The Master Debaters

From Salon:

Buddy Roemer, the one-term Louisiana governor from long ago (whose reelection campaign ended in defeat at the hands of a Klansman), was none too happy when Fox News announced Wednesday that it was barring him from participating in the first Republican presidential debate, to be held in South Carolina Thursday night.

But he may actually be catching a break.

Tonight’s event could well be the first time in history that a nationally televised presidential debate lowers the stature of every participant.

Original DVD cover

A total of five candidates are set to take the stage at 9 p.m., when Fox News — which customarily attracts several million viewers in that time slot — goes live. Only one of them, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, has a realistic chance of winning the GOP nomination — or even coming close. The other four are strident ideologues with niche appeal, nonexistent victory prospects — and absolutely nothing to lose. Let’s meet them:

* Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. […] To the extent Cain has distinguished himself on the ’12 trail, it’s probably through his pledge to engage in hiring discrimination by barring Muslims from working in his administration.

* Rick Santorum: Santorum was drummed out of the Senate by Pennsylvania voters in 2006, losing his bid for a third term by 17 points to Democrat Bob Casey. […H]e is passionately opposed to abortion, gay rights and President Obama — and he’ll have plenty of time to prove it tonight.

* Gary Johnson: The former New Mexico governor is probably, as Salon noted last year, the most interesting Republican you’ve never heard of — an authentic libertarian who wants to dismantle government but who also supports legal abortion and pot. Obviously, he’ll barely make a dent once the primaries roll around (especially with Ron Paul in the race), but he’ll get an unusual amount of airtime tonight for his unorthodox platform — which will presumably prompt Cain and Santorum to use him as a foil to assert their conservative bona fides, potentially forcing Pawlenty to weigh in on subjects he’d rather sidestep.

* Ron Paul: His presence figures to foster this same dynamic, just as it did in 2007 and 2008 — when no GOP debate was complete without one candidate using Paul as a punching bag in order to look courageous and principled in the eyes of the party base.

And that’s it. No other candidates (or potential candidates) will participate. Mitt Romney is wisely staying away, as is Mike Huckabee. Even Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann are keeping their distance. No-shows were not supposed to be an issue when Fox and the South Carolina GOP originally scheduled the debate a few months ago. Back then, it was assumed — based on recent history — that the GOP field would be fully formed and the campaign in full swing. But that hasn’t happened.


It’s hard to see how Fox or the GOP will win by going forward with the debate. But for casual viewers who don’t have a rooting interest, it promises to be one of the more entertaining hours in presidential debate history.


Filed under abortion, Fox News, Homophobia, Homosexuality, humor, Islam, Marijuana, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, movies, Muslims, Newt Gingrich, parody, politics, Republicans, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, snark, South Carolina, Wordpress Political Blogs

38 responses to “The Master Debaters

  1. Talk about a full-house of dumbing down the moronic Repug voters.

    I have better things to do, than waste my time watching those clowns.

    • they’re live-blogging the debate over at the big orange, and it sounds like it’s pretty hilarious. however, i just will not turn the channel over to faux news. i’m sure a lot of sites will have the highlights tomorrow. i can wait.

      • jean-philippe

        Poor, poor journalists who have to cover it…

        32 seconds, it’s fun, but more than 3 minutes must give nausea.

        • i just wish they realized that everyone is laughing at them, not with them. then again, they don’t seem to be the type to laugh at themselves, so i guess they never thought we were laughing with them. they just look away and make themselves believe they aren’t laughable.

  2. John Erickson

    So, can we get the ex-pizza guy and the pro-pot guy together to legalise the pot pizza? Call it the GOP – grass and onion pizza. Sell it only to Republicans during the last week of October 2012. Then all the ultra-righties will be too stoned to vote! Sounds like a good idea. Then again, I just took some vicodin, so I might be part of that Stoned Old Party! 😀

  3. afrankangle

    I’ll pass on this small-time circus … and wait for the big show to come to town – one with better (fill in the blank).

  4. jean-philippe

    Wow! I hope Santorum gets to speak fist. From the picture above, he’s so full of BS he’s about to explode!!!

