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Friday, November 11. 2011
Now here's a surprise:
The debates are getting better.
Although I didn't catch it live, I eventually saw it on video and the gang was on. My guess is that the moderators coming right out of the gate with their attack program really woke everybody up.
That is, if you consider the second question as 'out of the gate'.
The first question sounded fairly innocuous; how will Italy's impending meltdown affect America, and should we do anything to help them? A fair and reasonable question, directed to Mr. Cain.
Cain responds as you'd expect, pointing out that we can't really help them, and we should be focusing, instead, on the domestic economy. And how does the moderator respond? She phrases it like a statement, rather than a question:
"So, to be clear, focus on the domestic economy and allow Italy to fail."
Yeah, that's it, Maria. Focus on the economy and allow Italy to sink into the fiery abyss of hell incarnate, thereby telling every Italian-American in the audience, "Hey, screw your grandparents! Let 'em die!" Not surprisingly, Cain didn't bite, and when the question was directed to Romney, he said the same thing; that Europe was perfectly capable of fixing itself, thankyouverymuch.
From that point on, I wouldn't say the candidates were particularly on their 'best behavior' with the moderators. Three or four times a moderator cut in during an answer and was rewarded with a snippy "Pardon me, but do you mind if I finish?", if not outright ignoring them. It wasn't 'antagonistic', but certainly no undue respect was given the moderators the rest of the evening.
In truth, I don't think the moderators were quite ready for what they were about to unleash.
Maria, this just isn't a gotcha gang.
Speaking of the moderators, one of them had a pretty funny line. It was one of the 'guest moderators', only on for a segment. They'd just asked all of the candidates how to fix health care in 30 seconds, and when it got to Newt, he characteristically laughed at the whole concept of encapsulating an issue like health care in 30 seconds, and two of the other candidates mentioned the ridiculousness of it, as well.
They were heading for commercial break and as the moderator is starting to say, "We'll be back in a moment", the guest breaks in with, "Hold on, I want to give them each 15 seconds to solve the deficit."
One issue that I don't think we've raised is the student loan debacle. One trillion dollars owed, more than all credit card debts combined. The following clip is of Paul and Gingrich.
When it comes to Ron Paul, although I often like to mock, scorn, deride, debase, abash, excoriate, vilify and metaphorically crucify him, this isn't to say I don't like the guy. When it comes to getting rid of bloated entitlements and outright boondoggles, few do it better. His part in the following clip demonstrates why he's so popular with so many 'devout' fans. I note on the side (as you'll hear in the clip) that he's the only candidate who used the words The Constitution during the evening.
The second half is of Newt again, and watch how Mr. Big Picture immediately falls back a step from the immediate topic and puts it into a larger perspective.
One thing that's both interesting and unexpected is that after Cain started pushing his 9-9-9 flat tax, three other candidates have now offered up a flat tax of sorts; Perry, Bachmann and Romney. It's usually just a variation of the existing tax, albeit with a flat corporate tax, but it's interesting that he's gotten the ball rolling.
As for his bold plan, it almost got to be an in-house joke at one point, and after he'd already mentioned it a half-dozen times, he was about ready to mention it again, paused for a sec, and then, like it was the first time he'd said it that night, declared, "I have proposed a bold plan..." and there was a side shot and even the other candidates were cracking up.
Which explains the first bit in this next piece. And yes, this guy is a total nutcase. Actually certifiable, in my opinion. I'll consult with Dr. Bliss after I'm through here and maybe we can get this unfortunate man started on some strong medication.
The reason I'm including it is because it was, by far, the longest interchange between a candidate and moderator of the evening, and it's great watching Cain take the aforementioned pompous ass head-on.
Very strong medicine.
As far as Perry's memory lapse goes, I actually thought it was kind of endearing. One of those 'Oh, everybody has those moments' feelings that people can relate to. As is usual for Republican gaffes, it wasn't a tenth as bad as the MSM had made it out to be.
The CNBC 'But First...' Dept
I originally wasn't going to watch this thing, because I really like Perry and the thought of him holding a pistol to his head and crying, "Vote for me or I'll pull the trigger!" was just too sad to contemplate. At least, that's how I pictured it after reading all of the "Perry Shoots Self (And Career) At Debate!" headlines.
But after Tom mentioned the following scene, I knew I had to watch it. It is, truly, one of the rarest things on TV, and something we've been lucky enough to have already witnessed a few times in these debates:
An audience booing a bunch of muckraking liberal moderators.
