7. The George Lucas rule: Gratuitous mention of Star Wars. Double shot if it comes with an impersonation or a sound effect (e.g., Cruz does a Yoda voice while threatening ISIS).
8. The I’m just a simple caveman rule: A candidate mentions that he/she is not a scientist, or generally derides higher education before proceeding to make a “common sense” point.
9. The wet blanket rule: Attempt by Kasich to implore his fellow candidates to be more realistic, followed by boos/catcalls from the audience.
10. The Hitler had some really good ideas rule: Salutary mention of Japanese internment, religious registries or other similar policies.
11. The I don’t just believe in the American dream, I’m a product of it rule: Anyone talks about how they are the son/daughter/husband/wife of a humble bartender/maid/tow truck driver/whatever because dreams and opportunity.
12. The good guy with a gun rule: Self-explanatory.
13. The empty God platitudes rule: An anti gun-control candidate extends “thoughts and prayers” to the victims of Paris, San Bernardino or whatever other mass shooting we’ll have in the next ten minutes.
14. The we’re not racist rule: A candidate complains that people with “traditional values” are being accused of being bigots. Double shot if it’s Rubio.
15. The Carly, interrupted rule: Carly Fiorina interrupts someone and/or uses a bogus statistic. Double shot if it’s that “73,000-page tax code” line she continues to send out there at every opportunity.
THE EVERGREEN RULES
ALWAYS drink, in every debate, when:
16. Trump brags about how much money he makes.
17. Anyone says, “I’m the only one on this stage who…”
18. Someone says, “Any one of us onstage is better than Hillary Clinton…”
19. The crowd breaks into uncomfortable applause at a racist/sexist statement.
20. Any candidate evokes Nazis, the Gestapo, Neville Chamberlain, concentration camps, etc.
21. Anyone force-feeds an Israel reference into a question where it doesn’t belong. Also known as the Ann Coulter rule.
22. Anyone pledges to “take our country back.”
23. The Jim Webb rule: Candidate complains about not getting enough time.
24. Any candidate illustrates the virtue of one of his/her positions by pointing out how not PC it is.
25. Someone invokes St. Reagan. Beware, people, this is an every time rule again.