Thursday, October 04, 2012

The Debate (what else?)

Yesterday, Romney and President Obama squared off in the first debate of this campaign.  Two more are planned.

There are several things that seem to be coming out of this event.  First, the left wing media seem to feel that Romney won.  They decry Obama’s sluggishness, distraction, and almost withdrawn demeanor and claim that Romney’s energy and bullishness simply walked away with it.

Second, almost everybody says Romney lied.  About virtually everything.  Rachael Maddow, after the debate last night said that Romney blindsided everybody by backing off from his claims about taxes and budget, as he denied that his budget would add another 5 billion smackers to the debt, and promised not only that he would “never” let a tax cut add to the debt, but also denied that he would cut taxes for the rich.  In fact, he flip flopped on almost every subject they talked about, reversing himself from positions he’s been campaigning on for over a year in some cases.

He ran roughshod over Lehrer, not only changing the subject at every turn, but taking extra time and on one occasion, refusing to relinquish the floor even over Lehrer’s protests.  He was at turns, rude, condescending, and arrogant.

Obama, for his part, as I noted above, seemed distracted, at times looking as if he was thinking about anything but the debate, with his mind seeming to wander to some far off place only he could see.  He missed several very obvious places where he could have sunk Romney with a single statement, and seemed to back off from a more aggressive approach more than once.

His most obvious places, to me, to have hit Romney where it would have hurt were involving health care.  When Romney claimed that private industry could provide cheaper health care, Obama’s immediate rejoinder should have been something like, “So, why then have health care costs been going up instead of down?”  

When he noted that Republicans wanted to let the States do their own health care, Obama should have made two points:  First, if we are going to be using Federal money to pay for health care, why give it to a middle man, where the administrative costs will be higher, since that administrative bureaucracy would have to be repeated 50 times, and second, that, “We know why Republicans want to let the States decide, since Republicans want to kill it, and what better way to do it than State by State where they control the legislature, and often, the governor’s office too?   If you can't kill it outright n Congress, you want to do it by sneaking in the back door!

There were numerous opportunities to bring Ryan and his budget, which Romney has promised to sign over and over, into the debate, and Obama made no mention of Romney’s 47% video - a major failure, in my opinion.  Another failure was his not mentioning Republicans’ constant obstruction over the last four years, beginning with that now famous meeting the night of the Inauguration to plan that campaign.

Romney had weeks to plan and prepare for this debate.  He has no day job besides running for office.   Obviously, his experience in the primaries has prepared him well.

Obama, of course, has that day job.  Not the best of excuses, but when it is paired with an overseas crisis brewing in a very volatile part of the world, he deserves a bit of slack.  Seeing as how the Turks and Syrians are trading artillery shells (not safely encased in packing material) and the Iranians are putting down riots in Tehran over a fast moving currency collapse, he probably did have something else on his mind.

Borowitz was right, had I not been angry over Obama’s missed opportunities, I’d have fallen asleep, it was that bad...

No comments: