PJ Media

Drunkblogging Tonight's GOP Debate

5:46PM AsI prepared for the third GOP debate — and my third drunkblog — in eight days, I was sorely tempted to take my PJTV on-air coffee mug and just fill it up with cheap bourbon. But we try to run a classy(ish) joint here, so instead I poured some scotch into one of the nice, crystal Old Fashioned glasses. And then I filled on PJTV on-air mug with ice, in case I need to pick up the pace any time in the next two hours or so.


The bottle is on the left side of my monitor. The ice in on the right. I wonder which will run out first.

5:57PM I’m watching the webcast, since NBC’s own DVR schedule says Fear Factor is on tonight. Not a bad idea, letting Joe Rogan moderate the next debate. Dodge a question, eat a bug. Get an applause line, take a shot from a fire hose.

The possibilities are endless and intriguing.

5:58PM Earlier on Twitter I wrote that Newt Gingrich is expected to come right out tonight and tase moderator Brian Williams.

I’m kinda hoping that’s less a joke than it is a prophecy.

5:59PM One minute before showtime, and NBC’s webcast still isn’t up. Stand by…

6:00PM OK, here we go.

I keep telling NBC that “Rock Center” sounds like an ’80s gay porn star, but they never listen. Either that, or Brian Williams has an entirely different target demo than I imagined.

6:02PM Huh. None of the rules involve ingesting live palmetto bugs. I demand a recount.

6:02PM Williams: All of you but Ron Paul have wins, so big congrats to everyone but Ron Paul, who must obviously suck.

6:03PM To Newt: Is what your opponent says about you true?

Opening question is a big, fat lob!

6:03PM Newt, you do a great job at these debates. But the constant self-comparisons to Reagan are more than just a bit overdone. Mmkay?

6:04PM To Newt: Make your case, please, Mr. Speaker.

Another big, fat lob.

Now is when I recuse myself from making any more porn star jokes involving Mr. Williams.

6:05PM Seriously, Brian’s opening was pretty much, “Don’t tase me, bro!”

6:06PM To MItt: Tell us what’s great about you.

Mitt: I’m a leader. Newt resigned in disgrace. Twice. Or something. And I saved the Olympics while Newt was resigning in disgrace as I saved the Olympics from cap’n’trade while Newt held hands on a sofa with Nancy Pelosi while I had my leadership.


6:07PM Newt: Mitt just lied four times. Check my website.

And suddenly I’m flashing back to Ross Perot’s 800 number.

6:08PM Dear Mitt,

Bragging how MA voters loved you might not be the best gambit with GOP primary voters.



6:09PM Mitt: Newt took a million dollars from Freddie Mac while I was saving the Olympics from people who didn’t love Reagan.

6:10PM Mitt: I was overwhelmed with a lot of attacks in SC.

I hope Iran isn’t watching this.

6:10PM Newt: Mitt “is a terrible historian.”

Newt is sealing the deal with ’90s history buffs.

6:11PM My understanding is — and this is unverified — that Rick Santorum and Ron Paul are both here tonight, too.

6:12PM To Rick: How do you win?

More hardball!

6:12PM Over his last two — and fairly solid — debate performances, I have become more and more convinced that Rick Santorum is wearing a hairpiece.

6:14PM Dear Rick,

Half of all candidates lose elections. At least. So don’t go bragging you were just one of many, mmkay?



6:14PM To Ron: You really can’t win, huh?

6:16PM Ron: “I’m in the race.”

Barely. Second, third, third — it’s like Duck Duck Goose for stoners.

6:17PM Ron: “I have no plans to [run third party], no intentions.”

You could drive Supertrain through that loophole.

6:18PM Newt is playing nice with the libertarians. I don’t buy it, but I do appreciate it.

6:18PM To Mitt: Tell us something juicy about your tax returns.

6:19PM Mitt: I used company funds to wire cash to a $5,000-a-night hooker in New York.

No, wait — that was Eliot Spitzer.

And now Mitt is changing the subject to ALL Americans’ taxes. It’s a good answer, but I still want to see him eat a bug.

