Not only is The Atlantic’s online edition now free, but there’s an excellent article on the New Middle East that’s worth your time this weekend.
It just occurred to me that one of these jokers — Clinton, McCain, Obama or Romney — is going to be the next President. It’s almost enough to make one pine for the old days of Bush v Gore.
So. Let’s look at the horse race.
Giuliani needed to score big hits against both McCain and Romney to reestablish himself as the frontrunner in Florida. Instead, he squandered his opportunities trying to score points against Hillary Clinton. And that’s so November ’07. So Rudy lost tonight.
Romney needed to be solid enough to keep McCain from sealing the deal tonight. He was solid, but was it enough? We won’t know until Super Duper Tuesday next month.
McCain needed to look and sound like a frontrunner. As a guy who would rather take a ball-peen hammer to his own knuckles than vote for McCain, I’m forced to admit that he did just that. For any other candidate, that would be a draw. But in McCain’s position, a draw is a win.
Also, Huckabee and Paul showed up, and neither one sprouted visible devil horns. That’s a win for their shrinking throngs of supporters — and a big Zero for each nutty candidate.
Me, I cut short a fine dinner and wasn’t able to see my baby off to bed, just so I could comment on tonight’s hostilities. That’s a big loss for one drunken pundit.
7:01pm (Mountain) I’m full of steak and fries and red wine and have the TV tuned into MSNBC. Lord, that last part must mean I’m already drunk.
7:03pm Brian Williams is the moderator, plus Tim Russert for weight. Perhaps literally. In a welcome break from CNN’s format, Williams is skipping the photo ops and other BS and getting straight to the debate.
7:05pm “What’s wrong or right with Bush’s stimulus package?” Romney has this question, and he’s answering in quite some detail. And by that I mean, I’m concentrating a lot more on the Cabernet than the candidate.
7:07pm To McCain: “Will you vote to make the Bush tax cuts permanent?” McCain comes right out and says he’s done that twice already, and that he’ll cut corporate taxes, too. He’s done well in debates before, but even so I’ve always thought he started off weak and tired. That doesn’t seem true tonight. Of course, I still don’t want to vote for the First Amendment-busting MF.
7:09pm to Giuliani: “What do you think of cutting taxes?” “Oh, nasty taxes!” Well, close enough. Rudy is tying together tax cuts with economic growth, and he sounds OK, I suppose. But now that he’s talking about reducing regulations, I’m really getting genuinely excited.
7:11pm Russert: It used to be Iraq, but now the issue is the economy. And he’s asking McCain. Ron Paul and the other guy just got totally stiffed. Speaking of stiffed, it’s damn near martini time. Bring on a commercial break, please.
7:11.5pm Also, McCain is answering. His answer pretty much boils down to “Experience.”
7:12pm Huckabee claims he has the voters’ trust. Not this voter, brother.
7:13pm Huckabee wants to build a great big highway. Ron Paul is seething, because he just know it’s the fifth sign of the coming of the North American Union.
7:14pm To Romney: “Are these other jokers really tax cutters?” Again, Paul got stiffed. Again, Romney appears stiff. You know what bugs me about Romney? If his hair were even only slightly curly, you’d swear he was a Viagra-laced penis. The man is erect.
7:14.5pm Mormon Erectus.
7:16pm I take it back — McCain now looks lost and is stumbling over a softball question.
7:18pm Woo-hoo! A question for Paul. “Should the government have any role in stimulating the economy?” A GREAT question for a libertarian candidate. And how does Paul respond? With a quickfire, rambling answer covering everything from the Fed to the weak dollar to a “trillion dollar a year foreign policy.” Folks, we have a two trillion dollar Federal budget, most of which is transfer payment. Paul is, in short, a big fat, high-pitched liar.
7:20pm To Giuliani: Honestly, I didn’t hear the question, because I was busy calling Paul names and sipping wine. But whatever it was, it gave Rudy yet another chance to tell the story about the time he told the Saudis to take their check and shove it. I like Rudy a little less every day — but I love that story. Also, he sounds like he knows he’s about to lose in Florida. And thus endeth his candidacy.
