Republican Debate Thread: The Fooferah in Florida

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It begins at 9 p.m. ET on the people's network, MSNBC. Things to watch out for:

– Will anyone attack John McCain? Anyone? He benefitted in a big way from his early collapse, which filled Huck, Mitt, and the rest with a false sense of confidence that let them pay McCain compliments and cancel (or simply not develop) anti-McCain lines of attack.

– Does Huckabee have a Plan B? His substance-free surge to frontrunner status worked pretty damn well, but part of the plan was winning South Carolina, and that didn't work. He's seemed awfully airheaded and unprepared in recent debates. Can he surprise people enough to win this thing and stay viable for the Southern primaries?

– Will Ron Paul attack anyone? His campaign has tried to start fights on economics (with the field) and Iraq (with McCain), but no one has taken the bait and Paul himself hasn't seemed comfortable doing so.

9:03: Romney gets the first question, on stimulus: He's miffed that the president's stimulus package doesn't include a permanent tax cut. (Do I misunderstand what a stimulus is?) He doesn't slip up, though: Tossing him a question about economic incentives is like tossing scraps to a sow. "Give the money back to consumers!" I feel pretty comfortable about my sow metaphor.

9:05: McCain sings the gospel of Grover Norquist: Get spending down and we won't have crises this big. (I hate the Gravinas Island bridge as much as anybody but I don't blame that sort of stuff for our current problem.)

9:07: Giuliani: "This package, for what it does, is ok."

9:09: Aaaand here comes Russert with the sillyballs. Check out my out-of-context quote about how McCain doesn't know about economics! "I'm very well-versed in economics. I was there at the Reagan Revolution." He's very well-versed in non sequitors, too. Did he vote for the Dole correction of the tax cuts? I'm reasonably sure he did.

9:11: Mike Huckabee will build us out of our problems with "American steel, American concrete!"

9:12: He comes out boldly against traffic. "We've done nothing about it." This seems to require a follow-up. Is he for a national rail system? A big toll road-building project? Public? Private?

9:14: Americans need a president with the private sector "in his DNA," Romney says, subtling reminding voters that he is carbon-based.

9:16: Brian Williams respectfully asks Paul if the government has any role stimulating the economy. Yes, he says, but not interfering with the market rate of interest. "I was one of three people who voted against Sarbanes-Oxley. I knew that would be a problem."

9:19: As Giuliani talks about princes, I realize Romney's answer about "Taxachusetts" was really bad stuff for a general election: He bragged that he made life easier for business while raising fees for, you know, people. Easy to see a Democrat pulping him over his Massachusetts record.

9:22: McCain on why voters should trust Republicans over Democrats on the economy: "We fucked it up. But I won't!"

9:23: Huckabee's jokes don't work as well when there are fewer doughy white men onstage to laugh with him. Pressed for details, he makes the case against Reaganomics.

9:26: Credit to Romney for saying attacking the Bridge to Nowhere is "easy," and a smokescreen for avoiding crushing economic problems like entitlement spending.

9:28: Normally I'd advise against candidates flopping their wrists on live TV, but I dug Ron Paul's pantomime about his years voting against, uh, everything: "I was waving the flag, saying slow up, slow up!"

9:29: Questioner: "Please don't speak in generalities." McCain: "OK, bitch. How 'bout some cliches?"

9:30: Brian Williams dismisses McCain's claim that "no general" doubts the incredible, never-ending power of the surge by quoting Gen. Barry McCaffrey (ret).

9:31: How will Romney build up our military? Simple: With bribes.

9:35: We know how this round is going to end up. Everyone one-ups their praise of the war and their own ballsiness for backing it and then…

9:36: …and then Ron Paul says it was bullshit. Huckabee says we owe Bush our thanks. "We didn't find the weapons. Doesn't mean they weren't there!"

9:37: Romney repeats the "invasion was a brilliant success" line, which grows ever more incoherent the further we get from March 2003.

COMMERCIAL BREAK: An unsurprising glut of funeral and insurance ads.

9:43: Romney gets the first chance to ask a question, monologues a bit about China, and throws Giuliani the ball to… monologue about China.

9:45: Although I don't know how we "sell" China energy independence.

9:47: McCain has nothing to fear from Huckabee so he asks him to talk some more about the ridiculous FairTax. Huckabee quotes Dr. Phil. I vomit.

9:48: "Prostitutes, pimps, gamblers… not Republicans." I'm going to skip the obvious jokes here and ask how Uncle Sam will check whether prostitutes are applying the 23 percent sales taxes to their hand jobs.

9:50: I feel like Paul wasted his question, asking McCain what he'd do with the president's working group on markets, but McCain's wistful ramble was sort of entertaining. "I have a process of leadership that is sort of an inclusive one."

9:57: Dull but enlightening stuff about catastrophe insurance. Rudy wants a disaster fund (outside the hall he's been pandering on this), McCain and Mitt want better insurance policies.

9:58: Please, Rudy, don't use the words "nuclear" and "crack through" in the same sentence. The lobby's job is hard enough.

10:01: McCain blows darts at the conservative establish on climate change: "It has to do with violent weather changes as well."

10:06: Giuliani's wasted millions of dollars and blown a 30-point lead to lull opponents into a "false sense of security." Credible!

10:08: McCain fibs all over the place: Most Republicans don't tell exit pollsters they're most worried about Islamic terrorism.

10:11: Romney can united the old Reagan coalition of economic, social, and national security conservatives: "I speak to those three groups." And no one else!

10:13: Pretty sleazy of Russert to ask how much money Romney's spent on the campaign. Romney has a terrible answer: All sorts of people have donated to him but because he's spent so much money he's not beholden to anybody. Pure doubletalk.

10:16: Russert starts off yet another Social Security round by tossing Paul a softball disguised as a hardball: Do you still want to abolish it. He does!

10:19: Huck: "Everybody's talking about what we can't do. What about talking about what we can do?" Who? Who talks about we can't do?

