Hi all, I'm still around, just haven't been feeling "bloggy" lately.
I forgot to get the alcohol provision restocked before this event, so I'll have to sober blog this stuff.
Hopefully, I'll be able to do this without intoxicating libations.
First off, can CNN be more self-congratulatory? Why waste time with the line-up+intros? At least Mr. Cooper is his usual attractively impish self.
First real question is at Rudy re: sanctuary cities. His answer sounds OK, Romney is given a follow up by Cooper, he hits hard, but fairly, this is a problem for Mayor Giuliani, and he should find it in his heart to change his views on this, or he'll have trouble getting the nomination. Rudy hits back, slightly below the belt over the hiring practices in Romney's own household. Nasty is fun, though, I really don't mind nasty.
Thompson says all the right things on the immigration issue. Takes a swipe at Romney and Giuliani, and makes a veiled reference to Bernard Kerik without bringing up his name (that sly ol' slow talkin' fox, I'll call him Matlock for the rest of this debate). McCain gets his shot, denies that amnesty was amnesty, he's saddened, he's often saddened, he always seems shocked, shocked that big huge government bipartisan problem solving bills tend to backfire (see McCain-Feingold). He's enforcement first, now, but who cares what he thinks, he's a Senator for life, and won't ever be President.
D'oh! a brown out just ate my last 2 updates, I was really witty, though, you'll have to take my word for it, in summary, Go Matlock Go! (liked his answer on taxes and privatizing Social Security), Crazy Uncle (aka Ron Paul) sounded as crazy as usual. Huckabee talks the right talk on "Fair Tax" but I don't trust him to spend a dime of political capital to make it happen should he find himself President somehow.
Coop isn't having an easy time moderating, and "Sen. Thompson, what's up with that?" What's up with that? Seriously, dude, seriously, dude, seriously? The Thompson YouTube attack ad is kind of weak actually, what's up with that?
Prof. Althouse is comment-blogging the debate this time instead of live blogging. Show-off. If I had a popular site with a big base of commenters, I'd do that, too, but instead I'll stick it out with this semi-live, live blog.
2nd Amendment in focus, Hunter chastises the questioner on gun safety (proving that he knows his guns), Giuliani doesn't backtrack on his record on gun control, he's pro-Federalism on this (sort of), leave it up to the states. Sen. Thompson hits back on the issue, Giuliani sticks to his "guns" so to speak on his record on gun control in NYC. Someone wants to know about the candidates guns, can't imagine that question getting asked of the Dems.
Black-on-Black crime question (a guy named "Printess" what's up with that?), Romney doesn't pander on the issue, pushes family, and Bill Cosby. Giuliani is given a chance to hit Romney on crime, doesn't make it a 'black-on-black' issue, just makes it a crime issue, pushes "broken windows", which by the way is doing good things here in Los Angeles under Chief Bratton currently.
Abortion, abortion, abortion, whatever. Seems like CNN is going with the Guns, Gods and Gays stereotype of GOP voters, I'm guessing a big Gay section of the debate will follow at some point. Rudy goes with a pro-Federalism argument again.
What's up with the "What Would Jesus Do" with regard to the death penalty. Well he said pretty clearly in the bible, "render unto Caesar", so I'm guessing he would be against it personally, but he'd also be against imposing a religious standard to civil and criminal penalties. Huckabee gives the right answer "Jesus was too smart to ever run for public office", I still Don't ♥ Huckabee, however.
More cynically stated "God" crap. Trying to trap the GOP on biblical literalism. Clearly biased question choosing by CNN to make the GOP seem like nuts. May back fire on them, though, on the coasts they may seem like nuts, but in the vast middle where the majority of electoral votes lie, this stuff plays.
Time for foreign policy, sort of. First question, 'how can we make them love us more?'. Screw that, and Giuliani answers, 'screw that' also. We fight those that want to kill us, we also don't hate all Muslims, but we will kill those that want to kill us, and we won't apologize to anyone for that will and exercise of our power. McCain goes on the attack against the Dems, and tries to puff himself up on the Iraq issue, he has strong credentials in this area, but the air is already out of his balloon, he's always been mostly popular within the beltway and unloved everywhere else, and nothing can change that.