7:22pm I wonder when McCain is going to give us some “straight talk” about how he and Russ Feingold raped the First Amendment.
7:23pm Dude needs a cocktail if he’s going to make it through another one of these.
7:25pm Mike Huckabee just backhandedly denounced Reaganomics. Forget if he’s right or wrong — how’s that going to play in the Sunbelt?
7:27pm Once you start to think of Romney as a six-foot-tall erect penis, you just can’t see him any other way. I mean, watch the guy with that in mind and tell me I’m wrong. “We’re the party of fiscal responsibility. Bulging, thrusting fiscal responsibility.”
7:28pm Rudy is running on experience. So is Hillary. It might work for her, but it’s looking less and less like it will work for Giuliani.
7:29pm What’s going on with the left side of Paul’s hair?
7:30pm Oh, great — a local reporter is asking questions submitted by local people. Neither seems ready for prime time, not even on MSNBC. And that’s saying something, kids.
7:33pm Gen Barry Mccaffrey (ret) says the US needs an Army of about 800,000. The question is, how do we get there without a draft? What a stupid question. Remember the Army that won the first Gulf War in 100 hours? If we reduce recruiting standards to the levels we had in 1991, we’d have an Army larger than the 1.1 million men we had wearing green back then. Good thing Brian Williams has an editor to catch these things, yes?
7:35pm Russert is willing to give each candidate 30 seconds to explain why Iraq was a good idea. 30 whole seconds!
7:36pm Giuliani turned his answer into an anti-Hillary crusade. Dude, that worked for you last fall, but right now you’ve got to focus on McCain and Romney.
7:37pm Paul is against war and other bad things.
7:37.5pm Huckabee is thankful for George Bush, Jesus, and puppies. Or something. Man, I hate this guy, even when I kind of agree with him.
7:39pm Blessed be — a commercial break! And that means I get to finish my wine in one big sip and go mix my first martini. Back in a flash.
7:43pm Williams just used the word “exigency.” Does he think he’s working for PBS or something?
7:44pm The Giant Man Penis has some penetrating insights on China and the economy.
7:46pm Giuliani is also talking about China, and asking “What can we sell to China?” I dunno, maybe some Indian prescription drugs?
7:47pm Williams reminds the candidates to “mind the blinking lights.” He doesn’t have to tell Ron Paul twice. They’ve been advising him since the ’80s.
7:48pm Huckabee says “we’re peeeeenalized” and all I could think of was Romney’s bobbing head. This is going to be a long, long debate, folks.
7:49pm Huckabee: “Drugs, pimps, gamblers… non-Republicans.” Tell that to Bill Bennett, bub.
7:50pm Huckabee says under the Fair Tax, we get to “choose the taxes.” My choice, as usual, is “none of the above.” My second choice is “tax this!”
7:52pm Credit where it’s due. Paul got to ask a question of McCain, and he took less than ten seconds and never once mentioned the Federal Reserve.
7:54pm Romney just claimed credit for getting pro and anti-gun control people together. The sound you just heard was millions of his votes getting sucked out of the South. It’s hard to see how McCain doesn’t become the nominee. It’s even harder to see me voting Republican next November.
7:56pm Giuliani just accused Romney of being too lawyerly. Which is probably true, especially if the lawyer in question is a six-foot man penis.
7:58pm When you talk about the weather, I tune you out. When presidential candidates are forced to talk about the weather, I worry about the fate of the American commonweal. And then I go pour myself a drink. Excuse me while I miss the next question or two.
8:01pm So I come back from refilling my martini glass, and Rudy is talking about nuclear energy, and McCain counters that he likes cap’n'trade and Joe Lieberman. Well, I like a big strong cocktail and just one candidate I can get behind. One out of two ain’t bad…
8:06pm Oh, crap. They came back.
8:07pm To Rudy: “Your polls suck. What happened?” You know what? The only thing worse than polls is talking about them, and the only thing worse than talking about polls is using them for fodder in a “debate” which is presumably about ideas.
