The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler


Posted on | January 7, 2012 | 40 Comments

22:40 EST Perry: if not here, I’d be at a shooting range.
Newt, Rick, Mitt: watching football.
Paul: I’d put the family to bed and study an economic textbook.
Huntsman: talking to my two sons in the Navy.
Thus far:
The two Texans are not looking strong. Huntsman looks comfortable, but Mitt, Newt, and Santorum are doing well. I think Mitt has worked the hardest to combat perceptions about his candidacy.
22:35 EST Huntsman: oh sure, Mitt, start a trade war. Brilliant!
22:33 EST Mitt: oh Huntsman, dear, you were BHO’s little messenger boy for a couple years. I fear I shall have to offer to introduce you to my boom stick.
22:31 EST Huntsman: I know how to make trade work.
22:30 EST Mitt: I am not a DC insider. If you make that accusation again, I will use my boom stick.
22:28 EST Santorum: I declare war on class warfare. My arithmetic operator is multiplication, not division. I will appeal to blue collar workers, but don’t call that classifying them.
22:26 EST Newt: I’m sure that BHO is a sincere Commie. But the WSJ called Mitt’s plans ‘timid’.
22:25 EST Mitt: I’m a soul man. Dada duh da dadada. . .
22:24 EST Huntsman: I did something really weird and talked to an actual taxpayer. Frickin’ mindblowing. He wanted to manufacture something.
22:22 EST Perry: develop energy.
22:20 EST Paul: I am here to restore principles such as freedom. These people don’t understand economics. Cut spending. Do not be Japan. Understand the business cycle.
22:19 EST Mitt: I, too, have a flood of details.
22:17 EST Santorum: cut taxes.
22:16 EST Huntsman: to pay for infrastructure, reform the tax code. Simpson-Bowles would be accepted.
22:15 EST Newt: infrastructure should be shiny and new. Work on energy to pay down our debt and rebuild infrastructure.
22:13 EST Mitt: capitalism, not stimulus, is what we need to rebuild our infrastructure.
The story so far:
Perry and Huntsman are being ignored, Ron Paul hasn’t looked great, Mitt has stayed above the fray, attacking Stephanopoulis, Newt and Santorum have been solid.
Bonus points for Newt for the anti-Christian bigotry charge against the media. God have mercy upon the souls of these media ghouls. These Postmodern anti-Christs hate anyone who posits a Truth, unless Muslim.
22:04 EST Santorum: Paul, your policies would preclude having a Navy to rescue Iranian fishermen from pirates.
22:03 EST Paul: I think that actually declaring war would be a refreshing change.
22:02 EST Sawyer: can you prophesy exactly when you will deploy troops?
Newt: I don’t practice Santeria, I ain’t got no crystal ball.
22:01 EST Perry: I think we consult with the Iraq and consider re-deployment, before Iran moves back into Iraq not at a double time, not at the speed of sound, but Light Speed, gentlemen.
21:58 EST Santorum: as a result of Obama, we’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name. The commander-in-chief has got to step up to the plate.
21:57 EST Newt: let’s nuke the question, and look at the theater-wide problem from Libya to Pakistan. Let me pull a brand-Newt strategy from an undisclosed location.
21:56 EST Huntsman: dunno, the ‘Stan could end up a civil war.
21:56 EST Mitt: watch me gymnastically assume all positions on this issue.
21:54 EST Huntsman: the 90k troops left in the ‘Stan; sure, let’s draw down and leave some snake eaters.
21:53 EST Perry: I must now pile on the gay marriage issue. Fear my facts.
21:51 EST Ron Paul, are you going to be a third party spoiler?
Paul: I’m going to keep on twisting the knife, to drive my issues. You know, the overspending.
21:43 EST Diane Sawyer’s brain cell is overwhelmed to consider the Constitution. Can’t we think about gay marriage instead of that ancient, unintelligible document? Twice-divorced Newt, what say you?
Newt: I’ve got 5,000 words in my head.
Huntsman: civil unions are fair, but protect marriage.
Santorum, can you support gay adoption?
Santorum: marriage is a federal level issue.
Mitt, if you had a couple of homosexuals in your living room, would you kick them?
Mitt: I’m still protecting the symbol ‘marriage’.
Newt: hey, the bigotry is bi-directional, and the anti-Christian bigotry goes unreported. BRAVO!
21:42 EST Mitt wrecked Stephanopoulis on the birth control question. Paul makes the 4th Amendment case and hammers the Patriot Act.
21:40 EST Mitt: I must play the Newt card and accuse the banning of contraception to be a stupid question. I am not a Constitutionalist, but I stand next to one on stage (looks to Ron).
Summary thus far:

