Let’s get ready to ruuuummmble!” to quote the great Michael Buffer.
In this corner, weighing in as the leader of the free world, Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States! In the opposite corner his opponent, weighing in as former Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Savior of the 2002 Winter Olympics and the Wizard of Bain Capital, Willard Mitt Romney!
The referee for tonight’s bout will be veteran reporter and news anchor, the dame of CNN News, Candy Crowley. The rules of this debate have been explained in the dressing rooms, both campaigns have agreed to these terms, and Crowley has agreed to enforce the rules … as best as she can with two fighters with attitudes.
The hype leading up to this debate was excruciating. Holy crap. You’d think we were watching the NBA Playoffs. “If Romney doesn’t win this debate the election is over!” “This is the most important night of the campaign; this will decide if the president wins another term!”
OK, on the face of it, in a world that is focused on the present, any event is the most important because we really only have today. And it is true in political campaigns majority support from the voters can change drastically based on a secretly taped fund raising speech or a poor performance in a debate. But can one debate, one night decide an election?
If you’ve been watching the news channels cover the election campaigns, then you’re a news junkie and know way too much to be of any good telling anyone else who we should put into the White House, come January, 2013. And it’s a good bet you’ve made your election decision months ago, probably years ago if you’re an Obama supporter.
This campaign in general and these debates in particular, has done nothing to sway you from your decision. If anything, you resolve to be even more fervent in your support for the candidate of your choice.
Ironically, news junkies aren’t propelled to be better informed than the average voter; news junkies aren’t who they are because they are objective news observers, they obsessively glue themselves to the news channels of their choice in order to buttress their political views with “facts” and material they get from the news junkies they watch on TV.
In this extremely divisive and polarized nation, there’s nothing any Romney supporter can say or write that would keep me from voting for President Obama. And vice versa. In fact, the consensus of news junkies everywhere is that anyone who is undecided about who they are voting for come November 6, 2012 is an idiot. “What more information do they need?” Chris Matthews asked? It was a rhetorical question of course, but on a live news/opinion program Hardball With Chris Matthews his guests were left scrambling for an answer. There is no logical answer to that question.
The real question is why are they still undecided? The vast majority of voters don’t hang on the cable news channels day after day. They tend to watch the major broadcast networks and for news they depend on ABC, CBS and NBC. Fox has a news division, but it’s entirely wrapped up in NewsCorp’s cable channel.
So, if all your information is dependent primarily on those five and ten minute segments we see on the nightly news and what you might skim over in the local daily newspaper, you might not have known Gov. Romney said he thought Arizona’s “Papers Please” law for illegal immigration was the model for national law. There’s a good chance you didn’t see Romney try and get his primary opponent Gov. Rick Perry of Texas make a $10,000 bet.
News junkies know every effin’ detail, right down to every Rightie talker who denounced Governor Romney in the primaries, vowing never to support him — but now are full-throated advocates of the Romney-Ryan ticket. If you’re a Leftie you can’t help but beat them over the head with that reality. If you’re a Rightie, it never happened, although really, you know it’s true.
In this day of instant electronic media, there’s tape.
So, in these debates as Governor Romney twists and turns with the prevailing wind, changing his positions on the issues, on the fly it seems, news junkies, those of us who are Lefties anyway, jump up and down and scream, HE’S LYING! HE’S LYING!”
Settle down Bubba, calm down! Of course he’s lying, but most of the people watching this debate don’t know that and what they do know is that he’s a successful businessman and wouldn’t a businessman know about the economy? Forgetting, or maybe not eve knowing, that the real question is: is a businessman’s knowledge and view of the economy relevant to being president? Especially a plutocrat whose only business experience was to make huge profits for his investors. There was no interest in employing Americans. In fact, his company’s policies actually put thousands of Americans out of work. Really, is that the view of the economy we want in the White House?
If you’re a news junkie and were listening to the post-debate yakking, especially that little focus group on MSNBC, you might have been shocked to find out there are undecided voters out there who have no clue what was entailed with Romney’s business acumen.
Romney danced around and avoided saying whether he supported equal pay for the same work, in relation to the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, even though President Obama reminded everyone, i.e. we news junkies, Romney’s campaign once told a news reporter Sam Stein of The Huffington Post, “Sam, we’ll get back to you on that.” When asked if Romney supported the fair pay act.
What’s funny about that is shortly after that misstep the Romney campaign gave Romney some cover and said the candidate supports equal pay and wouldn’t try to change current law. All Romney had to do last night was say it into the camera, tell the 60 million viewers that he supports equal pay for women, he didn’t even have to say he supports the first bill signed by President Obama, just that he supports equal pay for women — but he didn’t.