8:09pm The question to McCain comes from his mom, who says that Republicans will have to “hold their nose” and vote for him. Cute. Useless, but cute.
8:11pm To Romney: “How do you run against BOTH Clintons?” Mitt says he can’t wait to see Bill Clinton in the White House with nothing to do. Oh, he’ll find someone to do in the White House. Er, something. Sorry.
8:13pm Also to Mitt: “How much of your own money are you spending on this campaign?” Romney dodged it, and looked weak doing so. Man, what a dick.
8:14pm Big giant throbbing penis.
8:15pm Romney is — again — answering the religious test question. I’ll call the man a giant man penis, but give him a break here. Being a Mormon does not automatically disqualify him from holding office.
8:17pm “Are you still in favor of abolishing social security?” Asked, of course, of Ron Paul. “Yes, but…” He wants to keep paying the elderly (ie, Florida voters) and do something something blank left unsaid for young people using the money we’re now spending on useless stuff like foreign policy.
8:19pm Huckabee has been talking for at least half an hour now. And people ask me how and why I invented drunkblogging.
8:22pm See my last comment, but replace the word “Huckabee” with “Romney.”
8:24pm Rudy says he wants to stop “illegal immigration at the border.” How many Miami residents got there via boat from Cuba? Smart play?
8:26pm Chuck Norris says McCain is too old to be President. Chuck Norris once said my baby was too old for diapers, and the next day the kid was potty trained.
8:28pm McCain is going to sic Rambo on Norris. In next week’s debate: Who wins a fight between Superman and Batman?
8:29pm Duh. Superman.
8:29.5pm Giuliani is saying something about being “off-agenda.” I have no idea what he’s talking about, but I do know that a yellow utility belt can’t beat flying and super-strength.
8:31pm The six-foot man-penis is running on his record, and his record is stiffly pro-life and anti-gay. Very stiffly anti-gay. Suspiciously stiffly and handsomely anti-gay.
8:33pm The question to McCain is: Aren’t you too angry to be President? Answer: “I’ll nuke the mother who suggested that.”
8:34pm To Huckabee: Aren’t you too close to Jesus? Answer: We’re not that close, although He’s always welcome to borrow our spare futon, any time He needs a place to crash.
8:35pm To Paul: Will you run as a third-party candidate? “I have no intention… no plan… no intention to do that… it might keep them on their toes.” I want so much to like Paul, but he just makes it impossible.
8:36pm It’s over! If I have any conclusive thoughts, I’ll write a post-debate conclusive-thoughts post in just a few minutes.
MSNBC reports that Dennis Kucinich is taking himself out of the race for the Democratic nomination for the office of the President of the United States of America.
The prestigious VodkaPundit news service is sending reporters out to every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in America to get detailed reactions from concerned voters across the land.
Godspeed, Dennis. Or as George Will quoted Aristotle referencing Pericles talking smack to a Spartan ambassador whose name is lost in the mists of time, “Dennis who?”
UPDATE: Analysts from the VodkaPundit News Service’s crack What Does It All Mean Squad agree on one thing. People with “I Want to Believe” posters in their cubicles will now be forced to switch their support to Ron Paul.
CORRECTION: The previous sentence should read, “People with ‘I Want to Believe‘ posters in their cubicles will now be forced to support Ron Paul, if they don’t already.”
We regret the error.
Tonight I have an Emergency Flank Steak* to grill and some frenches to fry. Whether or not I drunkblog tonight’s hostilities in Florida depends on how quickly we can eat and hose down the baby.
Check in at 9pm Eastern. I’m not that afraid of getting a little meat juice on the keyboard.
Al Gore confesses to Steve Jobs:
Al’s like, “Trust me, I spent eight years living in close proximity to these people and I can assure you, Tipper and I were terrified the entire time. You know how people talk about someone who’ll stop at nothing? That’s the Clintons. They run the party. They own it. And one thing they made perfectly clear was that this is going to be Hillary’s year. We all got the word. Kerry got a call. So did I. Stay the fuck out of the race. Frankly, I didn’t need the call, and they knew it, but they made it anyway. It’s how they do things. Sure, they’d allow nutbags like Kucinich to run and make it look like a race. Edwards got to stay in so that Hillary would have a smarmy lawyer type prick to beat up on stage, which always goes over big with the man-haters who make up the core of her base. Plus he had the wife being sick thing to give him an out. Basically the deal was that if Edwards really started getting some momentum they’d give him a choice — bow out saying your wife needed you, or end up in a park, ruled a suicide.
