Ron Paul

The GOP Debate: A Look Back with Love

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Waylaid by stomach flu yesterday, I didn't get to revisit or wrap up the GOP debate in real time. But reporters were actually given the transcript as soon as the debate ended, and I've had time enough to compile the most risible moments from Wednesday.

Moment One: The Passion of Tom Tancredo

Watch how a small-business owner whose business needs fresh labor confounded the congressman.

JACK BROOKS: Hammered by competition with imports, our family-owned business struggles each year to find seasonal workers… What are you going to do to keep these guest workers coming to the U.S. to save our business?

COOPER: Congressman Tancredo?

TANCREDO: OK, the gist of the question, as I understand it, is, what I'm going to do stop guest workers from coming in here?

COOPER: No, no, to help. This small business needs guest workers.

TANCREDO: I'm sorry. I could not hear that. I'm sorry. Well, I'll tell you, I'm not going to aid any more immigration into this country, because in fact, immigration… does take jobs.

Who are you going to believe: Tom Tancredo or your lying ledger?

Moment Two: Decisive Fred

Fred Thompson gets what, for most candidates, would be a gimme question: What three government programs would you scrap?

THOMPSON: Well, it's a target-rich environment, there's no question about it. What most of these gentlemen have said absolutely correct. The difficulty is, most of the programs that we talk about, most of the ones get the headlines, would not begin to solve the problem.

Mitt's right when he mentions entitlement. That's why I have laid out a program to not attack entitlements, but to save Social Security. Everybody talks about wanting to do something about it. Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid are the ones that we're really going to have to reform if we're going to make any headway into spending.

COOPER: So of the top three you would say Social Security?

THOMPSON: No. I didn't say that.

Remember, one of Thompson's claims to the nomination is authoring a millenial report on wasteful spending called "Government on the Brink." And he can't name a wasteful program.

Moment Three: Romney's Guns
Presented without comment.

ROMNEY: I have two guns in my home. They are owned by my son Josh.

COOPER: All right, there you have it.

ROMNEY: He buys expensive things for me.

OK, one comment—this is how the Democrats will close the "toughness" gap.

Moment Four: Support Our Homophobic Troops
Duncan Hunter got the Hillary-planted question on Don't Ask Don't Tell, which was cut out from rebroadcasts, Q and A both. Too bad.

HUNTER: Most Americans, most kids who leave that breakfast table and go out and serve in the military and make that corporate decision with their family, most of them are conservatives.

They have conservative values, and they have Judeo-Christian values. To force those people to work in a small tight unit with somebody who is openly homosexual goes against what they believe to be their principles, and it is their principles, is I think a disservice to them.

Bonus points, though, for the Freudian use of "small tight unit."

Moment Five: Freedom Farms
You're a businessman who brags ceaselessly about your ability to cut waste and your lust for the veto pen. How do you suck up to Iowa? Pretend the busted farm subsidy system is actually a national security issue.

ROMNEY: We're competing with European and Brazilian and other farmers, and we're competing in a marketplace where they are heavily subsidized, at great disadvantage for our farmers. And so, if we're going to change our support structure, we want to make sure that they change their support structure.

And we do this together, as opposed to unilaterally saying: We're going to put our farmers in a tough position and have the farmers in the rest of the world continue to be subsidized.

I didn't forget McCain blaming Ron Paul for Hitler, but these seemed to be more quickly forgotten after the debate.

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  1. Funny, my stomach kinda felt the same way during the debate.

  2. Waylaid by stomach flu yesterday

    Flu, or polonium poisoning? Giuliani = Putin, as I understand it, and he hates you, Dave.

  3. Tancredo didn’t contradict the businessman.

    Businessman: Without foreign workers, there will be a labor shortage.

    Tancredo: Yes, exactly!

  4. You know, I have only been vaguely following the “Hillary’s Plant” crap. FWIW, that was a damn good question for “differentiating the candidates” as the debate was pre-billed as doing.

  5. I don’t see how the fact that the guy was a plant from the Hilary campaign changes anything about their responses or the fact that the audience booed him.

  6. You are right joe. I think Tancredo longs for the days of a 90% white population and 1/3 fewer businesses and far less to choose from among those businesses.

    You know, the 1950s when everything was “Leave it to Beaver” perfect.

  7. Bonus points, though, for the Freudian use of “small tight unit.”

    Weigel wins the thread.

  8. You know, I have only been vaguely following the “Hillary’s Plant” crap. FWIW, that was a damn good question for “differentiating the candidates” as the debate was pre-billed as doing.

