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GOP Debate Reaction

I saw the debate tonight although I was unable to live blog it. However, a number of other bloggers did, including Jim Addison at Wizbang Politics. Before I get to that, some of my thoughts:

I was amazed at how inane the questions were. What's with "do you believe in evolution?" With all the turmoil going on in the world, that's a question Matthews chose to use? Or "would it be good for America for Bill Clinton to be back in the White House?" What kinds of question is that? Although I loved Romney's reaction: "You've got to be kidding."

On the whole, I was impressed with Mitt Romney. Heading Right also liked Romney's performance as well. John McCain came off as very forceful although he stammered and stumbled periodically. Nonetheless, Red State thinks McCain won the debate at first glance because he "served up a dish of anger, a willingness to criticize, and a desire to fight -- hard."

I learned a lot more about Mike Huckabee tonight and decided I like him too.

At Power Line, Paul again believes McCain was the most impressive, while John thinks Romney won this round.

Hot Air has an open thread going as well as a poll, which at this point, has Romney winning the debate.

Michelle Malkin live blogged the debate as well and also has blogger reaction.

John Hawkins thought former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee won tonight with Mitt Romney coming in second.

Update (Lorie): I posted a few thoughts on the debate just after it ended last night and included a few good additional links (like this one to Sister Soldjah's live blog).

Update II: I didn't comment on the fact that the GOP's first debate was on MSNBC, a network wholly and publicly anti GOP, while the Democrats just can't take facing Brit Hume. Lorie also made a similar comment at her post on Wizbang Politics:

Ugh, the worst -- Keith Olbermann doing post-debate coverage. Republicans can handle Olby, but Dems can't face Brit Hume. I just can't get over that.

I couldn't bring myself to watch the post debate analysis because Keith Olbermann was hosting. It was simply too much to listen to him.


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Comments (56)

Yawm.... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Yawm.

How does Matthews still hav... (Below threshold)

How does Matthews still have a job? What a clown. Talk about not ready for prime time.

I find myself agreeing with... (Below threshold)
epador:

I find myself agreeing with Pub... zzzzzzzz

Drudge also has a poll up w... (Below threshold)
Baggi:

Drudge also has a poll up with Romney leading.

I'm shocked to see that pow... (Below threshold)
Jo:

I'm shocked to see that powerline liked McCain, because the thread at Hot Air had most commenters thinking he did a terrible job.

I'm telling ya, Romney was ... (Below threshold)
Jo:

I'm telling ya, Romney was great on Leno last night, and the audience loved him.

And of course who can miss ... (Below threshold)
Jo:

And of course who can miss the obvious huge difference in the democrats and GOP??

The dhimmi-wussies won't go on Fox and face Brit Hume, but the GOP guys (MEN) went and faced GOP-hating Matthews and his ridiculous questions, and then commentary by Olberman.

Wow. No wonder real men vote GOP.

Chris Matthews has no busin... (Below threshold)
Kirk Standerfer:

Chris Matthews has no business moderating a debate. Mitt Romney summed it all up best with "You've got to be kidding!" Giuliani was a let down. Romney and Huckabee were the most impressive. I bet you will see more interest in Governor Huckabee over the next four to six weeks. Especially if he fares as well in the South Carolina debate.

I don't think it will matte... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

I don't think it will matter. Shrillary (according to NBC) has teamed with KKK Byrd to offer the terrorists the unconditional surrender of the United States and allow the slaughter of millions. The millions will be here in addition to the Iraqi's that will be slaughtered. Never in the history of the United States have the people been put in such danger by a politician in a panic because of a poll that says she will lose and lose big time. She will still lose, but millions will die before she's rode out of D.C. on a rail sporting tar and feathers. Do we have to let the millions die? She's sure to make the cowardly anti-American faction in the democrat party proud. Like the man said, sometimes you don't want what you wished for. The dumocrats have pumped her up, now it's up to you to deflate her swelled head. Lee Harvey Oswald, where are you when you're needed and you are needed real bad. Just look for a brain dead broad.

Didn't watch the debate ton... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Didn't watch the debate tonight. How much they talked about the GWOT and AlQ? Saw somewhere that the dems only mentioned AlQ twice in their debate.

Fred Thompson's generosity ... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Fred Thompson's generosity is boundless. He was merciful in not joining the campaign at this point.

Chris Matthews rudely shout... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Chris Matthews rudely shouted "Time, Time" right in the middle of their sentences. Geeze, let them finish and don't be so damn loud.

What a loser. No class.

Hehehee... I know the guy w... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Hehehee... I know the guy who submitted the evolution question...

