Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 28, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE GOP DEBATE....8:32 — Ron Paul apparently believes the NAFTA superhighway urban legend is for real. Oof.

8:35 — Giuliani's once again proposing that we cut the federal workforce by 20%. Somebody really ought to press him for a few more details on that one of these days.

8:41 — McCain's going after Ron Paul?

8:43: Hmm. Not quite 100% pandering to Grover Norquist and his anti-tax pledge. Is Grover over?

8:47 — Ah. Anderson Cooper breaks in to ask Rudy Giuliani about today's Politico story saying that in 1999-2000 Giuliani expensed security detail charges to obscure city agencies in order to hide the fact that he was carrying on an affair with Judith Nathan (now his wife). Giuliani, in an uncharacteristically brief answer, says there's nothing to it.

(In case you don't feel like clicking the link, the Politico story found evidence of $34,000 worth of travel expenses buried in the accounts of — get this — the New York City Loft Board. Giuliani's aides refused to explain the expenses on grounds of security, "But American Express bills and travel documents obtained by Politico suggest another reason City Hall may have considered the documents sensitive: They detail three summers of visits to Southampton, the Long Island town where Nathan had an apartment.")

9:04 — McCain and Giuliani don't own a gun? What the hell kind of effete pussies are they?

9:16 — "Do you believe this book? This specific book. Do you believe this book?" That guy was kind of creepy, wasn't he? ("This book" = The Bible)

9:28 — Is waterboarding torture? Romney: "As a presidential candidate it would not be wise to say which techniques we would and would not use." Spare me. What a weasel.

9:33 — Wow. A question from someone who apparently thinks the Republican Party candidates are insufficiently warmongerish. Iraq forever!

9:35 — McCain: We coulda won in Vietnam!

9:48 — Duncan Hunter says we shouldn't allow gays in the military because most soldiers are conservatives. Um, OK.

Total weaselling from Romney on this question. He favored gays in the military in 1994, but he doesn't now because we're at war. Uh huh. As for the future, well, he's got no opinion at all. He'll just rely on the advice of his military advisors. Sheesh.

9:57 — Huckabee on the space program: "I've got a few suggestions, and maybe Hillary could be on the first rocket to Mars." Whoosh. Where did that come from? What a lame attempt at a zinger.

10:01 — Romney's opposed to displaying the Confederate flag. He actually took a stand on something that might conceivably offend a Republican voter bloc!

10:06 — McCain: No more pork if I'm president. Bold stand, Senator.

Kevin Drum 8:31 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (48)

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Comments

Tancredo YouTube video...? just plain unintelligible and weird.

Posted by: Jonathan on November 28, 2007 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, Kevin, I've driven on that highway.

A significant amount of federal resources in Canada have contributed to the expansion of existing highways along this route.

Where I don't agree with Paul at all is that this is in some way a threat to the sovereignty of any country. But its hard to keep the existence of this highway a secret.

Here is a link to my provincial government's Infrastructure and Transportation web page on the CANAMEX Highway:

CANAMEX Trade Corridor

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on November 28, 2007 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

They've taken a plan for an interstate (or upgrades to current interstates) and the accompanying diagram of the shipping -- and turned it into a major front of his campaign! Ron Paul would be that guy with the mimeograph in a basement in Irvine in 1962 has somehow become a superstar. I blame the internet. Much faster conspiracy mongering.

Posted by: Inaudible Nonsense on November 28, 2007 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

Per the Village Voice (Digby noticed today) Giuliani has a lot more than that to answer for. http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0748,barrett,78478,6.html/full

Posted by: Andrew on November 28, 2007 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

McCain going after Paul makes sense -- they are competing for many of the same less-batshit GOP primary voters in NH. And Paul is a serious factor in NH.

Posted by: Dave MB on November 28, 2007 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

I'm watching it now myself - what a bunch of weirdos! I am also convinced Tom Tancredo is gay - no doubt about it. Oh, by the way, Trent Lott resigned because he kept a homosexual house boy.

