Debate 2 Recap: the Rumpus on the Campus, or The Brawl at Town Hall
Original post made by Tom Cushing on Oct 19, 2012
1 -- It was remarkable how timid the commentators were in their post-debate analysis as if the herd needed to be given some clear direction before knowing in which direction they should stampede. Actually, there was a similar snouts-in-the-wind phenomenon after the first edition, with tentative indications of a Romney victory morphing into an eventual heaping pile of scorn for the President's tepid performance. This time, only Fox was decisive in its immediate conclusions their unanimous dismay over the Moderator, the questions, the time allocations, etc., sent the clearest early message we got: when the fans spend all their time complaining about the umpire, you know their team lost. That said, the 'me-too' inclination of the current crop of media mavens is discouraging, in general.
2 -- To end all the bickering about time and order, the Moderator should be armed with a microphone kill-switch. All she'd have to do is show it to the candidates when they whined, and they'd desist, immediately. Who could imagine either of these alpha dogs risking such emasculation, even or especially at the hands of a woman-in-charge?
3 I thought Mr. Obama gave far better than he got. I do not think he is wired for this kind of combat his no-drama style is intent more on problem-solving. But he roused himself to this occasion and came across as firm, confident and in-charge. He even turned the cringe-worthy Libya situation to his favor, albeit with an assist from his opponent (BTW, I'm convinced that the Mod's confirmation of his Rose Garden statement was her payback to Mr. Romney for his verbal and gestural bullying, earlier in the session good for her). Mr. Romney appeared truculent, by contrast.
4 -- The whole women-in-binders segment was remarkable, in several ways beyond the condescending phraseology. First, if true and as NPR pointed out, Romney's description constituted a remarkably clear endorsement of voluntary Affirmative Action. Who knew that he was a champion of such a liberal policy, anathema to his base? Perhaps they can take comfort in the fact that he actually did no such thing those famous binders were compiled by an advocacy group in-advance of the election, and handed to him, unbidden, when he assumed office.
5 Thus, we are presented with another example of the candidate's unfortunate practice of never letting the truth get in the way of a self-aggrandizing story. Did he think no one would check? And was he unaware of the follow-on fact that those women also left his Administration in droves, that he ended his term with fewer women advisors than his predecessor? His braggadocio did finally convince somebody to examine the halcyon mythology he has woven about his one-term service in Massachusetts. Query: where has the Obama campaign been on that subject, and did the Fifth Estate really need that kind of broad hint to go looking?
6 Back on the media, it is dismaying to me that a candidate who has studiously dodged specifics at every turn, can continue to get away with it. Mr. Romney said fully five times "and I know how to do it." Really? Will nobody dissect the yawning chasm in job descriptions between the relative ease and great position authority of running a middle-sized business with the challenges of leading a fractious, multi-trillion-dollar nation in dire times? He keeps making this fundamentally false equivalence because "Trust Me" is easier, and seems to be working. The best argument against the so-called media bias is that, if they really were intent on his destruction, it would be impossible for them to be so uninspired and incompetent in pursuing it.
7 As one more specific example of the above, it is blindingly obvious that the Romney-Ryan recovery plan is no plan at all, but a series of hoped-for outcomes, unattached to any real-world arithmetic. The candidate acknowledged as much in a lesser-quoted passage of his Boca Raton confessional. Has our education system so failed us, are we so bad at math, that this point eludes us? Has the tax code become so byzantine and dense that we'll believe just anything said about it? It is said that there was really only one business media analyst who swam against the Enron tide when it was high everybody else was content to ride the wave, until it crashed on the rocks. Your country needs you, Madame Analyst.
Now it's your turn.
on Oct 20, 2012 at 9:42 am
My family of five and I racked up $80,000 in debt these past four years. Not us personally. But our government borrowed $5 trillion. That's around $16,000 per person. The govt. plans to borrow $5 trillion more during the next four years. I think that's unwise and would like to change course.
on Oct 20, 2012 at 9:51 am
The first "redistribution of wealth" by Obama should be cashing out his government pension that has foreign assets in it and paying the US government back for all that affirmative action free education student aid he got to attend college and law school. Yes, his pension is smaller than Mr. Romney since Obama has never had real non-government job, but has been living off the government.
on Oct 20, 2012 at 10:38 am
Like most Americans, Romney doesn't have a pension.Web Link So Obama was wrong when he quipped, "I don't look at my pension. It's not as big as yours so it doesn't take as long." Typical. Most of what Obama says is wrong.
What Romney has is a huge IRA. Bain Capital allowed Romney to use his IRA account to invest in Bain's deals. Now his IRA is worth an estimated $100 million, all tax deferred. Good tax planning. Is it abusive? The purpose of an IRA is to encourage Americans to save for retirement. Looks like some wealthy individuals are using it as a tax shelter to shield vast sums of money from tax.
Anyone can use an IRA to shelter investment income from tax. But looks like Romney used his IRA to shelter his work compensation from tax. Clever idea. The typical American can't do that with a paycheck. Is that fair? If two people earn the same amount of compensation, wouldn't a fair tax system tax them the same? There's also the issue of doing something that is not within the spirit of why Congress made IRA accounts tax deferred.