Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 5, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

DEBATE ONE-LINERS....If I attempted any serious discussion of tonight's debate my brain would explode. So instead, here's a random sampling of one-liners from around the blogosphere. Enjoy!

Michael Crowley on Mitt Romney: The man is a human PowerPoint presentation — it's almost scary.

Ana Marie Cox: Duncan Hunter would use nukes... but carefully.

Ezra Klein: Does anybody really believe religion is a "very important" part of Giuliani's life? He seems like the type who would make holy water sizzle.

Kathryn Jean Lopez on Sam Brownback: Was he saying Bush causes cancer?

Matt Yglesias: Someone needs to tell Mitt Romney what "null set" means.

Brad Plumer on Tom Tancredo: Between his suggestion that we abolish St. Patrick's Day and his whining that he has to "Press 1 for English" on automated phone menus, he was easily the biggest d-bag of the night.

Andrew Sullivan on Mitt Romney: It's rare to see a fraud exposed quite as clearly in real time as the Republichameleon. So he's for making English the national language, but runs campaign ads in Spanish: an almost perfect representation of the plastic one's bullshit.

Ann Althouse: The question is Iran. Is it acceptable to talk to them? This is a boring question, so Blitzer spices it up by asking if it's okay to nuke them.

John Derbyshire on John McCain: It's getting really annoying hearing you call me your friend, John. When did I become your friend? "My friend" is what Third World bazaar traders call me when they want to sell me overpriced tchotchkes.

Kevin Drum 10:06 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (49)

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Comments

Meow! Let the slicing and dicing begin. I'm going to watch Hillary's campaign song ad again. I think it just got a lot more charming.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 5, 2007 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

That was entertaining. Thanks for collecting those.

Posted by: shortstop on June 5, 2007 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Romney is the Zelig of election '08, a human chameleon whose positions change with the latitude, longitude and time zone

Posted by: Furious on June 5, 2007 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

If Romney had any priciples, he'd run English-language ads on Spanish-language TV and radio stations.

Posted by: RWB on June 5, 2007 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

I've repeatedly showng how much of a lightweight Kevin Drum is, so let me avoid discussing his post and instead let me suggest the following debate format:

Experts from different sides of a small set of issues would interview/interrogate the candidates about their policy proposals and past actions and statements. No smears, mind you, just about things that matter.

The experts would have to be selected to cover as wide a base of opinion as possible, and would hopefully avoid including a "false choice", i.e., a "debate" featuring people on basically the same side of the issue.

This would help avoid the highly negative impact that lightweights like WolfBlitzer and ChrisMatthews can have on the national discourse; no more "what's your favorite pudding flavor?" question, just tough questions about vital issues. It would be furiously opposed by partisan hacks (guess who I'm looking at), but hopefully there are enough people who realize how dangerous it is for our system to have lightweights like Wolf and Matthews asking puffball questions.

Posted by: TLB on June 5, 2007 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

The Monthly has been ignoring Ron Paul for months. If The New Republic can story on him and his impact on the campaign why not you?

Posted by: Sean Scallon on June 5, 2007 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

"My friend" is what Third World bazaar traders call me when they want to sell me overpriced tchotchkes.

Shouldn't that be "Arabian rugs"?

Johnny McVain might understand that.
But tchotchkes?
That's beyond his aging and shrinking ken...

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on June 5, 2007 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

Ann Althouse wins!

Posted by: craigie on June 5, 2007 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

Blitzer wins debate!...or at least dominates it...

h/t atrios

Posted by: grape_crush on June 5, 2007 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

Greg Sargent: "John McCain strove to reproduce... a Clinton moment." Compare and contrast 1992 to tonight.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on June 5, 2007 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

Journalists, pundits, etc. all have their own egos and agendas that impinge on the "debate" that isn't.

Get out of the way!

Direct, meaningful unequivocal questions only; policy, legal, moral. 2 minutes each with 1 minute rebuttal, additional exposition, whatever, with a 10 second countdown after which their mic is cut-off, period, mid-sentence, until it is their turn again.

Put them on record.

"My friend" is the favorite phrase of every snake-oil salesman or money-grubbing televangelical, including Tom Friedman who uses it before every fallacious juxtaposition or hook he is about to lay out there.

Just saying.

Posted by: notthere on June 5, 2007 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

Make that 1 minute and 30 seconds respectively, given their numbers. Hell, none of it is about nuance anyway.