Read the whole thing, but not where the boss can hear you.
Here’s how dictatorships begin to unravel:
Venezuela’s top food company has accused troops of illegally seizing more than 500 tonnes of food from its trucks as part of President Hugo Chavez’s campaign to stem shortages.
The leftist Chavez this week created a state food distributor and loosened some price controls, seeking to end months of shortages for staples like milk and eggs that have caused long lines and upset his supporters in the OPEC nation.
The highly publicised campaign has also included government crackdowns on accused smuggling, with the military seizing 1,600 tonnes of food and sending 1,200 troops to the border with Colombia.
Jose Anzola, a director of food company Alimentos Polar, told reporters that troops stopped 27 of its trucks over the last three days and described the seizures as “illegal, arbitrary and irresponsible.”
Venezuela has more oil than than on the rubber sheets at a ’70s swinger party, but they can’t manage to keep foodstuffs on the shelves. Sad. Predictable, but sad.
The storms appeared during a dramatic, planet-wide disturbance on Jupiter that is ongoing. The cause of the disturbance has yet to be explained, but it has changed the colour of some of the planet’s stripes.
“It’s pretty clear that there’s a lot going on in Jupiter’s atmosphere right now – much more than usual – and these storms are probably tied in with that so-called global upheaval,” says co-author Imke de Pater of the University of California in Berkeley, US.
I blame SUVs. It’s either that or Monoliths.
If this is global warming, I’m going to buy a Hummer:
Eurasia is undergoing a sustained cold spell, as frigid arctic air moves farther south than usual, and stays there. Iran has had nearly a hundred people dying from the cold, and fuel supplies are running short, or even running out in some parts of the country. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is taking most of the blame. To make this very clear, supreme (religious) leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had a proclamation broadcast on national radio, commanding Ahmadinejad (who is subordinate, like everyone else, to Khamenei) to get fuel those parts of the country that have the worst shortages. Iranians are not happy with Ahmadinejad, now they are cold and unhappy.
Added bonus: Al Gore is now a weapon of mass destruction, and I’m not talking about the size of his butt. Just drop him out the back of a cargo plane, anywhere near enemy troops, and watch the Gore Effect freeze-dry them in place.
I’d entertained thoughts of voting for Clinton or Obama next November. Tonight’s debate — the “I’m More Dangerously Populist Than Thou” debate — ended all chances of that happening.
That’s not to say that the Republican nominee has my vote. Far from it. But I’ll chew off my own forehead before I vote for either of those left wing knuckleheads, much less special guest John Edwards.
If tonight’s debate was any small indicator of how the Democratic nominee will run in the general election, then I’d say the Republican nominee has some small chance of winning. And that’s no small feat, given that tonight Clinton and Obama were only fighting over South Carolina.
UPDATE: Mandatory media critique time.
How did CNN do? No better or worse than expected. As a bonus, the camera-hogging Anderson Cooper was kept away, safely corralled into his own, post-debate debate show. In the minus column, Wolf Blitzer and his panel of moderators were complete nonentities — each utterly forgettable.
5:57pm (All times likely Mountain) The worst part about CNN hosting these debates is having to watch Lou Dobbs on the pregame show. He’s like Bill O’Reilly for Morons.
5:59pm According to DirecTV’s programming guide, tonight’s debate is scheduled to run for three hours. That’s nearly 20 minutes devoted to both candidates (plus special guest John Edwards!), and two full hours of longing closeups on Anderson Cooper’s best concerned face. I’m not sure I can take it.