10:21: Romney endorses the b.s. bipartisan committee and rather blithely talks about the retirement age: "Push it out a little bit."

10:24: Rudy panders on immigration, hilariously so: It's ok for Cubans to get special treatment because they vote in Republican primaries they're fleeing the world's evilest dictator!

10:27: Huckabee and McCain fight about their big celebrity endorsements: "I'll send Stallone to take care of Chuck Norris! How about that! Ha, ha!" I was expecting them to whip out their cocks and start jerking, but alas.

10:31: Ecch, Giuliani is the new beneficiary of the "you're going to lose so I can pay you compliments" treatment.

10:33: Hey, let's ask Paul the frigging third party question again! "I wish they would worry about it… keep them on their toes."

NEXT: Today in Blasphemy

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  1. Ah.. I got worried about you Dave a little. There we go.

  2. If you are (still) a Ron Paul supporter (like I am), what is the best outcome in FL as far as Paul’s campaign is concerned?

  3. Ooh, they allow each candidate one attack question.

  4. i wonder what paul question to others will be??

    is your foreign policy mutually exclusive with your idea of small govt’??

  5. I didn’t realize until tonight that Romney is noticeable taller above all of the other candidates.

  6. I hope Paul tones down his anger level and relaxes a little and start focusing on attacking others.

  7. Is this being carried live on the web anywhere? Some of us don’t have TVs (and don’t live in the US)

  8. “My strategy to stimulate the economy is to change the tax code so that lower-income people get a slightly higher tax return when they file in 2009.”

    That’s terriffic, Mitt.

  9. dr_dog: I think msnbc does, bit do not know where. Ron Paul radio is live broadcasting.

  10. I have to support Rudy now, he is proposing the largest tax cuts in modern history.

  11. I found the link for anyone who wants it (thanks for the tip, Ali):

    mms://msnbc.wm.llnwd.net/msnbc_1_live_8824

  12. I have to support Rudy now, he is proposing the largest tax cuts in modern history.

    modern history = today, the last week, or the last month?

  13. If Paul gets no questions about the newsletters, he’s even further under the radar than I thought. Nobody even cares about his allegedly racist past. Amazing.

  14. MK-

    I am amazed that he’s not being asked about the economy! Amazing!

  15. It’s Huckabee New Deal.
    Get those parents to the dance recitals!

  16. apparently he isn’t in the debate

  17. I am not sure, but they are largest and I like that…jk! Oh my gosh, Huck is proposing public works to stimulate the economy. Did we not learn any lessons from FDR and the New Deal?

  18. Only Cosmotarians and their socialist fellow travelers care about the newsletters.

  19. Mitt Romney didn’t raise taxes in Massachusetts.

    He just did things like raise fees at the Registry of Deeds for people buying a house from $75 to several hundred.

  20. No, MK. The only people who do care about the newsletters are the Reason editors.

    They were brought up in Paul’s Congressional campaigns in 96 and 2001 and never stuck.

    The rest of media, which doesn’t have severe hang-ups about associations with “libertarianism,” has moved on.

  21. I’m no transportation planner but I bet you can’t add 2 lanes to I-95 from Maine to Florida for anything close to $150 billion.

  22. Romney says he has “business” in his DNA.

    does he mean “poop”?

  23. Ron Paul thinks we’re going into a recession because we have a central bank.

  24. joe- no he doesn’t. Wait until he finishes.

  25. Mitt is desperately trying to figure out a way to change the subject.

  26. Ali,

    Yup, he finished. Off topic.

  27. Go Dr. Paul!

  28. I’ll all about Romney’s plan to 0% cap gains, divs & interest under $200,000, but can I believe the Romdog?

  29. Rudy could have gone for “yeah, I turned down that A-rab money, 9/11 muthahufuckahs,” but he didn’t.

  30. Is Rudy a bit shaky? Priceless!

  31. Giuliani sucks.

  32. I was scratching my ears when Rudy was talking, but was he actually making some sense about trade and foreign investment?

  33. Did Rudy hold hands with the Saudi like W?

  34. BZZZZZZT

    Poor stewardship of the dollar is not part and parcel of having a central bank.

    thanks for playin’…

  35. 18 points. Can you blame them?

    “I’ll give you some straight talk.”

    I’ll give you a punch in the groin, poseur.

  36. Why is McCain not saying “my friend” ad nauseum?

  37. Lots of Giuliani astro-turfing going on in this thread…

  38. It’s spelled poser jizoe

  39. Did Rudy hold hands with the Saudi like W?

    I bet there was some kissing too!

  40. He didn’t talk about “poor stewardship,” BZZZZZT.

    If you know anything about Ron Paul, you know that it’s not how the central bank is managed that he’s complaining about.

  41. Why is McCain blinking so much? And what was up with his eyebrows at the beginning of the debate?

  42. Rudy’s facial expressions are hilarious, but not very presidential.

  43. rudy’s making some crazy googly eye faces, awesome.

  44. Is Romney wearing a blue suit with a blue tie? His outfit looks awful tonight, but it may be the lighting

  45. Everyone’s poll numbers mush show that Republicans hate the GOP right now. McCain and Mitt are both trash-talking Republicans.

  46. government economy?

  47. Romney – highest tax rates besides Japan? WTF?

  48. As mayor of New York, Rudy Guiliani caused the economic boom of the 1990s.

  49. All you new yorkers in the house:

    How much like rape does it feel to pay a city income tax?

  50. looks like Rudy’s campaign’s been training their candidate w/ a cattle prod.

    he looked hunted (or is that “haunted”?) when he evoked “ground zero”. It’s cuz alluding to 9-11 has earned him shocks in conditioning sessions (oops, I mean “training sessions”) for the debate. He thought maybe that was too close.

