I watched the first part of it online, and don’t recall seeing such a hopeless bunch since, well, I don’t remember when. I’m not sure I could vote for any of them. Not wholly unexpected but very, very depressing nonetheless.

[The only thing worse than the candidates: The Fox News questioners.]

McCain gets points for being consistent in his positions, unfortunately he’s almost consistently wrong. So make that negative points. One can’t believe that he’s the same guy that ran in 2000.

Guliani seems more presidential than most, but I have strong doubts his temperament.

Romney is a used car salesman. Well-dressed and smooth speaking to be sure, but he’s a Republican Clinton: He’ll say anything and take any position to get power.

Huckabee, Brownback and Tancredo are creationists which eliminates them from any consideration in my view.

Paul doesn’t present particularly well—and it doesn’t help that he was treated so shabbily during the debate—but he makes more sense than anyone else on most things. (See a video montage of Dr. Paul from the first debate.) Paul’s answer on Iraq—that we were attacked because of our earlier meddling in the Middle East was spot on even if Guilani called it (to great applause) an absurd contention. In fact, I might be able to vote for Paul, though given the enormous neocon control over the Republican party he’ll never got the nomination. He just serves to remind us what a rational philosophy looks like, something that GOP hasn’t had since Bush was elected.

Andrew Sullivan’s take on the debate is here. It’s similar to my own.