My bad, he submitted the "W... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

My bad, he submitted the "What do you dislike about America question.

Matthews had no control wha... (Below threshold)

Matthews had no control whatsoever. The entire moderation team frankly sucked.

The further impressions of Lorie Byrd and myself HERE . . . [/shameless plug]

oh, look- good old racist s... (Below threshold)
slingshot:

oh, look- good old racist scrappy calling for someone to be murdered. man, it's too bad more people don't read this incredibly important blog where intelligent people debate the issues. i know that i have gained amazing insight here. go ahead, republicans, designate whatever dinosaur loser you want for the primary.

slingshot ~ Do we understan... (Below threshold)

slingshot ~ Do we understand you, then, to be moving on? Will you be spreading your special insight elsewhere in the future?

We certainly wish you well, and commend your particular sort of insight to gardening blogs. It makes flowers grow, ya know.

why is asking the candidate... (Below threshold)
slingshot:

why is asking the candidates whether they believe in evolution a bad question? to most educated people in this country, that question is tantamount to asking "are you stupid, pander to stupidity,or simply a holy roller?" to non-idiots, this is an important question after the last political epoch of the God driven presidency of stupidity. for you, perhaps it is obvious that the world was created in seven days, 6,000 years ago. to people who know how to read, things are a bit more complicated.

Conservative Republican debating: "But of course the world is flat! When I walk straight, I don't fall down. Stupid liberals! VICTORY! FREEDOM! EVIL DOERS! DECIDER!"

aren't you people embarassed yet? what will it take? making america the global laughing stock is apparently not enough. you disgust me. you should be ashamed of yourselves, taking some of the famous personal resposnibility you sanctimoniously prescribe for everyone else, and repent. or at least own up to your failures and recall all of your "leaders."

no, Jim. if i move on, the... (Below threshold)
slingshot:

no, Jim. if i move on, then the terorrists win, and i believe in freedom, unlike republicans.

Jom Addison-Aren't... (Below threshold)
Nymo:

Jom Addison-

Aren't you a blogger here? Sho w some responsibility-

You are actually DEFENDING this comment by Scrapiron

Lee Harvey Oswald, where are you when you're needed and you are needed real bad. Just look for a brain dead broad.
Posted by: Scrapiron at May 3, 2007 11:56 PM

If Lee Harvey Oswald is a hero you wnat to harkin back to-and you as one of the bloggers here are willing to defend it...

Maybe you blindly jumped the gun and didn't read it. But it's gross and reflects badly on the entire site.

Nymo, you act as if the lef... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Nymo, you act as if the left has not made the same statements about the current President. Scrapiron was only trying to return to the times when we shot traitors. She voted for the fucking war, not for political reasons she wishes defeat on her nation. That is a traitor and for the vilest of reasons. Ambition.

"Red State thinks McCain wo... (Below threshold)
Murphy:

"Red State thinks McCain won the debate"

Drudge says that Romney got 35% and McCain got 6%.

I think that I will go with Drudge.

I think that "Red State" is dumber than the fleas on my Grandmothers dog.

There was a debate of TV? ... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

There was a debate of TV? Oh, it was on MSNBC. So, did they boost their viewership up into the low teens now?

Call me in a year when they have a real debate. On a real network (yes, even CNN will count as a real network)

I scanned the list of these debators...does 90% of the public even know half of these people? Do they care at this point? I don't. And why MSNBC?
If the Dems can boycott FOX, why not the Reps boycott MSNBC?

I find myself agreeing w... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

I find myself agreeing with Pub...

Yeah, same here...so obviously, the world is about to end.

Put Hillarity! and Obamaramadingdong in a cage match, and I might watch it though...for about 10 minutes.

James Cloninger, I almost s... (Below threshold)
Pothus:

James Cloninger, I almost spewed my coffee all over the monitor when I read your "Obamaramadingdong" comment above. That has got to be the best one yet. Thanks for my morning laugh.

(and now back to your regular scheduled leftwing/rightwing arguments)

The debate, as I see it, wa... (Below threshold)
ted:

The debate, as I see it, was MSNBC v. GOP. The real question seems, who won that debate?

I don't like Iran very well... (Below threshold)

I don't like Iran very well. But all of the Iran tough talk at last night's debate when the last war in Iraq hasn't even been resolved will only give many independent voters the hebbie jebbies and drive them away from any war talking 2008 Republican candidate in droves.

Voters wary of war will reject any candidate who sounds like he's ready to start a new war with Iran.