    I don’t care who a question comes from, a presidential candidate should be able to answer it. That’s the problem with debates to begin with: pre-selected softball questions answered by prepared talking points.

    I only take issue with the fact that they let the guy start rambling for what seemed like an hour. If only they’d give Dr. Paul that much time…

  9. After watching the debate, The Onion story about how Mitt Romney is the Candidate Most Voters Want to Get Into a Bar Fight With seems to contain much truthiness.

  10. HUNTER: Most Americans, most kids who leave that breakfast table and go out and serve in the military and make that corporate decision with their family, most of them are conservatives.

    They have conservative values, and they have Judeo-Christian values. To force those people to work in a small tight unit with somebody who is of another race goes against what they believe to be their principles, and it is their principles, is I think a disservice to them.

  11. I look back in anger (or sometimes angora if I’m feeling saucy).

  12. Paul’s response to McDesperate’s smear started off well – he argued a strong case about national security at first.

    But the detour into “I’m not an isolationist, I believe in trade” was a mistake. The issue at hand was national security and when we should use force. I understand there is a connection between the two issues in libertarian philosophy, but to the unitiated, it looked like he was trying to change the subject because he wasn’t comfortable talking about military and security matters.

  13. To force those people to work in a small tight unit with somebody who is openly homosexual goes against what they believe to be their principles, and it is their principles, is I think a disservice to them.

    But Duncan! If they only believe those things to be their principles, they could be wrong about what their principles are?

  14. HUNTER: Most Americans, most kids who leave that breakfast table and go out and serve in the military and make that corporate decision with their family, most of them are conservatives.

    They have conservative values, and they have Judeo-Christian values. To force those people to work in a small tight unit with somebody who is openly homosexual goes against what they believe to be their principles, and it is their principles, is I think a disservice to them.

    What an utter load of shit. The military in which I served certainly wasn’t full of these “conservatives.” What is was full of, for the most part, were patriots of many political persuasions and kids looking to get money for college.

    Yes, there were some gay people. No, nobody cared enough to narc on any of them. Two guys outed themselves while I was on active duty and they were discharged post-haste; other than that, I don’t remember anyone even discussing homosexuality at work.

  15. Following joe’s lead:

    HUNTER: They have conservative values, and they have Judeo-Christian values. To force those people to work in a small tight unit with somebody who is a treacherous Papist, or a filthy Mooslim, or a greedy Jew, or a Satan-worshipping Atheist goes against what they believe to be their principles, and it is their principles, is I think a disservice to them.

  16. Bonus points, though, for the Freudian use of “small tight unit.”

    Okay, that’s funny. 😛

  17. I find this funny as an openly straight man in the military everyone I have met has been very liberil and to say that the military holds judeo-christian values is BS. I know that everyone I have ever talked to has been professional enough handle openly gay men in the military.

  18. Most Americans, most kids who leave that breakfast table and go out and serve in the military

    This is silly. People join the military after lunch or dinner with a recruiter, not breakfast with their families. And besides, how many 20 year olds get up in time for breakfast anyways?

  19. Hunter’s problem here is “believing your own propaganda.”

    He has spent so much time saying and hearing that only conservative Republicans are patriotic and willing to serve their country that he’s come to believe that, by definition, people who are patriotic and join the military are also with the conservative Republicans on issues A, B, C, D, and E.

    Of course they don’t like gay people. I mean, we’re talking about people who love their country!

    The reason we’re America, and Syria is Syria, is because politicians who fall into delusion like this get kicked back into reality through elections.

  20. HUNTER: Most Americans, most kids who leave that breakfast table and go out and serve in the military and make that corporate decision with their family, most of them are conservatives.

    They have conservative values, and they have Judeo-Christian values. To force those people to work in a small tight unit with somebody who is openly homosexual goes against what they believe to be their principles, and it is their principles, is I think a disservice to them.

    What an utter load of shit. The military in which I served certainly wasn’t full of these “conservatives.” What is was full of, for the most part, were patriots of many political persuasions and kids looking to get money for college.

    Jim Bob – I’m retired military. I have never held “conservative values,” or “Judeo-Christian values”. Amazingly enough, I got promoted and cited occasionaly anyway. I have had the gays in the military debates with shipmates (how’s that for a totally gay coinage?). The split was ~ 50/50 for career enlisted.

  21. HUNTER: Most Americans, most kids who leave that breakfast table and go out and serve in the military and make that corporate decision with their family, most of them are conservatives.