Why anyone would elect one of these turds is beyond me...

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 28, 2007 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody really ought to press him for a few more details

Yeah, like that will ever happen. The press is too busy reporting on what WJC's view on the Iraq war really was and how it might impact HRC's campaign - really important stuff, that.

Posted by: Keith G on November 28, 2007 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone find the audience reaction bar too meta? Souldn't average Joe compare the specific positions that these men have with respect to their own positions, and not which of those positions is "popular"?

Posted by: Stephen on November 28, 2007 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

Cut the government workforce? When there is widespread fear that retirements over the next 5-10 years will create a severe shortage of trained civil servants? The guy is out of touch with Washington.

Things were already changing in DC while Rudy was taking long weekends on Long Island with his security detail to go cheat on his second wife.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on November 28, 2007 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Trent Lott resigned because he kept a homosexual house boy.

Oh, please tell me that is true and that the house boy in question is African American. Now that would be too cool.

Sen. Craig must be tapping his toes in envy.

Posted by: Keith G on November 28, 2007 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

The guy who asked the question about the Bible was a sicko - and from Texas, of course. If the Bible is the infallible word of God, how come the writers couldn't even get the genealogy of Joseph (Jesus's earthly father) right?

Compare Matthew Chapter 1 and Luke Chapter 3.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 28, 2007 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

What NAFTA superhighway urban legend?

Posted by: anonymous on November 28, 2007 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Someone whisper "Kurds!" in Ron Paul's ear.

Posted by: Stephen on November 28, 2007 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy -- married three times (once to his second cousin), estranged from his kids, godfather to a crooked cop's two kids -- now there's a GOP role model for you. Too bad Rudy switched parties back in the 70s or the GOP would be all over this character like flies on a cow pie.

From Wikipedia:

"By March 2007, The New York Times and the New York Daily News reported that Rudy Giuliani had become estranged from both his son Andrew (now a golf team member at Duke University) and his daughter Caroline (graduated from Trinity School in 2007, attending Harvard University), missing major events in their lives, such as graduations, and sometimes going long stretches without talking to them, and that neither of them was taking part in his presidential campaign.[164][165] Caroline uses her mother's surname, Hanover, rather than Giuliani's, and according to reports, she did not inform Giuliani when she was accepted to Harvard.[156] Caroline apparently linked her personal Facebook page to the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Barack Obama.[166][167] However, after a slate.com contributor reported this link, Caroline removed it from her "Facebook" page.[168]

Giuliani is the godfather to former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik's two youngest children.[169]"

Posted by: pj in jesusland on November 28, 2007 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

9:04 McCain and Giuliani don't own a gun? What the hell kind of effete pussies are they?

Really hardcore effete pussies.

The guy is out of touch with Washington.

One could only wish he were out of touch with Washington. Alas, I think he is very much in touch with the soul of D.C., where the Panderbear resides.

max
['After he cuts 20% of the workforce, he'll replace them by hiring hookers and cronies.']

Posted by: max on November 28, 2007 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

Why isn't English as the national language an issue? That's rich with subtext and dog-whistle politics.

After all, if English was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for us.

Posted by: anonymous on November 28, 2007 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Stephen: Someone whisper "Kurds!" in Ron Paul's ear.

Then whisper "whey" in the other ear and watch him do his Little Miss Muffet imitation.

Posted by: alex on November 28, 2007 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

Lord have mercy! Clus. der. fuck.

Posted by: elmo on November 28, 2007 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

We could have won the war in Vietnam? Sure. We never lost a battle.

(Col. Tu oir the North Vietnamese army says that is also irrelevant)

Posted by: anonymous on November 28, 2007 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Duncan Hunter:
"How dare gays subject upstanding republican soldiers to their presence?"

Posted by: Stephen on November 28, 2007 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the clear loser of the debate is CNN, and if any of these men win the presidency, the clear loser will be America.