  51. Ron Paul seems to be talking about a dystopian version of the Age of Aquarius.

  52. i believe it’s spelled “foofaraw”

  53. IF NOT FOR RUDOLF A. GIULIANI, NEW YORK WOULD HAVE BROKEN DOWN TO CHAOTIC RAPE, PILLAGE, AND MASS MURDER ON 9/11 THAT WOULD HAVE MADE THE DEATH TOLL IN THE TOWERS LOOK LIKE CHILDS PLAY.

  54. John McCain is repeating talking points from 2005, and they don’t even go to Ron Paul.

  55. McCain: “We’re defending freedom!”

    “We can win!”

  56. Mitt: if we increase the size of the military by 6.25%, teh victory!

  57. Not sending thousands of our soldiers to die and billions of our dollars to be wasted in Iraq is surrender! Surrender!

  58. Romney: More military so that poor brown people can get a little college education.

    White man’s burden!

  59. You want 100,000 extra troops Rombot? Pull 70,000 out of Germany and 30,000 out of S. Korea, and you have 100,000 extra troops at your disposal.

  60. McCain burps sperm about “Sole Super Power” and troops stationed all over the world, and Ron Paul takes a flier on crying “bullshit!”?

    I hate US politics…

  61. How come Romney didn’t join the military if he loves it so much?

    Also, where did he do is brainwashing mission?

  62. If Republicans pick their candidate based on who insults the public’s desire to leave Iraq the most, it’s going to be a bloodbath this November.

  63. Uhh?? How did Romney get applause for that boilerplate answer on Iraq? Finding it hard to read the crowd here.

  64. Can we stop calling the death of soldiers and loss of money “blood and treasure?” What are we, 18th century pirates?

  65. Reichsmarshall Hillary Clinton Mitt.

  66. Is the “War on Terrorism” not a war against Islamic extremism? How was Saddam an Islamic extremist?

  67. You know what would get me and America’s best and brightest to join the military?

    Lifetime exemption from Federal taxation if you make it back.

  68. Good response Paul. Good response.

  69. Looks like each candidate (except Paul) is providing footage for the Democrats’ ads in the fall.

    Interesting, and smart, move by Paul to try to blame Bill Clinton’s idea for the war.

    You have to remember, Huckabee voters are really good at believing things without evidence.

  70. Huckabee, resolve is only a good idea WHEN YOU’VE RESOLVED TO ACT ON A GOOD IDEA

  71. Giuliani is really baring his teeth tonight.

  72. Iraq: the right idea?

    McCain: It’s all Rumsfeld!!! War in Iraq is justified because of the threat of Saddam Hussein! The war was a good idea! We will have peace and success in the Middle East!

    Giuliani: I was for it. I am for it. I am for it because America is in a war!

    Paul: Very bad idea. Wasn’t worth it (applause). No al-Qaeda, no WMD, The decision was made in 1998. We should never be a country that starts war.

    Huck: I supported the president. We owe thanks to the president! Just because we didn’t find the weapons doesn’t mean they were not there.

    Romney: Right decision. I supported it at the time and I support it now. The Democrats are just run and retreat and that will be a real problem for them when they go against Republicans.

    Announcer: No more applause!!! (only Ron Paul got applause).

  73. PS I thought Paul’s mention of Desert Fox was interesting. People pin the Iraq thing on Bush a lot, and a lot of the escalation was indeed his fault, but we had been bombing that place for decades.

  74. I think Paul is doing pretty well tonight.

  75. Anyone catch McCain’s slip on the war question? Not the exact words but he said along the lines of “Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction and we believed at the time that he had weapons of mass destruction”……

  76. I wonder what Paul will ask…

  77. I heartily endorse Rudy Giuliani for president.

  78. I’m loving Rudy’s crazy-man faces.

  79. Will any of the candidates dare question Ron Paul?

  80. Paul’s about to be pushed into the offensive… Hell yeah.

  81. I wonder if someone will ask him about the newsletters.

  82. Will any of the candidates dare question Ron Paul?

    Probably not. They’ll attack each other. Paul will attack himself 🙂

  83. Romney: I am a dick. China china china. I am a dick.

    Fart.

  84. Good idea on my part to clean the bathroom while this is on.

  85. Mitt’s commentary on China plays to his strength as SuperCEO Man.

    Rudy, do you actually know anything about the international economy?

  86. lmao @ Rudy thinking that the best thing about millions of people working themselves out of poverty is that there are millions more customers

  87. It was a terrible idea to cut the military at the end of the Cold War, and that’s why 9/11 happened.

  88. Whoa, until he got to the part about the military, Rudy was actually making some sense about China.

  89. Guiliani: “The more we get to know other countries the less likely we are to have military hostilities.”

    You fucking thief! You owe Ron Paul royalties, bitch.

    He’s got you spooked, doesn’t he. C’mon, you can tell me. I’ll keep it a secret…

  90. “How come Romney didn’t join the military if he loves it so much?”

    He says he regrets it, so you know he’s good for the military.

  91. McCain throws a softball to Huckabee on the national sales tax. What’s THAT all about? It’s gotta be anti-Mitt, somehow.

  92. lmao @ Rudy thinking that the best thing about millions of people working themselves out of poverty is that there are millions more customers

    I think these guys confuse mercantilism with capitalism.

  93. NON-REPUBLICANS!? 😮

  94. Did Huckabee really just say pimps, prostitutes, gamblers…non republicans? LOL

  95. wtf kind of question was that, RP?

  96. McCain just said that he has no idea what Paul is talking about. Neither am I actually!

  97. Ron Paul asks McCain about the Plunge Protection Team !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Conspiracy theory bonus points

  98. Anyone who opposes the Fair Tax has no imagination.

  99. WTF is “the presidents financial group on markets?”

    Sunshine is good!

    Way to grab the brass ring there, Dr. Paul.

  100. Translating for McCain: I dunno

  101. Paul fucking soft-balled his chance to question.

    Big bummer. No points for gentlemen.

  102. Did Huckabee just propose a tax on Gangsta Rap?

    McCain just gave the same answer twice. He is an extremist when it comes to dropping names.

