Before anything else: Let us bow our heads in prayer to St. Ronald Reagan, the dead host of tonight's debate in California. Our Lord, Ronald Reagan, hallowed be thy name. You are the man. What was that movie you were in? Amen. Now let's get out there and kick each other's asses!
7:57 — The debate is on MSNBC. Oh, did you want a funny drinking game? Jump off a bridge when someone says something. When Ron Paul says something! Jump off a bridge when Michele Bachmann says something, that's the ticket.
8:00 — Rick Perry is first. Brian Williams asks him why no one in his state has a decent education. That's easy, says Perry. That's how we get them to do cheap labor!
8:05 — Mitt Romney, is it a bad thing for someone to serve in government their whole career? Romney: No! That's only the major implication of my top campaign line. Perry: Mitt Romney sent jobs overseas.
8:12 — Jon Huntsman, you know China. Why does Mitt Romney want to start a trade war with China? Because he's not as good of a presidential candidate as I am, Jon Huntsman says. He's lived overseas four times. He knows things. But has he killed anyone while overseas, like Romney has?
8:14 — Michele Bachmann has a story about turning down a job request from a 17-year-old. She blames this on ObamaCare. HAHAHA: "Kids. Need. Jobs." — Michele Bachmann.
8:18 — Newt Gingrich would like to talk about Ronald Reagan. "I served as a sophomore helping pass the Reagan jobs program." Yeah, Newt Gingrich, when you think about it, is the real Ronald Reagan. He's upset that President Obama refuses to go to the Reagan Library and talk to people like Herman Cain about jobs, because he's too obsessed with "class warfare."
8:20 — John Harris, the Politico editor and other moderator, tries to play audio or something and the entire telecast goes silent. Politico wins the debate!
8:23 — Why are so many people in Texas uninsured, Rick Perry? It's the federal government!
8:25 — Jon Huntsman: Less regulations "allow the free market to create a marketplace."
8:27 — Aaaaand as predicted, Newt Gingrich is just yelling obnoxiously at the moderators. He doesn't like how they're trying to get Republicans to fight with each other! That would be too much like a "debate," probably. Ha ha! He is trying to get all other candidates to join forces to stop "the news media."
8:29 — Oh fuck, time to throw Santorum a bone. Brian Williams: You're a big time Catholic, Santorum. So why do you hate the poor so much? Rick Santorum: "Nobody did more to work on poverty than Rick Santorum."
8:32 — I believe Rick Perry just referred to white people as "Anglo." Whether you're Hispanic, Asian, or "Anglo." Eat shit, Saxons!
8:35 — Yeah, it really will be interesting to see how President Bachmann keeps gas under $2 during her presidency. Some mix of tar sands/Everglades alligator fat?
8:37 — Ron Paul cheers right up when someone asks him if we should eliminate the minimum wage. Why yes, please! Oh shit, now he's promising a gallon of gas for a DIME. Oh, it's getting better: "A silver dime."
8:39 — Ron Paul has successfully picked a fight with Rick Perry, over Ronald Reagan. Ron Paul supports the "message of Ronald Reagan." Not the actual real life Ronald Reagan at all, but the message? Sure, he likes that.
8:43 — That huge airplane that's in the debate room, hanging over everyone and surrounded by a glass wall? Too close to 9/11. Ronald Reagan should be ashamed.
8:45 — Aaaaaand now we have a Ronald Reagan montage. [Smoke break.]
8:47 — The candidates are lining up to suck Nancy Reagan's big toe.
8:48 — Rick Perry is asked about why he wants to destroy Social Security. First, he says: If you're my age, and you're near Social Security, don't worry about a thing! For the rest of you: It is a "monstrous lie" and a "Ponzi scheme." Genuinely surprised that he didn't back away from that SOMEWHAT DANGEROUS line from his book.
8:51 — Ugh. Here we were having so much fun! But now we feel obliged to briefly discuss policy: The Social Security growth rate is steady in the long-term. Look at the chart. It is not a problem. Jesus.