Posted by: Stephen on November 28, 2007 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

Romney stumbled on the Bible question too (although he might have been distracted by the creepy guy). I think he ended taking a firm stand that he believes the Bible, but couldn't decide whether he was supposed to say he believed it word for word or not. You can obfuscate on torture if you want, but you better have your story straight on the Bible. In a sane world it would be the other way around.

Posted by: ibid on November 28, 2007 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

The person who came out of this debate looking and sounding the best is undoubtedly Anderson Cooper.

None of the candidates impressed me, nor did any of them make a fatal stumble, in my opinion.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 28, 2007 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Never in the history of all US politics have so many ugly old men, provided so few truthful answers, to so many desperate Americans. What a bunch of losers. Romney wins because he's so pretty, and the rest are butt ugly. If this doesn't turn most independents into Democrats, nothing will. They spoke total bullshit, much as a gang of kids lie to each other to get attention. I cannot get over how pathetic the repug aspirants are. I hope you didn't watch this in HD - I don't have it and I could see every ugly wart on every ugly face.

Posted by: Dilbert on November 28, 2007 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

A literal interpetation of the bible would require literacy in greek & hebrew.

Posted by: ave maria on November 28, 2007 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

9:57 — Huckabee on the space program: "I've got a few suggestions, and maybe Hillary could be on the first rocket to Mars." Whoosh. Where did that come from? What a lame attempt at a zinger.

Did someone call the Secret Service? Because threatening to put a woman on a rocket really isn't the smartest thing to do on national TV. Plus, what a gentleman he seems to be! Where is the chivalry we're supposed to see from these men? Oh, wait. We're talking about Republican sex perverts. Never mind.

Posted by: Pale Rider on November 28, 2007 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

America, where showing softness on torture is no longer a fatal stumble.

I guess torture was ever only bad because the communists did it.

Posted by: Boronx on November 28, 2007 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

I've seen Ron Paul on TV. Come to think of it, I've never seen you. Just your cats. You talk tough, but outside of your cats I ain't never seen anyone that you call this netroots. How do we know youse is real?

Posted by: jojo krako on November 28, 2007 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

jojo krako: I've never seen you. Just your cats. You talk tough, but outside of your cats I ain't never seen anyone that you call this netroots. How do we know youse is real?

This Drum guy, he's a front, see? But it don't matter, cause da cats, they's the brains and da muscle of de operation, see? Hey, don't fool with the Federation, or youse likely to get burned.

Posted by: Bela Oxmyx on November 28, 2007 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Good show, Drum. You should let loose more often. A fulsome laugh indeed.

Posted by: Alistair Haughton-Carruthers on November 28, 2007 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, living in Texas, I can tell you there's a fair amount of reality behind the myth. Don't laugh this one off.

Rick Perry wants to get a MILE-WIDE corridor for a combination superduperhighway/ultra-rail/utility corridor to supercede I-35.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on November 28, 2007 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

That should be the NAFTA corridor "myth" of Paul's that I was talking about above.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on November 28, 2007 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

In addition to charging his booty calls to the New York taxpayers, Rudy also has some ties to terrorism sheik. Money talks, 9-11 walks. Imagine that.

Re Rudy's travel expenses:
…Thompson also warned that travel costs had increased by 151 percent in Giuliani's final fiscal year, to more than $618,000, a number which also includes police security on campaign swings for Giuliani’s abortive 2000 Senate run and trips to Los Angeles by Donna Hanover, who remained Giuliani's wife and the city's official first lady, in the fall of 2000…..
It's expensive providing security to two families. Yup, Rudy, he da man!

Posted by: Mike on November 28, 2007 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

The only moments of any note were Huckabee's quite funny answer on Jesus, and McCain's forceful stand on torture. Were it so that McCain was so forceful on the issue when the President effectively made the law worthless by his signing statement.

