Thursday, May 03, 2007

Live blogging the live bloggers (Republican Debate)

UPDATED: Friday, May 4, 2007
There are plenty of bloggers covering the Republican debate live tonight, but is anyone covering the live bloggers? DWSUWF rushes in where other, more sensible bloggers, may fear to tread. I will attempt to monitor live and report on other bloggers covering the debate. We'll start with Daily Kos, Heading Right, Wonkette, The Moderate Voice, and

No telling how this will turn out. Fortunately, I have not previously announced that I am doing this, so I can bail out at any time.

Here we go...
Wonkette: "Remarkable amount of bald heads and bald spots up there. None of those people will be president, ever."
Daily Kos: Trapper John: "HUCK: Would've fired Rummy before the midterms. Should listen to soldiers rather than "civilians in silk ties." I note that Huck has a nice red Perry Ellis on tonight."
Heading Right: Bright - "Simple Math I can’t see there being much substance, just on the basis of simple math: 90minutes, 10 candidates."
Daily Kos: Trapper John: "RUDY: Only 28% of Americans support the Bush Admin? You gotta have hoooope! Optimism! That's the ticket! (And it does take a strange breed of optimism to say that American has "the greatest health-care system in the world.")"
Heading Right: Chin - "Paul…. Sounded good on isolationism. But he just looks like crud on TV.
DWSUWF: Shit - Moderate Voice is not live blogging. And I can't navigate Politico. Ok forget it.
Daily Kos: Trapper John: "MITT: What a weasel on abortion. If I were a Republican who genuinely was anti-abortion, I would never consider voting for the slimeball."
Heading Right: Ed - "Rudy Spins Abortion “It’d be OK.” Yeah, that’ll excite the base! Most others say that they’ll let the states decide about abortion after Roe gets overturned. Mitt gets challenged on changing his mind two years ago, and he explains that cloning changed his mind. Brownback could support a pro-choice candidate if the GOP nominated one, and he says that shows the GOP as a big-tent party.."
Wonkette: "They’ve sorta got to do this abortion stuff to win a GOP primary, but there is perhaps nothing more disgusting than a gang of rich old creepy men chanting their cult-like bullshit about ruling women’s uterus. Uteri? What the hell is the plural of that?
Daily Kos: Trapper John: "RON PAUL: I'm surprised he wears a suit. You figure that he'd be in a bear skin -- better prepared for return to the state of nature."
Heading Right: macranger: "RE: Paul - Ok, He’s a moonbat; “Excessive military agressiveness weakens our defense” Yeah, that John Kerry “Co-Dependent Foreign Policy” did wonders for us in the 90s.."
Wonkette: "Regarding Ron Paul’s point about eliminating the IRS: The funny thing is that we pay about 40% of our income in federal, state, local and sales tax, yet there’s very little in the way of “cradle to grave” European welfare state stuff, so we’ve got the worst of both worlds. Yayyyy, USA.
Daily Kos: Trapper John: "MITT: He makes me sick. I mean, I'm as pro-choice as they come, and I'm appalled by his flip-flopping on abortion. I can't imagine how a committed anti-choice activist could vote for him."
Heading Right: Edward: "Heat, Warmth, Cold - Here’s the rub right now. There are a few of these candidates who are obviously connecting to the live audience, and they’re not the frontrunners. Romney seems the most comfortable, not stumbling, laughing with the audience. Huckabee also seems to have made a personal connection, and perhaps Jim Gilmore. Of all the candidates, Hunter looks the most presidential. The first three have warmth, while McCain has tried to substitute heat instead of warmth, and the rest seem very cold and unengaging. This is not good news for Giuliani, who is one of the warmest and charismatic speakers I’ve seen."
Wonkette: "Come on, Tommy Thompson, are you or are you not going to protect American business from homos??
Daily Kos: McJoan: "MCCAIN: Wins the stem cell question, damn him."
Heading Right: Edward: "McCain Backs Federal hEsc Funding - McCain the conservative would use federal funds to support embryonic stem cell research. Yikes! That won’t bolster his creds with the base."
Wonkette: "Mitt Romney: “I have deep concern about curing disease.” / Mitt looks so young and healthy at age 60 because a) He’s a healthy-living Mormon, b) He uses every kind of stem cells as a kind of Fetus Botox™, or c) He’s actually George Hamilton.
DWSUWF: I have to pee. Why are there no commercials?
Daily Kos: McJoan: "HUNTER: Seems determined to outflank Tancredo on immigration. Which is hilarious. It'd be like trying to out-stardust Kucinich."
Heading Right: dtodeen: "Debate Question - Ok it looks like they are all agreeing that running from the President is the best thing to do. This makes me sick. A bunch of cowards to speak honestly. Is this what we have to look forward too? Because I am not impressed! Even treated Rove as a nasty habit. We got nothing if this is the crop."
Wonkette: Ron Paul Hearts Wonkette! - Or at least the Internets, in general. Dude actually believes in the First Amendment, because he is some kind of weird person who has read the Constitution..
Daily Kos: McJoan: "ROMNEY: Blech, just blech. MCCAIN: I'm Reagan! Not Bush! BROWNBACK: Actually pretty reasonable on Iraq, for a Republican. I guess that's why Biden is working with him. RUDY: Get that last 9/11 in there. PAUL: He actually respects habeas corpus. They'll have to kick him out of the party."
Heading Right: Edward: "Finish Line - From what I see, only a couple of people here look like Presidents, as Rick said, maybe three. Mitt Romney, Jim Gilmore, and I would give the third slot as a toss-up between Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani. I think he improved after the abortion question. Hands down, Romney did himself the most good, and maybe we can see Huckabee and Gilmore break out from the second tier. McCain didn't do well at all. Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo were … entertaining. Duncan Hunter made a great case for the VP slot, or as Secretary of Defense. He did a good job here, but not much on an emotional connection."
Wonkette: Walnuts [McCain]: “Deeply moved by watching Bill Frist watch video of woman in coma.” Mitt: “Hillary hates LIFE.” Gilmore or Huckabee: “What Hillary tried to do is what Mitt did in Massachusetts.” Duncan Hunter: “Bill Clinton lost the War On Terror.” Tommy Thompson: “I hate Bill Clinton, I hate American prosperity.” WALNUTS! “I like right-wing judges.” - SHUT UP ALL OF YOU SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.
DWSUWF: Ok, Ok - what about the moderator?
Daily Kos: McJoan: "And to think this is just the beginning. We already have a clear loser: Brian Williams.." Trapper John: "MATTHEWS: Say what you will about him generally, he's moderating the shit outta this thing. Keeps it moving -- and tough, but fair, questions."
Heading Right: fausta:"Finish Line - Bill Clinton living in the White House - Chris Matthews dreams on, doesn’t he?" Oh boy - Keith Oberman and Chris Matthews - something not to look forward to!
Wonkette: - "Hey, Chris Matthews is doing the MC duties. Shouldn’t they get a Republican or something." - Chris Matthews: “We will run this thing forever on MSNBC.

