Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here


By Steve Deace

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways.


  • Something called Gary Johnson had the best line of the night.
  • Mitt Romney made the case he was the candidate of moral consistency, and the audience actually applauded that John Edwards-sized whopper.
  • Rick Perry’s best two answers of the night were on defending the indefensible—his approval of reduced tuition for illegal aliens and his controversial executive order mandating 10-year old girls in Texas get vaccinated for a sexual transmitted disease.


And those were the highlights.

No matter how you slice it, Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate was an exercise in futility with more clichés than an Obama teleprompter. Fox News, which did a phenomenal job overseeing an edgy and informative debate prior to the Iowa Straw Poll, for whatever reason played it safe and just added to the overall tediousness of the evening.

There were no winners, only losers—both on the stage and watching at home. Which is why we’re not going to hand out debate grades or talk about who helped themselves, because I don’t think anybody that should be president actually did. Instead, we’ll just provide a few comments on each candidate’s performance that sort of sums up the night each of them had:

Michele Bachmann

After getting just two questions in the first 42 minutes, Bachmann inexplicably thought it was best to finally interject herself into the conversation in response to Gary Johnson of all people. Then at the end of the debate she began an impassioned plea for primary voters to seize their opportunity to nominate a true constitutional conservative given how weak Obama’s poll numbers are, except for one problem. She never closed it by telling the voters she was that candidate. That lost opportunity is the Bachmann presidential campaign in a nutshell. After a strong set up, she consistently fails to close.

Herman Cain

Confirming what I have suspected all along, Cain proved once and for all he’s running for vice president by going after Romney and getting propped up by Perry. This debate was so bad, not even Cain’s consultants could save it.

Newt Gingrich

One part of me would just as soon vote for Gingrich just to make next fall’s debates with Obama interesting, and then another part of me wants to know when Gingrich will actually start running for president by contrasting himself with his campaign rivals. The GOP elder statesman shtick was fun for a while, but now it’s time to show some fire in the belly.

Jon Huntsman

He is the GOP presidential equivalent of that creepy Burger King mascot. It’s like he’s a human being portraying a human being acting like a politician. The equally creepy Daniel Day-Lewis will one day play Huntsman on MSNBC’s forthcoming biopic titled A Man in Orange: A Nation Awaits.

Gary Johnson

Epic fail for failing to bring up the icky sticky during his one shining moment, leaving him unable to shore up his core stoner constituency who is concerned Ron Paul isn’t libertarian enough. Johnson’s honorary lifetime subscription to High Times will be discontinued for this failure.

Ron Paul

His answer on the sanctity of life was inexcusable, simply because he chose to chase another libertarian rabbit trail instead of defending his own pro-life moral conviction that I have heard him discuss several times. Instead, Paul waxed on about RU-486 and never said it wasn’t okay to kill babies conceived via rape. Mr. Constitution also never once noted the 5th Amendment says no person may be deprived of life or property without due process. Mr. Constitution never defended the concept of unalienable rights, either.  In other words, Mr. Constitution didn’t uphold the Constitution.

Rick Perry

He had the kill shot on Romney as a multiple offending flip-flopper lined up, but he was so unpolished and clumsy he couldn’t get it out and let Romney off the hook. You find yourself almost wanting to root for Perry to save you from Romney as your nominee, and then Perry speaks and cures you of that affliction.

Mitt Romney

At first I thought Perry was in the race to deliver us from Romney once-and-for-all, but at the rate this is going Perry is going to deliver Romney to us—because Willard has never looked more presidential then when he’s standing next to Perry. This current field is letting Romney get away with just flat out lies and distortions of his record. Obviously none of these people wants to win as badly as John McCain, who didn’t let Romney get away with it four years ago. At this point I’d just as soon prefer Romney be the nominee if the field remains this flaccid, lest one more person in the name of Jesus and wrapped in the Constitution prove to be an ineffective leader. Since Romney isn’t about either of those things, he and the ruling class deserve each other. We in the grassroots deserve better, but no one seems willing or able to be our champion at this point.

