The Other McCain

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


Posted on | January 23, 2012 | 35 Comments

by Smitty


  • These debates are great. The GOP is going to the gym, and going to be very muscular, assuming it doesn’t have a heart attack and die from it all. The Dems for all their bluster, have got to understand that they are losing the mindshare.
  • The various pleadings to Florida were interesting. I won’t even embarrass myself by hazarding a guess as to the winner, except to say that it probably won’t be Ron Paul.
  • Rick Santorum continues to improve. Whether that improvement will have enough impact to keep his campaign afloat is the harder question.
  • I didn’t find Romney’s lobbying attack on Newt terribly compelling. In fact, it raised more concerns about Romney’s ability to trade verbal barbs with Obama than it raised doubts about Newt. Newt may not have lobbied, by some technical definition, but anyone who doubts that Newt schmoozed to the fullest capacity of English- and body-language is a knob. “Methinks the laddie doth protest too much,” to tweak Lady MacBeth. The question for everyone to consider is whether BHO would make more adroit use of the lobbying card against Newt in the general. I am confident BHO would be more rutheless than Mitt. Mitt should see Dan Riehl for lessons in verbal deconstruction of an opponent.
  • I must now get some beauty sleep.

22:41 EST Mitt: If elected, I will institute the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Countries Not Named Greece.
22:40 EST Williams: Has America seen better days?
22:39 EST Newt: Yeah, we’re toast. I don’t want people for me, I want people with me.
22:38 EST Mitt: I have an inflatable record that is sufficiently buoyant to float the albatross and the galoshes.
22:37 EST Williams: RomneyCare; albatross, or cement galoshes for you?
22:36 EST Paul: Yeah, if want liberty and small government, you need to gaff these RINOs on the stage with me right off.
22:36 EST Williams: Paul, can you wreck the other three gentlemen for me?
22:34 EST Rick: RomneyCare and Newt’s individual mandate support. I am the clear conservative. OK, I can’t out-conservative Ron Paul.
22:33 EST Newt: I have been a really big, nearly Christie-sized, historical figure for the last 40 years. Master debater? Yeah, that’s me.
22:32 EST Mitt: I did what capitalists do.
22:31 EST Williams: They say Republicans are zombies. Does that mean the GOP has no soul? How do you nurture a soul in an undead organization?

So far:
Rick Santorum is having his strongest outing yet.
Mitt and Newt have had a jolly plowing contest; unclear whose ox was more gored.
Ron Paul’s Cuba ideas neglect a lot of the rogue state interactions that plague global stability.

22:25 EST Newt: Well, they helped us not crater so bad. But Dodd-Frank is killing us.
22:25 EST NBC: If tax cuts are the magic jobs pixie dust, why didn’t the Bush tax cuts work?
22:24 EST Newt: We should offer prizes. Permanent Moon bases, Mars, space stations. Do it.
22:23 EST NBC: Will you commit to putting a man on Mars?
22:22 EST Mitt: Why, yes: NASA, and also private sector. I will bring $ to the space coast, if you bring me votes.
22:22 EST NBC: Should we have a space program?
22:21 EST Paul: This underscored the issue of having living wills.
22:21 EST NBC: We’re not doing well painting Rick and Newt as fools. Can we lure you in with Schiavo?
22:21 EST Newt: Look at the efforts spent on death row inmates.
22:20 EST NBC: Can we throw you under the Schiavo bus?
22:19 EST Rick: I stand by my actions and would do it all again.
22:18 EST NBC: Hey, can we throw Terry Schiavo at you?
22:12 EST Mitt: I hate subsidies, and I hate what BHO has done to the economy.
22:11 EST Newt: Even Herman Cain can’t beat beet and cane sugar, and don’t attack my Chris Christie figure.
21:10 EST Adam Smith: The wealth of nations is diminished by subsidies. Newt, are you sub-sized?
22:09 EST Rick: We should quit rewarding illegal aliens for breaking the immigration laws.
22:07 EST Newt: They can serve in the military, but I don’t support the Dream Act otherwise.
22:07 EST NBC: Do you like Dream Theater?
22:06 EST Paul: That 10th Amendment should let a state have a bi-lingual ballot if Florida chooses.
22:05 EST Mitt: You FRICKIN’ Commie! We Do Not Support You Fragmenting This Country! [No, he doesn’t say anything that forceful: I’m kidding.]
22:04 EST Newt: English is a unifier. There are hundreds of languages.
22:04 EST NBC: You all want English as the official language, yet you’re courting Hispanics in Spanish. Hypocrisy?
22:03 EST Rick: Oil and energy will give you an economy. You might like it.
22:01 EST NBC: If we have offshore drilling, there will be a spill and Florida will die, die, die.
22:00 EST Rick: Iran is a pack of thugs. Tehran having a nuke would be tantamount to al-Qaeda having a bomb.
21:59 EST Williams: Iranian nukes. Why the h8?