Allright. I am going to read this now and decide whether to delete it. [TIME PASSES]

It's got potential. A few things I'd do differently: prepare ahead of time; make sure the sites I select to live-blog are actually live blogging; organize the responses around specific Q/A topics; get a libertarian and moderate site in the mix; drink more; and I don't think I need to actually watch the debate - too distracting - I can just monitor the blogs. We've got plenty of time and debates to work the kinks out. This will be a standard format of the DWSUWF blog for future debates. It'll get better.

I'm going to sleep on the DWSUWF presidential candidate stack ranking. Not sure if the debate merited any changes in the Republican rankings, but will update this post tomorrow.
UPDATE: Friday, May 4, 2007
In retrospect, the most interesting aspect of the debate was Romney's seeming ability to to get away with wholesale changes in core Republican positions. He is very comfortable in front of a camera, has a slick Clintonesque sincere-ish quality, even when explaining 180 degree flip-flops in core convictions. People want to believe him, even if his political platform is determined at the intersection of his ambition and the polls. It is clear that, like Bill Clinton, he will govern based on the polls and continuous compromise. Not a bad thing, since there will likely still be a Democratic majority in Congress in 2009. I am not opposed to a President that pays attention to the will of the American people. We will probably be in the range of 70% of America wanting us out of Iraq by the time the next President takes office. As president, Romney will get us out of Iraq quickly, no matter what he says now to get the nomination. He can be trusted to blow with wind. Out of this batch of Republican candidates, it's good enough for me. So after carefully reflecting on the polls, reading the journalistic coverage, considering the perspective of political pundits, columnists, bloggers, bloggers, and more bloggers, Mitt Romney leapfrogs ahead of Giuliani and McCain in the DWSUWF 2008 Presidential Stack Ranking.

Said changes are now reflected in the new and improved, updated and revised ...

DWSUWF 2008 Presidential Candidate
Stack Ranking v. 2.5

1) Chuck Hagel (R)
2 ) Bill Richardson (D)
3) Ron Paul (R)
4) Joe Biden (D)
5) Mitt Romney (R)
6) Hillary Clinton (D)
7) Rudolf Giuliani (R)
8) Barack Obama (D)
9) John McCain (R)
10) Al Gore (D)
As a reminder, the DWSUWF stack ranking is a preference not a prediction. This list represents the top ten candidates DWSUWF would like to see as President, stack ranked in order of preference. Imposed on this list are two constraints: alternating political party affiliation, and a divided government outcome in 2008.

A couple of Jungian synchronistic "Sanity-centric" links to this post - Pete Abel commenting on and linking to debate coverage at Central Sanity, and Dr. Pat Santy posting at Dr. Sanity with a "de lunatico inquiriendo" at Carnival of the Insanities.

Divided and Balanced.™ Now that is fair.


Fausta said...

Fabulous job, MW, and much more entertaining than the debate itself!

mw said...

Thanks Fausta,
I was pleased to discover your blog(s) in this process.

As political bloggers continue to multiply, one wonders whether we can look forward to the day that a live blogger posts a live review excerpting just live bloggers who are covering other live bloggers who are covering the debate (Three degrees of separation?).

Perhaps the debates will continue to improve with each layer of separation - The further away you stand, the better they look.

Beach Bum said...

Saw the first Democratic debate and heard the first Republican debate on the radio. My question is will the Republicans move to kick Ron Paul out like the the Democrats tried to do with Gravel? I like both of those guys.

mw said...

"I like both of those guys." - BB

Me too. it is really interesting how the two of them perform a virtually identical role within their respective parties. They simutaneously represent an embarrasment to and the "conscience" of their parties - Gravel a classic Liberal in the McGovern tradition and Paul a classic libertarian Conservative in the Goldwater tradition. They are equally embarrasing to the mainstream pols in their own party, specifically because they are such articulate and passionate advocates for the presumably core foundation values of their parties. They point out by example just how far the mainstream candidates have moved away from those values.

For that very reason, I am afraid you are right BB - they want these guys off the stage at the earliest opportunity. I hope we see them around for a couple more debates anyway.