Since I’ve held my tongue these past few days regarding the Wednesday night debate flogging of the President by the ‘Masked Mitt’ who hides his taxable money overseas, I figured it’s time to put a cap on debate debacle number one.
Yes, by any objective measure Obama lost. I agree with the Progressive Punditry mob on that one. I also agree that Jim Lehrer’s best moderating days are behind him as he was stampeded by Romney. And while I feel that Lehrer stunk the joint out, I was appalled at the patronizing and disrespectful behavior of Romney. Few people picked up on that highly revealing window into the character of the Republican nominee.
I going to write off Obama’s performance (or lack thereof) to his limited debate preparation and poor advice from his advisers. Perception is vital to the success or failure of a debate participant and the President was perceived as being weak while the aggressive Romney took on the trappings of what most people think a president should be…in the moment, quick to respond, chock full of facts and possessed of a plan. It’s all pure bullshit of course, but most viewers were dazzled by Mitt’s Carny side-show, while Obama frittered away a fantastic opportunity in front of a Neilsen-rated TV audience of 67.2 million viewers (not counting computers and other electronic media) to demonstrate his obvious Presidential qualities.
But enough of October 3rd. We’ve already heard from everybody from Mrs. Dyer’s 4th grade class to the smugosity of O’Reilly. It’s time to lift the veil of Romney’s bombast and see what lies underneath.
Romney was one lucky dude. No references to his tax returns, (the job of the moderator). No challenge from his opponent to renounce the birther dipshits. There were no specifics from Obama about the constituent-friendly bills he tried to get congress to pass. Nothing about all that Romney money hidden overseas. Nothing about the absolute impossibility for Romney to relate to the average worker, given the fact that he does NO work. With all his blind trusts, he doesn’t even do the work of picking up the phone and asking his Dublin, Swiss or wherever the hell his latest overseas hiding hole is to invest a few million here, a few million there. He does NOTHING while U.S. middle-class worker productivity tops the world even as wages are paralyzed because Romney and his ilk have managed, with the help of right-wing courts, to all but nullify an union influence in the workplace. Less than 7% of workers in the private sector are unionized (used to be 33% or so), and still these dumb-ass workers vote against their families and for Koch, union-busting Republicans.
Let’s get one thing straight here. If, as is the case with Obama, you have a viciously oppositional party controlling either the House or the Senate, it doesn’t mean squat what the debate candidate says. Yes, you can throw in a few Executive Orders, but in order to make the true game-changing policy wishes come true, you’re going to have to pass legislation.
What I’m saying in Romney’s case is that he can make all the promises that his health care plan will include pre-existing conditions (that is, if you already have insurance; for people buying new insurance, ain’t happening), or that we need to pump up U.S. energy production and sadly Obama agreed with him without adequately defending alternative sources. It will take decades to just facilitate the drilling permits already issued today and a massive percentage of the oil we do produce goes to overseas markets.
As importantly, you must remember Mitt is a deregulation guy. He’d reverse every advance made in the area of financial deregulation, just as Republicans reversed anti-monopoly and anti-trust legislation, again, with a huge contribution from the courts. If Romney has his way, half the population with be breathing in pure benzene. Your kids will be able to watch it float on their favorite stream.
Romney also makes the laughable statement that he can’t reduce middle-class taxes without reducing taxes for the rich. It’s called legislation. We repeal the Bush tax cuts, then pass legislation giving 98% of taxpayers a new reduction, maybe even more generous that the Bush cuts. Case closed!
Romney talked about the 47 million people (close) on food stamps. Here was a great opportunity to spell out chapter and verse how our economy got to this point. Later Obama cited a number of programs that he eliminated from the Department of Education, playing to Romney’s base. I would sure like to know his reasoning for each move. Bowing to Romney’s desire to destroy the Education Department isn’t going to gain you a single goober vote, Mr. President.
Romney insists he’ll get more revenue into the Treasury, “by more people working, getting higher pay, paying more taxes.” Whatta crock from a guy who encourages companies to relocate overseas, wants corporations to pay their workers the least wage possible and to accomplish that end, unions must go. Here are his words when he addressed a meeting of non-union contractors, “One of the first things I will do, actually on day 1, is I will end the government’s favoritism towards unions and contracting on federal projects. I will fight to repeal Davis-Bacon…and I will fight for right-to-work laws.” So, yeah, wages are going to skyrocket under Romney. Obama should have asked Mitt about his animus towards unions and how that was going to square with increased wages.
President Obama told the viewers that he and Romney had a somewhat similar position on Social Security. Romney has said elsewhere he’s going to lower the rate of inflation growth in the benefits received by so-called ‘high-income’ recipients. Whatever he means by ‘high-income’. He doesn’t’ say. You get to work at least a year or two longer under Romney’s proposal and he insists nothing applies to those who are already retired or 55 or older. And Obama has a ‘similar’ position? Are there surprises in store if the President is re-elected?
As for Romney, I don’t believe anything he says that sounds reasonable and I believe everything he says that sounds like it would pretty much destroy America. Obama gets a second bite of the apple October 16th. There will be domestic (women, immigration, global warming?) and foreign policy discussed in a Town Hall meeting setting at Hofstra University. Advantage Obama. And the moderator is CNN’s Candy Crowley, a no-nonsense pro. The single Vice presidential debate will take place Thursday the 11th at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. Again, to include foreign and domestic policy. Don’t underestimate Joe. Ryan’s in for a long evening.