Drunken Notes from Last Night's Republican Debate That Will Also Serve as Notes for the Next Eleven Republican Debates

SO MANY SCREENS. GLORIOUS, USELESS SCREENS.

Grip the podium for dear life or don’t? This alone will determine who becomes president.

ONE SENTENCE INTROS. It’s like a round of speed-dating where you crossed everyone off the list beforehand.

Michele Bachmann: “I’MAFORMERTAXLITIGATIONATTORNEY ALSO LIVEFREEORDIE.”

Tim Pawlenty: “I’m a neighbor.” (We call this the “hard sell.”)

Everyone but Ron Paul mentioned the kids they made? Duly impressed by the fertility represented on stage tonight.

Will a candidate perhaps answer a question in one word, as John King quixotically hopes? The answer may be “a qualified no.”

Herman Cain says lower capital gains tax to zero. WITH ELABORATE TRAIN ENGINE METAPHOR, THE FUEL FOR THE TRAIN ENGINE TO KEEP IT BURNING WITH MOMENTUM AND AREN’T TRAINS ELECTRIC NOW?

Rick Santorum can barely conceal loathing… for self? TIM PAWLENTY BLOWS HIS SHOCKED REACTION SHOT EARLY. Keep it to thirty seconds, John King scolds. (Here we realize that “honor system” = John King scolding you.)

Pawlenty is a “pro-growth” candidate. Take that, pro-shrinkage dinosaurs.

Ron Paul is stuck between Romney and Pawlenty, looking like the zoo’s least social chimpanzee.

Newt Gingrich is visibly incredulous that Mitt Romney is stealing his anti-Obama talking points.

Bachmann: “I’m looking forward to answering that question.” Too bad the announcement of her candidacy gets in the way.

Paul: LIBERTARIANISM FREE MARKETS FED CONSPIRACY AHHHHHH WHY DON’T I JUST HAVE AYN RAND’S FACE TATTOOED ON MINE SO WHENEVER I SAY SOMETHING IT COMES OUT OF AYN RAND’S MOUTH ALSO.

Bachmann’s platform: “I was the first to suggest repealing whatever groundbreaking bill you were talking about.”

Obamneycare. OBAMNEYCARE. Pawlenty distances self from coinage of “Obamneycare.” (OFUCKINGBAMNEYCARE.)

Santorum: “Tea Party is a great backstop… it’s that great backbone….” ERROR 590 FURTHER BACK-THINGS NOT FOUND.

Bachmann: Tea Party is “disaffected Democrats, people who have never been political in their lives.” DEMONSTRATES VIA PINCHING/SWOOPING HAND GESTURES.

HERMAN CAIN A BUSINESSMAN, ACCORDING TO CNN CRAWL.

Pawlenty breathing with deep focus while trying to follow Paul’s talk of reserve currency. Again.

Pawlenty: MEATPACKING BLUE COLLAR FAIR TRADE LET’S NOT BE CHUMPS WORDCLOUD.

Government is apparently nagging businesses into going away? They should stop!

Bachmann, verbatim quote: “The EPA should be renamed The Job-Killing Organization of America.” The JKOA! Has a nice ring.

Santorum: SO ANGRY ABOUT THE CAPITAL GAINS TAX, EXISTENCE OF HUMANS WHO CHALLENGE HIM.

Santorum flustered on softball pre-commercial query as to whether he prefers Leno or Conan. “Probably Leno. But I don’t watch either, sorry.” Curses self under breath, probably.

Bachmann on Elvis or Johnny Cash: “Uh, both. I have ‘Christmas with Elvis’ on my iPod!” AND NOTHING ELSE.

Paul’s official position: Bureaucrats can’t the manage the economy—let the economy manage the economy.

Romney horrified to be read back the most myopic assertion of the op-ed he just bragged about writing.

Bachmann: TARP was “a $700 billion blank check.” (Note to self: Fairly sure this is not what a blank check is; re-watch Blank Check to confirm.)