  5. jeb

    MASTER deBATERS indeed. Lot’s of stroking and self-gratification between the participants, FUX News and the viewers. I just pity whoever has to clean up afterwards.

    • did you watch, jeb? i can’t bring myself to turn faux news on for any reason.

      • jeb

        Did I watch? No, I might prefer waterboarding over that torture.

        • waterboarding? wanna use my shower, jeb?

          by the way, for anyone who might be interested. the guy from home depot just left. he hooked up the new diverter, and it works fine. one more helping of icing on the cake of soap –out of curiosity, i looked online to see if the price of the alson’s diverter was really the same as the danco one ($15.98). the prices (without shipping) range from $38.50 to $55.96, the most expensive, ironically, at home depot! 😆

        • John Erickson

          So does this mean the Great Raisin Water Torture of 2011 is over? Huzzah! You need a special Mother’s Day outing to a REAL classy restaurant. Just do me one favour – no seafood! 😉

  6. Just read the review over at Huff&Puff. A goper reviewer claimed that Pizzaman won (we all get a coupon if we vote for him) and said that Santorum “held his own”. No word yet about the dog but John Prine was heard to comment: “Pretty good, not bad, I can’t complain…..but to tell the truth, all them dogs are about the same”.

  7. Funny title. 😆

    I like Santorum’s ginormous pin, too. This is as sickly a pack of candidates as I’ve ever seen.

  8. Snoring Dog Studio

    And if any reasonable, rational person accidentally tunes in, they’ll think they’ve stumbled on to an episode of Jersey Shore or Family Feud. So, it’s a non-event. What a waste of airtime.

    • now i’m wondering what the questions would have been for family feud. we polled the teabaggers, and the top 6 answers to this question are on the board: name something that proves that obama was not born in america.

  9. Ha! Funny thread! Hat tip to Jean-P for the Chimpy video! I saw 15 minutes of the thing…. and it seemed ‘canned’ the ‘contestants’ seemed to have been prepped on the questions and the questions themselves seemed like soft lobs that even a fifth grade blind kid could hit. It was a non=event…… reminded me of the old “Gong Show”… but not as funny

    • i watched that video 4 times! i like watching dumbya and his family dancing.

      not only did the debate make the entire rethuglican party look ridiculous (from what i’ve read), but it make faux news look ridiculous, too. even bronzo the clown didn’t tune in!

  10. Good job on the Ayn Rand patch on Ron Paul. Even better, you featured the candidate that the post-debate focus group picked as the winner. Psychic, Nonnie, or just lucky?

    • thanks for noticing ayn on randy’s daddy’s sleeve. you know, i was going to give timmeh the starring role, but something told me to put herman the pizza guy front and center. maybe i really am psychic. i have espn on my tv! 🙂

  11. SaberRulzz

    nonnie9999 FTW on this poster. “Minor league’ replacements at their best!

    • if ftw stands for for the win, then i think that honor belongs to buddy roemer. he dodged a bullet.

      by the way, anyone else thinking that timmeh passed on bashing mittsie, because pawlenty thinks mittsie is going to be the nominee, and timmeh is bucking for the veep nod?

      • John Erickson

        I skipped the debate for something more cerebral. I had a nice chat with Blackjack. Just one problem with him as a friend – “goat” is a VERY hard odor to wash off your skin. 😀

        • i don’t know if i’m secure enough to have a conversation with a goat. everything i say would be met with bahhhhhh.

        • John Erickson

          Actually, BlackJack listens most of the time, only occasionally adding his two cents’ worth. And he is truly expressive with his bleats – at least an octave and a half in pitch, and various lengths depending on what he’s trying to say.
          And right now, a few dozen people are reading this post, and wondering what kind of nutcase I am. To all those wonderful people, let me just say…….
          a far BIGGER one than you can imagine! 😀

          • Baahhhhhhh Baahhhhh 🙂

          • John Erickson

            Nah, Don, a little more nasal. More like a “benhhh”. Depending on the mood of the answer, of course. When he’s angry, it’s closer to the “bahhh” sound.
            Now, engrave this conversation in your memory, so one day you can tell your grandkids you actually discussed how to talk to a goat with some yahoo on the Internet! 😀