    Conservative families are incorporating?! Damn, those conservatives love capitalism!

  22. …as an openly straight man in the military…

    Don’t ask. Don’t tell.

  23. I have to admit, I’m enjoying watching the republicans I know squirm uncomfortably as they try to decide which of these douchebags to support. I go around asking their opinions just for the comedy.

  24. That’s the problem with debates to begin with: pre-selected softball questions answered by prepared talking points.

    I’m going to have to find my dictionary, one of these days, and look up the definition of “debate.” But I’m pretty sure “dog-and-pony show” is a more accurate characterization of these events.

  25. Right. One of those “conservatives” was a buddy of mine who was providing his Air Force collegues with some of the finest weed to be found that side of the Arctic Circle. No worries though. It was just a NORAD Alaska site. What could happen?

  26. Jim Bob – I’m retired military. I have never held “conservative values,” or “Judeo-Christian values”. Amazingly enough, I got promoted and cited occasionaly anyway. I have had the gays in the military debates with shipmates (how’s that for a totally gay coinage?). The split was ~ 50/50 for career enlisted.

    < 3 the Navy- my dad’s a retired Senior Chief.

    One of my favorite things about the military was the variety of people and opinions to which I was exposed; as your experience also indicates, Hunter’s comment was a bit of a stretch to say the least.

    Sure, I encountered a view vicious homophobes in the military, but I’ve also encountered a few vicious homophobes outside of the military. My friends and myself didn’t care a whit about gay people serving in the military, and I still don’t.

    Hunter was just trying to appeal to how he imagines people who might vote for him perceive the people in the military. He managed to make himself look like an ass, which is fine- he is an ass.

  27. Hunter’s statement may have been wrong, but fortunately equally ignorant values voters would never give that a passing thought.

  28. *fortunately for Hunter, that is

  29. “You are right joe. I think Tancredo longs for the days of a 90% white population and 1/3 fewer businesses and far less to choose from among those businesses.”

    Tancredo is a typically short sighted populist like Lou Dobbs and Pat Buchanan. He can’t see the whole picture. We need these people to help us to be more internationally competitive. Also, if consumer prices come down as a result of lower wages, consumers have more money available for other products and services which help those industries, many of which are American industries hiring American citizens.

    I believe there is also a strain of racism in these anti-immigration views as well.

  30. Right. One of those “conservatives” was a buddy of mine who was providing his Air Force collegues with some of the finest weed to be found that side of the Arctic Circle. No worries though. It was just a NORAD Alaska site. What could happen?

    When I was an FNG, one of the oldtimers turned to me and said, “One of the first things anyone ever asked me out here on the flightline was, ‘Want a hit?'”

    I imagined an AF before piss tests and concluded that many, many people were probably stoned out of their minds back in the day. Now, in the modern AF, urinalysis that is positive for THC means a dishonorable discharge and jail time in Leavenworth.

  31. “I know that everyone I have ever talked to has been professional enough to handle openly gay men in the military.”

    Nice one Cody. Are closeted gay men “handled” differently?

  32. “Hunter was just trying to appeal to how he imagines people who might vote for him perceive the people in the military. He managed to make himself look like an ass, which is fine- he is an ass.”

    I think Hunter and Trancredo both are living in a “Leave It To Beaver” world.

  33. P Brooks –

    Here ’tis. From Merriam Webster On-line

    Main Entry: de?bate
    Pronunciation: \di-?b?t, d?-\
    Function: noun
    Date: 13th century
    : a contention by words or arguments: as

    a: the formal discussion of a motion before a deliberative body according to the rules of parliamentary procedure

    b: a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides

    CNN, NBC, NYT et al: WTF?

  34. Are closeted gay men “handled” differently?

    Yes, but only on the weekends.

  35. Isn’t the purpose of a debate to give candidates with dissenting views a chance to answer the same question? Shouldn’t RP have been given the opportunity to channel Barry Goldwater: “You don’t have to be straight to shoot straight.”

    And why is Huckabee getting so much cred for cracking wise about Jesus and the death penalty? If one is a Christian shouldn’t one have an opinion on what Jesus thought about this issue? I’ll bet Huckabee isn’t afraid to tell us what Jesus would have done about many other issues, even though Jesus never ran for office.

  36. joe,

    but to the unitiated, it looked like he was trying to change the subject

    I thought changing the subject was how you win debates? You dont win by answering the question actually asked.

  37. Too bad Ron Paul didn’t get the question about guest workers. But I was hoping someone would ask him how many times God is mentioned in the Constitution.

