Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!

Here we go again, folks. Tonight’s debate is now considered to be a must-win for the incumbent, thanks to what one of our commenters referred to not long ago as Mr. Romney’s “steady erosion in the polls”.

So what’s tonight’s drinking game? Well, this time, readers, you get to take your pick.

Sadly, I won’t be joining you; I’ll likely be somewhere on Route 95 as the bout gets underway, listening on the radio (a poor substitute for watching on TV while following along on Twitter, but it can’t be helped).

Bottoms up! And may the worst man lose.

11 Comments

  1. the one eyed man says

    The consensus seems to be that Romney was as bad last night as Obama was in the first debate, and Obama was as good last night as Romney was two weeks ago. Tie ball game.

    Last week’s debate was the same thing: one’s view of whether Joltin’ Joe Biden beat Lyin’ Ryan depends on which side you are on, and probably didn’t swing any independents, assuming there still are some.

    The coverage of the debates gave the lie to the meme that the media are in the tank for one candidate or the other. Both were widely criticized for their lackluster performances.

    While the first debate was a snoozer, I think the last two were the best ones I have seen in a long time, if ever. They were substantive, informative, and clearly delineated the differences between the two sides. While the campaign thus far has generated a lot of heat, the last two debates generated a lot of light.

    Posted October 17, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    Certainly it was a stronger showing by Mr. Obama this time, though that isn’t saying much.

    Some CBS/CNN snap polls after the debate had some interesting under-the-hood numbers, though, with clear majorities giving Mitt Romney the edge on the economy, health care, taxes, leadership, and the deficit, even as a majority of them said Mr. Obama won the debate overall. Go figure.

    Also, I thought the openly tendentious Candy Crowley truly beclowned herself — jumping in to fact-check Mitt Romney’s assertion about the Libya timeline, getting it wrong, and then correcting herself once the debate was over.

    I think the momentum is still Romney’s.

    Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    See also this.

    Posted October 17, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink
  4. the one eyed man says

    Go figure? These things are won or lost on style, not substance. Romney was peevish, belligerent, smarmy, and dismissive. If McCain came across as Grandpa Simpson, Romney came across as Mr. Burns.

    Steam-rolling over Candy Crowley, playing a Don Draper-era executive (“in Massachusetts we gave women flexible work schedules so they can be there when their kids get home from school”), and patronizing (a gaggle of geese, a pride of lions, a binder of women) did him no favors with the wiser sex.

    My view is that style is far less important than substance, or perhaps not important at all. However, that’s not how the game is played. To quote George Bernard Shaw: “An election is a moral horror, as bad as a battle except for the blood; a mud bath for every soul concerned in it.”

    Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    Gee, that’s funny. I thought it was Crowley steamrolling Romney.

    Freud famously asked “What do women want?” Are you saying that Romney would be a more attractive candidate if he hadn’t given women flexible schedules so they could feed their kids dinner?

    Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink
  6. Malcolm says

    Romney did drop the ball in there, though – he missed a great opportunity to zing the president about paying female WH staffers (the distaff staff?) less than the men.

    Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink
  7. Malcolm says

    And obviously it was a binder full of resumes of qualified women, for crying out loud. Is this really all you guys have got?

    Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink
  8. the one eyed man says

    Of course women should be able to have flexible hours to take care of their kids if necessary. So should men. We are no longer living in the world of Ozzie and Harriet. You and I raised our kids in two-earner households, and we both know what it’s like to have to take off from work to get your kids. This is not a thought which would occur to someone who has always had maids, servants, and nannies to deal with child rearing. It was like when Bush I was unfamiliar with how a bar scanner works.

    When asked about the “womens’ issues” questions, one of the undecided women in a focus group said: “Romney came across like someone from the 1950’s, and Obama made my heart sing.”

    Is “binder of women” all we’ve got? Certainly not: there are far too many reasons why he is unqualified to be President to enumerate here. It’s a slip of the tongue, like “57 states” or “you didn’t build that” instead of “you didn’t build them.” It means nothing. However, fairly or not, these slips take on outsized significance because they are easy to relate to and illuminate a larger narrative. For those who are not political junkies and base decisions on things as trivial as which candidate would be preferable as a drinking partner, it’s a big deal.

    Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink
  9. Malcolm says

    Of course women should be able to have flexible hours to take care of their kids if necessary.

    So why are you ragging on Romney for mentioning that he made that happen?

    Romney is “unqualified”? A former governor with decades of executive experience in and out of the private sector? You can look at your own guy’s qualifications when he was elected in 2008 and say this with a straight face?

    Posted October 17, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink
  10. the one eyed man says

    My point is not that Romney said an unforgivable thing regarding flexible hours. It is that what he said makes him seem patronizing and out-of-touch. In a world which is obsessed with style and insouciant towards substance, these sorts of things take on huge importance.

    I really don’t care if Romney is old-fashioned or Bush Senior didn’t know what a bar scanner is. We’re not hiring them to run an HR department or do food shopping.

    These things are as remarkably silly as the brouhaha about whether Obama referred to the attacks in Benghazi the next day as specifically terrorist attacks or whether he was referring to terrorist attacks in general. Terrorism merely describes a strategy which any violent party may use. An attack such as the one in Benghazi is by definition a terrorist attack, regardless of who was behind it or what their grievance happens to be.

    As for Romney’s putative qualifications: being a CEO or running the Olympics are difficult and demanding endeavors, but they are not qualifications to be President. Otherwise, we would elect Steve Jobs or Avery Brundage, who were far more successful in these spheres but who would have made awful Presidents.

    Qualifications go beyond resumes. However, if resumes are the criterion, Obama had a marginally stronger one in 2008 than Romney does in 2012 because of his longer tenure in public service and experience in constitutional law. These things are far more germane to running the government than buying and selling corporations.

    Romney is disqualified to be President because he has been repeatedly dishonest in his campaign for the Presidency, and because he lacks core convictions. It is difficult to find a single issue where he held the same position for any length of time. Whatever one may think of his programs and agenda (to the extent that he has any), his lack of core principles or fundamental values disqualify him from the job.

    Posted October 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink
  11. Malcolm says

    I’ll just let your remarks about qualifications lie there; it’s not the sort of thing we could have a productive discussion of. If you really think former governor Mitt Romney is literally unqualified to be the nation’s chief executive, or even that he’s actually less qualified than the pampered hothouse flower Obama, who as far as I know never even ran so much as a lemonade stand, well, that’s your opinion. Readers are welcome to comment on it if they like.

    These things are as remarkably silly as the brouhaha about whether Obama referred to the attacks in Benghazi the next day as specifically terrorist attacks or whether he was referring to terrorist attacks in general. Terrorism merely describes a strategy which any violent party may use. An attack such as the one in Benghazi is by definition a terrorist attack, regardless of who was behind it or what their grievance happens to be.

    This misses the point altogether, and it’s a very serious point indeed: namely that the Obama administration — obviously seeking, in the final weeks of an election campaign, to deflect attention from the consequences of its disastrous blunders in Libya — deliberately misled the nation for many days as to the real nature of this assault.

    It did so by pretending that the attack was just an unforeseeable reaction to an inflammatory video — and yes, Mr. Obama clearly referred to that video in the Rose Garden speech. This was days before he sent his mouthpiece to the Sunday press shows to reinforce this transparent falsehood. The brutal — and preventable — murder of an American ambassador on U.S. soil by the jihadist savages our benighted policy brought to power, and the parading of his corpse through the streets? A “bump in the road”.

    Disgusting. Even to call this a “terrorist attack” gets it wrong. This was an act of war.

    Finally, we hear all the time from his thralls that Barack Obama is a man with absolutely no “ideology”, that he is just a “pragmatist”, a man neither of the Left nor the Right, an infinitely flexible thinker who only cares about “what works”, and whose only fault, if he can even be considered actually to have any faults at all, is that he is too intuitively able to see all sides of every question. Yet here you are taking Mitt Romney to task for lacking consistent “core principles”.

    Feh! This isn’t worth squabbling about. We’ll settle it in 19 days.

    Posted October 17, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.