Liveblogging The Democratic Debate Tonight At 7 PM EST

Someone just reminded me that there is a Democratic debate tonight and asked if I would be liveblogging it….oh, man. On the one hand, I feel duty-bound to do it, but on the other hand, listening to the Democrats drone on and on about the same things they asked them about in the last debate, and the one before that, and the one before that, is sucking my will to live.

I mean, my first thought after realizing I was going to be liveblogging this debate was: maybe I should go buy a bottle of vodka and get drunk while I watch it — and I don’t even drink.

Still, since maybe you do drink, here’s a drinking game for those of you who tune in and watch the debate. Take a drink every time,

— Mike Gravel complains about not getting to speak.
— Someone complains about Bush.
— A candidate’s stance on the war in Iraq back in 2003 is mentioned.
— One of the candidate’s wives (or husband in the case of Hillary) gets mentioned.
— A candidate talks about “change” or “hope.”
— Katrina is mentioned.
— Someone including the candidate him/herself mentions Barack’s race or Hillary’s gender.
— A candidate suggests an expensive new government policy, practice, or program (not including socialized medicine because I don’t want any of you to die of alcohol poisoning)
— Barack gets a question about Pakistan.
— Kucinich says the words “text peace.”
— Someone says “minimum wage.”
— A candidate mentions Fox.
— Someone mentions leaving Iraq so we can fight Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
— There’s a mention of Al Gore.

If you’re watching the debate, make sure to hit RWN and refresh to check out the commentary. See you at 7 PM…

7:00: Super Wacky Extra Bonus Answers (Take 2 drinks)

— If someone tries to blame the Minnesota bridge collapse or the miners trapped in that cave in Utah on Republicans or Republican policies.
— If there is a mention of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, or Bill O’Reilly.
— If someone brings up the notorious snowman from the YouTube debate.
— If there’s a mention of Keith Olbermann’s “worst person in the world.”
— Elizabeth Edwards is mentioned.
— A Jimmy Hoffa mention.

7:02: All right, let’s get ready to rrrrrruuuuuuummmmmmbbbbbllllllleeeee or alternately, let’s get ready to hope this is more exciting that I’m anticipating.

7:03: Oh boy, Keith Olbermann is a moderator. This will be a treat.

7:05: (Take 2 drinks.) The spending on the war in Iraq is responsible because we don’t have enough money for bridges in Minnesota. Also, during a war, Dodd wants to slash defense funds. Wow, typical Democrat.

7:07: We have a Katrina reference and a new broadband plan from Hillary. Drink twice.

7:08: Yes, we get it. All of you love Illinois and the AFL-CIO.

7:09: Barack touts one of the dumbest Democratic foreign policy ideas,

Someone mentions leaving Iraq so we can fight Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. (Drink!)
Barack suggests Iraq war funding is taking money away that could be used for the Minnesota bridge collapse (Drink Twice!)

Note: Right Wing News is not responsible for people drinking themselves to death as a result of playing this drinking game.

7:10: Furthermore, is it not ironic that every Democrat seems to be pushing the idea that we spend money on government programs, because it would create jobs. This is a bizarre, anti-capitalistic type of argument.

7:13: John Edwards mentions change. (Drink!)

7:14: You know the problem with infrastructure isn’t that we don’t have the money to fix it. It’s that the politicians haven’t been interested in pushing it because it’s not sexy and hasn’t pulled in any votes for them. They’d rather build a new “Bridge to Nowhere,” than fix an old one. Now, everyone is interested in infrastructure because something happened.

7:16: The Democratic idea of how the economy seems to be: The government takes your tax dollars, spends it on something, and that creates jobs and makes the economy grow. Marx would be proud of these guys.

7:18: We need the government to build light rail from Bill Richardson. “A candidate suggests an expensive new government policy, practice, or program.” (Drink!)

7:20: Hillary complains about Bush not enforcing trade agreements. (Drink!)

7:22: The whole idea that you can force foreign nations to live up to our labor standards is nuts. Those are things that wealthy countries can afford, not poor nations. Go back in this country and look at the labor standards 50 years ago and compare them to what we have today. That whole argument is just a clever way of opposing free trade without actually coming right out and saying it.

7:23: Wait, has Mike Gravel gotten a question? Is he on the stage? Don’t tell me they left the most interesting guy out.

7:24: Oh man, I just checked: No Mike Gravel. Sigh….

7:26: Hillary mentioned “Change.” (Drink!)

7:27: Obama: People don’t want a cheaper t-shirt if they lose their job in the process? What, does he think we all work making t-shirts? Consumers don’t care about the jobs of the people making t-shirts except the people making t-shirts.

7:30: Biden says that tax cuts (which increased revenue to the treasury) are driving up the debt and letting China own the morgage on our home. Got ya!

7:31: Hillary criticizes Bush, justifiably, for raising the deficit. Still, (drink).

7:32: Everybody is talking about China now that they’re shipping over poison toys. However, there has only been one candidate who has been talking about China before beating up on China was cool — that would be my former employer, Duncan Hunter.

7:34: We’re 34 minutes in, at our first commercial break, and we’re at the 12 drink mark. Maybe it’s time for some of you to start watering down your drinks.

7:37: Bill Richardon — if we leave Iraq, it’ll be all roses, puppies, and rainbows. Come on, be honest. It’ll be a nightmare. At least admit that.

7:39: Bush hasn’t told the truth for 7 years from Biden. (Drink!)

7:40: Was that another minor shift on the war from Hillary? We’ve got to keep Al-Qaeda on the run. Things are going great in Al-Anbar province? She must be very confident that Barack is on the ropes.

