Stephen Green suffered through tonight’s GOP debate, drinks in hand. I caught the first half hour of it, but decided that was enough. This part made my evening:
7:14pm To Romney: â€œAre these other jokers really tax cutters?â€ Again, Paul got stiffed. Again, Romney appears stiff. You know what bugs me about Romney? If his hair were even only slightly curly, youâ€™d swear he was a Viagra-laced penis. The man is erect.
7:14.5pm Mormon Erectus. . . .
7:27pm Once you start to think of Romney as a six-foot-tall erect penis, you just canâ€™t see him any other way. I mean, watch the guy with that in mind and tell me Iâ€™m wrong. â€œWeâ€™re the party of fiscal responsibility. Bulging, thrusting fiscal responsibility.â€
Nobody else can turn such a deadly boring event into the perfect forum for some inspired dick jokes…
I did catch the first part of the debate, and as much as it sometimes pains me to say it, I’m starting to warm to McCain. I’m a currently uncommitted voter—I want some reason why I can support one of the candidates. John McCain, for all his faults (and they are legion!), gets it on the war. He gets it on spending. He’s reliably pro-life. I’m not convinced yet, but he’s the only candidate that gave me a reason to support him.
Romney (AKA Mormon Erectus) is more strongly conservative. What I like about Romney so far is that he’s a competent technocrat. He probably could do much to turn the government around. What I dislike him is that he’s a competent technocrat—and technocrats don’t tend to get elected in this country. He’s got some good ideas, but I honestly have trouble seeing him compete against Hillary and a lot of trouble seeing him against Obama. At the end of the day, do I want someone who’s closer to my beliefs but is less likely to win or someone with whom I have major disagreements but is right on some big issues?
What keeps me out of the McCain camp is that I don’t trust him on judges yet. And as a larval lawyer, judges are a top issue for me. McCain-Feingold was an unconstitutional piece of legislation that directly conflict with the most important form of speech in this country: political speech. A judge likely to see McCain-Feingold as constitutional is not a judge I want to see on the Supreme Court.
As for Rudy, I’d like to support him, but he’s toast. I’ve seen Rudy Giuliani speak more than once, and he’s damned good when he’s on. The problem is that he’s just not on right now. He’s dry and even when he’s got solid positions on the issues he just doesn’t inspire.
When Rudy tells the story about the burly construction worker giving President Bush a bear hug at Ground Zero, he brings the house down. Rudy Giuliani can communicate. What’s frustrating is that we’re not seeing it in these debates. Florida is Rudy’s firewall state, and I just don’t see him winning it. It’s too bad in way—I supported Rudy early on, and I still think he’s a smart and effective leader. He just hasn’t performed in this campaign. In some ways, he’s a lot like Fred. By ceding the early states he ceded the momentum needed to stay viable later on. His strategy had some potential, but now it appears to have not panned out for him.
Mike Huckabee: what more can I say? The guy is not prepared and not conservative. Did he really say that we need to add more lanes to I-95 to stimulate the economy? That fixing Florida gridlock is a key federal problem? That Saddam shipped his WMDs to Jordan?! What were they smoking in Iowa?
I will say this: Huckabee is on to something. There’s a lot of middle-class angst out there, some of it justified, some of it not. Whether or not it’s rational, the Republicans have to address it. Huckabee is doing that in a way that the other candidates are not. The other candidates needn’t follow his brand of silly populism, but it would behoove them to follow his lead in at least showing some simpatico with the middle class.
As much as I criticize Huckabee, I’d take him as the spokesperson for evangelicals above a Jerry Fallwell or a Pat Robertson. Even though he isn’t cut out for the Oval Office doesn’t mean that he’s politically irrelevant. The rest of the field shouldn’t be following his lead on policy, but they’d do well to pay attention to his rhetoric.
And then there’s Ron Paul. 80% right, 20% completely flippin’ bugnuts. What we need to do is scientifically figure out how we can remove the crazy anti-war conspiratorial Ron Paul from the libertarian Ron Paul and then you’d have something. Sadly, that isn’t possible. Instead we get a screeching paranoid who probably does more harm to the libertarian cause than good—and a cult-like peanut gallery that follows him around. I’m not sure who’s cynically using who, whether Paul is cynically exploiting the radical anti-war left or they’re using him to give themselves a forum. Either way, he’s ended up as a political bedfellow with 9/11 “Truthers”, John Birchers and isolationist paleocons. I’ll be greatly relieved when his irritating nasal whine and paranoid rhetoric goes away.
NBC had to try to make every question some silly “gotcha.” Moderate the debate, don’t try to push it. Charlie Gibson so far has done the best job, and no one else has come close. This wasn’t quite as bad as the Iowa debate, but it was close.
This uncommitted voter remains uncommitted, although McCain did move me a bit in the part that I saw. I doubt anything changed as a result of this debate, and the race seems to be a match between Romney and McCain with Rudy hoping to keep up.
The winner? Stephen Green for comparing Mitt Romney to a six-foot phallus. The loser? Anyone else who suffered through the whole insufferable debate.