  • Ron Paul is going after Newt and Santorum, and mostly adding to his kook rating.
  • Santorum has acquitted himself well, as has Newt. Santorum’s riff on Paul’s microphone is the line of the night.
  • Perry played the outsider card.
  • Huntsman sounds polished.
  • Mitt is most interesting, trying to walk back the notion that the fix is in.

It’s fairly scrappy.

21:30 EST Paul: the real raaaaacism is in the judicial system, and drug laws, as well as military service.
21:27 EST Would Ron Paul double down on calling Newt a chickenhawk? Paul: sure, any of these non-serving chickenhawks are a pack of hawkish chickens. And the Constitution is being sadly ignored.
21:26 EST Chickenhawk Newt: I am not a chickenhawk. I am an Army brat, and I know what the military is about.
21:25 EST Perry: yeah, having served gives me an edge. ASIDE: Governors make precisely 0 decisions about federalized and deployed troops.
21:23 EST Romney: I must halt the knife fight and return the focus to #OccupyResoluteDesk. See me rise above the fray! ‘I will endorse our nominee’–Mitt admits he may not be it? Wow.
21:21 EST Huntsman: I got more vision than Lens Crafters, muffers. I will bring the CINC, the President, and the trust. Gimme.
21:20 EST Mitt Romney thought bubble: the Paul/Santorum sandwich is possibly the most uncomfortable position of my life.
21:18 EST Perry: that was 18 minutes of the problem, which you just heard: INSIDERS. With the exception of Huntsman, I’m the outsider here.
21:16 EST Paul: yeah, I voted for appropriations, but not not the spending.
21:16 EST Santorum: I stayed involved in causes like health care and coal that I care about.
21:15 EST Ron, you’ve got a vicious attack ad against Santorum. Can you defend it?
Ron: not with this microphone.
Santorum: well, it detects lying. But the Soros-funded CREW sues conservatives like Stacy McCain and DaTechGuy wear fedoras.
21:11 EST Would Governor Huntsman defend Mitt’s record at Bain? Is it a fair topic? Jon: yeah, we put Utah at #1 on the Billboard charts, so Rick and Mitt can bite my big 10′ record of a band that plays the blues.
21:09 EST Mitt: this is free enterprise. Oh, and don’t forget the Olympics.
21:08 EST Mitt: yeah, we had to get out the pliers and the blowtorch. But Zed’s dead, baby: Zed’s dead.
21:07 EST Newt, will you defend the NYT attack piece on Bain? Newt, nah, let Mitt do that.
21:06 EST Newt, your attack dogs brought the pain to Bain. Do you know these dogs?
21:05 EST Romney responds that people who have spent time in Washington don’t know the economy. Like that Santorum dude to my left.
21:04 EST Rick Santorum, do we need CEO Romney? Why, no: we need leadership. Was I attacking Mitt with the managerial riff? Why yes: yes, I was.
21:03 EST Mitt takes question #1 on jobs. Can he ooze some optimism? Yes, but he can use ‘tepid’ to describe the effects of Obamanomics. Roosters did not cause the sunrise.
21:02 EST Diane Sawyer reads the candidates the riot act, plus a color lesson. We am smart.
21:00 EST Introductory reel. They have successfully lowered our politics to the level of the WWF.
20:58 EST This obstacle course on Wipeout is great. I’m afraid I don’t recognize the candidate, but Newt is in trouble when it’s his turn.

Once again, it’s time for the Republican candidates to debate. Alas, Michele Bachmann is gone, and Jon Huntsman is here. To his lovely daughters, I say: I’m glad your Dad is going to lose, but it was a pleasure to meet you.