  103. RP should have been emphatic in requesting an answer. Oh well! McCain crawled his way out.

  104. look it up on the wiki or google it

  105. Translating for McCain: I dunno

    Mmm, I thinking more “I don’t care.”

  106. Ron, I’m rooting for ya, but of all the questions he could have asked.

  107. McCain HAS NO CLUE what Paul is talking about! Retard. See: Plunge protection team.

  108. RP would have been better off pulling a Kucinich and ask himself a question.

  109. No, SIV, I know what it is.

    I mean, THAT’S his question? About something no one watching the debate knows about?

  110. Enjoy using google as a verb, because 5 years from now, it’ll be as dead as Napster. Mark my word

  111. “Ron, I’m rooting for ya, but of all the questions he could have asked.”

    No shit. I’m gonna have another drink.

  112. joe | January 24, 2008, 9:51pm | #

    WTF is “the presidents financial group on markets?”

    Maybe it has something to do with the superhighway.

  113. Too bad the question went over the audience’s collective heads.

  114. Screw you colin. asshole

  115. Ron should have asked Huckabee what he thought of Rudy marrying his cousin. He could have killed two birds with one stone.

  116. I repeat, if you don’t know what Ron was talking about look up “Plunge Protection Team”.
    Kudos for conspiracy theory reference Dr Paul
    Consider it a bipartisan appeal to active traders.

  117. Too bad the question went over the audience’s collective heads.

    This whole debate goes up America’s collective ass

  118. I wish Ernest T. Bast was here to throw a rock at Mike Huckabee.

    It’s me, it’s me…Ernest T.

  119. Neither America is ready for Paul nor Paul is ready for America. Unfortunately it wasn’t even a one night stand 🙁

  120. Ron Paul has performed a valuable service.

    No one else in the universe would have had the cajones to ask John McCain that question… Tim Russert, eat your heart out.

  121. Plunge Protection Team or not, why the hell did RP waste his question on something like that?

  122. I think going to the source is a little better than wiki.

  123. Plunge Protection Team or not, why the hell did RP waste his question on something like that?

    To make McCain look stoopid. Mission accomplished.

  124. RP: Senator McCain, what do you think of the Plunge Protection Team?

    JM: Do you know who the fuck I am?

  125. Wait, why am I supposed to pay insurance for people who buy houses near the shore? And why do Republicans support this? What happened to the Republican Party I used to know?

  126. Screw you, Dedalus. asshole.

    See I’m just as bright you.

  127. Plunge Protection Team or not, why the hell did RP waste his question on something like that?

    I think Paul asked to point out that McCain does not know economics.

  128. Joe
    “It was a terrible idea to cut the military at the end of the Cold War, and that’s why 9/11 happened.”
    Please explain.

  129. “Screw you, Dedalus. asshole.”

    Is that haiku?

    Beautiful, grasshopper.

  130. Oh, Rudy. Big mistake.

    The correct answer is “There is no global warming, and only the commies say there is.”

    Anything else loses the primary voters.

  131. some guy,

    That’s a good angle. McCain is always tooting his horn about how he’s been in pubic service all his life and he’s got more leadership experience than God himself–but then he doesn’t even know what the Working Group on Financial Markets is.

  132. I also believe Paul asked McCain that question to make him look foolish.

  133. Has McCain already been nominated? He sure is getting a lot of face time.

  134. I think Paul asked to point out that McCain does not know economics.

    I agree. He hit a home run, though I am not sure if McCain’s supporters have an idea what just happened.

  135. Bob Dobbs,

    I was summarizing Rudy Guiliani’s answer about “Bill Clinton’s peace dividend.”

  136. Boca Raton means Jew’s mouth

  137. What he asked about Plunge Protection Team? I didn’t hear it well and I assumed it was a Fed question. Yeah, hope they keep that one in the transcript. He has now assured that he live on forever in independent documentaries. Unfortunately I think the question already went down the memory hole because the media wouldn’t touch that with a hundred foot pole. Maybe the sound the sound was cut in DC since they have all your money to invest.

  138. “Boca Raton means Jew’s mouth”

    I think anti-semitism is disgusting and should not be tolerated on Reason.

  139. Please, guys. You know RP could have asked a better question. Since most people don’t know what the hell he was talking about, I doubt anyone actually realized McCain didn’t either.

  140. The answer to all these problems is federalism. If we increase the amount of federalism, we will decrease the number of problems.

  141. miche- thanks.

    All the douchebags (you know yourselves) who attacked Paul as a conspiracy theorist above, please feel ashamed.

  142. Dedalus: What about jokes?

  143. I wish Paul would have hammered McCain or Huckabee on Iraq.

  144. “Dedalus: What about jokes?”

    You think anti-semitism is funny?

    I don’t.

  145. Everything should be tolerated on Reason, even you.

  146. how is inquiring about the plunge protection team conspiracy theory?? what if just want to know how the gov’t is intervening in markets??

  147. Joe,
    Thanks, my RealPlayer froze, I thought it was an idea you believed.

  148. Hehe. Question to Rudy: Why do you suck so badly??

  149. I think anti-semitism is disgusting and should not be tolerated on Reason.

    Tolerant cosmopolitans must tolerate even intolerance. Otherwise it’s a slippery slope down to Lew Rockwell.

  150. Targeting McCain’s ignorance of economics was the right idea, but RP could have chosen an issue that resonates more than the Working Group on Financial Markets.

  151. Rudy should answer, about the polls, “I don’t know, you should ask my pollster. Here’s why I’m going to win…”

  152. Did Rudy just call Mitt “Ron”? Haha!

  153. Jeez, imagine that, another question for McCain.

  154. “Tolerant cosmopolitans must tolerate even intolerance.”

    I must go flagellate myself for thinking otherwise.