  38. Edward,

    Did you add all the quotes I gave you to your TJ spam bot?

  39. The Romney comment about his son’s guns was the most awkward and funny moment in a debate yet. But i don’t undestand what he meant when he said “he buys me expensive things.” can someone explain that to me”

  40. And why is Huckabee getting so much cred for cracking wise about Jesus and the death penalty? If one is a Christian shouldn’t one have an opinion on what Jesus thought about this issue? I’ll bet Huckabee isn’t afraid to tell us what Jesus would have done about many other issues, even though Jesus never ran for office.

    Creech – I totally agree.
    This was one of those opportunities for Huckabee to allow all the conservative voters who are supposedly Christian and support the death penalty to continue their sins without having to feel like they need to stop shouting about how other people are sinning. People whose existential lives are based on receiving the benefits of following a belief structure that they DO NOT actually follow like this sort of thing. Huckabee gave them exactly what they wanted/needed.

  41. DanT:

    “god” is mentioned in the constitution 69 times.

    69. time.

    69

  42. robc,

    Regarding my wishing Ron Paul had been asked how many times God is mentioned in the Constitution, the only qute that counts is this one:

    “Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion.” Ron Paul “The War on Religion”

    What a loon!

  43. Dammit, man. 69 times. okay? and the tatoo on my arm reads, “wow”.

    *looks at it again*

    errr. “mom”

  44. That’s funny, the tattoo on your Mom reads “joe.”

  45. “You are right joe. I think Tancredo longs for the days of a 90% white population and 1/3 fewer businesses and far less to choose from among those businesses.”

    That’s funny; back in those days, a guy whose name ended in a vowel wouldn’t be considered “white”.

  46. The only place “God” is mentioned in the Constitution is in the date: “Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven”

    Do you suppose Ron Paul has ever read the Constitutuion? If he has, he’s a liar.

  47. I don’t know how many times God is mentioned in the Constitution, but googling “God Constitution” gives over 2,210,000 hits, so they must be related somehow.

  48. Trollin’ trollin’ trollin’
    Keep that goon a trollin’

  49. And at least this time, “joe” is spelled correctly! and that the laser removal of “DUNDEROOO” was successful!! 🙂

    Dan: do you mean, “if he has stated so, he’s a liar”?

  50. Edward,

    Doing a little sentence reconstuction, since descriptive clauses dont affect the meaning of the sentence, we get:

    Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion.

    This is true.

    As I said yesterday, the reference to the Con is wrong, although it is true about the DoI.

    The statement is still true.

  51. Up with Corporatism with Reason Magazine!

    I left a comment on the Moment One video – which YT was pushing – listing three alternatives for him; he laughed them off, yet only one was sarcastic. The guy’s an idiot (so’s the crack Reason team, but that goes without saying.)

    Now, here’s a real discussion of part of the debate, showing how CNN failed and how the Huck might have lied.

    Here’s another example:

    youtube.com/watch?v=wm0uWz2BS9M

    And, here’s a proposal for a different format that would avoid all the CNN issues:

    youtube.com/watch?v=xA8Kgn_48t0

  52. Ah, the Founding Fathers.

    Threadjack: here is Massachusetts, they had a fight a few years ago about whether the Town of Lexington should be paying to put a nativity scene on the town common.

    One of the arguments often made was, “What would the Minutemen say if they found out we couldn’t have a nativity scene for Christmas?”

    The desired answer was, they would be aghast at the hostility of the government towards Christianity.

    The correct answer was, they would be aghast at such a blatant display of papist idolatry, and smash it to bits with the butts of their muskets.

  53. robc

    Stalin couldn’t have had more faithful benders of the truth on his behalf. If Ron Paul lies about such easily verifiable matters, how can we trust him on other stuff?

  54. I’m not going to the links. Is it all some lame shit about illegalmexicanimmigration?

    How’s my SWAG, folks?

  55. The correct answer was, they would be aghast at such a blatant display of papist idolatry, and smash it to bits with the butts of their muskets.

    Bravo!

  56. The correct answer was, they would be aghast at such a blatant display of papist idolatry, and smash it to bits with the butts of their muskets.

    I have pointed this sort of thing out before, but it’s usually lost.


  57. The correct answer was, they would be aghast at such a blatant display of papist idolatry, and smash it to bits with the butts of their muskets.

    Absolutely. I think the New England colonies even outlawed Christmas for some time as being too papist.

