The presidential debate on 03 October in Denver was refreshing in the sense that it was not a moderator’s show. One remembers the circus MSNBC’s Chris Matthews made of one of the republican debates by prancing up and down in front of the candidates and firing at them rhetorically like a commando taking out the enemy. An effective rebuke couldn’t be made because there were too many candidates and too little time for any of them to actually make a point. Or, there was the time that NBC’s Brian Williams asked Texas Governor Perry how he slept at night…weird.
Now, the “October Surprise” has arrived… – DRUMROLL, PLEASE –… the unemployment rate has slipped down to 7.8%, just in time for the election, though people with walking-around-sense know that this is a contrived figure, an absolute lie – and a huge one. There were 114,000 jobs created in September, while 375,000 people filed first-time unemployment claims and employers cut 2,000 more. If attacked by unbelief, check these facts out with the appropriate government agencies (Bureau of Labor Statistics). The unemployment rate for July was 8.1%, increased to 8.3% in August but, yo-yo-like, decreased overnight to 7.8% in September, even though net employment was minus 263,000. The administration continues what it has been doing to cook the books, namely just whimsically contrive a certain number of folks who have dropped out of even looking for work until the right number is achieved.
The BIG LIE is alive and well, and Obama and czars are betting that the great unwashed is too ignorant or uninformed to understand. Disgusting!
In short, the debates usually furnish the opportunity for the “news anchors” and other highly overpaid celebrity news people to perform by displaying their knowledge (or lack of it) and their ability to “regiment” the whole affair, like a drill sergeant setting the cadence. Moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS has been around a long time, sensed that much was being accomplished in letting the candidates “argue it out” and was smart enough to just step aside and let it happen.
It was obvious that Romney had prepared for the debate, while the president had not, but Obama joined in the free-for-all so Lehrer actually was facing the wall. When Lincoln “debated” Douglas, there was no moderator to bang the bell, blow the whistle, flash the lights and generally further be a nuisance, like interrupting constantly to remind the contestants of the “rules.” It’s much better to thoroughly hash out two or three matters than be confined to “sound bites” and campaign rhetoric in attempting but not actually covering eight or nine. For instance, Bain Capital was not mentioned nor was governmental furnishing of birth-control or abortion vehicles.
The president exuded an air of simply “being bothered” by the whole thing, something to be endured but neither enjoyed nor particularly worthwhile, thus his appearing as if he had just strolled in after eighteen holes. He constantly looked down and grimaced, perhaps confident that he had the vote tied up and didn’t really need just another campaign appearance. After all, he has his loyal base plus the entire black and homosexual vote (miniscule as it is), the women (especially up to age 30), the Hispanics and the unions.
One remembers the debate of 2000, when Vice President Gore, apparently feeling much the same as Obama, was attacked by the “sigh syndrome” whenever George Bush had the floor. He was doubtlessly confident that the prosperity (though rapidly declining at the time) during the administration of Bill Clinton, the luckiest president in all of history, would propel him easily into the White House, so he sweated and sighed and sighed and sighed through the evening. Clinton had managed to increase top-rate income taxes by 28% in 1993, thus discouraging the job-makers from doing business, while also not answering the first efforts of al Qaeda to hurt the U.S. The USS Cole massacre, as well as other incidents, was a vivid memory in 2000. Gore bit the dust, even though he tried to steal Florida and had to be stopped by the Supremes.
The president indicated his unbelievable ignorance when he claimed that tax credits were earned by businesses when jobs were outsourced to other countries. Romney didn’t argue the point, only suggested that in his long business-history he had never heard that. The president was left with his jaw hanging and, of course, made no response.
As usual, much time was spent on education – safe ground, since everyone’s for education. Obama’s Education Secretary was school superintendent of Chicago schools when appointed, overseeing a system in which 79% and 80% of eighth-graders, respectively, are not at grade level in reading and math. The national averages of non-proficient readers and mathematicians are 29% and 26%, respectively. Chicago schools didn’t get that deficient overnight, so Secretary Duncan presided over that debacle in a system so dominated by unions instead of educators that it’s virtually hopeless, even though the teachers’ average salary is $76,000 per year, $21,000 or 38% above the national average (2009). This amounts to mediocrity expensively institutionalized.
No mention was made of the system in Chicago, Obama’s hometown. Instead, Romney argued persuasively that education is a state matter and noted that during his tenure as governor of Massachusetts the state had the best system in the nation. In the discussion about healthcare, he made the same argument and noted that Massachusetts inculcated a healthcare system when he was governor. He reiterated his promise to get Obamacare repealed and replaced so that states could handle the health situation without federal intervention such as the panels of bureaucrats to mandate who gets what services and when and where, if at all. Romney mentioned that $90 billion spent on programs and policies to develop so-called alternative energy – complete failure and payoff to cronies – could have been better spent on things like hiring teachers, 2 million of them.
It was the best presidential debate ever witnessed by the perpetrator of this blog. Obama was in over his head and seemed virtually helpless. Perhaps he’ll figure a way to utilize a teleprompter in the next two sessions.