily) that basically questions why we bother messing with the Middle East at all. It’s not questioning our response to terror so much as our constant meddling. I agree completely.

  67. “(BTW, I didn’t liveblog because I attended a debate-watching party with a small group of Rudy supporters.)”

    do you have to peel their bananas for them due to the lack of opposable thumbs?

    (kudos to joe for the subtle guliani dig – when cops shot a guy in times square for basically refusing to buy a bag of weed from a UC his juvenile records were “accidentally” brought up in the press)

  68. Dondero has announced on Red State that he is going to file to run for TX-14 in 2008, Ron Paul’s seat.

  69. Two other things about the second season of 24:

    1) The season didn’t debut until after the Congressional vote on Iraq. The most important political decision had already been settled before Jack Bauer could use his hacksaw.

    2) The first group of villains in season 2 was a bunch of white militia members. The second major villain that we encountered was a former CTU agent. And around the same time that she showed up the NSA director started looking creepy. The Middle Eastern villains were in the background until about 6 hours in, but they shared the stage with a rogue Special Forces team.

    And then it turned out that an oil executive and the President’s ex-wife were pulling all the strings, and the Cabinet was falling for the deception.

    Middle Eastern villains were basically a plot device in season 2.

  70. I see David Weigel has updated his blog to eliminate the error in it, which showed he wasn’t really paying attention to the debate. Yet he still has his strong opinion that Paul didn’t win it. And he doesn’t acknowledge that he was wrong about it last night.

    Oh well. Rudy might have been favored by the audience full of fascists. But anyone who believes in liberty knows who spoke the truth in that debate.

  71. “Eric,

    You worked for Ron Paul for 12 years before realizing he believes in a a non-interventionist foreign policy?”

    No, Charles, Eric worked for Ron Paul for 12 years before realizing he could atttract more attention stabbinbg him in the back.

  72. Hey, now, a lot of people went a little bit nutty when they watched the towers fall down that day. I know my brain spit out some ideas I’m not terribly proud of.

    It’s just taking Eric a little longer to snap out of it.

  73. Tancredo cleared that up with his answer: “I’d be looking for Jack Bauer at that time.”

    Well, what do you expect from a guy who has personal conversations with God about his reelection strategy…

  74. Well, I just spoke with God, and he told me that he did in fact have a conversation with Tancredo about reelection. God told him to sell all of his worldly goods and devote his life to doing good works. Apparently, Tancredo wasn’t listening to that part.

  75. I attended a debate-watching party with a small group of Rudy supporters.)

    A debate-watching party?

    Yes, Mr. Szasz. There IS mental illness.

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