Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The last debate -- 2012

To the extent victory can be declared in these things, Obama clearly won the debate last night. He was fully present, well versed on policy and well prepared to parry every cheap shot Romney could possibly take at him. Mr. Romnesia, despite his best efforts to fake peace lovin' Mitt, who just happens to have hired nearly every one of the Bush era neo-con foreign advisors, was reduced to a puddle of flop sweat by the end.

(And where, I ask, was that famous handkerchief when he really needed it?)

Willard Romnesia very nearly duplicated McCain's awkward lolling tongue exit from the stage.

Of course, nothing will dislodge the "both sides" narrative of a corporate media desperate to maintain the ratings only a "tight" race can deliver. To be fair, old Bob did better at moderating than I expected. (Granted it was a very low bar). But he spoils what little respect one might have when he delivers this nonsensical assessment of the debate:
Debate moderator Bob Schieffer said Tuesday he was "surprised" that President Obama and Mitt Romney sought to shift the final debate on foreign policy issues toward domestic policy concerns.
Maybe we watched two different events. I'm pretty sure if you read the transcript or watch the video, you'll find that it was Romney who derailed the discussion from foreign policy to his favorite domestic talking points which have been well covered already. If it can be said Obama "did it too" it was because he was responding to Romney's false slurs. If old Bob had been a bit better at his job, he would have insisted the Mittster answer the actual questions instead of changing the subject altogether.

Slate at least noticed Romney's deflection tactics but they still missed the mark with the "both did it" elide. What do they think Obama was supposed to do under the circumstances? When you have your opponent on the run, you have to follow them in order to keep fighting. You don't deploy onto an empty field.

Obama demonstrated his competency, his cool and his experience. Mitt went to a foreign policy debate and did everything possible to deflect the questions and change the subject. That is when he wasn't explicitly agreeing with and endorsing President Obama's current policy. Willard's entire argument was: "I'd do the exact same thing as the President, only it would better because I'm so awesome, everyone will love me and fear me."

Willard's biggest problem is not "everyone" agrees with his grandiose self-assessment:
A BBC World Service opinion poll has found sharply higher overseas approval ratings for US President Barack Obama than Republican challenger Mitt Romney. — An average of 50% favoured Mr Obama, with 9% for Mr Romney, in the survey of 21,797 people in 21 countries.
This is important but sadly, a much too large percentage of Americans either don't understand how critical international consensus is to our national security or they're too hooked on self-destructive chest thumping nationalism to care. [Photos via LGF and knck1es.]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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