Why do I have the feeling that all those pundits who swooned over Giuliani’s ferret moment last night (with Ron Paul, fittingly, in the role of the ferret) will wake up sometime this afternoon and hurriedly search for their high heels and party dress, hoping to slink unnoticed past the RA’s room before someone catches them? Sure, it was an immensely satisfying smackdown, but it was largely substance-free, fueled by vitriol and personality. And you’re gonna go home with that guy? If that’s the standard that the Republicans want to hold their leader too, dude, the terrorists have won.
Some droll first takes from around the web:
Byron York behind the scenes:
“I don’t think it takes a lot of courage to use Ron Paul as a prop,” said Charlie Black, the longtime GOP strategist who is backing Sen. John McCain. “But he [Giuliani] got his 9/11 credential in there, so congratulations.” [NRO]
Dickerson does his best Robert Benchley:
“Midway through each candidate’s answer, a whooshing sound effect played as their name appeared on the screen. It was so loud it drowned out the candidate and made you want to duck for cover. When the candidates talked beyond their allotted time, a little bell rang, making it sound like somewhere a pastry had just popped up in the toaster.” [Slate]
You can see where I got it; Wonkette boozes through the whole thing and you can see why:
“10:17 The audience just applauded waterboarding.” [Wonkette]
TNR has better taste in TV shows than you:
“I keep imagining an alternate scenario: Chris Wallace asking, ‘So, if your plane had crashed on a remote island that might or might not be purgatory and/or a big science experiment and/or a figment of your imagination, and on this island, along with a lot of improbably beautiful women, some polar bears, a smoke monster, and an army of natives who are constantly trying to kidnap your women and children, was a former member of the Iraqi Army who (let’s just say) knew how to use ‘enhanced techniques’ to get information — and if also on that island was a conman who had stashed all the medicine that was on your plane and was refusing to give it up to a girl having an asthma attack — and if you were a world-class surgeon with daddy issues who really, really wanted to save the day — would you sic the Iraqi torturer on the conman in order to get the girl’s inhaler? Now would you, sir?'” [The Plank]
Please let us know your favorite bits of analysis on last night’s edition of “$64,000 Question” in the comments section.
UPDATE: Mark Halperin gets out his red pen and gold stars here.