  155. I heartily endorse anit-Semitism!

  156. Dedalus: I think accusing someone of anti-semitism with your tongue in your cheek is kind of funny, yeah. Boca Raton clearly does not mean Jew’s mouth. It was not a serious statement coming at the Jewish people, it was a sideways swipe at Ron Paul and a humorous reference to the ridiculous shit that made its way into his newsletters.

  157. See, if it was humorous, you wouldn’t have to explain it.

  158. Rudy on a pollster question should tell him to just watch fox after the debate and maybe he’ll get the Luntz “bump” that Thompson didn’t. That really showed how ridiculous his focus groups are.

  159. “Boca Raton clearly does not mean Jew’s mouth. It was not a serious statement coming at the Jewish people,”

    You clearly think this kind of sick shit is funny. I don’t. That is the difference between us.

  160. Romney got in a sex joke.

  161. Doesn’t it mean “rat’s mouth”?

  162. Mitt just gave HRC a few more supporters.

  163. I heartily endorse Mitt Romney!

  164. Some dude, you notice Goldberg won’t even speak its name.

  165. And he just earned Obama a few more supporters too!

  166. Joe: You forget to account for people who would rather get offended than laugh.

    PS I didn’t write that, I just defended it.

  167. Mitt,

    The only thing Americans hate more than Washington is you.

  168. LevStrauss
    Some dude, you notice Goldberg won’t even speak its name.

    Conspiracy!

  169. Mitt: I have rich friends!

  170. “Doesn’t it mean “rat’s mouth”?”

    It’s getting even more Streicher-esque…

    I demand an inquiry.

  171. November isn’t going to be a GOP massacre, its going to be a mercy killing. Stick a fork in it, the party of small government is done.

  172. But then, I’m rich, too.

    So, in closing, I can buy and sell you all.

  173. did Mitt just say he’s not concerned about the voters!

  174. Does anyone believe Romney would sell his soul to become president?

  175. Not only do I own America, I can deed it my children.

    Vote for me!

  176. OH, it’s all about Romney now. Then they’ll spend two minutes to get Paul out of the way regarding the letters.

  177. Does anyone believe Romney would sell his soul to become president?

    To “assume” Mitt has a soul makes an ass of u and me. :-}

  178. For whatever the Wikipedia article is worth:

    Listed on early maps as “Boca Ratones,” many people wrongly assume the name is simply translated to “Rat’s Mouth”.[citation needed] The Spanish word boca (or mouth) was often used to describe an inlet, while rat?n (literally mouse) was used by Spanish sailors to describe rocks that gnawed at a ship’s cable, or as a term for a cowardly thief.[5][6] The name Boca Ratones originally appeared on eighteenth century maps associated with an inlet in the Biscayne Bay area of Miami. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the term was mistakenly moved north to its current location on most maps and applied to Lake Boca Raton, whose inlet was closed at the time.

  179. Oh fuck me I was getting Boca confused with Baton Rouge. My bad, Sam McManus is a super dummy, and I apologize to everyone I’ve ever called humorless on the internet!

  180. So not only is Mitt Romney an ‘agent of change,’ he doesn’t owe anyone anything! He’s just like John Edwards. They even got the same hair!

  181. Andrew:

    Lucky for us cyborgs don’t have souls, the best he could do was exchange some gigaflops for a spiffy hairdo.

  182. What the hell are small taxes? Romney is a Nantucket nerd.

  183. I think Mitt Romney just said that Hillary Clinton takes her inspiration from the URKOBOLD.

    Watch your taints, GOPers.

  184. What’s up with Paul’s microphone? It sounds like he’s talking to an empty hall.

  185. Still, it was probably more a “Ron Paul hates the Jews” thing than a “I hate Jews” thing. Of course, I think I’ve proven I shouldn’t speak for other people

  186. Excellent answer. Excellent!

  187. That wasn’t a bad answer from RP.

  188. Paul just won himself the support of the elderly!

  189. Has Paul been given more than three questions tonight?

  190. Joe, now that you mention the microphone thing… I think you are right. They gave him the crumby one.

  191. Oh fuck me I was getting Boca confused with Baton Rouge.

    Baton Rouge translates to red stick.

  192. I forgot Rombot does not have a soul. Fweh, crisis averted.

  193. Huckabee’s such a bitch

  194. hahaha! huckabee made a funny!

  195. Huckabee is pretty funny.

  196. Paul just won himself the support of the elderly!

    and “young people.”

  197. I think Paul’s had 4 questions and as many minutes.

  198. Mitt Romney: Hillary in a pant suit.

  199. Huckabee insulting Mitt’s money.

    The fact that the most loathesome candidate is also the plutocratic corporatist is a godsend for Huckabee.

  200. Oh fuck me I was getting Boca confused with Baton Rouge.

    Red Jew?

  201. The Huckster spent too long setting up that joke. Fail.

  202. Fun Time Girls say…

    We are screwed.

    More Andy Griffith references as the night goes on, or until my Vodka runs out.

  203. Rat Rod?

  204. Right, Adamness. How about, “Oh, Mitt, America? Aren’t your sons inheriting enough?”

  205. After this debate, I think I am ready for a writer-less A Daily Show.

  206. LOL @ “Fred Thompson” above

  207. Finally we get to talk about dem illegalz.

  208. Whew! I am glad Reason beat the shit out of Ron Paul over these 15 year old newsletters.

    I feel much better that these other Republicans will get the nomination.

    Goood job boys!

    Rah Freedom!

  209. I gotta say, Romney may be wrong about many things but on fiscal policy the man’s pretty reliable.

  210. Rudy: I’m only running Spanish-language ads for people learning Spanish. That’s all.

    …No really. What?

  211. There you go, Dedalus.

    Ron Paul would have been the 44th President of the United States, if not for those meddling kids!

  212. Dedalus,

    So, no one except reason cares about the newsletters, AND he would have had a shot at the nom if reason hadn’t written about them?

    Choose one or the other, but not both. I’m going with neither.