6:01pm Here come the contenders. I almost miss the days of long ago last month, when the Democrats could still put eight or twelve candidates on the same stage. When it’s just a three-man race, that stage looks pretty bare. And I don’t mean to be sexist, using the phrase “three-man race.” I mean, special guest John Edwards isn’t that much of a girl.
6:03pm Again, CNN is having the candidates stand and wait on stage as Wolf Blitzer makes the introductions. And… the audio cut out. Bonus! Another bonus: Still no sign of Anderson Cooper.
6:04pm More people are joining the candidates (plus special guest John Edwards!) on stage, but CNN’s talking heads are talking all over the intros. So I have no idea who these people are, or why they’re on the stage.
6:06pm Remember, please don’t refresh the page more than every couple of minutes. That’s as fast as I can drunkblog, kids. Be kind to my server — it’s hard to find parts these days for my Amiga 500.
6:07pm Blitzer is explaining the rules. I suggest the next debate have only two rules: No eye gouging, and no kicks to the crotch.
6:07.5pm Oh, and no using your voice as a sonic weapon. (The Ron Paul Rule.)
6:09pm My how times change. The “number one issue” facing Americans today is the economy. Hillary says she’s glad she was asked about the economy. As opposed to, say, the Surge™ in Iraq. Also, people who signed adjustable rate mortgages are “essentially homeless.” Really?
6:12pm Obama looks good — duh. And so far, both candidates (plus special guest John Edwards!) have tied in their answers to MLK’s legacy. That’s not easy to do when talking about stimuli packages. Hillary looks like she’s not listening, tired. That’s a bad sign — you’ve got to be on your toes when going into a state you might just lose.
6:13pm Everybody on the Democratic side is running against GW Bush or Ronald Reagan. The Republicans are running against Clinton. The latter strikes me as smarter. Or at least, you know, slightly relevant.
6:15pm Special guest John Edwards just got in a nice little suck-up: “As Hillary said…” I think somebody is now running for Al Gore’s old job. But is he any good with PowerPoint?
6:17pm Please kill me. I hate hate hate it when politicians promise to “grow the economy.” Ugh. But now it’s worse. Special guest John Edwards is promising to “green the economy.” Kill me quickly.
6:18pm “NAFTA was a mistake.” There went any chance of me ever voting for Obama. At a time when our economy is more dependent on exports than ever, Obama wants to scuttle our most important trade agreement with our most important trade partners? And he’s a friend of the working man?
6:20pm Clinton wants Bush to take action, convene meetings, and do something about today’s market corrections. Also, she wants government-created “green collar jobs” in a government-managed “green economy.” Green this, lady.
6:21pm Special guest John Edwards’s dad did not have a green-collar job back in the caramel mines or wherever.
6:22pm Obama, for all his brains, is an idiot when it comes to trade. Does he not realize this country produces more steel than ever, with fewer people, and that we have free trade to thank for that tremendous increase in productivity? Dumb, dumb, dumb.
6:23pm We could have full employment forever if everybody just went back to the farm. Just a thought.
6:25pm Clinton and Obama are going after each other on… well, I’m not sure what, because there’s only so much room in my brain for useless trivia. Meanwhile, special guest John Edwards isn’t getting any screen time at all. Such a waste of quality hair product!
6:26pm Clinton is the first candidate to mention Iraq. Who had the over/under at 6:25?
6:28pm Obama is defending himself against charges that he ever once gave Reagan a big hug or something. Reagan, as was made clear earlier tonight during the Lou Dobbs for President Show, used to send holiday cards to Pieter Botha, telling him to enjoy his “white Christmas.” Mark this moment as the time when the debate got ugly.
6:30pm Man, I used to complain about the Republicans talking too much about Reagan. But at least all they ever did was mention his name a few times and genuflect. The Democrats just can’t stop shouting it.
6:31pm “There are three people in this debate, not two,” says special guest John Edwards. You really think?
6:32pm “This is not about us personally,” says special guest John Edwards, and “I have the most progressive agenda.” Inside, though, he’s thinking, “I’m gonna kill that bitch who over-waxed my eyebrows.” Jeeze, he looks like Dick Gephardt playing with a brown magic marker.