Posted by: notthere on June 5, 2007 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

Make that 1 minute and 30 seconds respectively, given their numbers. Hell, none of it is about nuance anyway.

Agreed. The idea behind giving them more time to talk is so that they can give a fuller explanation of their positions than a sound bite allows, but all these chumps have are sound bites.

Posted by: Disputo on June 5, 2007 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

Who won the debate?

Paul Begala (during CNN's post-debate discussion moderated by Anderson Cooper).

It was Begala on CNN who pointed out Mitt Romney's devastating error in forgetting that UN weapons inspectors were operating throughout Iraq for more than four months prior to the American invasion and that the inspectors had supplied tons of information to the effect that they had found no nukes and no WMDs and that the Saddam Hussein government was fully co-operating.

Who lost the debate?

Amy Holmes, the "conservative voice" who pooh-poohed Begala and maintained that there were no inspectors in Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion.

Another loser:

The hapless Anderson Cooper who apparently didn't know any more than Romney or Holmes about the presence of UN inspectors in Iraq prior to the invasion and thus failed to correct Holmes or even know she needed correction.

Posted by: debatewatch on June 5, 2007 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

Now do you see why Fred Thompson decided that the best strategy was to lay low and watch everybody else self-destruct?

Posted by: dr sardonicus on June 5, 2007 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

Using nukes carefully? LOL

Can someone explain that one to me.

oh and WTF is Duncan Hunter?

Posted by: j swift on June 6, 2007 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

For Special Friend of Derb, I have Special Price! Did I say 200 francs for this 9 year old girl? I meant 100!

Posted by: NTodd on June 6, 2007 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

Let 'em burn. Let's make S'mores!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 6, 2007 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

j swift, using nukes carefully means tactical nukes. No specifics but maybe they meant 25-50 kiloton, maybe 100. Honestly, you kill a lot less people that way!!

Remember that looney-tune-GW was proposing new nuclear bunker-busters just four years ago. If the next prez is repub, he'll be blaming the dems for not having the weapon in store.

Duncan Hunter? None of us need to know.

Posted by: notthere on June 6, 2007 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

Can I say something about nukes? By tactical use they mean smaller payload and ground burst. Ground Burst is a more contained dissemination of the radiation and is employed to destroy infrastructure. Air Burst spreads lethal radiation over a larger area but leaves the infrastructure for the most part intact.

In the middle east, tactical use would be employed because they would want to go in after the oil once the zone wasn't too hot any longer.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on June 6, 2007 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

Ron Paul is going to beat all those guys in the race for the nomination, and then Paul is going to win the Presidency.

Notice that most of these candidates minced words, and exposed, once again, as fakes. Paul gave coherent, intellectually honest answers.

And Paul is not only a man who throughout his career has taken traditionalist positions regardless of pressure, he is a man who has consistently stood for the change Americans are demanding.

Most Americans believe the government is wasting too much money. Republicans and Democrats alike are running up spending, but Ron Paul has always voted against spending hikes and for tax cuts. Democrats and Republicans alike voted for the Iraq War, and are reluctant to end it, but Ron Paul was against the war from the beginning, and has consistently voted against it.

Ron Paul's our next President, regardless of the mainstream media bias against him.

Posted by: brian on June 6, 2007 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

The Plastic One...hmmm...Plastic Man...I give you:
PlasticRomney
I'm sure somebody with more than Paint could have done something better...

Posted by: Grimmstail on June 6, 2007 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

Can I say something about nukes? By tactical use they mean smaller payload and ground burst.

I didn't see the debate, but I thought that talk about using nukes in Iran is all about the so-called bunker-busters, which would actually penetrate the ground before exploding.

Posted by: Disputo on June 6, 2007 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

Ntodd? Blue Girl, Red State?

*glee*

Some come here for K-Drum's moderately moderate moderation, but I'm here for the regular commenters.

It's like a salad. Peppery spring mix with a smooth raspberry dressing, and some goat cheese Mmmmmm.

Posted by: anonymous on June 6, 2007 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

I'd be glad at TLB-crush Tancredo national exposure for his nativist filth, were it not for the applause from that oh-so-diverse New Hampshire audience.

Posted by: ahem on June 6, 2007 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

The Ann Althouse quote gets even better:

In the background, we see Giuliani, looking rock hard.