  213. “I gotta say, Romney may be wrong about many things but on fiscal policy the man’s pretty reliable.”

    I gotta say: you’re dumb.

  214. Romney is the best fiscal con in the race and clearly winning this debate. Go Mitt!

  215. Oh lawd. Who would’ve thunk Chuck Norris would get mentioned in a debate?

    And Giuliani not only makes weird faces, he has an annoying laugh.

  216. Yeah, if not for Reason, Paul would’ve been elected.

  217. Whew! I am glad Reason beat the shit out of Ron Paul over these 15 year old newsletters.

    Which must have reached, literally, dozens of potential voters!

  218. Man, Huckabee is suddenly on.

  219. Huckabee if freaking good at this.

    And he makes it look like he’s actually bad at it, which is even more impressive.

  220. Wow, a Chuck Norris joke. Is this the 2004 election?

  221. You’ve got to give it to huck, he makes good jokes.

  222. Adamness,

    Watch for McCain retaliating with Sly Stallone, and Ron Paul with Donna D’Errico.

  223. There we go… letters… letters… letters…

  224. Comedian-in-Chief

  225. Watch for McCain retaliating with Sly Stallone, and Ron Paul with Donna D’Errico.

    Ahaha he did.

  226. “So, no one except reason cares about the newsletters, AND he would have had a shot at the nom if reason hadn’t written about them?”

    Who cares: reason is still a bunch of dicks for obsessing about it. They expended the effort to destroy the man (successful or not is not the point) with the intent — or unintended consequences — of pushing these other fascists to the forefront.

    Paul is not perfect? Stop the fucking presses.

    Compare him to these assclowns then get back to me on the wisdom of reason’s clusterfuck.

  227. Psst…hey, media genius…Republicans hate the New York Times, and love vindictiveness and secrecy.

  228. Ali & Dedalus,

    Name one aspect of Romney’s stance on health care and social security that you would say is worse than what other candidates are offering (RP excluded).

  229. Yep, I think it is on. But… then they would have to talk to Paul. We’ll see.

  230. “Which must have reached, literally, dozens of potential voters!”

    Yeah, because intent means shit in a court of law.

  231. Dedalus,

    What color is the sky on your world again?

  232. Of all the candidates, you’d think Romney would be the one to avoid labeling himself as a ‘change’ guy.

    Someone should have asked Romney why his Mass. healthcare plan fines people $70 a month for not having insurance.

  233. The Massachusetts legislature creates and built up the rainy day fund, under Speaker Tom Finneran. Not Romney.

  234. What terrible about Romney’s health care is that it forces people to buy insurance. Forces them.

  235. Yeah good question NP, aside from the only fiscal conservative, which statist has the best economic policy?

    Because obviously thats the guy we should vote for.

  236. The health care plan isn’t Romney’s, either. Also the Democratic state legislature’s plan.

  237. MCCAIN?! WTF ARE YOU DOING?!

  238. Oh, I seeeeeeee, McCain/Rudy ticket!

  239. McCain, “Will you indulge me one more minute?”

    He has been indulged all night.

  240. I was expecting them to whip out their cocks and start jerking, but alas.

    Dave Weigel —

    That line alone has made me forget every time I have disagreed with you. Bravo.

  241. I would never use the offices of government to push my faith.

    I’d amend the Constitution, so other people would be required by federal law to do that for me.

  242. “Oh, I seeeeeeee, McCain/Rudy ticket!”

    Talk about a military intervention clusterfuck.

    They’d probably end up invading ourselves.

  243. Ron Paul is doing well with this party question.

  244. Actually Huckabee, I thought the whole point of America was that you COULD dislike someone for their religious views/their intentions to impose them on you

  245. I was expecting them to whip out their cocks and start jerking, but alas.

    That’s a different channel. 84, I think.


  246. Name one aspect of Romney’s stance on health care and social security that you would say is worse than what other candidates are offering (RP excluded).

    Ah, OK! Yes, none of the others knows anything about the economy, but Romney is just providing 1/2 solutions.

  247. Paul’s “we need to act like Republicans” shtick is his ace card. Definitely his best moment of the night so far.

  248. Oh, I seeeeeeee, McCain/Rudy ticket!

    I don’t know why McCain would want that – Giuliani isn’t bringing anything to the table except a dead cat bounce.

  249. My Man Paul!

  250. Well done, RP.

  251. Paul is far more calm and confident sounding tonight than he has been at recent debates.

  252. Wow, did Paul get to finish it off?

  253. Wow…pitched Paul a softball to close out the debate…nice finish

  254. Way to go Ron!

  255. No clear winner, but Romney lost.

  256. McCain needs a SUPER VP pick, like J.C. Watts.

  257. Joe Scarborough is a Romney shill.

  258. Mitt Romney always loses because he’s Mitt Romney.

  259. JC Watts make John Cornyn look like Galileo.

  260. Eric —

    Using capital letters makes you look dumb. Suggesting J.C. Watts as VP makes you look dumb.

    Come to think of it, posting under the name “Eric Dondero” makes you look dumb.

  261. Was JC Watts from Oklahoma?

    What’s up with all the brain donors getting elected from Oklahoma? Watts, Nickles, Inhofe…

  262. Eric, have you now switched to McCain?

    That was fast.

    You’re running out of candidates.

  263. Fair and balanced commentary is following the debate…Good Grief.

  264. Bingo,

    I don’t see anything wrong with supporting a candidate that will actually get things done (and no, it’s not Romney). If that makes me and others unprincipled SOBs then maybe 90% of all voters should be DOA at the voting stations.

  265. JC Watts will wear his undies outside of his pants and put on a cape.

    More powerful than a DC lobby group! Able to rescue failed presidential bids in a single bound! ITS SUPER VEEP!

  266. Ali,

    See my comment above.

  267. Now Hillary gets to run “The Republicans are afraid of me” ads like McCain’s.

  268. I heard they have freedom of speech now in Afghanistan. Way to go huh, mr. Dondero.

  269. z”McCain needs a SUPER VP pick, like J.C. Watts.”