Posted by: gregor on November 29, 2007 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

The Bible question was a bit odd yes, but actually
very clever. It was a softball for Huckabee to his
base, but Romney squirming over how he reads the
Bible was spot on. Mormonism, really a fourth if
belated Abrahamic faith, really deconstructs
the Bible and morphs it into polytheistic text.
If the Koran shifted the OT and NT meanings (ala
predicting the coming of Mohammed) then the book
of Mormon and the other three "scriptures" make
multiple Gods (Jesus being one, YHWH being another, Elohim yet another, etc.) In fact, Romney's answer from earlier debates that he did
believe in evolution was really about man being
able to rise into godhood, not lizards evolving
into people over a really long time. This is Romney's exposed underbelly and as his campaign
unravels, the fradulant nature of Mormonism will
come more and more front and center.

Posted by: Byron on November 29, 2007 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

how can duncan hunter find time to run for president and blog at eschaton?

Posted by: skippy on November 29, 2007 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Kevin, this is the best wrap-up I've seen this morning.

Posted by: KathyF on November 29, 2007 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

I too wonder how his fellow Mormons felt about his averring to "believe" in the "Holy Bible" (I couldn't see it, but I think that it was the King James which means it includes translation of some discredited Greek sources) seemingly to the exclusion of the Book of Mormon. I don't really feel that believing one over the other makes much difference however, so the point is a moot one to me personally.

Posted by: jhm on November 29, 2007 at 6:26 AM | PERMALINK

I used to think being a Republican was okay, but voting for George Bush was a character flaw. Now I think voting for any Republican who is running for president over any of the top Democrats is a character flaw, and voting for some Republicans indicates a psychosis.

Using the Keyes Horizon and Bush's approval ratings as a guide, this means a little over a quarter of Americans are batshit crazy.

Posted by: anandine on November 29, 2007 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

9:04 ? McCain and Giuliani don't own a gun? What the hell kind of effete pussies are they?

Methinks you're missing the point; it ain't about who's a pansy and who isn't (why the usual assumption that people who own firearms and enjoy the shooting sports do so as an expression of manliness and masculinity, Kevin? Seems a bizzare form of bigotry peculiar to our side of the fence). It's about the fact that Romney and Giuliani are hypocrites of the highest order who never saw a gun control law they didn't like until last year, but all of the sudden are pandering to the NRA because they've realized that it's the electorally expedient thing to do.

Their jonny-come-lately conversion to wrapping themselves in the cloth of "gee I like guns and gun rights too" is pretty gross to watch, regardless of where you fall on that issue. Why the media isn't jumping on them for "flip flopping" is beyond me. Reason #342756231 that people carping about liberal media bias are clearly idiots--the media treats these cats with kit gloves day in and day out.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on November 29, 2007 at 8:52 AM | PERMALINK

HDNet Dec 1 DNC debate (Sat 7:30pm ET).
- all eight -

gravel kucinich paul nader

Posted by: gravel kucinich paul nader on November 29, 2007 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

No no, according to CNN.com, Huckabee's Hillary-to-Mars line is "witty." Don't you see the wit? It's like Dorothy Parker was reincarnated as a rich white dude.

Posted by: Rip Tatermen on November 29, 2007 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

Huckabee on the space program:

Well, these clowns are certainly from another planet.

Posted by: ckelly on November 29, 2007 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK


What a group of presidential candidates! All support a backward policy against gays in the military, some would end the income tax, most support unregulated gun ownership, most oppose sensible policies on illegal immigration, and one won't condemn waterboarding.

Do they think we need all those guns to protect against the threat of gay marriage?


homer www.altara.blogspot.com

Posted by: altara on November 29, 2007 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Huckabee on sending Hillary Clinton to Mars - well, well, well... who's the bitch now? That's the bitchiest remark I've heard yet from a candidate!

Posted by: mroberts on November 29, 2007 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, the superhighway is very real:

http://www.valleyadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=4476
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Texas_Corridor

Posted by: Speed on November 29, 2007 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Romney's opposed to displaying the Confederate flag

Tell Mitt to turn out the lights, lock the door and leave the key at the desk. At 10:01PM Eastern War Time he just lost the GOP base specifically the one below the Mason Dixon line.

Posted by: Daryl on November 29, 2007 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: Brigit on March 21, 2010 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK
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