Posted by: vetiver on June 6, 2007 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

brian,

When Ron Paul wins, flying monkeys....

Posted by: bigcat on June 6, 2007 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

Scary republican candidates with their well-practiced orwellian speech, automatons spouting their approved lingo... they are simple carbohydrates white bread/white rice, no main courses, just some bland American menu fed to the Rapture-waiting Conservative Base in small doses called "debates," these dangerous theocratic panderers merely taking stances for votes, mechanical beings without distinction, except for Ron Paul.

These debates are sheer propaganda.
Recall the similar hedging, non-answers by Bush in the debate with Kerry in 2004:

Bob Schiffer: "Mr. President, I want to go back to something Sen. Kerry said earlier tonight and ask a follow-up of my own.
He said -- and this will be a new question to you -- he said that you had never said whether you would like to overturn Roe v. Wade. So I'd ask you directly, would you like to?"

George Bush: "What he's asking me is, will I have a litmus test for my judges? And the answer is, no, I will not have a litmus test. I will pick judges who will interpret the Constitution, but I'll have no litmus test."

Scary, deceptive republican panderers hoping to spout the acceptable to the base.


Posted by: consider wisely always on June 6, 2007 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

Silly me. And I thought the question was "Would you like to overturn Roe v. Wade?"

Of course, I'm sure there was no follow up to have him answer the question. Right?

Posted by: notthere on June 6, 2007 at 3:13 AM | PERMALINK

Bob Schiffer subsequently asked if Senator Kerry would like to repond. To his credit, Kerry said,
"Well, again, the president didn't answer the question" and went on with a reponse, to which Schiffer replied, "Mr. President?" If I recall, Bush was gesturing wildly to talk.

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 6, 2007 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

Kerry went on with a "response," I meant to say...am in and out of the room cooking sloppy joes to surprise hubby tomorrow. Hoping to get in some bad-mouthing of the republican "debaters."
What a frightening group of robotic people.

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 6, 2007 at 3:44 AM | PERMALINK

It really becomes difficult to support evolution when you see the Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals that inhabit the modern Republican Party.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 6, 2007 at 6:26 AM | PERMALINK

Ezra Klein: Does anybody really believe religion is a "very important" part of Giuliani's life? He seems like the type who would make holy water sizzle.


If Giuliani would make "holy water sizzle", what would Hillary or 'haircut' Edwards do to it???

sidebar: listening to Hillary talking about how her religious faith got her through Bill's carousing and infidelity was HI-LARIOUS.

Posted by: sportsfan79 on June 6, 2007 at 7:06 AM | PERMALINK

Please enjoy this clip of Blue Girl explaining how she and bmaz kicked ass in the fight to get the Libby sentencing letters released. Way to go, Blue Girl!

Posted by: shortstop on June 6, 2007 at 7:12 AM | PERMALINK

Ron Paul as President? Yeah, wait til people hear that he thinks we should get rid of medicare (to his credit, he actually came right out and said it on TDS) and most of the regulatory functions of the goverment.

Poison toothpaste, anyone? Grammy lying on the sidewalk outside the emergency room, anyone?

I do respect him for being very straightforward about his views. He is a no-BS guy. That's very refreshing. But a lot of his views, once you get past Iraq and the defense budget, are pretty scary.

Posted by: semper fubar on June 6, 2007 at 8:03 AM | PERMALINK

Why, oh why wasn't the debate moderated by the Dread Pirate Roberts?

He would have put Romney in is place with the "null set" responses:

"you keep saying that, sir. I do not think those words mean what you think they mean."

Then Romney would demonstrate his mastery by drinking the kool-aid, and the plot could continue without him.

Posted by: Satan luvvs Repugs on June 6, 2007 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

Guiliani said last night as an asst US attorney back in the 1980s he implored Reagan to pardon 1000 felons. That's ONE THOUSAND. An enterprising reporter I'm sure could dig up a few of the less worthy - and with Guliliani there ought to be some real worthless scum - to tell his or her readers about. Whaddya think?

Posted by: markg8 on June 6, 2007 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

"Why, oh why wasn't the debate moderated by the Dread Pirate Roberts?"

You mean Inigo Montoya.

Posted by: Indiana Joe on June 6, 2007 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

If Giuliani would make "holy water sizzle", what would Hillary or 'haircut' Edwards do to it?