6:33pm “I’m gonna tax you bastards back to the Stone Age.” That’s special guest John Edwards, paraphrased.
6:35pm The question is, “Aren’t blacks also victims of mortgage lenders?” And now the Democrats get to genuflect at the altar of victimhood. Of course, the question went to special guest John Edwards. But you can see the real candidates licking their chops at the prospect of kicking the banks while smiling at minorities.
6:37pm Clinton wants a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures. My question is, doesn’t that make for three more mortgage payments for people who couldn’t afford their last three mortgage payments?
6:39pm “We have a history in this country of preying on low-income people.” That’s Obama, channeling Marx via Howard Zinn.
6:42pm Clinton “regrets” voting for the bankruptcy bill. She also regrets voting for the Iraq War, Goldwater in ’64, and the Do Something Nasty to Someone Helpless Day Act of 2003. However, she has no regrets for covering up her husband’s affairs and smearing the women in involved in them since (at least) 1992. At least we know where she stands.
6:44pm “You never take responsibility for any vote…” That was Clinton, talking to Obama. She then goes on to accuse him of voting “present” 130-something times in the Illinois legislature. In other words, skating through the tough votes. She got booed for that, although it seems to me a fair critique.
6:46pm Lots of so-called conservatives (cough, Andrew Sullivan, cough) have serious crushes on Obama. But tonight, Obama has come out as a serious economic populist. I wonder how many people will backtrack on their support of him by tomorrow morning? (I already have. So there.)
6:48pm Every time the questioning moves to special guest John Edwards, there’s some small joke about him being ignored, or the third wheel, etc. I know he’s promised to stay in the race right through the convention in Denver. But at the speed he’s running, he won’t reach the Rocky Mountains until the election is over.
6:50pm “I have led” on “issue after issue,” claims Obama. Tonight, he’s been blindly following Clinton’s and special guest John Edwards’s lead. And as a result, I’ve lost all respect for him.
6:52pm Clinton is bringing out the tired old gag that the government has some kind of magical negotiating power to get cheaper drugs — in this case, for HIV/AIDS medications. Tell me, who other than the government could negotiate the price of a hammer down to $400?
6:53pm The question to Obama is, “Is your health plan dreamily socialist enough to cover illegal immigrants?” His answer is, “No… because we don’t have the resources.” Not, mind you because we shouldn’t be paying out government grants to people who come here illegally. (And that complaint is coming from a guy like me, who is a virtual agnostic on the illegal immigrant issue.)
6:54pm The question to special guest John Edwards is, “Is your health plan dreamily socialist enough to cover illegal immigrants?” “No… even I’m not that big a fool on an issue like that!”
6:55pm Special guest John Edwards is at least honest. He talks about “mandates” on “everybody.” Remember those two words. They mean: Washington tells you what to do, and there is no out, at all, forever.
6:57pm “Everybody will be forced to buy health insurance.” That’s Obama, expanding on what special guest John Edwards just said.
6:58pm I need to make another martini. Another very freaking large martini.
7:01pm Let’s be honest about something here. The biggest reason to mandate health insurance is to force young, healthy people (millions of whom neither want nor need insurance) to pay in, thus lowering rates (and thus transferring wealth) to millions of old people who have a lot more money than young people. But old people also vote a lot more than young people. And by and large they vote for Democrats.
7:04pm The question is to Clinton, and it’s basically, “So Iraq doesn’t entirely suck anymore. Are you looking to end this war or win it?” And Clinton straight up tells the enemy she wants out “in 60 days” and that “there is no military solution.” And she’s the hawk in this limp-wristed field.
7:06pm Clinton just told the Iraqi government that “their time is running out.” If anybody on that stage is elected President, that statement will become self-fulfilling prophecy.
7:07pm I’ve gotten a lot of jokes out of these debates, both Democrat and Republican. But tonight, in just five minutes of foreign policy talk, the Democrats have me scared.
7:09pm Obama says the troops should be brought home and ordered to lay broadband cable in West Virginia or something. Also, al Qaeda is “stronger than at any time since 2001.” Does he have one single metric to back that up? Like maybe a couple tumbling office buildings or something?