Funnier still, in that little MSNBC focus group there were a number of people considering Romney, one of them a young mother who said she was leaning towards Romney because of what he did for Massachusetts, although she wasn’t really sure what Romney did for the Bay State. But he hired all those women for his cabinet.
That’s the problem with “low information voters,” as they are called. The GOP actually depends on them to carry their candidate so the less information a voter has, the better. They don’t know the back story on everything Governor Romney has said leading up to that moment, in regards to all the issues.
So Romney tells his little story about creating his cabinet and “OMIGAWD! THESE ARE ALL MEN!” And then, as Romney tells it, he instructs his advisors to go find him some women, like a conquistador looking to get his freak on. Go find me some binders of women!
I’m sorry. I’m a bad, bad man and my thoughts went straight to the gutters of Calcutta.
And his advisors brought back binders of women. It was Romney’s little black book. “Hey Bettie, you economic little hottie! Why don’t you drop by the Governor’s Mansion and we can push your numbers up against mine and see what explodes!”
For your information, young mom in the MSNBC focus group, governors, both Democrat and Republican, have been putting women in their cabinets for decades. Your question, Young Mom, should be this: Why didn’t Romney’s own team think to add women in the first place? Why did Romney have to instruct them to go find qualified women when, for the past 40 years (at least) it’s been a common practice for all governors?
It’s the culture of the Romney Camp. Women are an auxiliary, they are not part of the team. Back in the day women couldn’t actually join the Army or Navy. They could become “WAVES” (Navy) or “WACS” (Army), but not sailors or soldiers. That’s changed of course, back in the 1960’s, but it’s rooted in the discriminatory philosophy that women couldn’t possibly be qualified to perform a man’s job.
And obviously that is the culture of the Romney Team — the inner circle who advises the candidate on a daily basis. This is a man’s world. We bully, we push people around and we don’t show anyone any respect, even the President of the United States. “What I say goes and if you don’t like it you can go fuck yourself.”
Romney is so wrapped up in being that macho bully he became at his private Michigan prep school, he couldn’t help but put it on display in front of 60 million viewers. Mitt Romney likes women, honest! He married one! He put a few in his cabinet when he was governor! “So I’ll be damned if I’ll let this #$#@ (points to President Obama) define my attitudes towards women.”
Which brings up this big glaring perception from Tuesday night’s debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island, New York: Mitt Romney showed absolutely no respect for the Office of the President. Candidates can and do get tough with each other, but in years past when a challenger was facing off against an incumbent president, he still showed respect for the man who occupied the Oval Office.
Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, in 2004, didn’t like the President Bush’s policies and maybe he didn’t even like George W. Bush the man, but in their debates in that election year, Senator Kerry never forgot he was speaking to and about the President of the United States. And the consensus is Kerry won their first debate.
Romney has no such respect, either for Barack Obama the man or for President Barack Obama — Romney was intentionally and willfully disrespectful to the Office of the President in the debate, just as he’s done throughout his campaign, especially as it related to the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya. Even the moderator (remember her?) Candy Crowley fact-checked Romney on key points. Like: the president calling the attack a terrorist act the day after it occurred, in an address from the White House Rose Garden. Romney said the president went on a campaign tour and referred to the attack as a protest.
There were a few times it seemed like the two men would come to blows. Mitt the Bully was pushy, abrasive and rude. In this debate, the president responded forcefully and in calm control, a contrast to his opponent. They came close to one another on a few occasions.
Some voters respond favorably to the tactics of the bullies. For them it’s a sign of strength and toughness. Most people though, consider disrespect towards the Office of the President of the United States close to being a crime. Have an argument with the president, debate, but remember he’s the Commander-in-Chief. And Mitt Romney is going to find out how most Americans feel about bullies who insult the great historic institutions of our nation, in particular, the President of the United States.
Not to mention his total disregard and lack of respect for the moderator, Candy Crowley.
The vision we were presented with during that debate brings us in the electorate to this question: do we want a president in the White House or an arrogant boss? Most Americans have definite feelings about their asshole bosses and between the two men in the debate Tuesday night, one looked like a president and the other like the boss who condescendingly refers to his adult employees as “children.”
This really is the choice for Americans in this election. Continue the plutocracy that sees the income gap (wider than it’s ever been in history) continue to grow, or level the playing field as the president is attempting with the “Just say no” Republican Party.
Who do you want in the White House? A president, or the asshole of a boss?
And take our poll on the right side of the homepage. You might be surprised who is winning.
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative college newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment issues, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the business of government and business was so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that reality.