Oct 232012

Presidential Debate

Photo credit: Politico

In last night, Barack Obama was the clear winner.  He demonstrated that he has both a command of world affairs and a plan for the US within the community of nations.  Willard Romney, on the other hand, demonstrated that he has neither.  He was not comfortable in his own skin, as he parroted the same talking points over and over.  He not only switched positions on most foreign policy issues, but he also disavowed ever having held the opposite view, prompting me to coin the term Mittzophrenia.  In case you missed it, here is complete debate video.

If you prefer, here is the complete debate transcript.

Here are a few observations of mine.  Romney repeatedly parroted the phrase that we “need to help countries reject extremism on their own.”  Only once did he suggest how he would do that.  Trying to hijack Obama’s policy as his own, he included supporting economic development, better education, and gender equality.  I found this hard to imagine, since he goes to such great lengths to oppose these same policies here at home.

Romney was particularly maladroit when he referred to Syria as Iran’s route to the sea.  I can’t fathom how this could be since Syria is almost landlocked and Iran has over 1,500 miles of coastline.

Obama was masterful, when he schooled Romney that we don’t need as many ships as we did in 1916, since we also have fewer horses and bayonets, since capabilities count, not numbers.

Romney’s arguments were sprinkled with lies, the most egregious being the false claim that he had supported government guarantees for US automakers.  He said that he would charge Iran with advocating genocide, when the US does not recognize the World Court.  He said that he has always supported tougher sanctions on Iran, while profiting from investments in companies that traded with Iran when Obama was trying to bring the world together on increasing the sanctions.

Obama did stretch the truth once.  He said that Romney wants to import the “foreign policy of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s, and the economic policies of the 1920.”  I’m sorry, bit that’s just too modern on social policies.  The social policies of the 1850s would be far more fitting.

I am not alone in my view that Obama won the debate.  According to the instant surveys, CBS gave it to Obama 53% to 23% among undecided voters, and CNN gave it to Obama 48% to 40% among likely voters.

I do have a complaint against Bob Schieffer, but it is not a partisan complaint.  His questions kept covering the same limited ground, when there are so many other areas that could have been addressed, including the financial crisis in the EU, border security, immigration policy, global climate change, and the war on drugs.

One thing about the debate worries me.  Anyone who was completely unfamiliar with Romney’s foreign policy stances over the last two years would not consider Romney dangerous, as he kept parroting his dedication to non-military solutions, despite having beaten the war drums for two years.  In fact, he is all the more dangerous, because he has no ideas of his own, so he will defer to his foreign policy handlers.  These are the same neocons that brought us the ready, fire, aim policies of the Bush Doctrine, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the intent to attack and conquer Libya, Somalia, Chad, Lebanon, Syria and Iran.  Nothing could be more dangerous.


  12 Responses to “Mittzophrenia in Boca Raton”

  1. I think you pinpointed exactly what makes Mutt so dangerous ; He has no position or opinion of his own– he is absolutely depending on  others to feed him the positions he is to take and the words he is to say ; His only passion  is not the welfare of  his country , but his  wanting to be president ;
    He seems a man without vision or scruples- his entire career reflects nothing of conscience or ethics–

  2. The election of Mitt will complete the corporate takeover of the US.  He will be a CEO president running the country for the profit of himself and his shareholder, the 1%. 

  3. The last debate just confirms my core belief that President Obama is the man that I want at the helm of my country… 🙂

  4. In my Atlas, Syria might have about 10' of shoreline on the Mediterranean. Or at least it's a short walk across Turkey. If they try to cross Israel, they might run into trouble.
    Neither here nor there, but it's amazing he repeats this error over and over. Where the heck is his staff? 

    • Looked at a larger map and see that Syria has more coastline than my Atlas shows. No, it's not wrong. It just had a couple of city names obscuring the country lines on the west end. Just wanted to show I'm not totally ignorant, but my eyesight isn't that great.

  5. Shorter Rmoney:
    "When it comes to foreign policy, I'll do exactly what Pres. Obama has done – only with a lot better hair … and a lot whiter skin."
    How this can be a close election is both mind-boggling and very frightening.

  6. As noted in a Bill Moyers & Company – I wish that Obama had taken the 1950's and run with it, perhaps mentioning that the rich were willing to pay a tax rate of 91% to regain the country's economic stability – wouldn't it have been nice to ask Willard if he was willing to do the same!
    Mittzophrenia is very apt indeed!  The person who has played the debate game is an entirely "other" candidate – I too am afraid that those who witnessed this liar in action may believe him! I know that debates are supposed to be "civil", but why not call a "spade a spade" and Mitt a liar? I wish Obama could have used the word rather than hedge around it as if Willard simply mis-spoke!

  7. I thought the President won hands down until I turned on the tv today and heard that he was "snarky". Hmm, I thought he was to the point and called out Mitt when he lied, dummy me.

  8. A good debate with Mr Obama clearly the winner.  I certainly did not find Mr Obama 'snarky' but I did find that he was no longer willing to talk Romney's lies and deceptions, and he openly challenged him on them.  Further I felt that Romney tried to divert from the question and there was more comment on domestic economics than there should have been — some is good as it is germane to to a strong foreign policy, but it strayed too far into it.  Romney deserves a fistful of pinocchios for his performance.
    Until now, Romney has soundly  criticised Mr Obama's foreign relations accumen.  But that seemed to change on Monday night with Romney more often than not expressing the same policy.  So from that, I can only conclude that:
    1) Romney is too stupid and has no foreign relations policy of his own so he copied Mr Obama's;
    2) Romney previously lied about Mr Obama's foreign policy accumen;
    3) Romney is saying that he too has no foreign policy accumen; and
    4) all of the above!
    Romney repeatedly parroted the phrase that we “need to help countries reject extremism on their own.”  — This is a contradiction — by the US helping other countries, these countries are not rejecting extremism on their own!
    Romney said that the US needs to help to end extremism in the Middle East — but what about Christian extremism at home? 
    Romney made a comment about democratic reforms in various countries, yet he represents a party that is actively involved in voter suppression and election fraud at home.  What will he do to end this abomination, this trampling of the rights of American citizens?
    IMO, before the US can fairly demonstrate a strong force for democracy in the world, it must fix problems on the homefront. 

  9. Kudos to everyone.

    Lee, I think that Obama fears mentioning the 91% rate then.  Republicans would instantly turn the mention into a meme that 91% tax rate for the middle class is Obama's plan.

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