Liveblogging The Democratic Debate Tonight At 9 PM Est

If you’re going to be watching the Democratic debate tonight, make sure to head over to RWN and refresh regularly to see the liveblogging.

8:51: Hillariously, I think Dennis Kucinich is going to be allowed to participate in this debate because of a court order. Too bad Mike Gravel won’t be there, because he’s a lot of fun.

9:04: Mitt wins Michigan.

9:05: How did we get here? What the hell kind of question is that?

9:05: Hillary Clinton: The Democratic Party has always been in the forefront of the civil rights movement? In 1967, the Democrats were still filibustering anti-lynching legislation.

9:07: Wait, where’s Kucinich? Oh, I see that a court ruled against him. Honestly, they should. He has about as much of a chance to win as I do and I’m not running.

9:08: Speaking of people who aren’t going to win, John Edwards is talking.

9:09: Obama looks tired tonight. Incidentally, he’s smart to stay away from race baiting. A big part of his appeal is that he doesn’t do that.

9:11: Great answer for Obama. He’s saying exactly what he needs to say to appeal to white Democrats and Independents on the race issue, which is, this isn’t about race.

9:13: Russert gives Hillary a tough, appropriate question. Keep it up, buddy, and you’ll end up at the bottom of a gravel quarry. 😉

9:14: Because the race is tight now, I am starting to suspect that both Obama and Hillary are going to play it safe tonight. They certainly have in the first 15 minutes.

9:15: John Edwards said something about growing up as the son of a millworker or…ah, it doesn’t really matter, does it? Silky is out of this thing.

9:17: What a question — it was essentially, no one is going to vote for you, John Edwards, because you’re a white man.

9:20: We’re almost 20 minutes in and I’m already starting to nod off. It’s like all 3 of the candidates are trying as hard as humanly possible to keep from saying anything interesting.

9:21: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

9:21: Some idiot in the audience is screaming about “race bait questions.”

9:22: In a way, this is kind of funny. They’ve had all these controversies about race, this is a debate about a race, the questions have been about race, and all three of the candidates are bending over backwards to avoid the subject. Dull. Dull. Dull.

9:25: Oh man, can I stand another hour of this crap or not? I hate to say it, but I am leaning towards not.

9:26: Obama is for hopes and dreams! Oh, goody!

9:27: Did John Edwards just say he had to fight to survive as a child?

9:28: John Edwards’ weakness: he cares too much about people. Hahahahaha. What a phony!

9:29: What’s Hillary’s weakness? Is she too honest? Too forgiving? Oh, she pushes for change too fast.

9:32: Obama was sort of funny there. People tittered a bit. It’s like, gee, we’re not going to say anything interesting, so maybe we can get a little applause beating up on Bush. Incidentally, I can’t imagine anyone having seen anything in the first 30 minutes of the debate that changed their mind about the candidates in any way, shape, or form.

9:34: It’s kind of funny that they’re talking about these phony emails claiming Obama is a Muslim without noting that Hillary’s people have sent some of them out.

9:39: From the comments section, “I’d love to learn more about John Edwards’ desperate childhood struggle against split ends…” — CoolCzech

9:41: The businesses that gave out the subprime mortgages, foolish though they were, aren’t causing anyone to lose their houses, Hillary. The foolish people who took out loans for homes that they should have known that they can’t afford brought their own problems on themselves.

9:42: Everybody rants about how bad the middle-class has it and sadly, there are probably millions of middle-class people watching this debate on a 50 inch widescreen TV, sitting in their $100,000 house, with a brand new truck outside, nodding along about how tough they have it.

9:44: Oh, yes, solar, wind will replace oil, Barack. I shouldn’t pick on him for that, I suppose; everybody seems to push the same nonsense. We’ll take these really inefficient energy sources that aren’t capable of producing more than a tiny percentage of our energy…awww, never mind.

9:46: John Edwards voted to make it easier to hammer the middle class and the poor on bankruptcies. Does he regret it? Yes. Well, then why the hell did he vote for it? Just saying you regret the vote doesn’t mean you didn’t make it.

9:50: How can people be victimized by a subprime mortgage? It’s not like someone did something to them. They made their own bad decisions and it came back and bit them in the behind. The truth is that the government should let them live with their mistakes.

9:53: Warren Buffet has already made stunning amounts of money. What does he care if they go up on the tax rate?

Also, the whole idea that secretaries are paying, percentage wise, more than CEOs is complete and utter BS. The whole idea that the rich aren’t paying anything is BS. The top 25% of income earners pay 86% of the income tax. How can that be if the secretaries are paying more than the CEOs?

9:56: These guys actually have a communist mentality. The government controls everything. The government deals with every situation. What’s the answer? The government. What if there’s a problem? The government should step in. How should we deal with this? The government needs to become more powerful.

9:58: Ok, they’ve essentially blown an hour. Let’s see if it picks up in the last 30 minutes.

10:00: Do any of these guys have the guts to go for the throat on a question? Barack, why did you choose not to raise your hand when the national anthem played. Hillary, you may be the most hated politician in America, so how can America take four more years of bitter, divided fighting with you in charge? Hillary, can you tell us how you made $100,000 out of a thousand dollars on cattle-futures? Why didn’t you do it again and how do you answer the people that you took bribes?

10:03: Eyes getting heavier, becoming…harder…to…stay awake. Taking all my….strength to stay awake.

10:05: Hahaha. Russert points out that they’re saying something totally different now than they did not long ago and Obama, oh no, no, we’re saying something the same and different!

10:06: Hillary — In other words, you can’t believe a word they’re saying about Iraq. They’re going to tell Democrats they’ll be out in a year and tell the American people they’ll hang out as long as they need to.