Rick Santorum

He gave a great applause line on re-establishing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and his closing answer on how to inspire the American people again was inspiring. However, by that time only shut-ins and production assistants for The Daily Show were still watching, and he managed to get upstaged on a foreign policy question by Huntsman. Santorum has a window right now to make his case, but he doesn’t appear to have the resources to make that case.



  • Anonymous

    Yes, I was disappointed that Gov. Johnson didn’t talk about marijuana legalization as well, but he had the best line of the night when he said that his neighbor’s dog had created more shovel ready projects than the stimulus package.

    • “Michael Mann”

      I have similar rules for eating out and for voting: 1) if I can make the food just as well, I don’t pay for it at a restaurant, and 2) if I could have done just as well in the debate, I don’t vote for him.  I don’t know anything about Gov. Johnson but I can definitely visualize him passing a joint. During the debate, that is.

    • revraygreen

      if an opponent dropped the topic and his name,or one of the questions was marijuana related, Gary would’ve been able to debate it.

      Fact is TWO POTUS GOP candidates were on a national stage who both support canabis law reforms…….

      One, Newt, former college party boy, admitted inhaler, once called for the DEATH SENTENCE if caught with 2 oz.’s or more while debating HARSHER drug laws while in CONgress, as the crack empidemic began in the 80’s.(brought to you by the CIA)

    • Beth

      We need to execute major Marijuana producers. 

      • revraygreen

        that is insane…..it’s growing in closets and basements all over the good old USA……every city, every state.

        • Beth

          I said the MAJOR growers.

          The minor ones of course need to do some really heavy jail time.

          • revraygreen

            of course you have no idea what you are talking about, good day……enjoy this uninformed media hack who like to make jokes about something he has no experience with, cannabis,but drinks daily……

            -‘Once again Rev Ray Green and Johnny Reeferseed OWN talk radio airwaves in Des Moines IA’ (and insufferable,informal crazy fools)

          • Beth

            What Denomination are you a Reverend of?

          • revraygreen

            Rastafari Street Ministry

  • Grandma

    Was wondering if you vaccinate your kids. Many vaccines are cultured on cells from aborted fetal tissue. Not really related to what Ron Paul said or didn’t say, but I am frustrated with pro-life Christians who vaccinate, knowing about the connection to abortion.

  • Tom Hoefling

    I’ve prayed for a true principled statesman to rise up and help lead this country back from the edge of the abyss.

    After watching as much of this bunch as I can stomach I’m convinced God has so far answered my prayers in the negative.

  • “Michael Mann”

    “He is the GOP presidential equivalent of that creepy Burger King mascot.
    It’s like he’s a human being portraying a human being acting like a
    Nice, Steve. Very Nice.

    And, “At first I thought Perry was in the race to deliver us from Romney
    once-and-for-all, but at the rate this is going Perry is going to
    deliver Romney to us—because Willard has never looked more presidential than when he’s standing next to Perry… At this point I’d
    just as soon prefer Romney be the nominee if the field remains this
    flaccid, lest one more person in the name of Jesus and wrapped in the
    Constitution prove to be an ineffective leader.”

    Nailed it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1481354920 Craig Bergman

    Please Sarah! Announce already and spare us this nightmare of lightweights who are only going to ensure we nominate Romney.

    • “Michael Mann”

      As long as she surrounds herself with top-notch advisors, I’m on board, Craig.

  • revraygreen

    turn 999 upside down, Cain can always get a job on Sesame Street.

    Epic fail Steve for you expecting Gary to bring up his support for cannabis law reform, along with the other man on the stage, DOCTOR Ron Paul, who GJ said he would run with.

    The epic fail when it comes to insufferable, informal fools like Romney attempting stand up by making a “I did not inhale” joke.

  • revraygreen

    Highlights include making fools out of the media pot-nazi hacks here in Iowa. Taking on former Iowa Governor Tom Visack in 2006 to gaining support from former GOP Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson in 2010. Sid Wilson/DJ Starscream of SlipKnot making some noise..


  • BT

    Here is yet MORE positive coverage of Ron Paul from Russia Today!

    If the Russian Government likes Ron Paul we all should be concerned.


  • Manlee1

    I thought Rick Santorum had the best line of the night:  “Not any type of sexual activity has any place in the military,”

    I also thought I heard Rick Santorum say that he thought we could still “win” in Afghanistan.

  • “Michael Mann”

    Revray, I am so shocked that you are in favor of legalization. Never saw that coming.

    Well, anyway, the Rev actually has a point here even though he may be too stoned to articulate it (or to control his CAPs key, for that matter).

    Which is to say, even if we go to the “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” standard, it’s hard to make out the case that it’s just to send someone to jail for years just because he lit up a weed, acted silly & passive, and got the munchies.

    Is marijuana prohibition in the same category as alcohol prohibition? Maybe, maybe not, but there shouldn’t be more than a fine for its use.

    Having said all that, the issue doesn’t make the top 20 in my list of concerns. 

  • revraygreen

    might feel different if your adult kid,mom,grandpa goes to jail for a joint.

  • “Michael Mann”

    Like I said, Rev, you do have a point. It’s just not part of my immediate culture and there are really huge problems right now that threaten our national security, individual liberties, and even our way of life. Hey, go ahead and advocate what’s important to you; if you change a few minds, that’s a little bit of progress. 
    Personally, I think the California model goes too far. Make possession like a speeding ticket, and I’m on board.
    Instead of just snarking, why don’t you actually make some arguments? http://old.nationalreview.com/buckley/buckley200406291207.asp

  • Beth

    Of course that would be as a result of their action.

    Marijuana is an evil that needs to be suppressed. 

  • “Michael Mann”

    But, Beth, there are a lot of “evils” out there. False religion, blasphemy, and adultery are all evils, but all without jail sentences attached to them. Is a 19 year old kid smoking a joint doing something more evil? Or should the magistrate jail all more evil? The sentence should fit the crime.

  • Anonymous

    when someone who commits lascivious acts with a child or a violent sex-offender is out of prison before a NON-VIOLENT ADULT who’s only crime was marijuana, that is a major problem…….and co$t is more than the millions wasted on the war against cannabis.

    just-us Iowa style.

  • revraygreen

    I am on a Polk County Jail Committee proposing decrim here, we can sav 5% jail costs alone. The city of Philadelphia saved over 2 million last year make possession the lowest police priority…. pseudo decrim, DSM/Polk County would save 750k+ in the first year.

  • Beth

    “Make possession like a speeding ticket, and I’m on board”.

    That’s worse than making it legal.   It makes it like a game. That even makes doing drugs MORE exciting.

    Look either be prepared to enforce the law or don’t make it illegal. 

  • Beth

    ” It’s just not part of my immediate culture…”

    Nor is it a part of any decent person’s immediate culture.  It is only a part of those who are indecent to begin with,

  • Greg

    I am not a Rudy Giuliani  Fan when it comes to that cross dresser becoming President, but he was a pretty good mayor of New York.

    Giuliani chose to have his police officers aggressively enforce the anti-jaywalking statute.  The enforcement of the statutes on jaywalking was justified by the “broken windows” theory, observed in a district–graffiti, panhandlers, subway-fare evasions–was proportional to the amount of significant crimes, of murders, rapes, and felonious assaults.

    My point is when a community stops enforcing the “insignificant crimes” it is proven that the significant crimes also increase.

  • revraygreen

    the WORLD never had a problem with cannabis until it was outlawed in 1937. BY some racist puritans.

    The evil that needs suppressed is from those against reform of bad laws. Nixon was impeached, he was the one who thru the Schafer ComissionReport in the trash.(google it Beth)

  • Beth

    Well, child sex offenders should be executed. 

  • Anonymous

    as a parent of two adult children, this we can agree on.

  • Beth

    Nixon was a RINO.  I don’t know if I disagree with everything he he did but I certainly disagree with Price and Wage Controls and his support for Affirmative Action.

  • Beth

    The sentence should DETER the crime.