Some pre-debate headlines:

Rick Santorum to get
Gary Bauer endorsement Sunday

Washington Post

NBC/Marist Poll: Romney has 20-point lead
in N.H.; Santorum gets Iowa bounce


I’m going to be watching the debate here at the Radisson Hotel at a National Review event, where everyone seems to feel obligated to buy me beers. Expect increasingly incoherent updates.

UPDATE: My loyal sidekick Smitty has agreed to handle liveblogging duties, which will enable to collect all these free beers.



  1. EBL
    January 7th, 2012 @ 8:55 pm
  2. MrPaulRevere
    January 7th, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

    Stacy McCain and Rich Lowry in the same room? I miss all the fun.

  3. Steve in TN
    January 7th, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

    I dunno, I’ve been disillusioned ever since @rsmccain reneged on kicking David Brooks’ ass.

  4. Bushwackca
    January 7th, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

    Pre-debate I noticed something odd.. A fedora wearing journalist/blogger walking behind a lady journalist.. Could that have been Stacy McCain?

  5. Steve in TN
    January 7th, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

    Best Tweet of the night: @Doc_0: When Huntsman started speaking Chinese, I was really hoping Gingrich would respond in Klingon.

  6. Anonymous
    January 7th, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

    What the heck was he thinking?  

  7. Mike G.
    January 7th, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

    What a waste of two hours. I could have been doing something fun…like getting hammered at Mickey’s bar in Pompano Beach, Florida and listening to the Coon Doggin’ Outlaws or something.

  8. Bob Belvedere
    January 7th, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

    Interesting: Each threw a punch at Willard, but none of them followed-up with a hook and the gang-up was on Weird Uncle Paul.

  9. Bob Belvedere
    January 7th, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

    You cannot appreciate Newt’s plan for America unless you read it in the original Klingon!

  10. ltw
    January 7th, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

    Santorum had a good debate.  However, leveraging off his appreciation for Steeler football…he needs to watch game tapes.  He has the message and the story.  Gingrich has style debate sewn up….he doesn’t have the story or message quite right.  Go to the game tapes, Santorum.  Newt wasn’t planning on taking Mitt on in the debate format.  That is obvious.   Santorum’s opening will need to include taking Mitt on in debates himself.

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  12. MrPaulRevere
    January 7th, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

    Another ‘debate’ where the putative conservative candidates submit to leftist interrogaters who obviously despise them and the conservative movement. Something is really wrong with this picture. The first hour was all about the gay agenda, as I knew it would be. That the media is obsessed with such nonsense is a symptom of national decline.

  13. ThePaganTemple
    January 7th, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

    Mitt is going to be the nominee. Santorum, maybe his VP, depending on how well he does in the primaries. A hint, he really needs to win Pennsylvania. Is it possible Bachmann could change her mind?

  14. JeffS
    January 7th, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

    I would have watched this, but I needed the range time, and then I had to clean the weapons. 

    The debate is important, but Smitty and Stacy were gracious enough to cover it. 

    Not to mention, I’d rather clean weapons than listen to Newt babble in Klingon.

  15. richard mcenroe
    January 7th, 2012 @ 11:49 pm

    Well, let’s face it, they all had to get Chuckie off their ankle before he started biting.

  16. richard mcenroe
    January 7th, 2012 @ 11:51 pm


  17. Anonymous
    January 7th, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

    I only caught the last hour, but … meh. Hard to tell whether Romney, who sounded increasingly shrill, or Santorum, who looked and acted like someone had fed him a bowl of Sominex and given him a swirlie, lost more votes.

    The only one who likely gained anything at all was Huntsman, but I don’t see his flash in the pan being near as bright or as extended as BachmanCainGingrichSantorum’s.

  18. MrPaulRevere
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:17 am

    $16 trillion in national debt? No big deal. Deficits until the end of time? Don’t sweat it. Breaking a bond with our childrens future? You don’t understand the brilliance of Paul Krugman. The paramount issue of our time is gay marriage.

