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First Debate Recap: Christmas in October

Original post made by Tom Cushing, Danville, on Oct 5, 2012

As much as I regret the necessity, I suppose it's time to climb down off my American League West Division Champion Oakland Athletics-induced euphoria and comment on the First Debate – or as I like to call it: Christmas with the Romneys.

First and foremost, I was appalled at Mr. Obama's performance – almost to the point of asking Clint about the availability of his chair. The President failed to carry the attack to his challenger, preferring to counter-punch but mostly managing only to get tied-up in clinches of the 'dueling Ivies' variety. I would never insult his intellect or proven mettle via 'teleprompter' nonsense, but he looked down too much as he took notes (thus appearing deferential), and he tended to nod understanding, easily mis-interpreted as agreement, with the barrage of fantastical claims and charges headed his way.

It was also interesting to me that combined screenshots on two networks were wider for Mr. Romney, making the Prez look crowded-in (I measured). The panorama used by F&B Net was also angled so that Mr. Romney appeared directly in front of the non-Moderator, with Mr. Obama off to the side. Those kind of subtleties may also have contributed to overall impressions.

Now, it may also be that Mr. Obama was justifiably astounded at Gov. Romney's ridiculous claims regarding both tax policy and healthcare. Mitt really should have donned a red hat as he played the Jolly Old Elf himself, showering gifts upon the gullible. Present number one: he'll lower income rates by 20% and close loopholes enjoyed by his Patrons, and he "won't let it" explode the deficit. Really? Setting aside the important fact that his own Party of Groverian acolytes wouldn't let him close those loopholes, he's also relying on what Nobel laureate Paul Krugman calls "the confidence fairy" (but I'll call "confidence elves" because it's my blog and my metaphor) to so stimulate demand that the federal coffers will overflow with abundance.

He claims himself heir to the Reagan legacy – except that's not what Reagan did. First, Reagan helped restore economic health from a mild recession through a Keynesian spending stimulus acceptable to the GOP because it was driven by the Pentagon, and second: Mr. Reagan, bless his telegenic heart, Did Explode the deficit. It exploded again when Mr. Bush2 tried it in his term – Santa's fanciful supply-side elves did not create jobs or revenue then, and they.never.will. The supply-side legacy is precisely the Great Recession of 2008.

The second present, crueler in its implications for those Mr. Romney consigns to emergency rooms, involves the preposterous claim that his "plan" for healthcare would retain the popular pre-existing condition coverage, but ditch the mandate – which is the only way to pay for its extra cost, by increasing the size of the insurance pool. Finally, he claims to 'restore' Medicare cuts that that do not exist – kind of like claiming he'll replace the bike he tells you your neighbors ran-over, except they didn't.

It's pretty clear that the Romney campaign has decided to adopt a strategy of declaring Christmas for the electorate, and then hoping to outrun those nasty fact-checking Grinches and their party-pooping grip on reality. But here's the thing – there is time now for this game to be named – over the three debates still to-come, and with a free press that May be up to the task of exposing those tantalizing promises as toys that look better on TV, and break before New Year's. It may seem like It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, but even true believers should hold-off on measuring the Oval Office for new drapes.

Comments (13)

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Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Oct 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Look forward to President Romney welcome the World Series champion A's to the White House. Just hope Secret Service stops Josh Reddick before he gives President Romney a whipped cream celebration pie to the face.

Go Swinging A's!


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Posted by cardinal
a resident of Diablo
on Oct 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I'm thinking a "shocker" might be in order, if that sorry day ever came to pass:

"... And along came Jonny Gomes, who, at 31, seems ancient in a place where 19 rookies have come through, 15 of them still on the roster. He wore a bright yellow robe with his name across the back like a boxer, because of course he did. He came upon a gentleman standing sedately off to the side. This gentleman was dry and minding his own business in a room where everyone's business was everyone else's business.

So Gomes pulled a fresh beer from a tub of ice. "Check this out," he said.

Gomes placed the beer on the floor between the gentleman's shoes. The gentleman stared curiously down at the beer and then at Gomes crouched beside it. His eyebrow wrinkled. Gomes squeezed the beer can as hard as he could.

The cold and golden liquid shot straight up, drenching the gentleman's pants from front belt buckle to back belt loop. At which point the gentleman howled. He left the floor in the way a grasshopper does a branch, with no discernible flex or preparation, like gravity had momentarily released him.

When he landed in that bowlegged way people do when something terrible has occurred in their inseam region. He spread his hands, then gazed upon his dripping pants, then lifted his eyes to meet Gomes'. "What the " was all that came out.

Gomes squealed with delight, the clubhouse denizens roared with laughter, and Gomes padded away, the tail of his yellow robe chasing him.

Here's the metaphor.

"That," Gomes said, "is called a shocker. That's a shocker right there....""

Weblink: Web Link


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Oct 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Romney seems to be backing away from his positions so fast that it makes me wonder if he realized that he couldn't win as a right-wing Republican and, instead, has decided to run as Obama.


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Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Oct 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Romney has not changed...What has changed is the voters get to actually see Romney, as he really is, rather than the false perception the Democrats have tried to portray him as with their vile, mean spirited and inaccurate attack ads.


