Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Caught Between Barack and a Hard Place

I was wrong.

I was wrong about President Obama and Mr. Romney being handcuffed by the town hall format of last night's debate, going so far as to explicitly say it "means Romney's assertions will go unchallenged."

I was wrong about my evening being ruined by the preemption of New Girl. The second presidential debate of the 2012 general election, as it turns out, was entertaining and satisfying and arguably the most exciting political discourse I've witnessed in my lifetime.

I was wrong to think there wouldn't be a moment like in the video below, a moment that should not be overlooked. A moment where Mitt Romney lies about a dog-whistle issue and gets caught, where he exploits the death of four American diplomats, killed while serving our country, for political gain. Never mind that if this happened when a Republican was in the White House, Fox News wouldn't bat an eye at letting the investigation run its course; never mind that the State Department didn't want to announce to the world that there was a major CIA operation going on and they had to make sure nobody released any classified information; and never mind that Romney didn't call out Obama for merely being technically correct because Mitt wanted so badly to win a political point.

What I was not wrong about, however, is that last night's debate "won't change people's minds like the first one did." I feel confident in saying that once the post-debate polls come in over the weekend, Obama will see a small, meaningless bump, and I will still be pissed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Passion of The Candidate

On the eve of the second presidential debate of the 2012 general election, I find myself wondering a few things.

I wonder, why did Obama, in front of his largest audience all season, act like a reluctant boyfriend dragged to a Twilight movie? No, Mr. President, you did not simply have "a bad night." You and your team canonized the bullshit notion that Romney should be handled with kid gloves, as if he wasn't going to come out swinging like an Adderall-fueled collegian studying for the LSATs. You are not, nor have you ever been even a Joe Biden-level debater, and Mitt Romney is no Sarah Palin. And the gall, the absolute arrogance to ask me for money after that shit show you called a debate performance? It all but makes me hope you lose. That's how pissed I still am.

I wonder, what will the inevitable Willard Romney administration be like? Will President Romney roll back abortion rights? Will he actually cut income tax rates across the board by 20%, even when "helping small business owners" has the (un)intended effect of helping the very wealthiest Americans? Will his presidency prove a boon for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, even though evangelical Christians, who believe the Bible is the word of God, really shouldn't vote for someone who thinks Jesus rose from the dead, then made a B line for America?

But mostly, I wonder how President Obama will manage to disappoint me in the remaining three months of his presidency, tonight included. With New Girl preempted, my evening is already ruined. But the second debate will be town hall format which means Romney's assertions will go unchallenged. The final debate is on foreign policy, so Obama won't have a chance to address "the 47%" or Romney's record at Bain Capital or his campaign's anti-education, anti-healthcare policies or any other thing that Americans actually care about, because foreign policy sure as hell isn't one of them.

Romney has surpassed Obama in a number of polls, and the remaining debates won't change people's minds like the first one did. Record donations will be made in these closing weeks, money that could be better by those who need it most. The only question left to wonder, I suppose, is whether to move to Florida or Texas before I blow my life savings on the lottery.