It's Helmet Hair (aka Romney) v. Blinky (aka McCain) over waterboarding. Whatever, McCain has the better position, but he doesn't present it well. Buzz Brockway of GA wants us in Iraq (or at least the region) just as we are in Europe and East Asia. Seems a reasonable position, Thompson, err I mean Matlock, doesn't answer the question, just mentions we need to stay as long as it takes. Invest in victory, not defeat is a good line. Crazy Uncle (Ron Paul) crazily crazes up some crazy talk about crazy going ons in crazy Iraq. Blinky (McCain) responds in his usual manner, as a Senator, he's a good Senator, he'd be a terrible President, he's right on many issues, but he just wouldn't be able to govern, or move support towards his cause. Crazy Uncle (Ron Paul) crazily ties in our "occupation" of the region to terror attacks on our soil. Tancredo (sorry, not important enough to come up with a nickname) attacks him on that issue, as he should.
Unfair question aimed at Giuliani about him 'using 9/11' to get the nomination. Whatever, What's up with that? Giuliani dodges the issue, seems like many of the YouTube questions were designed to get the Dems to go even "Dem-mier" while the GOP questions picked are aimed at embarrassing the GOP over their "GOP-ness". Don't accuse CNN of being biased, though, no that can't be, they're impartial as can be.
Woohoo! Last break, this trial is almost over, never let me Soberblog these debates again, it's not worth it. Soberblogging is a sobering experience. As soon as this is over, it's off to Costco and I'm picking up a vat of Vodka (last time I was there it was $14.99 for 1.75L of Smirnoff, can't beat that price) so this never happens again, I won't be caught without spirits while watching one of these debates again.
Huckster's campaign ad emphasizes his godliness. Meh. On to the questions, I knew the gay questions would come up, they've done the Gods and Guns portion of the media stereotype against the GOP. Hunter (also no nickname, sorry Dunk) and Huckster cite unit cohesion, Romney dodges, supports, "don't ask, don't tell" and backtracks from past statements. Frankly, don't ask don't tell is stupid, and gays should be allowed to serve, but if they get harrassed they should deal with it, or if they act inappropriately, they should be chastised. In otherwords, they should be treated just like all the other troops.
More gay questions, Huckster wouldn't mind "log cabin" support, reiterates his opposition against same sex marriage, but offers to be their President, anyway. Good answer, still a huckster.
A debt question to wrap things up, debt is overblown, the absolute number is astounding, but by GDP terms it's within historical norms. Matlock (Thompson) is right that youngsters need to be protected from oldsters from destroying the economy with entitlements. Helmet Hair (Romney) invokes Reagan (a fellow Helmet Hair Club for Men member), but to little effect.
A Mars question? Mars by 2020, screw NASA, NASA is a boondoggle, private industry can do better than that bloated, outdated, and outmoded piece of bureaucracy. Tancredo (still no nickname), hammers home the point that Mars shouldn't be a priority with deficits, whatever.
A black man asks, "why don't we vote for you?". Meh. I don't remember a southern born white male getting to ask that question of Hillary, I wonder why? Giuliani mentions 'reaching out', economic opportunity, but this kind of question doesn't deserve a response. The only real response is that black voters have been swindled, and used, and screwed by the Democrats, but they've been listening to the crap from that side for so long that they are unwilling to realize that the liberal agenda is counter to the values that would help black people to prosper as much as everyone else.
Leroy Brooks asks about the "Stars and Bars", that's another ridiculous flag. I can just see the CNN producers conspiring together as they choose their questions for maximum effect. It's obvious, it's stupid, and it's cynical, but that's CNN for you. Who cares about real issues, let's beat dead horses.
Finally the Ron Paul video, I was mistaken, he's not Crazy Uncle, he's our saviour, Ron Paul forever!!!!!!!!!!! (just kidding)
An infrastructure question. Infrastructure is a local matter, the Federal Government can set standards, but the best thing to do is to stop taking money from the states and let them decide on a local basis how it should be done. Rudy agrees with me, woohoo! Crazy Uncle crazily crazes about how the infrastructure fairies will fix the infrastructure with fairie dust as soon as he's President. McCain pushes for an unconstitutional Presidential line item veto, and Giuliani calls him on it, reminds him that the Supreme Court has already decided that (not Giuliani, even though he was the defendant in the case that decided this issue).
Crazy questioner asks Crazy Uncle to run as an independent, or else. Crazy Uncle refuses, poor Crazy Uncle, instead he rants about how great a fundraiser he is, he's the vanguard of a mass movement, he's bigger than Elvis, dammit (I can't believe I voted for him in 1988).
Final question about Giuliani rooting for the BoSox once the Yankees lost. Whatever, as mayor the Yanks won 4 championships, since he left, none, coincidence? Cute answer. Romney hates the Yankees always.
There's no way I'll watch CNN's post debate spin, that's way too much for me to handle while unintoxicated.