6:20PM Does charisma have a narcoleptic little brother? Is his name Brian Williams?


6:21PM Wow. Is Newt really talking about “the Hong Kong model?”

6:22PM Newt wants to cuts Mitt’s taxes to create jobs. His words. That goes a long way to diffusing the tax question for Mitt.

6:23PM Mitt: “I knew [attacks on my wealth] were going to come from the Obama team.” But then instead of turning it back on Newt and Rick, he goes positive.

6:25PM Rick: I like capitalism, too!

And Santorum is strong on his anti-bailouts, anti-TARP stance. But the Tea Party has no love for him, because he’s too easily “distracted” by social issues — where his heart really lies.

6:27PM I don’t want to say this debate is lifeless, but it wouldn’t VOOM if you put 10,000 volts through it.

6:28PM The nice thing about MSNBC’s webcast is, how on a very fast network connection it totally locks up now and then.

6:29PM MItt to Newt on Freddie Mac: Historians don’t get paid $1.6 million dollars.

That’s not what the Dean at Mizzou told me.

6:30PM It’s Tea Party fun hearing Newt defend all these multitudes semi-government enterprises.

6:30PM If this Mitt/Newt goes on much longer, I’m going to tase myself.

6:31PM Wow. Newt was silent for three seconds. And it was painful.

6:32PM Newt: Mitt’s lying about my record!

6:32PM There are reports that TMZ has photos of Ron Paul and Rick Santorum on this stage. Link to follow.

6:33PM Commercial break. I’m setting down the taser for now.

6:40PM Sorry — MSNBC’s feed dropped out again. I see Ron is talking details the financial crisis about which he is entirely correct.

But then he’ll talk about how sanction against Iran are the same as war and SKWACK SKWACK SKWACK.

6:41PM Mitt: I’m for helping people and getting government out of the mess.

Pretty sure that, even sober, that would confuse me.


6:42PM Newt: Repeal Dodd-Frank tomorrow and the economy would improve tomorrow.


6:43PM Good to see all this agreement on the stage against Dodd-Frank, except for Rick Santorum, who isn’t being allowed to speak until we get a written answer regarding his hair.

6:44PM Mitt: “First of all you thank Heaven that Castro has been brought to meet his maker.”

Heh. Nice Florida line.

6:45PM Of course, Williams has phrased the Dead Castro issue as an Illegal Immigrant issue, trying to wedge the contenders from Florida voters.

It’s a cheap trick. Expected, but cheap. Much like most of Rock Center’s videos from the ’80s.

6:46PM Is Ron Paul shrinking or are his suits growing?

Ron: “The Cold war is over… we’ve propped up Castro.”

6:48PM Rick: If China were 90 miles from our shore, we’d be stuffing bricks.

Meh. I’m with Ron on this one. Cuba hasn’t been a threat to us since 1991.

6:48PM And do you know how much it pains me to agree with Ron on foreign policy?

6:49PM MItt: “Of course it’s an act of war” if Iran were to shut down the Straits of Hormuz. But Obama “keeps shrinking our Navy.”

6:51PM Newt: “The most dangerous possible thing,” is appearing weak in front of Iran, vis-a-vis Israel.

6:52PM Wow, but Mitt can give a good and obvious answer badly.

6:53PM Ron: Why does Iran hate us? “We’re blockading them!” “It’s an act of war,” and WE are committing it!

We’re blockading Iran?


Fucking moron, pardon my English.

6:59PM Special guest moderators Somebody Somebody Somebody and Somebody Somebody Somebody. No Paul Lynde?

7:00PM To Rick: Give us your complete Rules of Engagement for a limited air war with Iran. 60 seconds, please.

To everyone who says there’s no such thing as a stupid question: Shut up.


7:02PM I don’t know who this new questioner is, but she makes Brian Williams seem as fun and relaxed as Paul Lynde.

As I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

7:02PM Rick: I”ll build pipelines in places most countries don’t even have places.

I poke fun, but I’m liking this answer.

7:03PM Q: Why are you such hypocrites about Spanish?

7:04PM Newt: I love the Irish.

