Tuesday night, my wife and I sat down to a peaceful evening yelling at the TV, throwing up arms in disbelief, pulling out of hair, and a nice Bordeaux. Ok so I did all of those while she worked on homework and the Bordeaux was actually lemonade but you get the picture.
If I look at last nights debate objectively, I would have to say that it probably didn’t really do anything for either side. If anything it just diminished two underwhelming candidates. Obama has been such a train wreck in the last four years that he can’t really excite his base, and Romney… I don’t know anyone let me say again ANYONE who said that Romney was their first choice. Second or third is even difficult to muster. If we are going to be honest, Romney is the anti-Obama choice. America does not vote for Presidents anymore. We vote for the least objectionable alternative. The right is only fired up for Romney because of their hope for anything but Obama. To the right, Obama has been such a violation of American values and principles that they are willing to forgo some conservative values for a higher electability. It reminds me of Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “Those who give up a little bit of liberty for security deserve and receive neither.”
Romney has lately seemed more Reaganesc, but I hear the words and I see a sharp dressed slick politician so I have a hard time buying it. Hey, I hope I’m wrong but history is the best indicator of the future.
All that being said, I feel that there were some missed opportunities for Romney. (Yes I am one of those conservatives that is only fired up for Romney because he is the anti-Obama. See above statements about liberty, security yada yada) The entire discussion of the assault weapons ban could have been a huge home run for Romney. Half way through Obama’s answer I was screaming “Fast and Furious!”. Romney really should have started with that rather that the honorable mention he fleetingly gave at the end of his answer. Over 200 Mexican nationals have died at the hands of the “lost weapons” from F&F and 2 of our Border Patrol agents. A strong focus on Obama’s misuse of Executive Privilege would have seasoned the meal nicely. F&F was an example of the White House getting caught trying to create a chrisis so they could come in and rescue us from ourselves with tighter gun control laws.
The Libya debacle was the White House trying to spin the video into calls for reductions in free speech. It sounds hard to believe, but throughout the world (and another world called the UN) There were calls to restrict Americas first amendment. Pundits here in the US likened the video and other intolerant views to yelling FIRE in a theater.
Rather than having these ridiculous town hall debates, we should have the candidates submit peer reviewed fully cited essays on various topics. Switch papers and check your neighbors. Fact checks would be thoroughly conducted before papers are submitted to the public. No late papers.