Ron Paul certainly won't win. But he did come across as very Lincolnlike and wise in his own unconventional way.

--------record-----position... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

--------record-----positions---performance

PAUL.....A+...........A+...........A
HUCKABEE.?............A............A+
TANCREDO.B............A............C

That's my top 3. Here's my bottom 3:

Giuliani.D............F............B
McCain...C............F.......Desperate
Romney...?............?......Nice Voice!

slingshot:"why is ... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

slingshot:

"why is asking the candidates whether they believe in evolution a bad question? to most educated people in this country, that question is tantamount to asking "are you stupid"

"aking some of the famous personal resposnibility you sanctimoniously prescribe for everyone else, and repent"

Wait, if there is no god, who exactly are we repenting to? Good grief.

bryand, you must be creamin... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

bryand, you must be creaming your jeans in anticipation of your Prophet Avery's loose change 2 release!!

Wow, MSNBC ACTUALLY asks th... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Wow, MSNBC ACTUALLY asks the moronic questions the libs were convinced FNC would.

Why are the GOP the only ones willing to appear on networks that aren't lapdogs for them?

why is asking the candidates whether they believe in evolution a bad question?

Gee, why would asking the left "Why do you want the terrorists to win?" be a "bad" question?
-=Mike

D-Hogg, Life is Go... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

D-Hogg,

Life is Good!

(Go to Drudge and vote for R Paul! It's pissing NRO's Corner off! Thilly neoconth...)

Rudy wants to leave abortio... (Below threshold)
downwidddat:

Rudy wants to leave abortion up to the courts.

Rudy thought that Republicans were wrong to try and save Terri Schaivo. He thought the courts were the place to decide that tragedy.

What else does the drag queen Rudy want to leave up to the courts?

Oh and he hearts stem cells.

Rudy shrank last night. Brownback, Gilmore, Romney, Huckabee .... all looked like President's. Rudy looked like a shakey little shill.

RE: Evolution question... (Below threshold)
anotherJoeLouis:

RE: Evolution question

It is my understanding that Brownback is a converted Catholic, yet he still does not believe in evolution. Evolution is consistent with Catholic teaching. It was taught at my Catholic elementary school, Catholic high school and Catholic college.

So who the hell are you rep... (Below threshold)
purely objective:

So who the hell are you repubs looking to? That crew was all over the place. Gingrich was on O'Reilly talking down the whole event. Did you want to see him in the heat of it? Fred ain't going there just yet. Who is the man for you all?

Which candidate was the one... (Below threshold)
The Chemist:

Which candidate was the one who proposed that the Iraqi (government) "vote" on whether they wanted the US to be in Iraq?

I'm not sure how reliable any vote from the Iraqi Congress would be (as far as a measure of the "will of the people"), but that candidate deserves kudos for being intellectually honest about why we are in Iraq: if its not for the Iraqis, then its not really worth it. The likelihood of success is extremely diminished if the occupants of the occupied country not "on board".

anotherJoeLouis,On... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

anotherJoeLouis,

One needs a racing form to keep track of the evolution in Catholic teaching.

Parochial schools are good though. I'll grant you that, but the Bible says "Kind after kind".


60% of the Iraqi public bel... (Below threshold)
purely objective:

60% of the Iraqi public believe it is justifiable to kill Americans. There is thanks for you.

All in all a pretty weak fi... (Below threshold)
groucho:

All in all a pretty weak field; no one struck me as impressive or particularly bright. I suppose Romney looked the most "presidential" in an all-American, square jawed kind of way, but shouldn't we be judging them on something a bit more substantive? Speaking of looks, Duncan Hunter's picture should be in the dictionary next to the definition of greasy political hack.

I have two impresions about... (Below threshold)
MunDane:

I have two impresions about last night's debate. (Maybe more as type)

1) Being herded by Brit Hume was a perfect thing for the Republican candiadtes. The news media are going to be just and smarmy and snarky as Brit was last night. if the candidates can't take the heat there, they really shuldn't try running in front of the whole country. (The funny thing is, the Democrats don't really have to do that, do they? They take New York, New England, Minnesota, Illinois, and the West Coast just with the (D) by their name. All they need is a few more states with Dem leanings and they have the presidency. Seems weird they screwed that up the last couple fo elections)

2) The internet questions were a joke. "What do you hate about America?" Straight from some Berkely self-criticism class (Walnut Grove is in the Bay area.) The evolution question was one of those "When did you stop beating your wife?" type of questions, especially in that 90 second format.