Election 2012: Mid-season peek
"Popcorn! Popcorn! Get yer fresh popcorn!" "Batter up!" Crack! "And the centerfielder's going back... back... Home run, Team Republican!" Sorry, just getting in the mood. With this ext
Weblog: Maggie's Farm
Tracked: Nov 16, 10:42
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Nice wrap up - you caught a few things I missed - must have been drinking tea or looking at the Twitter feed.
We ought to tag team these things more often. :>)
Oh, I thought we were already doing that. I'd make my post, then you'd shred it in the comments, then I'd call you a flea-bitten scoundrel, then you'd call me a low-down scalawag, then I'd-
You could, of course, make your own post-debate post, but then I'd shred it in the comments, then you'd call me a flea-bittenn scoundrel, then I'd call you a-
Well, I think you see the problem.
Wake me when it is over, please. So that I can go and mark in the 'Republican' versus the present occupant. It really doesn't make any difference who the eventual candidate might be. Joe the Plumber would be fine.
You conceded, Mercury, that blogs are of small consequence compared to 'real' journalists. Which means really, that 95% of the voting country will continue to vote based on MSM conditions. In which case we will see a second term for President empty head.
Forget the executive, it doesn't matter. Let's win the Senate, by one, at least. And make the Congress foolproof.
Nice clips, Doc!
I think they all had pretty good answers, Newty was the most direct. Before I came to Maggie's, I had just heard Dorothy Rubinowitz explain how effective a communicator Newty is. All this time, I thought it was just because I liked what he said, but I think she's right. He as an excellent way of phrasing an issue and explaining it and a solution that few people have.
Having said all that, I thought the best answer came from Cain when he said the three things wrong with Dodd-Frank: It doesn't address Freddie & Fannie and the other two are Dodd and Frank. Excellent! Cain can get his shots in, too!
I'd agree with that in principle. Presidents don't make laws, despite popular belief to the contrary. But I say "in principle" because man, they can sure do some damage.
The fact that Newt is even involved shows this farce for what it is. Controlled opposition.
I said so much to you all when slappy McCain rose up. And moderation won the day. See what that brung? Sheesh, is hope so blindingly eternal?
And this new deck of jokers? Ken doll, Hillbilly II, 999, global warming Newt... Sorry to say but see you in another four.
In all honesty, I'm never impressed by someone who comes along criticizing everything, but has no alternatives to offer.
Truth hurts doc. I called it then. I'm calling it now. Take it or leave it but you know I'm right. Why you're so defensive.
Er, you still didn't offer any alternatives. Who would you suggest for the nomination? Scott Walker? Chris Christie? Giuliani? John Bolton?
Remember, this thing isn't cast in stone. There's always August and the convention.
What, as if it matters? The die is cast. I told you the outcome.
Besides my opinion stands with no straw argument or answer to back it, as yours repeatedly requires. Like I can save you... that's funny.
Well, if my opinion doesn't matter, and your opinion doesn't matter, then what's the point of commenting?
And I just told you die isn't cast. August, convention, remember?
merc, your doing Fabian again --no not the rockabilly market product, the Parthian Shot one. As you know, Obama supporters ARE Philistines --he's trying to spell it out fer ya fer chrissakes
You too huh Buddy? I recall you being at least a little critical of McCain.
McCain, the "conservative" moderate. Mr. Nice guy, too nice to Obama, we all held our noses, and look what a schmuck McCain still is to this day.
Fast forward to now, read what I say: Newt is no friend of conservatives. He's proven it in spades. Contract with America? He blew it with that congress of his. Loves Nancy Pelosi and global warming, and on and on.
Besides, he stands no chance of uniting anything. He's no Reagan. He's not popular with right or left. Which only leaves the mushy middle. McCain all over.
The fact that he's not been laughed off the stage, and I can't even point all this out without you lazily easing into "he's an Obama supporter" shows how desperate you are. When both recent history and logic escape you guys, you are blind. Take comfort in dismissing my opinion, you'll have four more years of smugness to lay your head on each night.
Unless the R team can field a better candidate who can connect, forget it. So far all I see are tainted, inarticulate, insider, losers. Gushing over Newt is not going to get you there.
I heare ya, Phyllisine, but would rejoinder with the reminder that certain forms of critique fall into an ''all is lost'' acceptance of doom that is the very definition of the 'self-fulfilling prophecy'.
When Doc Daneeka asked Yossarian "What if EVERYBODY felt that way?", Yossarian replied, "Then I'd be a fool to be any different" --and Herb Gold left it right there, Doc Daneeka didn't even have to say it, that in that case they all might as well go home, and wait for Herr Himmler to come knocking on the door back in Kansas City.