Dear Representative Paul,
The United States is not blockading Iran. The United Nations (generally useless though it be) has issued sanctions against Iran. You can argue that the U.S. calls the U.N. tune to a large degree, but at least argue the case accurately.
Also, the Golden Rule is an inter-personal statement, not a political science statement. Peace through both superior firepower and the merest hint of a twitchy trigger finger is the empirically proven approach.

21:53 EST Paul: We’re already blockading Iran. How would we respond to a blockade of the Gulf of Mexico?
21:52 EST Mitt: BHO is screwing up in Afghanistan.
21:51 EST Newt: President Milquetoast cancelled the Israeli bilateral operation. Apparently too busy at the YMCA to make the right decision.
21:50 EST Mitt: I will muster the Village People to sing “In the Navy” until Ahmadinejad sues for peace and quiet.
21:49 EST Williams: Straights of Hormuz. Is the term ‘Straight’ vaguely homophobic? If the Iranians force straights into the closet, is that an act of war?
21:47 EST Rick: The sanctions should continue until the Castros are both room temperature, and then we should make the Cubans an offer they can’t refuse to enjoy normal relations with us. And, Paul, the global thug club is working with Cuba against us.
21:46 EST Paul: I don’t like isolationism. I think the sanctions propped up Castro. And no, I don’t think we need to overthrow the Cuban government.
21:45 EST Newt: I would forget the Arab Spring and bring the sting of a Cuban Spring.
21:45 EST Mitt: I don’t smoke.
21:44 EST Williams: 3 A.M. call. Castro done. Can you smoke a couple hundred cubans for sheer joy?
21:43 EST Mitt: They were poorly regulated.
21:42 EST Williams: Were markets over-regulated?
21:42 EST Newt: Repeal Dodd-Frank, and the housing market will get better overnight.
21:41 EST Mitt: What Paul said.
21:39 EST Paul: Washington has really screwed it up. The Community Reinvestment Act screwed it up. The bubble was as obvious as corruption on Congress. Liquidate the debt. Plus another 1,000 words.
21:37 EST Santorum: Yeah, we tried to work on it back on ’06, but Reid, Biden, and Obama filibustered the legislation.
21:36 EST Williams: 40% of FL homeowners are underwater. Did the government tube it?

Dear Governor Romney:
You have got to publish some specific details of precisely where you think Newt lobbied/peddled influence/behaved unethically. Such a case may exist, but the handwaving isn’t convincing.
In fact, it makes you look like Marianne Gingrich.
This is not meant to sound like a Newt apologist. The concern about the October surprise is real.
Also real: specific facts.

21:32 EST Mitt: You got paid, and you walked around peddling influence.
21:32 EST Newt: I advocated good policy as a private citizen.
21:30 EST Mitt: Did so.
21:30 EST Newt: Did not.
21:30 EST Mitt: You lobbied.
21:29 EST Newt: Oh come on. You’ve run a business. You know where the loot goes to offices &c.
21:28 EST Mitt: You’ve admitted that your wallet was penetrated, however slightly, by far more money than anyone would pay an historian.
21:27 EST Newt: I’ve got the contract online, and there is no evidence of peddling influence?
21:26 EST Williams: Newt, why is your Freddie lobbying not lobbying?
21:24 EST Rick: I have not attacked Mitt on the Bain damage. I’d like to ask Mitt and Newt why they supported the Wall Street bailouts, if you’re such heap big capitalists. GOOD POINT!!!
21:23 EST Mitt: I expect that on from the front, from the Left, not in the back from the Right.
21:22 EST Williams: I must stoke the fires of class warfare.
21:21 EST Newt: I can bury you on tax details.
21:19 EST Mitt: You think I’d admit to owning this kind of syphilitic camel? But the real issue is, of course, my tax plan. “I’m proud of the fact I pay a lot of taxes.” Patriotically, one presumes.
21:18 EST Williams: Mitt, will you admit that the taxes you’re to reveal tomorrow reflect ownership of the entire GOP?
21:17 EST Paul: Why do you want to take away my favorite knife?
21:16 EST Williams: Ron Paul, will you admit to intending a third party run?
21:14 EST Rick: “Once in a while we can finish in style,” sticking to conservative principles.
21:14 EST Williams: You got crushed when you ran for the Senate last time.
21:13 EST Rick: Why, yes: yes, I am. I’m here to be a consistent conservative, not wreck Republicans, and put the heat back on the opposition, #OccupyResoluteDesk.
21:12 EST Williams: Senator Santorum, are you still in the race?
21:11 EST Newt: How about some facts, Mitt?
21:08 EST Mitt: Yeah, Newt is that Doomsday Machine, all right. And so the GOP had to kick Newt out. That makes him a bad man.
21:07 EST Newt: I am, in fact, a Star Trek alien, not from Star Wars. And we’ll refute Mitt on the web tomorrow.
21:06 EST Mitt: I am Zog’s Sex Wax, and Newt is really Jabba the Hut.
21:05 EST Williams: Mitt, do you think Americans will elect a wax figure like you?
21:04 EST Newt: I know balanced budgets are controversial, but I kicked a lot of butt.
21:04 EST Williams: Have you had a road to Damascus moment, so people can have a shred of confidence in you?
21:03 EST Newt: Yeah, Reagan was down, too. But I’m here to put the hurt on DC. Big hurt.
21:02 EST Williams: Newt, Mitt says you are Jabba the Hut. Feedback?

