Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Republican Debate: You can’t have a president who sees a whole bunch of America as invisible


5:06 McCain: “Let’s have some straight talk...” Oh, let’s.

Speaking of catch-phrases, with Giuliani out of the race we need never hear “The Terrorists’ War on Us” again.

Huckabee thinks Congress has been betraying Reagan’s principles by increasing the deficit. Does Huckles remember the 1980s?

Huckabee: “It’s not gonna get better unless we have some serious leadership in Washington that says that we’re going to have to start having policies that touch the people not just at the top but the people at the bottom.” Well, that’s just kinky.

Defending his record as governor against McCain, Romney says several times that “facts are stubborn things.” Given that they’re in the Reagan (snicker) Library – and that’s actually it’s official name, the Reagan (snicker) Library – shouldn’t he repeat the Great Communicator’s phrase “facts are stupid things”?

Huckabee, wistfully, wishes that Rush Limbaugh loved him as much as he loves Rush.

Romney: they don’t call it America warming, they call it global warming.

Huckles thinks people will spend the stimulus plan’s tax rebates on “shoes that they probably don’t even need” (in Arkansas, shoes are considered a luxury item), and that shoe will probably come from China.

McCain: “When a town on Norway is somehow affected by the housing situation in the United States of America, we’ve gotten ourselves into a very interesting dilemma.” Says a mortgage should be one page long and in big letters at the bottom say “I understand this document.”

McCain: “I’m tired of borrowing money from China.” As Samuel Johnson said, when you’re tired of borrowing money from China, you’re tired of life.

McCain repeatedly refuses to answer whether he would still vote for his own 2006 immigration plan, saying it wouldn’t come up for a vote now.

Romney: “It’s important that we, as Republicans, stay in the house that Reagan built.” Absolutely: someone nail the doors shut.

By the way, the major advertiser on CNN for this debate: the coal industry.

There was much back and forth over whether Romney last April was advocating a timetable for withdrawal of troops from Iraq when he said, “Well, there’s no question that the president and Prime Minister al-Maliki have to have a series of timetables and milestones that they speak about, but those shouldn’t be for public pronouncement. You don’t want the enemy to understand how long they have to wait in the weeds until you’re going to be gone.” McCain has been attacking this, not for the idea of a secret timetable being monumentally silly, but for suggesting that there might actually be a time when we leave Iraq. McC: “If we weren’t leaving, how could the enemy lay in the weeds?” He also repeats, over and over and over, that timetables was a “buzzword” for withdrawal. Romney says the Washington Post “gave you three Pinocchios” for making that claim.

The Huck hopes we won’t be in Iraq for 100 years like McCain says we should be, but “we need to leave with victory, and we need to leave with honor.”

Huckles says if we leave prematurely, “It will erupt in a completely destabilized environment into which that vacuum is exactly the kind of situation that al Qaeda can build a strong base.” Put “in other words” at the start of that sentence, and it’s an almost classic Bushism.

McCain is still touting the judgement that led him to say that Rumsfeld was incompetent. Way to set a high standard.

Romney says that people prefer governors as presidents rather than senators because “They’re actually leading something.”

Mittens says one of his two great regrets in life (he doesn’t say what the other one is) is that he didn’t serve in the military, which he’d “love” to have done. I’m sure everyone who did go to Vietnam just “loved” it.

Curiously enough, it’s one of McCain’s two great regrets in life that he wasn’t a Mormon missionary in the south of France. I see a wacky Disney switcheroo movie in the offing.

COMPETITION: What might the other great regret in Romney’s life be? Polygamy jokes will be disallowed as too easy. Let me start you off: He always wished he could be a real boy.

Romney says that Lincoln wasn’t a military expert either, and he turned out all right. Twitt: Lincoln was a captain in the Illinois militia.

Huckleberry: “You can’t have a president who sees a whole bunch of America as invisible.”

Would Reagan endorse you? Mittens: yes. McCain: yes. Paul: probably, because he was in favor of the gold standard too. Huckabee: Well, I would endorse Reagan. “Reagan was something more than just a policy wonk.” Yes, yes he was.

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