Well, that's the point, buddy -- he's not "spelling it out" for me. We have "Philistine", "PHILISTINE" and "Philisine", in just one thread. You're usually pretty observant, but you sure missed this one.
First of all Doc, typing on my phone isn't that easy. Not sure why you think making fun of my handle dismisses my point, other than showing your 4th grade self to us all. neener neener he's got a funny name. Do you even know what Philistine means? If you did you'd know why I use it and relate that to what I'm saying to you all.
Do none of you remember 4 years ago? I was here, McCain was too "moderate" and none of you got it then either.
Buddy, funny you put it that way, cuz that's what I'm saying: learn your lessons or you're doomed to repeat stuff... 'self fulfilling' indeed. I'll go away for 12 more months, vote R when I get a chance, and dial you folks up when Obama swears in again.
Maybe you guys can figure out how to call 'em by their stripes in the mean time. Or shall we do this again in 5?
Er, I didn't make fun of your handle, I made fun of Buddy's comment.
How does somebody accidentally capitalize every letter of a name tapping into a cell phone?
As far as what 'Philistine' means, of course I know, although why anyone would be proud they're "lacking in or hostile to culture" or "smugly commonplace or conventional" is anyone's guess.
"Do none of you remember 4 years ago? I was here, McCain was too "moderate" and none of you got it then either."
Really? None of us knew The Maverick was about the shittiest choice the voters could have made? That's what we're trying to prevent this time, and I would think a bright person such as yourself would see that. If you don't like the current choices, suggest a better one. At this point, you're starting to repeat yourself.
i got to go along with Merc on this one, Philistine. The McCain campaign is best mined for lessons learned and then gently nudged out of the mind.
Stick around and fight for your vision. Maybe throwing in the towel before Round One would indeed be the best way to fight Obamisery.
"Elizabeth Warren's Classy Website"
Dear Maggie's Valued Reader™ -
You're very kind to share one of your dearest treasures with us. Its warmth and glow will last a long, long time. One line, however, did catch my eye:
"The Senate is an inherently anti-Democratic body."
Well, you know, that's very true. The "inherently" part, I mean. Because democracies don't have senates. And if we were actually a democracy, instead of a republic, then there would, indeed, be cause for alarm, and Elizabeth Warren would be right. That's how close we came to total disaster, buddy, so be careful in the future when sharing your most treasured links. One slip-up, Elizabeth Warren is right, and this site's reputation is ruined forever.
I like the way she courageously and daringly used the F word right there in the first line. That took guts! Also made me visualize her in the newd, at least for an instant before the ghost of my grandmother showed up as she always does at such moments and slaps me acrost the face
I am a Canadian but I have been following this with great interest. It really is important that you guys get it right this time.
I hear the complaints of too many republican debates but it has been quite beneficial. We have seen the "flavor"of the day but I think it has given time for the character of the candidates to emerge.
From an outsiders slightly detached point of view the fight for the presidency is the most important. It seems almost a given that the democrats will lose control of the senate. Obama has proven to have no qualms about evading and or doing an end run around laws, conventions and even the constitution.
"get it right this time."
To be fair, we got it right in 2010. We kicked Democrat butt all over the place. And there's even a better chance this time around, because there are a lot more shaky Dems up for reelection than Repubs. As for the White House, we noted that up above. Presidents can be annoying as hell, but they don't make laws. So both are important.
Thanks for taking the time to discombobulate these debates, Doc. You make me think twice about the import of some issues. And laugh.
I really appreciate the roundtable discussions now. The podiums lining the stage as the speakers shift from one foot to another lends nothing to the debate.
Having majored in journalism with a poli sci co-major and econ/marketing minors, I can't say enough about the idiocy of our present crop of news readers/moderators (or whatever they call themselves). It's embarrassing. I would apologize for the field, but??????????????
Frankly, all these candidates excel far beyond the capacity of Obama who, let's get this straight, was NOT a professor at U. of C. He was a lecturer. On racial inequality. Which he experienced at his private schools in Hawaii and Asia and on tour to Pakistan and Africa and at our elite universities out East. Pardon me.
I look forward to your continuing coverage.
Wow, Maria is extremely annoying. Her 15 minutes of cute talking head fame is well past its sell by date. All these 'common taters', as my Grandpa called them, are such self important air heads.
I almost referred to her as an "Arianna Huffington wannabe", but I didn't want to be that cruel.
--she had a moniker, 'Money Honey', during the dot-com run-up. All 'buyin' it' all the time. Dunno how she survived the crash, she had been so enthusistic on the buy side. I mean, when 'credibility' is the stock in trade.