The NBC Tampa debate starts off in half an hour. The house is swept; the World’s Youngest Blogger Bathed, and I am ready for some WWF-level GOP action. Probably erroneous predictions:

Newt Gingrich Stuns the crowd by not being overly self-congratulatory over South Carolina.
Mitt Romney Stuns the crowd by producing a hard copy of the famous tax returns for Brian Williams, who pronounces them boring.
Rick Santorum Stuns the crowd by confessing he was on the road with the Grateful Dead one summer during college.
Ron Paul Stuns the crowd by speaking slowly, in brief, coherent statements.



  1. richard mcenroe
    January 23rd, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

    Newt Gingrich is the Bestest U.S. American what ever…

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  5. Anonymous
    January 23rd, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

    Romney’s facial expressions remind me of a cat watching a fully clothed human fill a bathtub.

  6. Pete in NH
    January 23rd, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

    I don’t know, Smitty, about the necessity of details with Mitt’s attacks on Newt. I think the strategy is just to get him angry and flustered. It worked – see the McCain, Huckabee etc. comment as an example.

  7. ThePaganTemple
    January 23rd, 2012 @ 10:27 pm


  8. Jorge Emilio Emrys Landivar
    January 23rd, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

    Don’t be that way Smitty!
    “The United States is not blockading Iran. The United Nations (generally useless though it be) has issued sanctions against Iran.”Are US naval forces being used to prevent Iran from trading? If so /we/ are blockading them.  It doesn’t matter if its under UN auspices or not.  

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  10. Anonymous
    January 23rd, 2012 @ 11:29 pm

    All I can say is thank God I had CPA exam class tonight and didn’t have to suffer through what was evidently the most boring and yet annoying of all the debates so far.

  11. smitty
    January 23rd, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

      There is a difference between enforcing a U.N. resolution and just pressuring someone you don’t like.
      International law does matter.

  12. smitty
    January 23rd, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

    I did everything I could to inject some life into it.

  13. Adrienne
    January 24th, 2012 @ 12:09 am

    OMGosh.  I did a post after the last debate saying I didn’t read post-debate blather, didn’t care what anyone else said, would make up my own mind about what I saw and heard – and NOW I’m having to eat crow.  I not only read this, I suggested, nay – I urged all of my 10 or 12 readers to come over and read this. 

    Smitty – you are brilliant!

  14. Anonymous
    January 24th, 2012 @ 12:12 am

    Smitty, this was art.  Truly brilliant, and far more exciting than the debate itself.  

  15. Adjoran
    January 24th, 2012 @ 12:14 am

    Has anyone here ever seen Newt pictured with his reflection in a mirror?  I’ve seen photos of Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush the Younger showing their reflections, but never Newt.

    I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, though, probably nothing.

  16. Adjoran
    January 24th, 2012 @ 12:16 am

    Love that line, but haven’t the foggiest notion of what it means.

  17. Anonymous
    January 24th, 2012 @ 12:19 am

    Especially when that human then puts on the heavy duty waterproof gloves…

  18. Adjoran
    January 24th, 2012 @ 12:22 am

    International law matters to the extent states agree to adhere to it.  History – you know, the subject for which Newt Gingrich with his post-grad degrees from the prestigious Emory and Tulane was not offered tenure after eight years at Georgia Western College – teaches us that nations with economic and military strength ignore any “international law” which they judge to function against their own national interest. 

    And it isn’t correct to apply only one aspect of international law to a situation.  Iran has declared war on the United States, beginning with the 1979 hostage-taking of diplomats on sovereign embassy soil but reaffirmed repeatedly and under every change of leadership of the “Islamic Republic” regime.

  19. Adjoran
    January 24th, 2012 @ 12:24 am

    It does sound like you had most of the excitement. 

    Hey! 2! 4! 6! 8!
    How fast can you depreciate?

  20. richard mcenroe
    January 24th, 2012 @ 12:26 am

    Reflection, no, but it’s rumored he’s got a special painting up in the attic.