7:11pm Clinton is pissed off that Bush might make commitments to our allies in Iraq. Imagine, if you will, that in 1948 Thomas Dewey [Corrected, thanks, John! And now I'm switching to brandy] had told Europe that the Truman Doctrine was a fraud and that, if elected, it’d be “sayonara, suckers!”
7:14pm It’s the Comfy Chair Debate! “Starbucks, Senator Clinton? It’s sustainably grown…”
7:20pm We’re back from commercial, and everybody looks relaxed in their comfy chairs. Obama says he can “bring the country together most effectively,” and special guest John Edwards is sipping on a sustainably-grown beverage. Clinton, oddly enough, looks exactly the same sitting or standing.
7:23pm Special guest John Edwards doesn’t like poverty, and he wants to go become a veterinarian because he loves children. Oh, and colored people.
7:24pm Clinton also wants to end poverty. Certainly, she’s ended the poverty she was born into, by trading four cattle futures into a hundred grand. Oh, and by marrying the richest ex-president, like, ever.
7:26pm Best from the comments section so far tonight: “You know what’s not sustainable? My patience.” Also, Clinton wants “shared prosperity.” That’s code for “I’m gonna tax you bastards back to the Stone Age.” Special guest John Edwards nodded approvingly, dreaming perhaps of “Clinton/Edwards” bumper stickers.
7:28pm Obama wants people to have hope, audacious hope, for a “movement of change in this country.” There’s a bowel movement joke to be made here, but even I’m not going to touch it.
7:31pm “My family was so poor, my mother almost got repossessed.” I’m not sure if special guest John Edwards is pulling my leg or not, but my left boot did just come off.
7:33pm “Was President Clinton our first black president?” Asked of Obama, of course. Correct answer: No. Obama’s answer: We’re half a minute into it, and he still hasn’t said one goddamn thing. Although he’s willing to admit that “people can change.” Change skin color?
7:34pm I want you to imagine that a white Republican (but I repeat myself, right?) had been asked if Obama was more white or more black, and answered, “I’d have to see him dance.”
7:35pm While running against lame duck GW Bush, Clinton says we have to “focus on the future.” Umm… you first, lady.
7:37pm Of course, Obama is right when he talks about unfairness in sentencing when it comes to race. What he won’t tell you, however, is that most of the “unfairness” stems from stupid drug-war mandatory-sentencing laws — which he’s never talked about repealing. End the drug war, and most of the problem goes away, without having to convene (at taxpayer’s expense) a bunch of race hustlers.
7:38pm And Hillary goes into bobble-head mode on that one.
7:39pm Special guest John Edwards had a dad who worked in a mill. Who knew?
7:40pm Correction: Worked in a “meeyil.”
7:42pm Question to Clinton, paraphrased: “Your husband has become something of a loudmouth, huh?” Answer: “This campaign is not about our spouses.” If it was, I’d be so totally voting for Kucinich.
7:44pm Time for another drink. Obama is in Reconciliation Mode, which we’ve all seen a dozen or more times already. No one will miss much while I’m gone.
7:47pm Tigerhawk blogs, “One thing about the Dems this time around, they are having fun with it. The laughter among them is a lot more appealing than the childish bickering at the beginning of the debate. As I wrote the other night, no matter what one things of Hillary and Barack, they are both manifestly stronger as candidates and likely presidents than either Al Gore or John Kerry. So the Republicans have a race on their hands regardless.”
Well, that and the Republican candidates mostly suck, too.
7:48pm Special guest John Edwards can go “anywhere in America and compete against John McCain.” I think he should start, say, at a Miss Teen USA pageant.
7:52pm Not only is the commercial break over, but my lovely bride just brought me a pizza.
7:54pm I’m pro-choice, and strongly so. But Obama’s complaint that “right-wingers” are going to take abortion rights away strikes me as false. It’s not like the Republicans haven’t had plenty of chances to do just that the last 20 years, to no avail. And historically, the courts have never once (that I know of) taken away a right once granted.
7:55pm Also, Clinton knows all about fighting the right wing.
