Live: The Last Iowa Republican DebateS

Tonight is that most important of nights for Iowa Republicans: Their final chance to see our beloved field of Republican presidential candidates say the same things they say in every debate. But will they say these things differently? Who will fuck up most comically? Go soak that tampon in grain alcohol, put on a fresh pair of pants, and let's find out — together.

9:00 — Turn on Fox News, Bret Baier needs you!
9:02 — Newt Gingrich, everyone wants an electable candidate to beat the president, and you are Newt Gingrich. Why are you ruining everything? Gingrich responds: Umm... Ronald Reagan?
9:04 — The buzzer sound is, once again, the Gchat sound. Wait, sorry, brb, someone's Gchatting me... oh no that's just them trying to get Newt Gingrich to shut up.
9:06 — Ron Paul, would you support the eventual Republican nominee who is likely to be someone you hate? Paul says that any of these candidates would have no trouble beating Obama! (He's wrong.) Also, he likes monetary policy. Direct answer, that.
9:07 — Rick Santorum, you've been in all 99 Iowa counties. No one's spent as much time on the ground as you. So isn't it funny that no one wants to vote for you? Santorum: I'm a leader. "When you wanted something done" in Congress, he says, "you'd come to Rick Santorum."
9:10 — Mitt Romney explains how sorry he is to not have bought up and destroyed JetBlue when he had his chance in business.
9:11 — Michele Bachmann: "I spent 50 years as a real person."
9:12 — Rick Perry says he loves debating now! He wants to debate Obama, 10 million times. Oh crap, now he's invoking Tim Tebow. He is literally reading a biography of Tim Tebow. "I hope I am the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses." TWITTER 'SPLOSION. Boy howdy, what a dumbass.
9:15 — Jon Huntsman is so useless. He keeps talking about various deficits. Real Deficit. Trust Deficit. He will fix all of the deficits. But mostly the "Trust" "Deficit." He's just Thomas Friedman at this point, without all the butt-picking.
9:18 — Newt Gingrich is off with his "Saul Alinsky radical" label for the President. He then explains that he can bring together the entire political spectrum to get things done. A notably patriotic non-sequitur.
9:24 — Back from commercials. Chris Wallace has some questions about "DC culture." Newt Gingrich, What's the best gastropub in Adams Morgan?
9:26 — Mitt Romney again that President Obama "has not lived" in "the real world." How many leveraged buyouts have you completed in your "world," Neptune? How many sad old fucks' pensions have you redirected to your bank account? Thank you.
9:28 — Newt Gingrich is asked about the hilarious millions of dollars he took from Freddie Mac, and whether he feels it's hypocritical to then criticize Barney Frank or Chris Dodd. I was just in private business, Gingrich says. Indeed, he's just your neighborhood non-registered lobbyist ex-Speaker who takes corporate cash and then gets his many friends in power to pass laws.
9:30 — Ron Paul is going on about Austrian economics, as a means of attacking Newt Gingrich. C'mon. Just call him a fat old crook and then take a victory lap around the auditorium.
9:32 — Michele Bachmann just ruined Newt Gingrich. Gingrich: "What she just said is factually not true." He's a reformer! Talk to former Rep. Rick Lazio, he says. Maybe we will! Which Bronx homeless shelter is ol' Laz living in these days?
9:34 — Newt Gingrich: "I have never once changed my position" because of "a payment." He is just BEGGING someone to throw $20 in his face to see if he'll say, Yeah meet me in the alley in 120 minutes, make sure you're not followed.
9:37 — Now they're talking about The Paul Ryan Death Plan 2.0, which is now bipartisan because one Democrat supports it. It would basically be the Ryan plan with an option of staying on traditional Medicare. What would you choose? We'd probably choose the one that doesn't double our out-of-pocket health care costs.
9:39 — Ron Paul gives his defense of earmarks — all money should be earmarked! That keeps it out of the dirty executive branch's hands. Legislators need to get their money back, he says. He has a point — earmarks are for existing streams of funding. But his typically strident, principled tone doesn't work so well here. He knows that that money he brings home gets him reelected, and that's why he does it.
9:41 — Rick Perry, always speaking to the nation at large: "Don't believe everything you read in the Austin American-Statesman."
9:44 — Here's that funny part of the night where they asked former Ambassador Jon Huntsman to explain China in 30 seconds. Well, he says, you've got China and the Internet and dissidents and values and North Korea and... OOPS, SORRY, GCHAT SOUND. Moving on: What do you think about profits, Rick Santorum?
9:46 — Some Twitter guy has a question for Mitt Romney: What new industries will be the big deals over the next 10 years? Romney: The private market will determine that, not me. Sorry. Got a problem with that? Take your complaints to the Privates. (But maybe manufacturing and energy, maybe those things could grow.)
9:48 — Newt Gingrich: You know that thing you keep saying about impeaching tons of judges you don't like or even eliminating their districts? Isn't that a horribly hostile destruction of the balance of power? Gingrich: Yes it does disrupt the balance of power, but some of those courts are really stupid.
9:50 — Gingrich says that lawyers suddenly have too much power and think they can run everything. What a totally new development that's not thousands of years old!
9:51 — Michele Bachmann is stunned, stunned that in this dystopian hellscape of Modern America, "the final arbiter of the law is the court system." Yeah, when did these courts get so uppity, thinking they could rule on statutory law? A proper judge only gives people their stolen vibrators back from their exes' apartments, like Judge Judy.
