The GOP Debate: Not Quite Live Blogged


I'll be updating this every few minutes, probably.

*That Tim Pawlenty is very polite.

*Santorum: Obama is Bush, and that's good.

*Ron Paul: We didn't need a war in Afghanistan to get Bin Laden; now that we have, let's end that war. Big cheers from the crowd.


Herman Cain: Experts know more than me. Listen to them.

Gary Johnson: Get out tomorrow! Was right about Iraq from the beginning. The Afghan mission is over, and ties that in with our debt. Against Libya intervention. Cheers.


Santorum: Do you still hate Muslims? No, I don't. The reality is, they're crazy.

Paul: Don't we have to beat up bullies? Paul drops some civil liberties on the detention issue. Yes, that's just authoritarian. We can try them in civilian courts. Speaking Latin! Remember, all the powers of government might be used on all of us. No secret prisons or torture. Big cheers. (How was this audience picked?)


Santorum: I've been everywhere, man. And it's fucked up out there. They want to kill us all. I know.

Waterboarding? Anyone? Bueller? Three authoritarians, two libertarians!


Johnson: Accused of crazy free-market ideas that benefit big business, Johnson says corporate income taxes are double taxes, and highest in the world. Eliminate them. That should create jobs. Why not? Individuals might need a bit of help, but people won't solve their own problems if we keep doing it.

Pawlenty: He's a working class meat-packer with a textile job and he's worried. And he's got a family. The National Labor Relations Board is doing something bad involving a factory moving in a story I am frankly not familiar with.


Cain: Calls for energy independence. What is this guys' supposed right-wing bonafides? He doesn't get markets, that's for sure.

Pawlenty: He's against RomneyCare, even if people in Massachusetts like it. Why? He doesn't like top down approach, and apparently many in the crowd don't. Good call for individual choice, if giving money away give it to citizens to make choices with. Hits Obama on his health care hypocrisy.


Santorum: I kind of missed the question, sorry. He likes Paul Ryan's Medicare ideas. We need to efficiently help pay for prescription drugs, but not an uncapped entitlement. People, not government!

Paul: Malpractice, tort reform: why against the latter? A federalist answer–it's a state matter. He knows it's bad for doctors, but he wants doctors to be able to negotiate and get tax deduction for no fault insurance. Doctors and patients should be able to agree on third party settlements and put trial lawyers out of business. This is a hard thing to explain in a minute, to be sure.


Santorum: Wants to link debt limit rise to killing ObamaCare. Wants people to be free, ObamaCare takes control of people, and not just the marginal ones we might want to control. We gotta kill it by any means necessary.

Paul: Let us go into default? That'll make borrowing more expensive! What do you want feds to do? Paul says: back to the Constitution. Defense, but not policing the world–maybe we could afford to spend money at home, still leaving us with more real defense. Default? We've done it before. Some goldbug history dropped–we default when we don't pay back in currency worth what it was when we borrowed.


Cain: Says the experts are wrong about the FairTax. He thinks it'll be better for all of us.

Johnson: Steps in! Will this make him look tough or whiny?


Pawlenty: Denies that any projected Minnesota deficit is his fault. Says that projected deficit is based on bad assumptions. It's the legislature's fault that the state will have to do something I frankly missed, involving borrowing money from local schools?

Johnson: Medicare–we face financial collapse, we can't repay the debt. We must balance the budget. Gotta start with Medicaid and care. Block grant it to the states, let them innovate and find best practices. If we don't, we're screwed anyway. He changed Medicaid from fee for service to managed care in New Mexico and saved the state money.


Cain: A bunch of stuff about immigration. Arizona's immigration policy is fine, let states enforce immigration law, they'll do better than Feds.

Santorum: No path to citizenship! English as official language! Do you care if the GOP alienated Hispanics? Americans don't speak Italian. Isn't his minute up yet? Ah, there!

Johnson: They are openly patronizing him now. OK, that tactic of his didn't work. He makes an openly pro-immigration point, that it makes jobs not takes them. Make work visas easy–not citizenship but Social Security card. Make it about work, not welfare. Ones already here, government made it impossible for them to get a work visa. Let them do so. Walls and border guards a waste of money.


Cain: Why not intervene in Syria? He's against it, because we don't know why we should. We are inconsistent about where we intervene and where we don't.

Pawlenty: Quaddafi–a Muslim, as Santorum warned us, someone who wants to kill us–should have been  no-flown on March 7. As he advised! President dithered waiting for the Arab League and the UN, who have tied out hands–those pathetic fools! Go, Qaddafi, go!


Santorum: Get tough with the Pakis. He supports them, but…you know….vital! But in line! When they are bought, stay bought!

