Friday, October 5, 2012

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!

Obama I've got his backToday on Facebook and elsewhere, I noticed some of my liberal friends having a bit of a freak-out over Wednesday night’s debate. The pundits immediately declared it a crushing Romney victory...which was odd, because Ken and I didn’t see it that way at all. Immediately afterwards, I said that I’d give a slight win to Romney, both because of the low expectations for him and because of President Obama’s lackluster performance. Ken felt the same way.

Of course, the following day, teeth were gnashing and voices were wailing. I wish I could have passed some smelling salts out to folks. I stepped back for a moment, read several stories about it, and really thought about my perception of the debate. One thing became clear very quickly: Romney may have seemed forceful and sharp, but he was not very truthful. I’m being nice. He LIED. A LOT. I’m not going to list them all here. Do you know why? Because there are so freakin’ many of them! Besides, others have done a fine job with checking up on what he said. You can read about it here (Mittens is bad at math edition), here (Bullshit Contest edition), and a comprehensive list here (Lie, lie, and lie again edition). My initial hopes that people would start doing some fact checking and calling Mittens to the shed for his lies turned out to be true. The teabagger base types might have loved his chest-thumping, testosterone-laden silverback impression, but I’m guessing independents and undecideds were not quite as enamored of the display...especially when he blatantly lied about numerous things.

I couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of one exchange in particular, in which Mittens disputed the $5 trillion tax cut claim made by Obama. Never mind the fact that the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has estimated that the tax cuts that Romney champions would amount to that over the next decade. The exchange went something like this:

Obama: blah blah blah your $5 trillion in tax cuts...
Romney: I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut.
Obama: Yes, you do.
Romney: No, I don’t.
Obama: Yes, you do!
Romney: No, I don’t!

Argument Clinic, anyone? Good grief.

Anyway, I came to the conclusion that the reason I saw the debate so differently is because I was expecting facts, and I got them from Obama. I know enough about some of the topics that I knew that Romney was lying about several things. So I was rating the winner on substance. I should have known better, because people often determine a winner based on style rather than substance. (I believe that it was also in the media’s best interest to make this a closer race than it is at the moment, but that’s a topic for another day.) Romney came across as forceful and combative, and Obama seemed listless and disengaged. I do understand part of the reasoning there...sitting Presidents should behave in a presidential manner, and all that...but he was a little too cool and detached for many people. (Although I appreciate that in him, I know that not everyone does.)

Obama chillSo some folks were a little wigged out. Obama has lost the election. Obama blew it. Romney’s going to win. Dogs and cats living together. A new Nickelback album. I finally sent an email to some friends saying that everyone needs to take a deep breath. This was ONE DEBATE in an entire campaign. Romney lied, the fact checkers are on it, and he provided all kinds of fodder for Obama ads. (Sure enough, one was released in seven swing states the very next day.) Obama is known for his competitiveness, and you can bet that he will not be that passive in the final two debates. One is a town hall format—and we know that Obama does well connecting with people in town hall formats—about domestic and foreign policy, and the final debate is about foreign policy. I wonder if Osama bin Laden will be watching that one? Oh, wait! He can’t, ‘cause he’s DEAD!

I think it’s also important to keep in mind that debates usually don’t matter. Almost everyone has already made up their minds who they are going to vote for by this time, and that seems more true than ever in this highly polarized atmosphere. There is a very small percentage of undecided voters (many of them could also be considered uninformed voters who have not been paying much attention and aren’t into politics at all), and an even smaller percentage of those are in swing states. An undecided voter in Texas who votes for Obama isn’t going to matter fuck-all to the electoral college vote, just as an undecided voter in Illinois who ends up voting for Romney isn’t going to matter. So the target audience is not a huge number of people. As for those who have already made up their minds, do you really think that debate is going to swing someone like me? Do you really think I sat there and watched that and said, “Hey...I think I’m going to rethink this Romney guy”? Not on your life. Will Romney get a bump in the polls? Undoubtedly. Will it be enough to change the trajectory of the race? History says not.

It’s time to put away the smelling salts and get a grip. Team Obama and the DNC raised over $150 million in September. Today’s job report was, overall, good news, with the unemployment rate down to 7.8%. Jobs are expected to be added for the holiday season, optimism is rising, and a majority of people feel that the economy is improving (that’s because it is). The stock market closed today at 13,600+, up almost 25% from a year ago. The facts are on our side. We’ve still got work to do, and we’ve got about a month to do it. Anyone who thinks that debate completely changed the game needs to do a little more reading, because there are more forces and influences at work here than that.

This video seems like a good way to end things today. Buck up, liberal citizens. It’s not over till
I say it’s over! Well, technically, it’s Congress who validates the electoral college vote, but...oh, never mind, just watch this!



  1. oh you always put things into a good perspective. Love this sis & I watched the debate and we thought Mittens was like an attack Robot...keep saying things so precisely as to have memorized his speech..and he was downright rude too....

  2. Nice post. Still, if you look at it from just a communications standpoint, the debate was a victory for Romney. His messages were crisp, clear and strong ... all indicators that he was well-prepared. Obama came off as too detached and not well enough prepared. I expected him to take a more defensive and safe approach, but still he should have been more succinct, more impactful. The problem was his delivery. In the end, who knows how much difference it will make ...

  3. Though I did not watch the debate and the consensus is one where Romney may have won the debate but lost the war, as he did so with lies, lies and more lies. Give him credit for a victory if you must, but it was a Pyrrhic one at best. And a likely disaster at worst.

    I may make more comments about my feelings towards the election in my own journal... sent in my ballot and I AM IN!!

  4. I didn't see it, and after what I heard, was in no rush to see it. But this summary helps me a lot, and makes me a feel better overall. Thank you ma'am.

  5. "A new Nickleback album"... !

    I hate that Obama seemed to stammer and stutter so much, while Romney confidently spewed his lies as though he knew what he was talking about! If you take away the content of the debate, and reduce it strictly to stage presence and performance (which I expect a large number of "undecideds" are likely to do) then Romney definitely gets the most points for "poise and appearance". But, all good queens know that "poise and appearance" doesn't win beauty contests, and it certainly won't win an election. Thankfully, there is no swimsuit competition (Ron Paul would win that hands down!) and there are still several more rounds of interview questions. And we still have to hear from the Miss Congeniality candidates as well. Stay tuned! It's not over until the crown is placed on the winner's head!!

  6. I still want our current president being the one picking up the phone at 3:00 AM...

  7. I liked Rachel Maddow's analysis. Out of the six similar first debates between a challenger and an incumbent president that have been televised, the incumbent won the debate only once (Clinton, 1996). The incumbent went on the win reelection three times.

  8. President Obama did fine. I would love for him to have been stronger. Don't think he has the time. I'm happy his spending more time running the nation and focusing on the real components of his campaign, than figuring out how to best powder his nose and choose a tie to "try" to connect with people on subconscious levels. He doesn't need the fake connections , he has the real ones; President Obama really cares about the people of our world. It's best not to debate open liars and in a nation like ours where fantasy and distraction rule, it is dangerous to go into debates with them. He didn't misstep and that was the most important thing. That's killed people politically in both parties many times. The people who were disappointed were the ones that wanted a spectacle and didn't get it. Whether they are ultra-cons or liberals if they went into that debate, looking for that kind of show, you would be disappointed. I'm ashamed we put so much energy into the debates.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?