9:55 — Megyn Kelly wants them to go down the line, naming their favorite Supreme Court justice. Aww, cute. Mitt Romney names four. Gingrich agrees. Ron Paul is giving a lecture about liberty. "All of them are good and all of them are bad," he says. Michele Bachmann names the same four. Jon Huntsman is happy that we have the rule of law in this country. He likes Roberts and Alito. So, yes, everyone dodged the cute question.
10:02 — Time for Hour #2: The Poop Hour. So, what do you all think about this Iran getting its nuclear weapon on? Ron Paul, you love Iran. Why?
10:03 — Ron Paul: Iran isn't even trying to get a bomb. The situation's the same as it was in "two oh three." This is just like Iraq! Some Israeli civil servant who just retired said so. Let's not jump the gun and just settle for another Cold War.
10:05 — Ron Paul is giving a strong defense of why Iran obviously wants a nuclear weapons. Who wouldn't? Bret Baier keeps pushing him to give the Right Answer (kill all Persians), and he won't do it. The other candidates are pissing their pants with excitement!
10:07 — Rick Santorum: "Iran is not any other country." Well it ain't New Zealand, that's for sure. Then he says that it's essentially run by its own version Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda, be scared!!
10:09 — Mitt Romney agrees that President Obama is inviting war with Iran. Mitt Romney would avoid this war by... directly starting a war with Iran? No, with STRENGTH. Mitt Romney would use beefed-up American military strength to not have a war with Iran.
10:11 — Michele Bachmann thinks Ron Paul is the craziest foreign policy fucker this side of Gibraltar. She gets loud cheers! MICHELE BACHMANN RE-SURGE? Check back three or four surges down the road, by which time Mitt Romney will have dropped out to start a slop factory with Tim Pawlenty or some such. Bachmann goes there: "WORLDWIDE CALIPHATE." Chug a pint of Clorox.
10:14 — Bachmann and Paul are getting heated over American empire, for time no. 800. Sadly, this probably doesn't help Ron Paul. Although could it really surprise anyone at this point?
10:16 — Newt Gingrich says that if dirty Arabs were lobbing missiles into America, as they are in Israel, like a couple of times, disproportionately considering what Israel does, wouldn't we want to destroy all of them? Hmm. I thought we were doing a pretty good job of that from our perch across the Atlantic. Anyway, the point is that Newt Gingrich would nuke the Gaza Strip, and knowing him he'd somehow link it to a tax deduction for space station rivets.
10:20 — So now we're going to talk about energy! That was a quick foreign policy segment. It's "funny" how these foreign segments never ask a single question about the actual biggest international problem of the time, the European debt crisis. But hey, who cares? Now Newt Gingrich is ranting about a pipeline and San Francisco and the Strait of Hormuz.
10:23 — The Republicans are explaining their plans to eliminate America's addition to foreign oil: Drill under some birds in Alaska, schlep down those tar sands from Canada. Umm... natural gas, yes, get that natural gas, in Pennsylvania and such. America's long-term foreign energy dependence problem, solved.
10:27 — Rick Perry is asked about whether he's hypocritical to criticize the federal government for subsidizing green technology, while giving tax breaks to oil companies in Texas. Perry: "Today is the 220th anniversary of the signing of the Bill of Rights."
10:32 — Back from commercial. The home stretch. Rick Perry, you've asked for AG Eric Holder to resign over the Fast and Furious scandal. Are you and fellow Republicans overexaggerating and politicizing this? Surely they'll all say yes.
10:33 — The way Rick Perry says "Texas ranger recon teams" is awesome. [Unamused cowboy face]: Texasrangerreconteams.
10:35 — Mitt Romney is furiously explaining how he'll give every illegal immigrant who's here a MasterCard or Visa card, to get a job. What would be the credit limit? Two jobs? He stole this from Newt Gingrich.
10:38 — Interesting that organized, well-funded Iowa frontrunner Ron Paul hasn't talked in oh a half-hour or so. Instead, what do you think about illegal immigration, Jon Huntsman, who is in last place nationally and isn't even running in Iowa?
10:40 — Mitt Romney, you're a total flip-flop on everything. Can you give us your canned response? I HAVE NEVER CHANGED MY OPINIONS, CHRIS WALLACE. Except for gay rights! He was gay when he governed Massachusetts, but he regrets this now.
10:43 — Mitt Romney says he'd fight for anti-discrimination laws for gays. He let a gay into his Massachusetts cabinet, even. He would do more for gays than Ted Kennedy ever did! Good for Mittens. Also, he probably just lost Iowa, again.
10:46 — Rick Santorum can't believe that Mitt Romney wouldn't eliminate his gay state Supreme Court in Massachusetts. This is right in Newt Gingrich's wheelhouse. Fourteen more minutes...
10:47 — Michele Bachmann continues to light into Newt Gingrich, just brutally. It sounds like she's indirectly accusing him of being, you know, A CONSTANT MURDERER OF INFANTS. He takes infants and fucking kills them all, for fun. Die die die, infants! Die again! Gingrich's look right now is incredible. He merely says that "sometimes" she doesn't get her facts right. I bet Newt Gingrich does kill infants for fun; it just has no relation to the abortion debate.
10:50 — HECKLER! HECKLER! No on interrupts Bret Baier. Uh oh, there go the rent-a-cops to crush that guy's skull.
10:52 — Why are you all so mean to each other? Have you forgotten what God told Ronald Reagan atop Mount Sinai, "Thou shalt not be mean to other politicians within your political party"?
10:55 — Let's thank our Lord, Tim Tebow, for it is over. Thank you all for reading and commenting. Whoa, there are a million comments! It's nice to see that *some* people take our country's future seriously.