Thursday, September 06, 2007

Notes on the FOX Republican Debate

Last night FOX News hosted the Republican Debate in New Hampshire. Here are some thoughts on what transpired during the evening. Get your popcorn; it's a haul.

Low Point: FOX & Giuliani
I gave this whole mess its own post in this spot, but it bears repeating at the top here as the single most angering event(s) of the entire evening: at several points during the evening, usually with the pretense of an attack-oriented question coming from Brit Hume or Chris Wallace, Ron Paul was asked to defend his "crazy" stance against the war or against bureaucracy. Starting as a light chuckle and continuing to crescendo with each instance throughout the debate, Rudy Giuliani could be heard directly laughing out loud at Ron Paul. FOX never cut his mic.

Rudy Giuliani is an unprofessional bully of a human being. What a dick.

Bill-O Preshow
  • Dennis Miller apparently never thought there were WMDs in Iraq; he thought it was right to go in, cuff Hussein, and develop a "reinvigoration of our brand." Did he just say that? You betcha.

  • Bill-O rails against a doctor who claims a chemical in microwave popcorn is not good for the lungs, follows it with one of the only things you can eat that's okay is hummus. What's wrong with that?

The Setup
  • FOX News Debate from May 2007

    Took this picture from May's debate, but last night was the same elephant. If red is GOP and blue is Democratic Party, why is the elephant not at least half red?

  • Every candidate had "Family" and "Religion" listed next to them at least once during the debate. Why is religion important? Mitt Romney's a Mormon, that's why.

  • The bell on Hume's nerts: the rule was that each candidate would have a minute to answer, shown by lights, then get buzzed. Unfortunately there was no consistancy except on how each candidate was treated: Ron Paul was regularly buzzed without warning, Giuliani was warned, warned, then buzzed, and at one point McCain got almost 2 solid minutes before even getting a warning. I came to the conclusion that a cowbell dangling by twine from Brit Hume's nutsack and tapped at his whim with a baby seal spine was the actual timer mechanism.

The Look
  • Does anyone believe Chris Wallace's hair is real?

  • FNC

    Red tie, red tie, red tie: They must have called each other. Everyone except Huckabee - who went periwinkle - and Brownback with his grey-lavender ditty.

  • Mitt Romney is - save Dennis Kucinich - by far the sexiest candidate on both sides of the field. Just wanted to throw out that man-crush.

  • Hunter's got that left-elbow-podium pose down, perfect for showcasing that left swoopy, swarthy eyebrow of his.

  • Giuliani: how 'bout them choppers? Standing out against the orange (see comment in The Post at the bottom)

The Attacks

The hard questions, the ones targeting specific beliefs or previous ideas - all, of course, on FOX's "no-no" list - were predictably aimed, mostly by Wallace: Romney was attacked on immigration and not federally banning abortion, McCain was pitted against "America's Hero" Giuliani, attacked for not signing a "No new taxes" pledge, Huckabee caught hell for suggesting a 23% consumption tax, and Ron Paul was lambasted for his contrarian views at every opening. Obviously fair and balanced.

The Topics

Overall, this was a lame, lame debate. They farted at immigration, swarmed on Iraq and how great and necessary the war is, winked at taxes, then hit on how important it is to eliminate Iran as a nuclear power.

The Comments
  • Ron Paul, the only voice of reason: The war is illegal, America needs to fix the problem we started, Republicans will go down the drain next year, bureaucracy is out of control.

  • Giuliani's comments can be summed up into three categories.
    1. I'm not running on what I did on 9/11, what I did on 9/11, what I did on 9/11...

    2. When I was mayor, I was able to transform New York in ways no one thought possible. I am simply a magical being, a miracle worker and enacted change by dipping my penis in the Hudson.

    3. [no words, just inappropriately laughing like a jerk at Ron Paul]

    And one gaffe: "I was stuck with 398,000" illegal immigrants. Oops.

  • Huckabee says we should outsource immigrant management to UPS/FedEx. Not a terrible idea, but good luck tattooing bar codes on all those asses.

  • Hunter says he'll get that 800 mile fence built, informs America that the president actually did sign a bill that says it needs to be built

  • Brownback on Larry Craig: Blah blah blubba blu...

  • Romney on abortion: Blah blah blubba blu...

  • Giuliani on family values: Blah blah blubba blu...

  • Huckabee believes all life is sacred, whether an unborn child, trapped in a mine, or in a long term care facility. So unborn children should be mining our coal until they're forced into early retirement homes? That's just crazy.

  • Ron Paul high point: the same people who are saying Iraq will be a bloodbath when we leave said it would be a cakewalk when we invaded; why are we listening to them?

  • Ron Paul vs. Huckabee - Huckabee loses on our honor is more important than lives, more important than being right. I was watching a stump speech lineup and a debate broke out. What the hell?

  • Tancredo was the first out the gate with "Radical Islam."

  • Mitt Romney soon followed "Global Jihad" and Al Mah Leaky. Who's that? Jambi's cousin (Mek-a-lek-a-hi Mek-a hiney-hoe)?

  • Everyone except Ron Paul spent a little time with their lips wrapped around the McCain sausage. I'm not sure what that was about.

Romney Slam: Bit of a Reach

This might be a stretch, but is one of those nuances that FOX tosses at us from time to time. When Mitt Romney's font graphic was was popped in to identify him, the "TT" at the end of his first name were crammed together, looking like pi (π). Pi being a foreign character, this works subconsciously to make Romney seem more alien, more foreign. You know, like that crazy Mormon religion he believes in. Might as well be a Jew or Muslim with that funny language stuff.

The Post
  • I addressed the Hannity handling of the Ron Paul Poll Win: no one redialed; Ron Paul won. Eh, so what? Granted, if Giuliani won it would've been a topic of serious conversation.

  • It wasn't as apparent on stage, but as soon as Rudy Giuliani sat next to Hannity under those more bleaching lights, it was clear that he should've called for makeup before taking a seat: less makeup to be exact. Giuliani looked like a damned Oompa Loompa - all kinds of orange. It made it only slightly more bearable to hear him laugh - again - and compare Ron Paul to Mike Gravel. Dick

The Rendered Fat of the Debate

I think the most frightening thing about this debate is the rhetoric that came out near the end, Hunter's "You don't understand the determination of the U.S. Marines" and Romney's pledge that we will "overwhelm jihad."

Our armed forces are not radicals; they have a strong belief in their families and at least a small vested interest in self-preservation. The people they are fighting are not necessarily looking at returning home alive; they are looking at their sacrifice and the generations that will come after them and eventually crush the American power. How do we win against that, and why is it that only one candidate for President of the United States on that stage last night has even the slightest understanding of that dynamic and its implications?

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