Note: by “dummies” I’m not singling out Giuliani and Romney, nor am I referring to head dummy/dhimmi Ron Paul.
Yes, tonight is the CNN/YouTube debate for the Republican candidates. After the last such debate, which featured a talking snowman asking stupid questions about the fictional nonsense of global warming, many Republicans were naturally concerned about the suitability of the format. Carnival sideshow or Presidential debate? It’s undignified to be asked about fictional issues by fictional characters.
Fortunately, this time, CNN promises to keep the rabble and trufers at bay. We’ll see if the network remains true to its word and prevents the debate from degenerating into a three ring circus. But this is the level of questioning that could be expected from the “informed” public:
“If you would have taken the most-viewed questions last time, the top question would have been whether Arnold Schwarzenegger was a cyborg sent to save the planet Earth,” says Bohrman, the debate’s executive producer. “The second-most-viewed video question was: Will you a convene a national meeting on UFOs?”
Perhaps an intelligence test for registering voters would be a good idea. For example if someone answers in the affirmative to the question “are you stupid enough to even consider voting for Ron Paul?” they would be barred from voting. If a potential voter doesn’t understand that a vote for a Democrat is a vote for unrestrained socialism, registration would be denied.
Anyway, consider this an open thread to discuss the debate as it proceeds this evening.
I shall be watching to see what dress Giuliani decides to wear and to see if Romney is principled enough to stand up for his pledge to keep Muslims out of his Cabinet or if he chooses to flip flop yet again.
Update: Sorry to be so late in adding this. A live online stream is available from CNN. But I’m watching it on the television, since I really don’t want to add a Turner plugin. Why should I?
See also: You might want to read through and participate in the Race42008 debate discussion. At more than 350 comments so far, I suspect they will be starting a new one soon. Debate Open Thread II is up over at Race 4 2008. Join in!
Update 2: DaveG over at Race 4 2008 concludes that McCain and Romney were the “big winners.” I can’t say I completely agree with that assessment, but he makes some very good points. Romney was phony as always, but perhaps that what his fans like about him. I wonder what they thought of Bill Clinton?
Meanwhile, Rett Hatcher argues rather effectively with plenty of links to relevant commentary and polling data that, no, Huckabee ran away with it. Will this help his chances in Iowa?
- John McCain and Mike Huckabee came out looking pretty good. They won by default. Actually McCain was more substantive than folksy jokey Huck, so surprisingly McCain edges him out. He had a decent night. But he wins since because expectations for the frontrunners is high. And they did anything but shine in the debate.
- Fred Thompson‘s performance was fair, better than I’d seen him so far. Too little too late. Don’t quit your day job, Fred.
- Rudy Giuliani had an off night, and most people seem to agree. That’s a good thing. Perhaps he was worried about and preoccupated with his latest potential scandal. Rudy did throw a good barb at Romney though: “sanctuary mansion.” (Mitt’s mansion apparently employed illegals.)
- Mitt Romney, as usual, was completely phony all the way. I don’t get what people see in the guy: he’s a plastic robot. Phony as a three dollar bill. He didn’t recognize himself when shown a video of him speaking in favor of abortion. And no wonder. The guy’s a slippery chameleon. Slick Willard.
- Duncan Hunter did okay but didn’t get much facetime. Only The Tanc got less. I think he clearly mishandled the gays in the military question, delivered coincidentally by the head of Hillary Clinton’s Gay Steering Committee. Dirty pool! I wonder who that question was actually intended to wound. Still, Duncan’s a good candidate for Secretary of Defense.
- Tom Tancredo did okay, but other than influencing the debate on illegal immigration, he’s done. Given the time he was allowed to speak, he might as well have stayed home.
- Ron Paul continues to cloak his irrelevance with outrageous outbursts about conspiracy theories. Tell us more about the Trilateral Commission and the Illuminati, Ron. We love it.
Stupidest moment of the night: The final question about baseball (Yankees v. Red Sox) and Rudy and Romney’s pathetic and pandery answers were easily the stupidest most irrelevant garbage of the night. Fitting, since that describes these two awful candidates. Two big thumbs down. In the future, please forgo making the final question cutesy and funny. It doesn’t work.