10:08: Edwards — We’re pulling all of our troops out, no matter what. Obama: But that means if Al-Qaeda is in Iraq, you’ll let them be. Edwards: Well, I will keep troops in the country outside the country for that, but that doesn’t count. (Can you really have an effective strike force to attack Al-Qaeda forces in Iraq that’s stationed outside of Iraq? Also, if you are going to have a force set aside for that purpose, doesn’t it make more sense to have it in Iraq?)

10:14: Hillary opposes the Bush plan, which is apparently to take away signing bonuses from wounded soldiers. Where did she come up with that?

10:15: Colleges should have to have ROTC programs on campus. Hillary basically had it both ways. She said she would demand colleges have the programs, but then didn’t say that specific colleges Russert mentioned had to have ROTC programs. They’re all so slippery. You can’t take anything they say at face value.

10:17: Obama also supports the ROTC. Good.

10:18: Edwards: we need to check out these military people to make sure they’re not crazy! Plus, 5 gazillion new programs. Democrats can always beat Republicans in that area. They’re always willing to offer government goodies.

10:20: Yucca Mountain — will any of the Democrats be honest enough to admit that Yucca Mountain is the best place to store nuclear waste?

10:21: Obama: I will save you from Yucca Mountain!

10:22: I am more against Yucca Mountain than these other guys! (PS: They’re all lying. Every one of them would support Yucca Mountain if they got in, because it’s by far the best place to put nuclear waste.)

10:23: I will definitely save you from Yucca Mountain! — John Edwards. Plus, I hate nuclear power!

10:24: Hillary — Edwards, you voted for Yucca Mountain twice! Edwards: But that was before the forged document, I was running for President.

10:25: The whole idea that Edwards is opposed to nuclear energy, but is talking about energy independence is nuts. Nuclear power is radically under used in the US. Want to cut dependence on foreign oil? Nuclear power is one of the best ways to do it.

10:26: Barack — Global warming alarmism and I really don’t like nuclear power either.

10:26: Hillary: The energy bill they voted for is associated with Dick Cheney! Scary!

10:28: Hillary: we need a windfall profits tax on big oil. So, do they get a subsidy when times are bad?

10:28: Russert, you’re against nuclear power, Edwards? What are you, some kind of idiot? Edwards, nuclear won’t fix all our problems. Demonize gas and oil companies. We’ve got to take them on. Okay, but he’s still an idiot. They want to reduce carbon emissions, they want to get off of oil; well, nuclear is the single, best way to do that.

Good Lord. Edwards opposes coal plants, too. John Edwards: Under my administration, Americans will sit at home in the dark with no power!

10:30: Hillary — no more coal either! They’re nuts.

10:33: John Edwards: We need 14 million more illegal aliens and no official requirement to speak English.

10:33: Hillary: No, race-based comment number 498 from someone at my campaign isn’t reflective of what I think.

10:34: Obama: Latino voters in my state all voted for me (He ran against Alan Keyes. Everyone voted for him). Obama comes down with John McCain on immigration.

10:36: Oh, good grief. This is going to 11, isn’t it? Sigh…

10:37: Obama is for education and if only Bush cared, we’d solve our problems. Of course, Bush raised education spending more than anyone in American history, but that doesn’t count somehow. What we need now is more money….plus, Obama cares!

10:38: What exactly has Hillary been doing for 35 years? Following Bill around doesn’t count as an accomplishment.

10:39: Edwards, more money, more 2nd chance schools.

10:40: Russert: Guns are killing young black men. Hillary, people are opposed to getting illegal guns off the streets. It’s difficult politically — really? Is it? Hillary supports the Assault Weapons Ban, which is something that impresses liberals. But, the Assault Weapons Ban doesn’t really ban assault weapons. It achieved nothing.

10:42: Obama: The NRA opposes tracking down illegal guns. Sure they do, Obama!

10:43: Russert: you Democrats used to be gun grabbers and now you don’t have the guts to tell people what you think. Edwards, that’s true basically, but I oppose having AK-47s on the street, which is why I support the Assault Weapons ban. Incidentally, the number of people killed with assault weapons in the US is and always has been infintesimal. You are more likely to be beaten to death with a baseball bat than shot with an assault weapon.

10:48: Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy — only 12 minutes left!

10:49: Hillary — terrorists will continue to attack us! The President must defend our country — which, of course, is a great argument for electing a Republican. But, Hillary will make nice with other countries!

10:50: Obama: Too much politics of fear…but we do have real enemies. Hillary is using the politics of fear, however, to score political points. I don’t want to be like Hillary on that. We’ve got to build networks and alliances!

10:53: Hillary — Terrorists did attack after Gordon Brown became President and I recognize that we have real enemies. That’s different than George Bush, who is just spreading fear.

10:54: Was it responsible for you to talk to Musharraf after the assassination of Bhutto? It got tough with Musharraf! I told him he better turn that country into a democracy! Lol. Does any of this sound believable coming from Silky Pony? I then ordered him to allow outside investigators to come in and investigate. Then, I demanded a fair election.

10:57: Hillary ran for President because she is in favor of solutions.

10:57: Edwards ran for President to stick up for the middle class.

10:58: I ran for President to bring change and bring people together.

Summary: A really, really dull debate that anyone who loves capitalism and is suspicious of enormous government power probably found generally disturbing. All three of them had pretty much the same position on every issue, they didn’t take a lot of shots at each other, and there weren’t many witty lines. It’s hard to see this debate changing a lot of minds one way or the other.

John Edwards (Loser): His proposals were a little scarier than the others and he came across as particularly insincere.

Hillary Clinton: She played it safe tonight.

Barack Obama (Winner): He was warmer, friendlier, and more likable than the other candidates. In a debate like this one, that’s probably enough to win.

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