So, you are saying getting an expensive haircut is the moral equivalent of adultery?

Posted by: cmdicely on June 6, 2007 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK
Can I say something about nukes? By tactical use they mean smaller payload and ground burst. Ground Burst is a more contained dissemination of the radiation and is employed to destroy infrastructure. Air Burst spreads lethal radiation over a larger area but leaves the infrastructure for the most part intact.

My understanding is that that is almost exactly backwards. While an air burst will expose a wider area to an quickly-lethal "flash" of radiation, it destroys buildings and infrastructure over a wider area more effectively since it prevents intervening structures from shielding others as they might from a ground burst, whereas a ground burst will do relatively less damage over a wider area to structures (though it will be more effective against a hardened structure very close to the point of impact) but generates and spreads more radioactive fallout which creates a greater long-term lethal radiation hazard in the affected area.


Posted by: cmdicely on June 6, 2007 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

If Giuliani would make "holy water sizzle", what would Hillary or 'haircut' Edwards do to it???

Hmmm...John Edwards, married to Elizabeth Edwards for thirty years.

Rudy Giuliani, married three times (the first time to his cousin), divorced twice. Conducted numerous open affairs, announced he was divorcing his second wife in a press conference, moved in with two gay men after a judge wouldn't let him move his mistress into the family home.

Yeah, you're right, it's a toss-up....

Posted by: Stefan on June 6, 2007 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Ron Paul's our next President, regardless of the mainstream media bias against him.
Posted by: brian on June 6, 2007 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

The shady interests that control Cheney would put a bullet into candidate Ron before they let their GOP fall to an outsider like him. They are that evil. I'm sorry brian, it just ain't gonna happen. First, they will tell their media cronies to ignore ignore ignore him and if he manages to make it to the convention then they will do what they did to Gore, lie lie lie and smear smear smear. If he survives all that, then they call in the hit, they are that evil. You have to see the Republican Party for what it is; the beast.

Posted by: Northern Observer on June 6, 2007 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

President Hillary Clinton.

President Hillary Rodham Clinton.

President H. Clinton.

President H.R. Clinton.

Madam President.

Mrs. President.

Yes, sounds great no matter how it is put.

Posted by: glorydays on June 6, 2007 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a winning ticket:

Ron Paul for president.

Barack Obama for vice president.

Should easily garner the votes of all sufferers who take comfort in espousing losing causes.

Posted by: winner on June 6, 2007 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Tancredo is an unbelievable idiot, but he did have the best moment of zen last night. I loved that when asked how he would use George W. Bush if elected President Tancredo said that W would not "darken his door".

Posted by: Nonplussed on June 6, 2007 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Chick Hearn would have called it Desperation Time.

Damn straight. And they're desperate because things look so bleak for the Dems in '08. Polls show a large majority of Americans support George W. Bush, want us to stay in Iraq, want both Houses of Congress to revert to Republican hands, and are donating to Republican campaigns in amounts far outstripping contributions to Democrats.

Pass the dutchie on the left hand side.

Posted by: shortstop on June 6, 2007 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

One small question:

Quoting Brad Plumer, does 'd-bag' stand for 'dirtbag' or 'douchebag'?

Posted by: Joe Bob on June 6, 2007 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK
Desperation Time. mhr at 12:14 PM
Even though reality has no reference point in your fantasy world, here's some to bite you
HI-LARIOUS. sportsfan79 at 7:06 AM
Not as funny as Bush scrunching up his beady eyes and pretending to pray when he thinks people are watching. Posted by: Mike on June 6, 2007 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

Unforgiveable: Rudy Guiliani saying the election of a democratic president will ensure a terrorist attack. He's Bush/Cheney reincarnated. He's hired Rove's people and we can assuredly expect dirty tricks. Rudy's opportunistic attack on Ron Paul showed the nasty side we hear about, and he's just a little too ambitious. The marriage stories are creepy. A cousin? Eeeuuuuu
Matt Taibbi's recent essay says Rudy recruited thirty of George Bush's top donors--"rebranding the president's Pioneers and Rangers as All-Stars and Sluggers."
It was Rudy that proclaimed there were "no significant problems" with the air at the world trade center. Guiliani has never been to a funeral of a world trade center clean up worker. Remind you of anyone? Catch Taibbi's article in the latest Rolling Stone Magazine.

Posted by: consider wisely always on June 6, 2007 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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