Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Big Bird Debate


This debate wasn't what anyone really expected.

Poor Jim Lehrer of PBS lost control after about 5 minutes as Mitt Romney ran over him like a amroller.
I've seen Democrats on Twitter and the blogs going nuts over the fact that Romney was more forceful than Obama. The gang on MSNBC were overwhelmingly negative to the point of apoplexy, and I can see their point - Obama didn't bring up the war on women or immigration or any number of topics that affect millions of people. So the second-
guessing and armchair-quarterbacking will go on for days. Why didn't Obama zing Romney over the 47% video? There were many wasted opportunities.

But there's another way to look at this. We also saw was a more calm and gentlemanly President Obama watching Mitt Romney growl about the debate limits while bullying the moderator and lying through his teeth about all his previous positions.

The fact checkers are going to have a field day with this. And I can't imagine what the Tea Party base thought of Romney's sudden interest in the elderly and schoolteachers, not to mention Obamacare.

None of it really makes sense, and if Obama seemed stunned or distracted, he was probably wondering why he was having to debate such an insidious politician who will literally say anything to win. "Lying for the Lord" some call it. I just call it craven.


The most nonsensical point of the debate came early on when Romney said he would do away with PBS, the network they were on, and fire both Big Bird and Jim Lehrer. It just seemed to come out of nowhere and you could hear people in the audience gasping. I think it was supposed to be a Romney "zinger" but came out harshly and almost cruel, even more so when you realize that his grandchildren were in the audience. I wonder what they thought about Grandpa firing Big Bird?

In effect, Big Bird became the latest version of Clint Eastwood's Chair that usurped Romney at the Republican convention. Tumblr has gone crazy with pictures, of course, and Big Bird has his own twitter.



However, Obama did hold Romney's feet to the fire several times, for instance when Romney strongly denied that he has a $5 trillion tax cut in his plan, Obama gave him a smackdown:

Talking Points Memo
“I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut — I don’t have a tax cut of the scale you’re talking about,” Romney said. “My view is that we ought to proide tax relief to the middle class. … High income people are doing just fine in this economy, they’ll do fine whether you’re president or I am.”

But Obama countered that Romney has refused to specify which deductions and tax breaks he would eliminate to counterbalance the 20 percent rate cut, which Romney claims would not reduce overall revenues.

Well, for 18 months he’s been running on this tax plan, and now five weeks before the election, he says his big bold idea is ‘never mind,’” Obama said. “And the fact is that if you are lowering the rates the way you describe, governor, then it is not possible to come up with enough deductions and loopholes that only effect high-income individuals to avoid raising the deficit or burdening the middle class. It’s math — arithmetic.”

Romney also insisted that he never means to lower taxes for the wealthy. which seems out of character and disingenuous. And he made an unfortunate analogy that seemed to brand his own children as liars while labeling Obama a "boy" - a word that seems all too familiar as a racial dog whistle. At any rate, even if he meant to make Obama sound like a lying juvenile, that's still not good. So I don't think Romney won anything in this debate, and after people can get a transcript and see the effect on the polls they may change their verdict. I think Romney might get a slight bump in states where he is already winning, so who cares?

Romney went on to say that he would also not reduce the tax rates paid by the rich. “I know that you and your running mate keep saying that, and I know that’s a popular thing to say with some people, but it’s just not the case.”

“Look, I’ve got five boys,” Romney added. “I’m used to people saying something that’s not always true but just keep repeating it and ultimately hoping I’ll believe it. But that is not the case.”

1 comment:

  1. President Obama did his job. He didn't give the Republicans a single line they can use in the next 5 weeks. Romney gave the Democrats more then they need. It was the spinners that dropped the ball, not Obama. With friends like msnbc, Obama doesn't need any enemies.