Paul: The Israel vs. Iran question. Israel, says Paul, should be able to do what they think they need to do. It shouldn't be up to the U.S. president. We tie their hands with our aid. Wants no foreign aid to anyone. Wrong in principle, wrong in practice. We give Israel's enemies more in total than we give them. Again, it's up to them to make their security decisions.


Johnson: A free market absolutist–no tariffs of any kind. Tough, radical, short!


Paul: Gay marriage–hypes his new book, and his old marriage. Get government out of it. Entirely. Shouldn't have this argument–he has standards, doesn't want to impose them on others, doesn't want their imposed on him. If you gotta say something about it, it's a state matter. Government intervention in the matter just makes trouble. But–what about Defense of Marriage Act, which Paul has supported? He did not vote for it technically, but did support it. Says DOMA is OK since it protects states from federal imposition. Federalism!


Cain: DOMA's the law. The law's the law.

Johnson: The abortion question! How can you win Republicans supporting abortion? Some boos, some claps. Supports parental notification, late-period bans, no government funding. Admits he might lose primary votes over it, as he did in New Mexico. Very honest. Could win him points.


Pawlenty: Something about stem cells.

Santorum: Why all the social con stuff? No surrender! America is all about social conservatism! Rights come from God, and life and liberty could change the world. We need strong families to be strong with our strong marriages and our lives. Family, life, dignity, don't give up on the U.S., baby.


Cain: Is the GOP the union busting party? The NLRB's attempt to keep Boeing from moving outrageous. Says he believes in free markets, except not in energy, apparently, as above. Get government out of the way of plant-building decisions.

Paul: Didn't the GOP used to be all blue collar union? Union members should believe in rule of law. He can get the votes of farmers without giving them subsidies. Where are jobs being lost? Union states, because wages are too high. Interstate commerce should be free of federal interference.


Pawlenty: Creation, evolution, jeez. Unions! Don't want government intervening in market.

They are now all being embarrassed with some past gaffe, apparently.


Pawlenty caught in a cap-and-trade LIE! He was only studying, not imposing. He studied it, and he didn't like it. He's sorry. He admits he's got darkness in his past. He's sorry. With a look in the eye and everything. Anyone out there perfect?

Santorum got trounced in his last race. Was it his slam on working women? Sorry, radical feminists? Same thing! Why do women work? What do women want? He wants women affirmed no matter what they do. Sorry, choose to do. His wife gave up her career! Is using the word "calling" a special religious right shoutout?


Paul: He's for legalizing all sorts of bad shit! He can sell that to conservatives by pointing out you need to protect liberty across the board. If you want your beliefs and practices protected, you must respect others. As long as not hurting others, you have the right to do controversial things. If we protect our spiritual integrity, we must respect our personal habits. Yes, leave it to the states, heroin used to be legal–he doesn't think everyone will use heroin. I cannot believe I'm hearing this in a presidential debate. What a country! Heroin is an applause line!


Johnson, you are a pothead! He points out the pragmatic end of the stupidity of the war on pot. Too many arrested, too much spent. Prohibition is the problem, not use and abuse–mostly. Legalize, control, tax, not for kids. Harm reduction on the other drugs, not legalization. What about heroin?? The crowd seems to love it!


Cain makes a great call for political amateurism.


Paul: Obama will lose on economy and inflation. People vote on their bellies, which actually is kind of a bad thing for a radical libertarian. Must have liquidation of debt before growth.

Cain: More energy independence nonsense. Broken promises.

Pawlenty: Gas prices are high. Unemployment high. Government out of control. How can Obama be unbeatable? He's just getting a Bin Laden bump.


Santorum: Whatever.

Johnson: It's almost all over, economy-wise–sounding the Paulian ring of economic supercollapsecrisis. Republicans have betrayed us before, but now only they can save us.


Cain: He liked Romney when he thought he might win. Loser Romney! Loser!

Pawlenty: He loves the Huck, even tho the Huck could kick his ass. If you know him, you'll love him.

Paul: You Tea Party king! What about Bachmann? Where is your Bachmann now?? He does claim somewhat Tea Party paternity with his $6 million money bomb.


Isn't Gingrich a sinner, Santorum? Mmmmmaybe. But he's cool. As long as he condemns himself.

Johnson: Reality show star! He wasn't ready for this one. Talk about mountain climbing! Yes! And Zen. Finally, he got to the mountain climbing….

Paul: Budget and deficits are the issue. Philosophically, we need to rethink government–it's just about liberty and free market economy and defense–bring troops home and restore sound money!


Cain: Patriots, I love God and he loves you!

Pawlenty: We can restore common sense to D.C.

Santorum: I am the conservative, and the lamestream media hates me. I killed welfare dead!

Johnson: Entrepreneurship and cost-benefit analysis. Collapse without balanced budget. Make doable tough choices, approach government with a businesslike cost benefit analysis. Web site!

I'm outta here, pilgrims! God bless America, and God bless legalized heroin!