I debated in high school and college. While I liked the format of 2012’s first presidential debate, this one didn’t really follow many (any?) of the protocols associated with a formal contest.
Because this wasn’t a contest. Anyone who uses “game on” or “game-changer”, anyone who talks about winners and losers or tries to score the event is doing the country a disservice and should be forced to recite the preamble to the constitution. This is not a game. The more politics is referred to as sport, the more combative, counterproductive and partisan it’s going to get. And ‘more’ tough to imagine.
What we did get last night was kind of depressing. Neither the President nor Gov. Romney confronted fundamental truths of the office and it made for a circuitous and unsatisfying exchange.
Romney said he will cut taxes and lower the deficit and this will result in jobs. We can all eat our cake and have it too. All we have to do is cut loopholes. But the loopholes aren’t big enough and it’s not something a president is empowered to do in the first place. Congress makes these decisions and they ain’t good at closing gaps. So it’s a lie. The flip side of Obama’s lie.
Obama maffled because he couldn’t talk to the American public about what it’s really like to be president. Mitch McConnell stated at the outset of Obama’s term that the number one job of the Republican party was to make sure Obama didn’t get re-elected. They blocked everything. Even things they never blocked before. The President never stood and said, ‘hey it’s a miracle I got anything done.’ These guys wouldn’t even vote for a Republican health care plan or Republican deficit reduction. He had to lie by omission so as not to look weak. He knows, just like Mitt does, the executive branch can, in the end, only execute. If congress does nothing, there’s not much for the other branches to do either.
What we saw last night was two men talking around the myth of the presidency. That it is somehow filled with fiat. That the most powerful person in the world has a great deal of power. The office doesn’t and that’s the real fib both avoided last night leaving us with a debate that wasn’t much of one at all.
If this were highschool, both these guys would've been disqualified.