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Oct 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm

So, what you are saying is that the real Romney is not an opportunistic, elitist, empty vessel for the right who will say anything to get elected.


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Posted by Rick Pshaw
a resident of Danville
on Oct 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm

That's actually a pretty good description of Obama.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Danville
on Oct 8, 2012 at 8:22 pm

As I heard one articulate woman say four years ago, "Obama couldn't order a Happy Meal at McDonalds without a teleprompter." Amen...

Obama couldn't carry this election himself without the help of the majority of the media willingly overlooking ALL of Obama's true agenda, his fiction and dishonesty. He needs his vicious attack team spreading their narrative lies, comprised of David Axelrod, Stephanie Cutter, Gloria Borger from CNN, Rachel Maddow, Ed Shultz (what's wrong with him exactly? Hate is going to see him to his grave), Lawrence O'Donnel, and Piers Morgan. Boy that is award winning journalism right there!

Let's not forget, the incredibly intelligent and "educated" Hollywood elite (Katy Perry? Eva Longoria? Beyonce and Jay Z, Ben Affleck, just to name a few. These people must really make democrats proud.


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Posted by Dave
a resident of Danville
on Oct 8, 2012 at 10:38 pm

And yet, if they gave an Oscar for "mendacity" this year, Romney would win it going away.


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Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Oct 9, 2012 at 9:03 am

Tom, that's so funny you measured the screen shots. You crack me up.

It's funny because during the debate, I kept thinking they were giving Obama more speaking time than Romney. My wife, a Democrat, thought the opposite. But it turns out they did give Obama more time, 4 minutes more. As usual, I was right.

In the debate, Obama told lie after lie, of course, saying Romney's plan is to impose a $5 trillion tax cut, that Romney's tax plan has changed, that Big Oil gets $4 billion of tax subsidies, that he'd raise taxes only to the "rates that we had under Bill Clinton," etc., all lies. Romney got things wrong too. And both pandered to the middle class, saying they're overtaxed, when in fact, middle class income taxes are at historic lows, currently 5.6% for a family of four.

Web Link

Here's a link to factcheck.org about the lies that were told:

Web Link

Before the debate, 51% of likely voters said they were voting for Obama, 43% for Romney, according to the Pew poll. Now, 49% say they're voting for Romney, 45% for Obama.

Web Link


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 9, 2012 at 10:59 am

Just to be clear, spcwt's link to FactCheck.org documents lots of untrue statements by Romney.

Web Link

However, the FactCheck.org conclusion that Obama's assertion of a $5 trillion revenue reduction was untrue because Romney said its not seems a technicality to me. FactCheck goes on to label Romney's unspecified plan as the "Impossible Plan" and said:

"However, Romney continued to struggle to explain how he could possibly offset such a large loss of revenue without shifting the burden away from upper-income taxpayers, who benefit disproportionately from across-the-board rate cuts and especially from elimination of the estate tax (which falls only on estates exceeding $5.1 million left by any who die this year). The Tax Policy Center concluded earlier this year that it wasn't mathematically possible for a plan such as Romney's to cut rates as he promised without either favoring the wealthy or increasing the federal deficit.

Except for saying that his plan would bring in the same amount of money "when you account for growth," Romney offered no new explanation for how he might accomplish all he's promised. He just repeated those promises in some of the strongest terms yet."


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Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Oct 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm

How many of you are upset that Obama's drone strikes have killed 3,000 people in Pakistan, including 176 children, just 2% of casualties have been the intended "high value" targets?

Obama needs to learn that killing innocent civilians in violation of international law does not make us safe.

Camille Paglia, art historian, culture critic, founding Salon.com columnist says she is voting for Green Party candidate, Jill Stein. Here's her explanation:

If the Republican candidate were Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, I would certainly not be voting Green; I would be voting for and contributing to Obama again, as I did in 2008. There are three people on the political landscape whom I absolutely loathe — Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Dick Cheney — that delusional and mendacious war-monger.

But I think that Mitt Romney is a moderate — like Nelson Rockefeller, who as governor of New York poured money into the state university system that educated me. Romney is an affable, successful businessman whose skills seem well-suited to this particular moment of economic crisis. Hence I want to use my vote to make a statement about my unhappiness with the Democratic Party and the direction it has taken. The biggest issue for me is the Obama administration's continuation of endless war, war, war. I denounced the Iraq incursion before it even happened.

Web Link


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Posted by MIke
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 10, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Yet Mitt says we're not spending enough on the military and should spend more. He says we apologize too much and need to show some of these other countries whose boss. Doesn't sound like a peacemaker to me.

Maybe Mitt's moderate like his dad and maybe not, but you couldn't tell by what he has said and done. That equates to an integrity problem in my opinion.


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Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Oct 11, 2012 at 7:15 am

Mike,

Obama is going to win California no matter what, right? So our votes are meaningless. Why not cast a protest vote for a third party candidate?

Ralph Nader calls Obama a war criminal. Should we elect a war criminal as president?

Why not send a message to the Democrats and Republicans that we do not like where they've taken us as a country?


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