DEBATE LIVEBLOGGING. Giuliani says it's "unthinkable we would've left Saddam Hussein in charge of Iraq." Romney basically agrees, and takes a shot at Harry Reid for good measure. The GOPers really support the war. They're not leaving any daylight between them and Bush at all.
Meanwhile, I just decided to confine my liveblogging to this post, so new updates in the space below.
7:13: Tommy Thompson -- whose hanging neck flesh is deeply distracting -- says we should demand the Maliki government call a vote on whether we should remain in Iraq.
7:15 If this election is to be decided on ties, Ron Paul is totally going to win. And Sam Brownback will be executed. Meanwhile, Paul got an ovation after his call for withdrawal. McCain got the other ovation for a stirring pro-war speech. Odd.
7:17 You know how they say some politicians come across as really human? Brownback comes across as really humanoid. Add in his magic technicolor tie, and I'm growing downright desperate for the GOP to nominate the martian guy. Maybe this lineup is more diverse than I thought....
7:20 The most telling element of this debate is that it's so taken for granted that the Republicans would preemptively attack Iran to disrupt their nuclear weapons program that Blitzer isn't even bothering to ask. Instead, he's asking if they'd use tactical nukes to do it. And they would! The nuttery astonishes. Meanwhile, Giuliani just accused the Democrats of being "in the 90s," still stuck in the Cold War. Someone should tell him when the Cold War ended. The vast majority of the 90s were post-Cold War, and the early-90s were post-perestroika.
7:25 Madcap immigration demagoguery from Tancredo. Says it's more important than anything else we've discussed so far, which means it's more important than Iraq, Iran, or the War on Terror. He gets an ovation for this.
7:39: Pizza Hut dough is surprisingly, even disconcertingly, sweet.
7:41 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. And isn't he married to his third wife, who he had an adulterous relationship with, outside the church?
7:47 McCain thinks Americans should be exposed to "all theories." All children will now go to school until the end of time.
7:51 I'm getting bored and surfing the net. And so I ask you: What the hell is going on at The New York Times? And how come you Tapped commenters are so quiet? I have access to our traffic stats, I know you're out there!
7:57 I can't quite seem to parse Ron Paul's answer on don't ask, don't tell. I think he's mainly against the use of ball gags by servicemembers, but I could be wrong.
8:01 Tommy Thompson says he'd use George W. Bush to go on a lecture circuit to talk to...children about public service. He also says Bush is full of passion, and straightforwardness, and perserverance. It's hard to escape the sense that he's calling Bush an idiot. Meanwhile, Tancredo would tell Bush what Rove told him -- "never darken my door again."
8:18 McCain actually just said "I'm going to give you a little bit of straight talk." Unsurprisingly, there wasn't much of that.
8:21 Giuliani is very good at, and very shameless about, blurring Iraq and the War on Terror. His lines are lifted directly from March 2003. I'm not really sure if this sort of thing is still effective, but Giuliani is certainly going to give it a shot. Fearmongering isn't dead, not by a longshot.
8:25 Check out Andrew Sullivan on the shameful dodges, flip-flops, evasions, and cowardice the contenders displayed on gays in the military.
8:27 Giuliani is going to recreate health insurance in this country with a $15,000 tax deduction. Is he kidding? And now he's saying health insurance should be like homeowner's insurance. Yes, because what I'm really worried about is that my liver is going to get stolen.
8:30 Tommy Thompson is really excited to talk about health care. And he's talking prevention, rather than consumer-driven BS. He's my guy!
8:31 No, really, I've never seen anyone more excited to talk about anything than Thompson on health care. I think he's going to squeal. He makes me look bored by the subject.
8:32 Romney promises that he won't turn to Washington on health care. "Washington makes a mess. Washington is all talk." This guy's going to run some awesome government! Meanwhile, the Republicans really love saying "socialized medicine." Indeed, they're so quick the the descriptor, that one wonders if the Dems shouldn't just propose it. Might as well create some -- to borrow, and adapt, a term -- RetHon. Retroactive Honesty.
8:36 Giuliani appears to believe freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech all come from God. Why does Giuliani hate the Founding Fathers?
8:38 and I'm still going. I make Matt look weak and soft.
8:41 Romney's accused of being a flip-flopper. He's for making English the official language, but he has Spanish literature, a Spanish web site, and on it, videos of his kid speaking in Spanish. I also hear he loves chalupas. (As for his actual answer, it goes something like "dodge, dodge, evasion, dodge, flip-flop).
8:42 Tancredo promises he won't advertise in Spanish. "Believe me," he pleads. I do!
8:47 Romney is talking about the future, and is bright red. Crimson. Magenta. It's a hue I've rarely seen before, and even then, only on Bill Kristol, who occasionally looks like a tomato.
8:52 Tancredo has an odd idea of what it means to be an American. For instance: You must cut any and all ties to your old country. As Ana writes, "Tancredo wants to outlaw St. Patrick's Day." This may be just what Democrats need to resolidify their hold on the Catholic vote...
8:56 Jim Gilmore (who I've managed to ignore thus far) says, "when I first ran, they told me a conservative couldn't win in Virginia." Matt (sitting next to me): "Who told him that!? A conservative can't win in Virginia 14 years ago!? He needs better staff."
8:57 Hunter accuses Romney of "a strong step towards socialism" with his health care bill. Snap!
9:00 It's over! Thank God!