7:41: So, if John Edwards is right and there is genocide and a region wide civil war, how do we make a difference if we’ve left? Once we pull out most of our troops on the ground, either the Iraqis will be ready or they won’t. If they’re not ready, it’ll be a disaster and there won’t be that much we can do about it.

7:44: Obama — we need to bring the troops home so we can start stabilizing Iraq? Once we leave, most of our stabilizing work better be done.

7:46: We’ve got to get out of this war that George Bush took us into — Hillary. Hey honey, you voted to go to war.

7:47 Barack gets a question about Pakistan. (Drink!) Barack said that Iraq was the wrong battlefied and Afghanistan is the right one (Drink!) Obama slams Dodd because he authorized the war in 2003 (Drink!).

7:51 Hillary is trying to show her experience here compared to Barack. Barack shouldn’t say everything he thinks. Also, Hillary isn’t that experienced. She was first lady. She was dealing with China patterns and reading library books to 4th graders. It’s not like she was dealing with the Pentagon and it’s worth noting that her husband was a disaster on foreign policy anyway. There’s certainly not anything to recommend Bill Clinton’s foreign policy to the American people. Also, Obama looks mad. He doesn’t like getting hammered like this.

7:53: Only 4 more drinks between the first and second commercial breaks. We’re up to 16 drinks now.

7:55: I feel sorry for this lady who lost her husband in a mine accident and for the people trapped now, but the reality is working in a mine is extremely dangerous. There is no way to change that. Also, blaming Bush for it? Please….

Questioner: “If someone tries to blame the Minnesota bridge collapse or the miners trapped in that cave in Utah on Republicans or Republican policies.” (2 drinks!)

Biden got booed for skipping the question.

7:58: If anything, unions get way too many privs in our country. Sure, you should be able to form a union, but the companies should be able to fire them and get a new group of workers.

7:59: I’m sorry, but this vet’s question is really whiny. The company he worked for moved overseas. Well, that sucks, but it’s life, so go get a new job and stop complaining. No president is going to be able to guarantee you a lifetime job at the company you work for.

8:02: What a perfect Democratic debate question for John Edwards: it’s from a pitiful old guy on crutches claiming he can’t afford health care for his wife after a company took some of his pension.

8:04: Hillary looks more wrinkled tonight. Maybe the botox wore off. Bush doesn’t care about mine workers — eh, close enough to blaming Bush for the miners that were trapped. (2 drinks)

8:05: This may be the first real question that Democrats have gotten about immigration. Barack is pushing the old McCain line. Suits me.

8:08: Joe Biden — We fund 100,000 new nurses. That’s a (Drink!)

8:09: Ha! Joe Biden mentioned marching with Reverend Jackson and one guy whistled. That’s it. Hehehe.

8:10: Dennis Kucinich — we’ll have socialized medicine and it won’t cost anything and it will be wonderful! Of course, it will! That’s how it works in nations like Britain and Canada — oh wait, they pay a lot in taxes and the care is terrible.

8:11: John Edwards — I believe in America — that’s France! The labor unions didn’t build the middle class in America. Edwards…please, what pandering.

8:14: Everybody loves wind, solar, and ethanol, but they’re all crap. Wind and solar produce insignificant amounts of energy. Ethanol is actually less efficient than gas once you get into what it costs to make it.

8:15: These union guys hate it when people go off topic. They boo for it.

8:16: The teachers’ unions hate No Child Left Behind because it makes them actually do some work and imposes standards on them, but the reality is that it has significantly improved test scores and has radically increased school funding. Honestly, we won’t need to raise education spending for a decade or two after all the money Bush has poured into it.

8:19: We hit the third commercial break and we’re up to 21 drinks.

8:20: A bunch of idiots waving behind Keith Olbermann. How classy.

8:21: Hillary fought the special interests! Hey, what are unions if not special interests? Is she going to fight them?

8:23: On my, the first great question from Olbermann: What’s the difference between lobbyists and lawyers? Edwards says lobbyists give money to politicians — ehr, so do lawyers, for exactly the same reason, because they are special interests — just like lobbyists.

8:24: Dodd’s answer bored me so much I am not even going to write about it.

8:26: I’m shocked — there’s a second good question from Olbermann: what have Democrats accomplished since they took over. Answer: almost nothing and Kucinich didn’t list a single thing.

8:27: Obama won’t even answer whether he would have Bonds at the White House. Wow, is he slippery.

8:28: Hurricane Katrina question (Drink!) Hilldog criticizes Bush for not caring about Katrina (Drink!)

8:29: Ok, this is a dumb question. Basically, it’s about politics starting too early. Obviously it doesn’t bother them that much or they wouldn’t be doing it.

8:31: B. Hussein Cliche called Bush a disaster (Biden did, too, basically next) (Two drinks) and then he said we need change. (Drink).

8:34: John Edwards says we need change (Drink) and that we need to publicly finance political campaigns. New spending program (Drink)

Final Tally: 28 drinks. For those of you who are still conscious, here’s the summary:

The best debater: Kucinich, who can’t possibly win.

Runner-up: Hillary, who’s good in this format where all she has to do is giggle about “women cleaning house” and how she doesn’t like Bush and she gets applause.

Edwards, I would put in the third slot as much as anything because his message appeals to this audience. But, as a general rule, I just don’t think Edwards is as good as Obama or Hillary in general in debates.

That being said, Obama, I thought was terrible. Dodd and Hillary ate him alive on the Pakistan question and you could tell he was getting a bit flustered by the attacks.

PS: I missed Gravel. He’s fun.

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