Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Welcome to the clubbing

Watching the debate now... Obama is beating Romney like a baby seal. The way he comes out in his second set of comments, dissing Romney's "one-point" plan, is almost enough to make me think he threw the first debate on purpose. He wanted Romney to be totally unprepared for this. No more Mr. Nice Guy! Obama is downright hostile, right from the get-go.

And now Romney is talking about how he won't tax interest on dividends. Your bank account won't be taxed. WTF? When was the last time any working-class person in America got interest on a bank account? Does Romney still think it's 1980, or is he so stratospheric he doesn't know how bank accounts work when you have less than a million dollars in them? Mitt, middle-class people don't get dividends!

Candy Crowley is nailing it. Like Martha Raddatz, she is controlling the debate, asking follow-ups, even occasionally calling them out when they lie. Sorry, Jim. I loved ya, baby, but from now on, Presidential debates need to be moderated by women.

Romney just said he ran the Olympics and balanced the budget. Hang on - he got the Olympics a federal bailout! Does that count as "balancing?"

And now Romney said we're on the path to Greece. Yes, Mitt, we are; because, just like Greece, we have a national addiction to not paying taxes.

Obama just got asked a question about gender equality, and told a story about his grandmother training her bosses. How do you beat that? And now he's yakking about one of my favorite moves - when they killed the student loan guarantee program. Instead of paying banks to lend the government's money to students, the Obama administration now lends its money directly.

And the reason this is my favorite policy move (well, aside from ~DADT and ACA)? Because it is a precursor of how the ACA is going to play out. In 20 or 30 years, some clever administration will just cut out the middle-men and provide insurance directly to the people.

Romney is not bad; he still sounds like Reagan to me (except when he runs over the moderator). But he's saying things that aren't true, and Obama is not letting him slide. And the audience is not on his side, like it was with Reagan; some lady just asked Romney what was the difference between him and Bush. Ouch!

Romney just called himself a small businessman! W! T! F!  For the sake of my WTF keys, I am going to have to stop live-blogging this. But the fix is in; the O is back, and rope-a-dope is going to be a semester paper in every PoliSci class from now on.

2 comments:

David said...

any post debate analysis?

MCPlanck said...

It was a win for O. He came out strong and angry, but then cooled down once he'd rattled Romney.

The other interesting thing is the Libya thing. Technically, I think Romney had a point; the administration was slow to call it an Al Queda operation. But of course, realistically speaking, these things are hard to know. So if Romney had been honest, there wouldn't be an issue; but instead he tried to score a technical point - and got caught on a technical flaw. Well, you know, when you're scoring technical points, you can't complain about technical rulings. So the exchange was a complete loss for Romney, and it made him look like a liar (which, of course, he is).

The other thing that incident tells us is that Romney lives inside the Right Wing echo chamber. Any competent politico would have never coached Romney into trying to score that point, simply because the facts are so unhelpful. That Romney - and thus his camp - thought it was a good line of attack shows that they all listen to Fox news.

Which means - if Romney did win - he would govern exactly as he has promised to. All those moderate Republicans hoping he was just blowing smoke so he could win the election need to take note of this: Romney is solidly in Fox territory now, and there is no reason (or possibility) for him to ever leave.

If Obama had performed like this in the first debate, the election would be over, and the Tea Party would be dead, leaving room for a moderate Republican party to challenge the next election. But because Romney got a surge, because it was close, the next Republican candidate is going to be even more extreme. Which means an even bigger loss. I don't know, maybe all of this is just Obama's payback to Hillary. 'Cause whoever runs in 2016 is going to be running against Rick Santorum.