The only thing I learned from the GOP debate last night were the essential ingredients to the world's most powerful cocktail in man's arduous battle against anxiety and insomnia: two Ativans, three sleeping pills, and the audible fatuity of nine cardboard clowns. Before I knew what hit me, I was out like Sonny Liston in his rematch with Clay.
So I missed the splendid, Lincoln-Douglas eloquence of, say, a Rick Perry:
Is it the Mitt Romney that was on the side of -- against the Second Amendment before he was for the Second Amendment? Was it -- was before -- he was before the social programs from the standpoint of -- he was for standing up for Roe v. Wade before he was against first -- Roe v. Wade? I mean we’ll wait until tomorrow to see which Mitt Romney we’re really talking to tonight.
Romney should have shot back, Adlai Stevenson-like: "Well, we won't wait for the translation of that gibberish." Alas, I see no such transcripted touche.
This morning I sought out the NY Times' assessment, but its meticulously balanced daintiness nearly put me back to sleep:
[A]fter two hours of dueling it was unclear whether Mr. Perry had achieved his goal of knocking Mr. Romney off his fairly unruffled stride. It was similarly not certain that Mr. Romney had made headway in knocking Mr. Perry down a few pegs in what has been a relatively strong opening to his young campaign.
I can see why the reality behind those pugilistic metaphors would be "unclear" and "not certain" to me, since I happened to be slumbering throughout the Clash of the Titmouse Titans. But, Messrs. Rutenberg and Zeleny, you were there for Pete's sake. Even in that hideous fog of whores, could you not score a decision?
I turned to the Washington Post. Its reporting was as perilously somniferous as the Times.
So, then remembering that he probably, pluckily live-blogged the bloody thing, I sought out Sullivan. He had. And he concluded: "I want to go somewhere dark and slit my wrists." Now that's a bankable journalistic assessment.
Suicide-watch alert, Andrew: try Ativan and sleeping pills first, and, for at least six weeks, abstain from cerebral contact with swaggering Texans and platitudinous outsourcers.
Sullivan posted a few other, less entertaining blogospheric reactions:
Josh Marshall: "It was almost sad."
David Weigel: "Perry sounds exhausted."
Aaron Goldstein: "Perry is swinging and missing."
Taegan Goddard: "Perry looked tired and was barely able to finish a two hour debate."
Hey, he did better than I.