    Just shows what an ingnorant cunt you are.

  270. The local NBC affiliate here in Orlando replayed dome of the candidates’ lines – including Paul’s applause line on Iraq.

  271. Dondero supports Romney now, I heard Rudy stopped paying his staff.

  272. Someone is full of a lot of ad hominem tonight.

  273. J.C. Watts is smart, bright, and a real libertarian Republican/fiscal con. I’ll support McCain if he chooses him, or Sarah Palin, another libertarian Republican.

    A VP pick says a lot about a candidate and is a great reason to support them.

  274. “Does anyone believe Romney would sell his soul to become president?”

    Can he do that twice?

    -jcr

  275. But who will you support next week?

  276. Dondero supports whoever he thinks is going to win. He is a weather vane.

  277. Just shows what an ingnorant cunt you are.

    Are you kidding? Eric was canvassing for votes…barefooted…in a blizzard, when you were still in diapers. What have you done for freedom lately?

  278. Whoa, Dedalus. I’m beginning to think you may be a reincarnation of Edward.

  279. J.C. Watts is smart, bright… as politicians from Oklahoma go.

  280. Well, Rudy is dead in the water, and ED hates Huck and Paul. That leaves just McRomney.

    If it came down to Huck v. Paul, he’d probably switch to Hillary.

  281. J.C. Watts is smart, bright, and a real libertarian Republican/fiscal con.

    You forgot to mention clean and articulate.

  282. “J.C. Watts is smart,”

    Only to a stupid fucking redneck like you.

    The rest of us know and knew what a dipshit he is.

  283. “ric was canvassing for votes…barefooted…in a blizzard, when you were still in diapers. What have you done for freedom lately?”

    True. I am humbled by his greatness.

    I will go into seclusion to ponder my intolerable shallowness.

  284. “Whoa, Dedalus. I’m beginning to think you may be a reincarnation of Edward.”

    No, I am just a drunken asshole with a real bad case of constipation. And a lifetime spent reading these silly things called “books.”

  285. If only they asked Ron Paul about the newsletters before the South Carolina primaries.

  286. Someone is holding up a “I (heart) Britney Spears” behind Scarborough’s head.

  287. I would vote for anyone who nominated Sarah Palin as vp gets my vote. Have you guys seen how incredibly hot she is? Allow me to devolve here for a minute: *pants* *howls*

  288. That came out wrong. All I meant is Sarah Palin is hot.

  289. I don’t think that’s actually Dondero. Check the URL.

  290. If Florida doesn’t work out, hell, Paul’s running 12% in Georgia.

  291. Well, Rudy is dead in the water, and ED hates Huck and Paul.

    I know what ED is, but who is ED?

  292. ED is God!

  293. andrew,

    LOL hilarious. “pants” homonyms are funny.

  294. Dondero you stupid tool, J.C. Watts is a CONSERVATIVE. Yes, he is fiscally conservative but he is SOCIALLY conservative. What kind of definition of “libertarian” do you operate under? I guess Tom Coburn is a libertarian to you, even though he would personall execute abortion doctors?

  295. Winners:
    Liquor stores
    Any form of escapism
    Dems in November

    Losers:
    Pajamas Media Bloggers (lol poor Fredheads in despair)

    The “Not going to win the only state you’ve campaigned” Award Winner:
    Giuliani

    Medal for the Most Miraculous Act of Self Delusion:
    National Review’s Corner for somehow continuing to justify their Rombot endorsement

  296. At least it’s almost official that Giuliani isn’t going to be president.

  297. Well, “libertarian” can be defined in many ways. Paul might not disagree with Coburn on that issue and I don’t think anyone would say Paul isn’t a libertarian.

    And Coburn has many libertarian qualities.

  298. At least it’s almost official that Giuliani isn’t going to be president.

    I think so. And that’s certainly great news. I do not have to see his front teeth on TV and in cartoons any more (or is it anymore?).

  299. I know what ED is, but who is ED?

    It is someone’s initials. And I suspect the “who” has the “what”, but that’s another discussion.

  300. It is someone’s initials. And I suspect the “who” has the “what”, but that’s another discussion.

    I see what you did there.

  301. It is someone’s initials.

    Oh, God, I feel so dumb now. Eric Dondero? God, I get dumber watching these Republican debates!

  302. Remember libertarians: small government conservatives are your enemy

    Vote Democrat! we will claim to legalize the med mj until we are elected and make those Wealthy bible-thumpers pay for free abortions. we’ll really stick it to Big Tobacco, Big Alchohol and Big Gun.We will make sure you buy yourself inferior healthcare and relieve the burden from your employer. Free to you if you are unemployed.

  303. Damn, somebody’s terrified of what’s coming this November.

  304. You should be afraid too, joe. You’re going to have to spend the next four years at least defending Hillary Clinton. Have fun!

  305. Oh, thanks for the warning Dem Party! If I happen to run into any of those small government conservatives I’ll make sure to avoid them.

    Good thing we don’t have any in office otherwise we’d really be screwed.

  306. I am voting for Bill Huckabee because of the fact that his wife is taller than him and that shoes the humility necessary to be Pesident.

  307. My initials are EDR, NOT ED. ED sounds to me like it would be for an Edward.

    Those posts above were not from me.

  308. I know that The Democratic party post is a joke because it said Vote Democrat instead of Vote Democratic

  309. BTW, did any of you all catch Huckabee’s huge geography blunder post-debate?

    He confused Syria with Jordan. Said that the WMD were shipped to “Jordan.”

    My prediction: This will be big news tomorrow morning on the Blogosphere.

  310. That is not my post above on JC Watts, and McCain. Someone is posting under my name.

  311. J.C. Watts is smart, bright, and a real libertarian Republican/fiscal con.

    You forgot to mention clean and articulate.

