What. Was. That.
I’m so angry after watching the first Presidential Debate live from Denver that I can barely form the words.
I screamed at the TV like a deranged maniac, causing my poor Grousey Cat to literally fall off the ottoman and retreat in a huff under the table while I worked myself into a livid fury.
Must. Calm. Self. Not. Good. for. Blood. Pressure.
But now the debate is over. My Grousey Cat has emerged to give me a tentative, calming, wet-nosed nudge, and my Editorial Cat has walked across my keyboard, promising to help edit, if I promise not to be scary anymore.
First off, can we please, PLEASE, PLEASE get a moderator with a fricking backbone? Jim Lehrer was, in the words of my perceptive husband, “worthless.” Not only did Jim himself often interrupt Obama claiming time was up, he let Romney run roughshod over him, and demand extra time, natter on about whatever he wanted to talk about and interrupt the president as much as he pleased. He didn’t force either of them to stick to the topics or the time limits, and on top of that, his idiotic kickoff questions–“What is the difference between you and your opponent on fill-in-the-blank” was how he started every damn segment–were an embarrassment to the whole proceeding. Jim, that was not only useless, ineffectual, and pandering, it was damn lazy. It made it look like you spent no time at all preparing to moderate this debate.
I would like to also propose a system in which the candidates are locked in two soundproof booths, and unable to be heard unless their mike is turned on.
That or some kind of electronic muzzle. Or automatic pepper-spray spritzes in the face whenever they say something that is a lie.
I’m designing it in my head, and thinking it could be a big seller.
Because tonight’s offerings from Mitt Romney were RIDDLED with whoppers that have ALREADY BEEN PROVEN TO BE LIES! I hope the fact-checkers have a field day with this.
Here are a few that have already hit the boards:
- 12 million jobs: Mr. Romney promised to create 12 million jobs over the next four years if he is elected president. That is actually about as many jobs as the economy is already expected to create, according to some economic forecasters.
- “I did not propose a $5Trillion tax cut: It is true that Mr. Romney has proposed “revenue neutral” tax reform, meaning that he would not expand the deficit. However, he has proposed cutting all marginal tax rates by 20 percent — which would in and of itself cut tax revenue by $5 trillion.
- $716 billion cut for Medicare: How long are we going to have to listen to this one? “These cuts in the future growth of spending prolong the life of the Medicare trust fund, stretching the program’s finances out longer than they would last otherwise.”
The sad truth is that it was a slick performance by Romney, who was aggressive and energetic. He was well-prepped, using coded keywords and appropriating Demo buzz phrases with a Tea Party twist– “trickle down government,” “economy tax.” Aside from the actual ballsy outrageousness of his lies, his biggest misstep was saying he’d fire Big Bird and Jim Lehrer, although, personally, at this point, I’d fire Jim Lehrer too.
By contrast Obama’s performance was frankly lackluster. I know some people will disagree and feel that his non-combativeness was more presidential, but it was also less inspiring, and looked indecisive and confused. When Romney claims that he just wants to help those Americans out there who are hurting, why didn’t Obama hit back with “but you mean not the 47% of them who support me?”
When Romney accuses him of pillaging $716 billion from Medicare, why doesn’t he say, “ask your running mate Paul Ryan how it works, since he proposed the same plan.” When Romney makes a crack about repeating something that’s not true so often til people think its true, why not come back at him and say, “Perhaps you know all about that since SuperPACS supporting you have had so much practice doing exactly that–LYING.” And when Romney has the utter GALL to say that Obama should have gotten Republican support to pass his health care plan, I want to choke him. How about giving him a tart reply that if the Republicans had not CATEGORICALLY decided that blocking Obama (not the welfare of the country) was their TOP political priority , bipartisanship would have been a possibility.
This really frosts me. When Romney says, “But the right answer is not to have the federal government take over health care and start mandating to the providers across America, telling a patient and a doctor what kind of treatment they can have,” why isn’t Obama retorting, “Oh, you mean the way you’d like to come between a doctor and a woman exercising her right to choose?”
And when Romney has the nerve to spout this little gem, “Mr. President, you’re entitled to your own plane, your own house, but not your own facts,” you need to hit back with, “Right, Mitt, you think only YOU are entitled to your own facts–that’s an ‘entitlement’ you take advantage of every day.”
Instead, Obama looks unpracticed–he stutters, seems to be looking down all the time during Romney’s responses, and generally comes across as unfocused and rambling. It was a totally ennervated performance, that has me wondering where the Obama of 2004 or 2008 is? There’s a hell of a difference between rising above the negativity to look presidential and just being plain old boring. Word is that sparring with John Kerry was his debate prep. Well, sadly, he looked like John Kerry–and not that cool, fiery Kerry from this year’s DNC, but the fumbling dry, boring Kerry of 2004 who got SwiftBoated without even raising a peep about the lies told about him.
Joe Klein says: “Mitt Romney won this debate. Barack Obama lost it. I mean, he got his butt kicked. It was, in fact, one of the most inept performances I’ve ever seen by a sitting President. Romney–credit where it’s due–was calm, clear, convincing (even when he was totally full of it) and nearly human. The real mystery was Obama. Where on earth was he? Why was his debate strategy unilateral disarmament? Why did he never speak in plain English: “Mitt, you’re selling a fantasy. Bill Clinton proved it. He raised taxes on the wealthy and the economy boomed. George Bush lowered taxes drastically and the economy tanked. How’s your plan any different than Bush’s?”
Excellent point. Why did Obama never even MENTION Bush and hang the Shrubbery around Mitt Romney’s neck??
And Andrew Sullivan at the Daily Beast says, “Look: you know how much I love the guy, and you know how much of a high information viewer I am, and I can see the logic of some of Obama’s meandering, weak, professorial arguments. But this was a disaster for the president for the key people he needs to reach, and his effete, wonkish lectures may have jolted a lot of independents into giving Romney a second look.”
I don’t know what the polls are going to look like after this, but I fear it will not be good for Obama.
Is this whole exercise a canny way to shake all of us supporters out of our complacency and send us into a full-blown panic, lest we take this election for granted? Mr. President, it’s not necessary to give us heart attacks. Really. You can just ask us kindly to get out there and vote.
“Ow. I hurt myself when I fell of the ottoman. Don’t make me hurt myself again.”
GO VOTE NOW.
In-person early voting has commenced in South Dakota, Idaho, Vermont, Wyoming, Iowa, Nebraska, and Ohio.
You can vote by absentee ballot already in Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Georgia, Arkansas,Maryland, South Carolina, New Jersey, Maine, Michigan, Mississipi, New Hampshire, Tennessee, Texas,Delaware, Virginia, Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, North Dakota, Illinois, Washington DC, New York and Florida.
On Monday we here in California can begin early voting.