Newt says NASA should get out of the way of the private sector.

GAME-CHANGER QUESTION: IS GOVERNMENT TOO INVOLVED IN FOOD SAFETY? (Cain: “No.”)

Romney: Had a very roundabout way of calling federal disaster relief “immoral,” there.

Newt on “Dancing With The Stars” vs. “American Idol”: “AMERICAN IDOL” AND DOES NOT HESITATE TO SAY SO, DEFINITIVELY.

Paul, on question of BlackBerry or iPhone, pauses. “BlackBerry.” The man does look hungry.

Everyone insists there will be reformed Medicare, which is different from reformed healthcare. Audience glares at Santorum as he attempts to explain how Obamacare is just Medicare Part D but bad (?).

Cain: “Do what the small country of Chile did.” 10.0 BEST NEW CAMPAIGN SLOGAN.

Romney: We have ideas, but where are the president’s ideas? The Runaway 3-D Movie Industry Presents: NATIONAL TREASURE 4: THE SEARCH FOR THE PRESIDENT’S IDEAS.

Bachmann’s “President Bish” is somehow the funniest verbal slip of the night. She notes that Obama is far more eloquent than her.

Pawlenty: Protect religious people from the government!

Cain explains (exCains?) that militant Muslims are “the ones that are trying to kill us.”

Newt: “JUST SAY NO” TO PEOPLE WHO ASK TO INFILTRATE OUR COUNTRY. Excellent Nancy Reagan callback, as always.

Cain on deep-dish or thin-crust pizza: “DEEP. DISH.” (In deep voice.)

Romney on spicy or mild wings: “Oh, spicy. AND BY THE WAY BRUINS ARE UP 4-0.” So that’s the bro at the bar ski lodge that Romney is.

Bachmann: States’ rights unless gay marriage.

WHO HAS THE MOST ANTI-GAY CRED? Spoiler: everyone.

Cain actually uses the word “druthers.” (+10)

Bachmann would “keep” the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that is not in place anymore.

Santorum: Unlike some Romneys I could name, I’M AUTHENTICALLY PRO-LIFE, FOOL. Says, “I’ve taken the bullets.” (!)

Romney: “Life starts at the beginning.” CASE CLOSED.

Paul: Becoming more marionette-, Ross Perot-like by the word.

Pawlenty reinforced Minnesota border with the Minnesota National Guard? Is that not the plot of Canadian Bacon?

Ooh, eminent domain question? WELCOME TO RON PAUL’S WHEELHOUSE, FUDRUCKERS.

Why can’t government get out of the way of the people get out of the way of the housing bubble get out of the way of the free market get out of the way of bankruptcy?

Pawlenty on Coke or Pepsi: “Coke.” MUST I AGREE WITH HIM ON SOMETHING?

Romney: We shouldn’t be helping other people fight for their independence. (P.S., France never helped us. With anything. Eat shit, France, for real.)

Pawlenty be fearmongerin’. Claims al-Qaeda “would have killed 30 million if they could have.” THE OBVIOUS FOLLOW-UP DOES NOT COME: DOES HE KNOW BECAUSE HE’S AL-QAEDA?

Bachmann pledges to “not lead from behind.”

Newt says “fundamentally” as often as he can. Must be how he turns some Manchurian Candidate on and off.

To paraphrase Cain paraphrasing Cain’s grandmother: “IT’S A MESS AW IT’S AN ABSOLUTE MESS.”

Question: What will you do to cut down on superfluous military bases? Santorum: We need superfluous military bases.

GOTCHA QUESTION FOR PAWLENTY: WHO IS BETTER, BIDEN OR PALIN, GO. “Biden has been wrong about everything.” Except on how to be the world’s best grandpa, right?

We’ve got one last minute for state pandering! Romney: “People in New Hampshire love the future.” Pawlenty scrambles onto the Bruins bandwagon. Minnesota’s team (The Mighty Ducks?) must be crushed.