    Samuel Delaney had a great line in one of his novels, went roughly like this, ‘you can complement me when I hum a 12 tone row pitch perfect to a 13/9 beat, but you are still calling me the ‘N’ word.’

  312. David Weigel’s comment on the FairTax is lame. Sadly, Huckabee knows only a little more. Unca Sam has no need to check whether prostitutes are collecting tax on their services. Prostitutes will pay tax when they spend their income (like everyone else).

    The jokes on Huckabee, though, since the Johns get to buy Hookers’ services with “after tax” dollars. It works out to be a wash — very little effect on the underground economy.

    Sure, the FairTax has problems, but David’s thoughtless sarcasm doesn’t help anyone.

  313. Cesar,

    I’ll get to spend four years yelling at her to listen to Congress.

  314. For the record, I will be voting for Rudy Giuliani in the Texas Primary next month. If for some reason he is no longer in the race, I’ll be voting for Mitt Romney. Beyond that, I wouldn’t vote for the others: Paul, McCain or Huckabee.

  315. Dondero:

    a/s/l?

  316. @LevStrauss

    Ron should have asked Huckabee what he thought of Rudy marrying his cousin. He could have killed two birds with one stone.

    LOL!! I don’t know who you are – but I’m gonna vote for you!

  317. Ron should have asked Huckabee what he thought of Rudy marrying his cousin. He could have killed two birds with one stone.

    Rudy: In my defense, she was very good looking.

  318. Unca Sam has no need to check whether prostitutes are collecting tax on their services. Prostitutes will pay tax when they spend their income (like everyone else).

    Barbers will also pay tax when they spend their incomes, so does that mean US has no need to make sure they’re charging sales tax?

    Grocers will pay tax when they spend their incomes…
    Book sellers will pay tax when they spend…
    Car washers will pay tax when…

    So, does that mean the govt doesn’t need to worry whether any of these people are collecting sales tax?

  319. I just had a premonition from the future:

    joe | January 24, 2009, 11:28pm | #

    OK, I know that Congress just passed the Anti-Terrorism Anal Inspection Authorization Act, which authorizes LEOs to perform anal probes on random citizens in the fight against terrorism. I know that the Democrats have a 70% majority in both houses. But really, look at the big picture:

    100% of Republicans voted for it
    70% of Democrats voted against it

    So, there are a few bad Democrats in Congress. But ALL the Republicans are bad! More and better Democrats, please!

  320. crimethink,

    What we need to implement the fair tax is some sort of government agency that monitors businesses to ensure that they are collecting the tax.

    Of course, since some sales are taxable, and some aren’t, their records will have to be audited to ensure compliance.

    Of course, they’ll have to watch out for private citizens running businesses that are off the books. So they’ll be monitoring bank accounts for suspicious activity.

    We’ll give it some snappy name, like Inland Revenue or something. Hmm, I wonder where they could hire the agents needed to implement such a scheme…

  321. Listen to the audible voice cluing Romney in when he didn’t know the answer to the Reagan question

  322. Wow, this debate highlighted poor ethics in journalism. I am a Ron Paul supporter. I saw that Huckabee and Paul got the least amount of air time. Clearly Tim Russert and the other person asking questions were targeting Giuliani, Romney, and McCain.

    It’s really not a debate but a form of electioneering that Fox perpetrated earlier this election season. By not allowing each of the candidates running for President equal time to debate each issue and focusing on just a few candidates, you are influencing the campaign.

    I feel sorry for NBC and MSNBC. Do you all remember the story of Dateline NBC blowing up a truck gas tank to simulate an explosion on collision? Please return ethics to journalism!

  323. Brilliant commentary, you guys! I spaced the debate. But thanks to you folks, I’m hep and I was entertained.

  324. The real news came after the debate. Huckabee, being interviewed by Chris Matthews, screwed up badly on geography. He said the WMD were “shipped to Jordan,” instead of Syria. Matthews caught the error and drove it home with him. Huckabee never caught on.

    Posted the YouTube.com video to Libertarian Republican blog.

  325. He said the WMD were “shipped to Jordan,” instead of Syria.

    Not to respond to DONDEROOOOOOO!!!, but Hackabee’s voters wouldn’t know the difference if you put a map in front of them.

    “Both them there places is in da Bible, so it must be truth.”

  326. Moroni or McCain feeding the Robot answers at the “debate”.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/018895.html

  327. So if Huckabee had said that the WMD’s had been shipped to Syria, he would have been credible?

    ROFL.

    Man Mr Eric “I got busted down 2 grades to seaman and I’m proud of it” Dondero, you never cease to amaze.

  328. Math is hard!

  329. Yeah, THAT’S the problem with Huckabee’s statement; he made up the wrong country.

  330. Missed the debate, glad I did so.

  331. One thing about Florida is, you HAVE to pander to the Cuban-American population. And that includes talking about keeping that ridiculous wet foot/dry foot policy in place. Rudy has to know his only chance in FL is to pander, pander, pander as much as possible.

    I continue to maintain, 8 years later, that Elian Gonzalez, and Janet Reno’s reaction to the Elian case is what lost Al Gore the 2000 election.

  332. joe,

    70% x 70% = 49% < 50%

    (in case you were wondering)

  333. I was thinking for a long the lines of 70 > 2X 30.

  334. I know you’re a planner, not an accountant, but this is like compound interest, not street grades. Multiply, don’t add.

  335. To finish the evening all the candidates were asked to name a few things they like about black people. The room was noticably silent during Ron Paul’s alloted answer time.

  336. B,
    Are there a few things that you like about “black people”? What are they? Is it their innate sense of rhythm? Their large penises? Their athletic ability?

    Stop projecting your racism on others, B.

  337. Is the Eric Dondero posting here the same little guy who petitioned with Jake here in Montana? He told a funny story about you trying to get him to marry the Chinese girl so she could stay in the country. Do those immigration scams really make much money? Did Jake marry her? When are you guys coming back to petition?

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