8:52 — Herman Cain is talking about General Pinochet's Chilean pension reform. It did not work as well as he says it does. Oh good, now the fun's starting again! They're talking about why Rick Perry made girls get vaccinated against HPV, which he's now renounced.
8:55 — Michele Bachmann can't believe that Rick Perry would force the vaccination of "innocent" 12-year-old girls.
8:56 — Rick Perry: "I hate cancer."
8:57 — Jesus, they're making it sound like Rick Perry raped every 12-year-old girl in Texas.
9:00 — Ron Paul accuses TSA agents of "sexual activity," the way they grope passengers. The last 10 minutes of this debate have been seriously uncomfortable.
9:03 — Herman Cain: "Let's not eliminate FEMA. Let's fix FEMA. Let's fix Homeland Security." This is the left-most comment that's been made all night, since it doesn't recommend instantly eliminating every agency and department.
9:05 — Brian Williams is again hammering Rick Perry on the "why has no one in your state graduated from high school" front. He says, we're getting there! But mostly, it's the Mexicans' fault, for sneaking in and being dumb.
9:08 — Oh shit, a Mexican is walking on stage! Where are the guards? GUARDS! SECURE NANCY REAGAN! Oh nevermind, it's just a host from Telemundo. (GET HIM!)
9:10 — Mitt Romney is describing a giant "magnet" that brings Mexicans in, illegally. Where is this magnet? How can it be "turned off"? Fuck you guys, I'm going out to find this magnet.
9:12 — Biggest applause line of the night goes to Newt Gingrich for saying English should be the official language of the country. No applause, however, when he says immigration reform needs "to be done in a humane way." Get off the stage, Pelosi!
9:18 — Herman Cain: "This is how we fix the entire problem."
9:23 — Brian Williams to Mitt Romney: Are you a member of the Tea Party? Mitt Romney says he likes a lot of the things that the Tea Party likes! This sounds weak, to not sign it up entirely... but it's probably good for the general election. The Tea Party is unpopular!
9:26 — Jon Huntsman comes out strong against dumb campaign pledges. No pledges, he says. Good for him! (He wants to raise taxes to 150% of everything, is the takeaway, for Republicans.) Did you know too that he has a sinus infection? Maybe Rick Perry has a vaccination for that.
9:27 — Easiest question of the night: Is there a crisis of confidence in the country? Actually maybe that's not the easiest question of the night. I just don't know the truth anymore.
9:29 — MSNBC zooms out to the image of the large, large aircraft hanging from the roof as the moderators bring up 9/11.
9:30 — Rick Perry thanks Obama for keeping Guantanamo Bay open. Damn!
9:33 — Now they're all thumping their chests about having war everywhere. Nice time for some Gawker Staff In-Game Analysis, featuring staff writer Max Read:
Jim: what do you think of the debate so far?
Max: i turned it off when i heard that reese witherspoon had been hit by a car
Max: didnt seem right to keep watching
Jim: is she dead?
Max: well shes "okay"
Max: but, you know
Max: its reese witherspoon
Max: america's sweetheart
9:37 — Rick Perry wants these climate change scientists to do the science that they've already done several hundred times over before we do anything. And if they find something, oh those scientists are gonna be treated pretty ugly down in Texas.
9:40 — Newt Gingrich would "fire" Ben Bernanke tomorrow, if he were president. Can presidents fire Fed chairs? Slate magazine explains!
9:43 — Mitt Romney's pledge to remove the capital gains and dividend taxes for "middle-class" ($200,000 or less) earners is the most amazing thing. He gets so passionate about it! Let the working man shit more money into the great Wall Street roulette wheel of failure!
9:45 — Rick Perry gets heavy applause for his heartfelt defense of state-sanctioned killings of unarmed people — "the death penalty," they call it. Of course he does. People love death!
9:49 — Oh thank you Jesus and Allah, the debate is over. Who "won"? Ronald Reagan won. Thank you for reading and commenting!