MCCAIN: Good lord, how often is he going to tell that drunken sailor joke?
GILMORE: Oooh, sneaky. In translation: "To hear which other candidates I'm talking smack about, you're going to have to visit my website."
We have entered the 'run to the right' part of the evening - any evidence of a liberal position will be posed as an accusation to be refuted.
GIULIANI: If he thinks he's going to get anywhere by talking about reducing abortion, his candidacy should be disqualified on account of he's delusional.
ROMNEY: "Being governor of Massachusetts proves that I am a true conservative because I've had to stand up to the horrible liberals there." Never mind that he only stood up after running and winning as a liberal.
QUESTIONS: Abortion abortion stem cells.
THOMPSON: Deep in the weeds of stem cells. Conclusion: There are already enough stem cell lines for promising research.
GIULIANI: "Legal abortion is about keeping the government out of people's lives so it's really conservative." Again, good luck with that.
HUCKABEE: At least Giuliani is honest about his position (slam at Romney?), but I'm better because "I value life" and that's "what separates us from the Islamic jihadist."
BROWNBACK: No abortions even for rape victims.
ROMNEY: My change of position on abortion is sincere. I swear. Really. Honest.
TANCREDO: He's seeing a lot of conversions among other candidates. His rehearsed laugh line of the night: Supports conversions on the road to Damascus, not on the road to Des Moines.
MCCAIN: We have to be bipartisan on immigration. Because of the planned Fort Dix attack.
ROMNEY: McCain is soft on immigration. "If you're here illegally, you should not have a special pathway" to become a permanent resident. Says "special pathway" about three more times. Then hits McCain on campaign finance reform.
MCCAIN: At least I'm consistent on campaign finance reform rather than changing position according to what office I'm running for. Because it's not like his positions have shifted at all since, oh, say, 2000. (Jerry Falwell, anyone?)
PAUL: When we go to war in haste, the wars don't end. (Is that like marry in haste, repent at leisure?) Keeps invoking Ronald Reagan to support his anti-Iraq war stance. Are they going to ask him about anything but Iraq?
GIULIANI: 9/11 gives me my moral authority and I will hammer that. Demands that Paul take back saying that US foreign policy had something to do with 9/11.
PAUL: "They don't attack us because we're rich and we're free, they attack us because we're over there."
MCCAIN: Asked about Confederate flag. "Almost all parties involved" believe it's a good compromise to have it not flying on the state capitol but somewhere else on the grounds. And now can we please please please stop talking about this?
TANCREDO: "For every single scientist" who says people are responsible for global warming, there's another who says it's not. Oy.
And following up on the global warming question, he goes back to... Ron Paul's views on 9/11. Now we come to the "don't you just love torture?" segment.
McCAIN: No. (No applause)
RUDY: Fuckin 'a! Of course! (Much applause)
MITT: Hmm. Not so much on the torture -- but how 'bout this? Double the size of Guantanamo!! (Even more applause!)
BROWNBACK: Not going to involve UN in preemptive intervention if US lives are involved. (Not gonna involve UN in reproductive rights questions, either, one would presume.)
McCAIN: You know, it's these chickenhawk dipshits who support torture. Those of us who served see the big picture. (Tepid applause)
(I forgot that Gilmore was still running.)
GILMORE: I'll go to the UN -- and tell them what they're gonna let us do.
PAUL: In case of a terrorist attack... cut taxes! And spending! Because Keynes was a punk.
TANCREDO!!! GIVE ME JACK BAUER! Ethics and law "go out the window" when terrorism strikes.
GILMORE: Sure, there aren't any minorities in the race, but there will be some day. Don't sweat it.
MITT: Sure, I'm willing to change positions that might anger the Republican base -- for example, I like NCLB, because it fights teachers unions!
HUNTER: China. US on trade. Chinese military. Dissidents.And that's it. Tom Tancredo is without a doubt the most lunatic fringe player I've ever seen run for president whose party actually let him on stage for a debate.
Of course you could go read Big Jolly post 60 times that somebody kicked somebody's ass, or this moron's view that Ron Paul represents the Democrat (sic) position. But it wouldn't be as hilarious, because they aren't kidding.
Update: Beldar Conehead and The Pink Lady also have pretty funny takes, again from opposite ends of the spectrum.