7:56pm Also, special guest John Edwards doesn’t take money from special interests. Rather, he has juries hand it to him.
7:57pm During Act One, the candidates (plus special guest John Edwards!) had podiums. During Act Two, everybody got comfy red chairs. For Act Three, how about a pit and a pendulum?
7:58pm Clinton promises to get “the money out of politics.” Finally, a Democrat who will cut taxes!
8:00pm Obama wants to end the fear-mongering in “describing a new foreign policy.” Just an hour ago, he claimed that al Qaeda was stronger than ever. You’d think a smart, well-dressed chap like Barack would know what “cognitive dissonance” means.
8:02pm One final question! To both candidates, plus special guest John Edwards: “If MLK were alive today, why would he endorse you?”
Edwards: Because I love the blacks and other poor people.
Obama: “I don’t think Dr King would endorse any of us.” Just when I start to despise Obama, he comes out with a smart, right, perfect answer to a question that just begged him to pander instead.
Clinton: “Change comes from people. People with change. Colored people make change for me all the time, at restaurants and at valet parking stations all across this great nation of change.”
8:05pm If you thought the debate was ugly, CNN just cut directly to Anderson Cooper.
The CNN.com headline is insulting enough:
Gender or race: Black women voters face tough choices in S.C.
That’s right, black women can vote only on one of two issues — that they have vaginas, or that said vaginas contain above-average amounts of melanin. Imagine if the Republicans were putting up a paraplegic and a Jew (hey, it could happen!). And then CNN did a story focusing on wheelchair-bound rabbis who had to choose between their legs and their circumcisions.
But then we get this gem:
No other voting bloc in the country faces this choice.
I dunno. White Republican males had like seven or eights guys to choose from (plus Ron Paul), and they seem to be handling it just fine.
The martinis will be flowing fast tonight, as the last two Democratic contenders debate in South Carolina.
Plus, special guest John Edwards!
The fun starts at 8pm Eastern.
Barbara Lynn sings “You’ll Lose A Good Thing”.
A couple weeks back, I endorsed Fred Thompson for the Republican nomination — which seems to have done not one thing to help him. Go figure. Anyway, after tonight Fred is toast. He’s going home to Tennessee, and he should probably go on and stay there a while, cleaning his 12-gauge on the front porch.
But Thompson did one thing right. By staying in through South Carolina, he might just have spared the nation from yet another comically painful Mike Huckabee victory. For sure, tonight is as well as Huckabee is going to do from here on out, and Thompson is partly the reason why.
For that, he has my gratitude.
And I’d like to change my Democratic endorsement from Dennis Kucinich. The Democrats have proven quite adept this year at marginalizing their marginal candidates — which renders my backhanded endorsement moot. And while I have some serious qualms about the man and his plan, I think Barack Obama is the best person for the Democrats to nominate this year.
And in a national race between Obama and McCain or Romney (as seems likely)? I vote to take another drink.
Fox News just had on attorney Robert Cartwright, talking about the murder of Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, and a possible death penalty for the suspect. Cartwright claimed that the suspect could get out of the death penalty, due to the military’s “culture of killing” and the “vastly higher rates of violence and murder” among military personnel.
If that’s what you get on Fox, who needs the New York Times?
Tonight, I plan on making a pitcher of icy martinis, starting a toasty fire, and curling up on the sofa with… Wolf Blitzer. And Katie Couric. And maybe — just maybe — get in a little face time with Hannity and Colmes.
PJ Media will carry all the fun, starting just as soon as the exit polls come in from Nevada and South Carolina.
Koo loo koo koo koo koo koo kooooo! Good day, and welcome to the Great White South!
This is the second snowfall Atlanta’s had in the last four days, after about seven years without any measurable accumulations. It’s supposed to keep up until five this afternoon, after which the temperature is expected to drop into the teens.
Those of you who are entertained by demolition derbies should Google up Atlanta’s traffic cameras; the sight of Southerners trying to drive in frozen weather is not to be missed. This Southern driver is staying home and breaking out the schnapps, thank you very much.