Erin go bra, bro.

7:05PM MItt: Teach English.

He’s using more words, though, and not very well.

7:06PM Ron: “At the national level we have to have one language.”

But Florida can do what it wants, so long as it doesn’t involve birthright citizenship or restricting trade with Cuba.

7:07PM Newt: He’s just reiterating his own version of the DREAM Act, which is a smart policy.

7:08PM Mitt is in favor of… “self-deportation.”

I’m not sure about the Church of Latter-Day Saints, but I know the Catholic Church thinks that’s a sin.

7:10PM Newt: I’m against sugar subsidies unless I’m not. Because of beets.

7:11PM Mitt: “Get rid of subsidies and let markets work properly.”

The properly is redundant.

7:12PM MItt’s on the Obama attack, which he does very well.

7:13PM Ron: I wouldn’t stop funding Everglades protection, because of the wars and the interference and the state level things.

Folks, I tell you when I’ve been drinking.

7:17PM SAT Question: Brian Williams is to Relevance as Rip Taylor is to _______.

7:18PM Terry Shiavo? Really? I hate Santorum, but this is the most relevant thing we can manage tonight?

7:19PM A follow-up on this? Really?

7:21PM Ron: “That situation doesn’t come up very often,” in regards to Terry Shiavo.

So now we’re talking living wills at a national debate while the real unemployment rate is 15.6% and the President is saying no to jobs at every turn.


Worst. Debate. Ever.

7:21PM I cannot explain to you the all-encompasing suckatude of NBC News.

7:22PM Next question: Please suck up to the Florida space industry now.

7:22PM Worst. Debate. Ever.

And I’ve watched a bunch of these. You know that; you can trust me on this one.

7:24PM There is only one explanation for this debate: NBC News wanted to show off the GOP contenders as the world’s Most Boring and Irrelevant White Guys. On tomorrow night’s NBC News primetime program, the second coming of Black Jesus.

Compare and contrast, dulled audience.

7:26PM Commercial break, brought to you by Ming the Merciless.

7:30PM Dear Brian Williams:

Please stop referring to your Parade of Stuff No One Cares about as “this conversation.”



7:33PM Q: Tell us how you’re conservative.

There is no way someone earning as much money as Brian Williams does, is this moronically uninteresting by accident.

7:33PM To Rick: Tell us how you’re electable.

There is no way someone earning as much money as Brian Williams does, is this moronically uninteresting by accident.

7:36PM Ron: “I think we’ve lost our way completely.”

There’s some truth in that, my insane brother.

7:38PM MItt: “I do not support a Federal mandate,” and did not as governor of MA.

7:38PM Williams: “I know none of you believe in polls.”

Or evolution!

7:39PM Q: What scares you about being President?

And after you beat that fear, as President, what kind of tree would you be?

7:40PM Q: “When was America last great?”

These are questions, really?

There is no way someone earning as much money as Brian Williams does, is this moronically uninteresting by accident.

7:42PM Williams: “I want to thank all our candidates.”

I want to tell Brian Williams to go to hell, for taking a primetime opportunity on a (formerly) major network, and treating it with all the respect a narcoleptic gives to hootch and Ambien.


7:47PM Now is time on drunkblog when we summarize. And tonight, that’s a mercifully easy job to do, because tonight’s debate was unmercifully awful. So much so, that I did the job a full twenty minutes before the debate ended. So if you’ll allow me the indulgence — and you do know that I love to indulge — please allow me to repeat myself from the 7:24PM marker:

There is only one explanation for this debate: NBC News wanted to show off the GOP contenders as the world’s Most Boring and Irrelevant White Guys. On tomorrow night’s NBC News primetime program, the second coming of Black Jesus.

I stand by that remark, as offensive as some people may find it. Tomorrow night, I’ll be right back here at my desk to cover the State of the Union Address. And I’ll tune in to NBC News to cover their coverage, so we can do a little Compare & Contrast of the two events.

But I will tell you safely in advance: It’s Boring White Guys versus Black Jesus.

Mark my words. Tune tomorrow and see.

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