3) Bland, thy name is Huckabee. Unless your name is Gilmore. Compared to that stiff, everyone was Mr. Excitement. Speaking of speaking, Rudy, slow the heck down. You aren't getting paid by the word you speak. Yaknowwhaddaimean?

4) Sayyyyy...Ronald Reagan...was he a Republican, perchance? Enough of the haigography of St Ron. What can YOU do for the country.

5) Keith Olbermann is doing post-debate roundup? What? Are you kidding me? Were Jesse and Rev. Al busy with something else? Al Franken unavailiable?

I found the evolution quest... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I found the evolution question quite useful. It needed no more than a yes or no answer, and is not at all a "when did you stop beating your wife" question. I think an equivalent question would be, "do you believe epilepsy is caused by demonic possession?" To me, it basically asks, "do you accept dogma over reality?" If the answer is yes, there is no way you're getting my vote. Tancredo, Brownback, and Huckabee showed themselves to be fools. Enough said.

Oh, btw, yes I would vote for a Republican (and have done so before), if he/she is the best (least bad) candidate.

Perhaps the better question... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Perhaps the better question is "Do you believe Bush was behind 9/11?" Seems to be a FAR more widely held position on the left than evolution is on the right.
-=Mike

Perhaps the better quest... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Perhaps the better question is "Do you believe Bush was behind 9/11?"

That would be a great question for a Democratic debate. I'd like to see the evolution question there too. Such things help to separate the wheat from the chaff early on.

Seems to be a FAR more widely held position on the left than evolution is on the right.

Based on what, exactly? (Btw I can get you the numbers on belief in evolution vs. creationism)

at least 40% of Americans D... (Below threshold)
John Ryan:

at least 40% of Americans DO NOT believe in evolution.

"I suppose Romney looked th... (Below threshold)
Angryflower:

"I suppose Romney looked the most "presidential" in an all-American, square jawed kind of way, but shouldn't we be judging them on something a bit more substantive?"

Of course not. As Republicans you only need concern yourself with how much you can compare the candidate to your daddy.

(Which opens me up for the Mommy comeback, I suppose.)

"What's with "do you believe in evolution?""

It speaks very directly to the base. More interesting would be the answers they gave.

just a few things:... (Below threshold)
slingshot:

just a few things:

1) it is not widely believed on the left that Bush was behind 9/11. period. end of discussion.

2) walnut creek is in the bay area, not walnut grove. the bay area is certainly liberal, but at least get some of your facts straight. that said, it is still a stupid question.

3) despite the right-wing overheated rhetoric, "the left" does not want the terrorists to win. that is why it is a bad question. saying it over and over again only makes it true to fellow republicnas, but not everyone else.

i can't wait until all of these losers are eliminated and there is democratic president. do you guys really think any of them are going to win? i don't. you hitched your star to Bush, and he screwed the pooch. sorry, dudes.

To me, it basically asks, "... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

To me, it basically asks, "do you accept dogma over reality?"-Mantis

There are still people who believe in evolution? Talk about Dogma sans Reality!

First, buildings fall down by themselves in threes, NOW dogs are having kittens all over the place, geese are laying duck eggs, goldfish spawning tetras...(only too slowly to percieve!?)

Studying for the NEA-approved test in school is one thing, but don't wallow in it for the rest of your life!

The idea was dreamed up as a way to incorporate pantheism as a tightly-controlled socio-political movement in a post-monarchical enviroment. The religious side of Revolution. Early Romantic era forward. Hegel, Marx, Nietscze, J Dewey. Though perhaps a cultural memory of the Nephelim, Sargon, Horus Narmer, the Titans, etc.

PS: I look like the GEICO caveman by Sunday at 5pm.

bryan, does the "D" stand f... (Below threshold)
mantis:

bryan, does the "D" stand for crackpot?

Mantis, I know this is off ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Mantis, I know this is off topic, but is evolution not called a theory? If it is a theory, then to believe in it takes faith, since it is a science that cannot be reproduced anywhere anytime by any known method. So it does not meet the requirement of being science. By the way, here is a hint. BryanD is the missing link.

I just wonder when a candid... (Below threshold)

I just wonder when a candidate is going to come along and, when asked, "do you believe in evolution," respond "what the hell kind of question is that, and why are you asking it?"

"Chris Matthews" and "moderator" just don't belong in the same sentence.

I think that the evolution ... (Below threshold)
trrll:

I think that the evolution question was a good one, the most efficient way of asking, "Who here is as irrational as our current president?"

"is evolution not called a ... (Below threshold)
trrll:

"is evolution not called a theory? If it is a theory, then to believe in it takes faith, since it is a science that cannot be reproduced anywhere anytime by any known method. So it does not meet the requirement of being science."