    It’s been taped back together.  A lot.

  21. Jackson
    January 24th, 2012 @ 1:30 am

    The biggest thing that jumped out at me was:

    and yet Mitt wiped the floor with Newt in this format.

    The debates are simply not enough to propel Newt Gingrich in the White House.  Ask President Gore or President Kerry, and they’ll tell you the same thing, debates are not what decide elections)

    You would just have Obama go up there, give his talking points in a calm manner, and get back to campaigning. 

      Oh, and how are those sick wives doing that he ran off with younger mistresses? Any more bimbos in the woodwork? 

    The retard wing was willing to throw away the White House over one of these silly debates.

  22. Anonymous
    January 24th, 2012 @ 5:08 am

    I always figured he was fighting off a burp. 

  23. Anonymous
    January 24th, 2012 @ 5:12 am

    I have heard if a man looks directly at Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, he will turn to stone.  As no man has ever been able to look at her directly, the rumor remains open.

  24. Adjoran
    January 24th, 2012 @ 5:45 am

    It would at least explain the hair . . . hard to believe she leaves the house every day with a last look in the mirror and says, “Oh yeah, baby!”

  25. Adjoran
    January 24th, 2012 @ 6:05 am

    Well, yeah, no way he gets to pull the gimmicky sound bite crap at a “real” debate without getting slapped down, Obama is only going to agree to narrowly written rules.  Barry’s the king of the “Four Corners Debate Offense” of using his time up with platitudes to avoid having to answer.  No long answer debates which might expose this.  No “Lincoln-Douglas style” oratories where Newt would hand him his head.  No audiences – or if there are you can bet Obama will have them packed, it will be as rigged as a Milwaukee election.

    Unfortunately we have too many conservatives who are so frustrated with the last few years they would rather see Obama reelected as long as they get to flip him off first.   I sympathize with the sentiment, but the country deserves better than more Obama.

  26. ThePaganTemple
    January 24th, 2012 @ 6:47 am

    The country also needs a person who isn’t afraid to call Obama what he is, a socialist piece of shit. As opposed to watering it down with “he’s a nice guy who’s in over his head”

    You’ve got to realize, most Republicans don’t like Mitt. They might vote for him. Some might not. That’s open. What’s beyond dispute is there are very few who are going to get excited about a Mitt Romney campaign and go out and campaign for him, knock on doors, make phone calls, and donate.

    You make a good point about the debates, granted, but how good would Romney do at a debate with Obama? Plus, there’s more to it than the debates.

  27. ThePaganTemple
    January 24th, 2012 @ 6:59 am

    I didn’t want but maybe thirty minutes of that shit. Of what I saw, I guess Santorum won. Now somebody that has his best interests at heart should get in touch with him and tell him to get his ass to Michigan and get to work if he wants to have any kind of legitimate chance of being our nominee. Otherwise-


  28. Bob Belvedere
    January 24th, 2012 @ 8:05 am

    And you did.  Well played, sir.

    It was much better reading your summary than watching the bloody thing.

    I always enjoy you’re live-blogging [it’s even better than Vodkapundit’s].

  29. Anonymous
    January 24th, 2012 @ 8:07 am

    He know what’s coming and he doesn’t like it.
    Naked Human= Cat Dry

  30. AngelaTC
    January 24th, 2012 @ 8:31 am

    “Rogue state.”  *snort*  What does that even mean? States that don’t bend over to our definition of Marx’s “common good?”  

    What good have the sanctions on Cuba done? I heard Santorum say that the 50 year old policy was a success – by what measure? 

     And do you really think that communism is a sustainable form of government?   Because that’s really not proven to be the case, and refusing to allow free market engagement seems to only prolong the inevitable death. 

  31. ThePaganTemple
    January 24th, 2012 @ 8:34 am

    Yeah its sustainable by force and terror, which is how Castro has survived all these years. And if we engaged in trade with Castro, all we’re doing is giving him more power. Do you actually think Castro would adopt free-market reforms if we traded with him? Does China strike you as a free market system, or do you think maybe it might be a form of regulated state capitalism more akin to Fascism?

  32. Tennwriter
    January 24th, 2012 @ 9:03 am

    I remember talking to a guy back when W was President.  Guy said he was a pacifist.  He didn’t believe in attacking unless there was any other choice.

    Dick Cheney thought the same thing.

  33. Pathfinder's wife
    January 24th, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    I’ll answer your questions.  To the first: probably not (although you never know with Castro — I don’t think his ideological purity is so strong that he wouldn’t place self-interest first…still probably wouldn’t have done a thing to help the people); for the second: that isn’t even really worth answering as the answer is so obvious: it’s more akin to national socialism than the international flavor (imho of course).  Still doesn’t make it a good thing though (socialism of any stripe rarely ever is).

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