Saturday, October 06, 2012

About that debate

I watched/listened to the US presidential debate this week and I was, to put it mildly, underwhelmed. The newsmedia, both mainstream and rightwing, went into overdrive, talking about it as if it was some sort of sporting match, so I just tuned out. Their noise wasn’t at all helpful.

I thought President Obama seemed overly reserved, however, we ought to have learned by now that he plays a long game. I think that if he had come out against Romney with both barrels blazing, with so many weeks to go before the election, it would have helped Mitt by giving him time to spin it in his favour. Better to let Mitt be Mitt and keep the powder dry for the second debate, with less time afterward for the rightwing media machine to try to spin it.

Romney’s performance was… interesting: I don’t think we’ve seen this version before. It was especially interesting seeing him embrace his record as governor of Massachusetts, instead of running away from it as he has for all these years. He wasn’t honest about his record, of course, but at least he didn’t deny it completely this time.

Mitt has a well-documented problem telling the truth about, well, anything. If he was open and honest, he’d release his tax returns (like his father did) so we can see what he’s trying to hide. I don’t think he’s done anything illegal, but it would be embarrassing for him if Americans could see that a millionaire like Mitt paid no federal income taxes—and we must assume he didn’t, since he refuses to prove he did.

His open lies have been documented, fact-checked and debunked repeatedly, and yet he goes on lying with reckless abandon. The video above, from the Obama-Biden campaign, shows some of Romney’s lies in the debate. Romney clearly believes that if he repeats a lie often enough, people will accept his lies as truth.

One of the main things the Internet seized on was Romney’s pledge to fire Big Bird. He already declared that he loves firing people, and now we know he also loves firing beloved characters on children’s TV.

The incident shows how out of touch and a rich elitist he is: Ending funding for PBS—firing Big Bird—would do nothing to help pay for his $5 trillion tax cut mostly for the rich. In fact, apart from firing Big Bird, he won’t tell anybody what federal programmes he’d cut or what loopholes he’ll close.

Based on his record, we know that whatever Rmoney would do would hurt the middle class to help the rich. Failed Republican economic policies nearly brought worldwide depression, and now Romney wants to go back to them? Do he and the Republican Party really think American voters are that stupid?

Thanks to Big Bird and his friends, Americans aren’t as stupid as Mitt thinks. Maybe that’s the real reason Mitt wants to fire Big Bird.

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