Just Two To Go
I think, like me, David Horsey is beginning to tire of campaign debates, or at least how they're treated by the mainstream media and the public.
Winning a presidential debate is a lot like winning a belching contest. Sure, it takes a peculiar sort of skill, but is it anything to be proud of?And Obama? What about his performance?
Mitt Romney was universally acknowledged as the "winner" of his first debate with President Obama, but what did he actually do to claim victory? He reversed positions he had taken through the entire campaign. He failed to give any serious detail about how he planned to make up for the huge revenue losses inherent in his big plan to cut taxes. He attacked his opponent with a stream of false or exaggerated characterizations of administration policies. And he bullied moderator Jim Lehrer with relish akin to the enthusiasm he must have displayed when he gave that gay kid an involuntary haircut back in his prep school days.
Why does any of that make him a winner?
...Having been reminded over and over again not to come across as an arrogant, angry black man, he bit his tongue and let Romney get away with one unanswered untruth after another. Personally, I would like to have seen an angry black man flipping Romney's trash talk right back at him. Instead, Obama looked like a sleepy community college teacher trying to get through the last class of the day.
Amen, and Amen.
But, and this is my biggest kvetch, these debates are judged by assholery: the winner is the guy who steamrollers everyone else, who comes across as strong (veracity be damned), who is the daddy the country yearns for. Ideas, "that vision thing," plans, proposals have no place in such a format. The laurel wreath goes to the bully, the strong man, even if we know he is going to screw us five ways to Friday because by electing him we gave him permission to do so. Horsey apparently feels the same way:
After all, it is clearly not truthfulness or consistency that are hallmarks of a debate winner. There seems to be one primary trait that is rewarded in these encounters: being a badass.
Like I said yesterday: I grow old.