  19. Pathfinder's wife
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:17 am

    A truly clever canidate might have pointed out that of all the things plaguing this country gay marriage is the least of its issues…thus why is it receiving such focus.  Then wrapped this up with “I’m sure even gay people would agree that having jobs and being able to pay bills are more pressing issues; not being threatened by people who would hang and stone them to death is a more pressing issue…so why are you sidetracking us and the American people with this, a personal, not national issue?”
    That’s what a truly clever canidate would have done…alas, they are not clever, and are becoming less so as this primary rolls on.
    Either that, or they are wimps…and also not clever.

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  21. Adjoran
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:32 am

    I hope Stacy turned him over his knee, and then grounded him for a month.

  22. ThePaganTemple
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:33 am

    I thought it was a piss poor performance myself from somebody that absolutely has to have a strong showing, preferably a strong second, in order to remain viable. I think I know what his problem is though. He’s found out that two of his precious daughters have been hanging out with Robert Stacy McCain and its thrown him off his game, such as it was.

  23. Adjoran
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:34 am

    Probably one of those situations where the guy deserves it, but is just too wimpy and needy to make it worthwhile.

  24. Adjoran
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:35 am

    Did he have a long, tall Mormon chick on each arm?

  25. ThePaganTemple
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:36 am

    Disney, not Paramount.

  26. Adjoran
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:39 am

    I think Huntsman was just ordering take-out for later.  If you want the real Szechuan, you have to order in Mandarin so they know you mean business.

  27. ThePaganTemple
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:39 am

    But he didn’t do that, and while you were out having fun the rest of us learned from Perry of the Iranian acquisition of Klingon Warp Drive Technology.

  28. ThePaganTemple
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:42 am

    What do you expect? This is ABC Disney we’re dealing with here. Of course they’re going to play up to their audience. You’ve evidently never watched an episode of Desperate Housewives or Brothers And Sisters, have you?

  29. Adjoran
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:44 am

    Amen.  Gay issues are not at the forefront of our national crisis right now.  Allowing the media to control the questions ALWAYS protects Obama, even when it’s Fox News doing the debate.

    We must insist on NO outside questioners (unless the RNC wants to bring in a panel – including a Cato Institute so Ron Paul doesn’t cry “conspiracy!” and a union boss playing the flute so Santorum can show how he dances, and Jim Fowler with an animal tranquilizer gun in case Newt gets worked up, ’cause we DO want to be fair) and just let the candidates question each other, explain their positions and proposals, defend their records, or whatever, with just a timekeeper to even speaking time out.

  30. ThePaganTemple
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:45 am

    He was probably thinking, “this will impress the people by showing them I really know what I’m saying.” What he didn’t stop to realize was, we don’t know what the fuck he was saying.”

  31. Adjoran
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:45 am

    No, you don’t get the Shrimp Fried Rice with #6.

  32. ThePaganTemple
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:46 am

    Was there bangs hanging out from that fedora. If so it could have been Amanda Marcotte in disguise.

  33. ThePaganTemple
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:48 am

    Hey I think you’re wrong about that. Stacy obviously kicked his ass, but good. Didn’t you see that shit eating grin on Brooks’ face?

  34. Adjoran
    January 8th, 2012 @ 12:50 am

    Far more likely the idiot who posted it put it on Huntsman’s site to cover his tracks.  Stupid of Paul to do anything but repudiate that, but he’s a stupid man.

    The telling aspect is the glee with which it spread among Paul supporters and Paul-friendly blogs and message boards before Paul disavowed it.  Shows what a bunch of miserable miscreants they are.

  35. JeffS
    January 8th, 2012 @ 1:06 am

    Well, from the debate video clips I’ve seen, he at least babbled.    I just assumed that was in Klingon.

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  38. AngelaTC
    January 8th, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

    Paul’s campaign repudiated it almost immediately,  as did Paul’s supporters, and Politico ran a story that cited a source that indicated that  it might have originated in the Huntsman camp. 

    Speaking of miserable miscreants though….

  39. AngelaTC
    January 8th, 2012 @ 8:25 pm

    Actually, Newt had one of the best moments of the night, when he turned the tables in the interviewers by asking them if it was ok for the state to stop the Catholic church from refusing to adopt to gay parents.

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