    Ah, the days when the South was secular and the North full of religious fanatics.

  58. J sub D – C’mon. That’s IllegalMexicanImmigration. Haven’t you read the Lonewacko Manual of Style?

    If you have a Firefox browser, you might look into the Greasemonkey filter. It’s awesome. I haven’t read Lonewackoooo, Edweirdooooo or Donderooooo in days.

  59. I had the filter on my old machine. I really ought to re-install it on this one.

  60. Wow.

    The sum total of people I’ve met who know the right answer to that question has increased fourfold in one day.

  61. Haven’t you read the Lonewacko Manual of Style?

    BP, I have an excuse. I was out of toilet paper one day, I saw this publication that had Lonewacko in the title, the obvious solution …

  62. The sum total of people I’ve met who know the right answer to that question has increased fourfold in one day.

    H&R, an often overlooked educational resource.

  63. In colonial Virginia, they wouldn’t have had a problem with manger scenes being good Anglicans at the time.

    However, one James Madison would have been aghast at tax money being used for religious purposes. He even said having state-funded military chaplins was unconstitutional. And he should know. He basically wrote the damn thing.

  64. What I find interesting is how the candidates are starting to mimic some of Dr. Paul’s positions, eg state’s rights.

    Since his stated original intent was to bring certain issues into the public discourse, I think Dr. Paul’s campaign is already successful.

    Mission Accomplished!

  65. Yes, you heard it here first, folks – there is no such thing as a mistake, or a factual error, only LIES!!! and anyone who tells such a LIE!!, even one time, must be shunned/ignored/publicly horse-whipped! And certainly not supported as a Presidential candidate!!

    Edward, you miserable troll, do you really think this will work any better than your abandoned “Ron Paul has no chance of ever getting any support or votes or money or anything else because only a few dozen weirdos like him” strategy?

    Exactly what the hell are you so bed-wettingly afraid of?

  66. horsewithnonick

    Look, I think Ron Paul knows that God isn’t mentioned in the Constitution. What he wants to do is get simple-minded people riled up about the federal government by claiming that it’s waging a “war on religion.” Telling simple-minded people lies to enlist their support is demogoguery. If Ron Paul were’nt such a unelectable joke, he would be scary. I find it amazing that secular libertarians can back such a dishonest loon. Desperation, I guess.

  67. Am I the only one that noticed Romney’s vapor-lock and subsequent desperate bullshit on the “Do you believe the Bible” question?

  68. Hammered by competition with imports, our family-owned business struggles each year to find seasonal workers… What are you going to do to keep these guest workers coming to the U.S. to save our business?

    Say what?

  69. They have conservative values, and they have Judeo-Christian values. To force those people to work in a small tight unit with somebody who is openly homosexual goes […]

    You guys at least gotta give Hunter props for honesty. I mean, he’s saying “Hey, military type folks don’t go in for teh gay, so we shouldn’t force them to serve, sitting in foxholes, hot breath against a grizzled cheek, heaving chests, waiting for the thrust of the enemy…”

    Does anyone have any doubt as to where Hunter stands on the issue? I think not.

  70. Romney’s inner monolog:

    I sure don’t wanna say anything that upsets anyone and hurts my chances of fooling folks into thinking that I really care about America and stuff…God, I wanna be president so much I can taste it.

  71. Edward,

    Note that Ron Paul opposes faith based initiatives while Clinton and Obama support them.

  72. Forget the Huckabee God-phone call bit, Tancredo is hilarious:

    JACK BROOKS: I need some guest workers for my business, Congressman.

    COOPER: Congressman Tancredo?

    TANCREDO: Yes sir, I completely agree, we have to stop the guest workers from getting into the country somehow.

    COOPER: No, Congressman, he needs guest workers.

    TANCREDO: I’m sorry, what was that?

    COOPER: He NEEDS GUEST WORKERS.

    TANCREDO: Sorry, one more time; I couldn’t hear you.

    COOPER: HE WANTS MORE GUEST WORKERS.

    TANCREDO: Yeah, I think they’re bad, too.

  73. Tancredo is sooooooooooo over; outside of a handful of lunatic-fringe knownothings who shall remain nameless (*cough* Lonewacko, *cough*), and a smattering of brain-stem talk radio hosts, stick a fork in that asshole, he’s OUTTA HERE…

  74. …SMALL TIGHT UNITS… dAMN NOW i HAVE TO CLEAN UP MY OFFICE DESK OF THE COFFEE i JUST SNORTED UP MY NOSE!

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