It sounds like you do not really understand science. In science, "theory" is merely a synonym for "generalization" or "explanation." The word conveys nothing about level of certainty. The closest science gets to facts are individual observations. "I dropped a book and it fell" is an observation. Gravity is a theory.

Mantis, I know this is o... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mantis, I know this is off topic, but is evolution not called a theory? If it is a theory, then to believe in it takes faith, since it is a science that cannot be reproduced anywhere anytime by any known method.

Theory of gravitation. Atomic Theory. It is not faith to believe something that is supported by all available evidence. It is logical.

"I was amazed at how inane ... (Below threshold)
sgp:

"I was amazed at how inane the questions were. What's with "do you believe in evolution?" With all the turmoil going on in the world, that's a question Matthews chose to use? Or "would it be good for America for Bill Clinton to be back in the White House?" What kinds of question is that? Although I loved Romney's reaction: "You've got to be kidding."

You have to understand the simpleminded mentality of Chris Matthews and the "goof ball" syndrome of political programming. He knows that a large number of people of the fundamentalist persuasion are unfamiliar with how science is done or what evolution as a scientific theory means (just take a look at the foregoing discussion for that). He also knows that its controversial in these circles (although not among scientists for the past 175 years or so). Consequently, he sees it as an opportunity to "make ratings" by attempting to see if he can get the pot stirred.

A more inane question, with even more inane answers, was the one about "what taxes would you like to cut?" Republicans are all about cutting taxes and increasing deficits. Indeed, Republicans won't raise your taxes (especially if your in the upper income bracket) just your prices. They seldom want to admit that this can cause problems by fueling inflation and failing to adequately fund critical government programs that people depend on for a wide variety of reasons, including sustaining sound fiscal policy that prevents the national currency from becoming increasingly worthless (and don't tell me that want they really want is to cut spending as they have created the LARGEST BUDGET DEFICIT IN WORLD HISTORY WITH THEIR SPENDING PRIORITIES (EVEN IGNORING THAT 5 BILLION DOLLARS PER MONTH OF SPENDING IN IRAQ IS OFF-BUDGET).

It would have been far more informative for them to explain following their "tax cut wish list", what they would cut to pay for their largess. Would it be 1) the money needed to pay the Haliburton to supply our forces in Iraq, 2) tax - brakes for oil-refiners or polluters, 3) a strong dollar, 4) money for school children, 5) money for health care benefits 5) social security benefits, 6) money for scientific research to keep us competetive, 7) salary increases for law-makers, 8) none of the above.

I bet it would be 8. They don't have an answer and yes, that puts us all behind the 8 ball. No leadership here. More likely just a rerun of Bush43 and all the rest of the empty, feel-good Regan-era rhetoric (and budget deficits).

If I had to rate this I would say Reality: 0, Fantasy: 10. Or maybe Fantasy: 11, if you buy the Thompson snake oil.

Yes, what a horrible questi... (Below threshold)
scott:

Yes, what a horrible question thought up by a citizen of the U.S. I, like many conservatives, hate U.S. citizens who can think for themselves. The questions should only have been brought up by the RNC. I mean, geez! The question was like asking if you believed in gravity, or air, or water. What's wrong with U.S. citizens asking questions anyone with an I.Q. over 3 could answer correctly.

The evolution question is a... (Below threshold)
Tom Ritchford:

The evolution question is a very good one. Those candidates who don't believe in evolution that they do not believe in the evidence of their senses, they don't believe in the real world, they let their religious convictions trump the truth.

Evolution is a theory -- that's precisely why you are *not* taking it on faith.

A theory is a an explanation for facts in the real world; and a theory like evolution incorporates literally millions of reported facts by scholars over hundreds of years.

Moreover, the fruits of this labour result in real-world results that you can touch. The whole field of molecular biology and almost all of modern biology in general, all of genetics, our understanding of infectious disease, many of the marvellous new drugs we have these days, all of these completely depend on the theory of evolution.

By saying the theory of evolution is false, you're denying all of these results! But where are results from the Scientific Creationist/Intelligent Design crowd? How do you explain all the marvellous things that modern biological and biochemical science have achieved? Where are your miracle drugs, your medical breakthroughs?

So if someone says they don't believe in evolution, you know they don't believe in rationality. The Republican party over the last 30 years or so has always been strongly in favour of irrational, emotive candidates so this is probably a plus for their voter base but a rational individual would avoid such an irresponsible candidate.




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