Some Notes About the Debate

Last night was the first debate (transcript link) between candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. Only the most diehard Obama fans believe he won the debate. And today I have the entertainment of watching a number of left-wing talking heads trying to to appear to not be in a panic mode brought on by Obama’s clear loss at the debate. I am guessing that by the end of today Obama’s poor performance at the debate will be either directly or indirectly blamed on President George W. Bush. Anyway, I have a few comments of my own about the debate.

1) Romney did perform better at the debate. He clearly won it hands down. Unfortunately, in a contest between Tweedledee and Tweedledum, to say one of them was the winner is not really saying much.

2) Despite a number of pundits complaining about Jim Lehrer’s moderating, I thought he did a good job. He did what he was supposed to do, which is moderate a debate, not try impress everyone with his television presence. This was the first televised political debate in a long time that actually looked and sounded like an genuine debate. Why some people would think that was bad, I do not know.

3) One thing that Lehrer did get wrong was his constant assertion that there was a significant difference between the positions of the two candidates. Anyone thinking critically should be able to see that there is about a hair’s breadth of difference in the policy choices Obama and Romney advocate. Both of them are going to spend more money to regulate the economy, control health care, save entitlements, fund the military/industrial complex, and generally claim more power for government. They have two mildly divergent paths to the same ends.

4) Despite what you may have heard, Romney never said a word about firing  killing, or defunding Big Bird. What he said was that he would end federal funding for PBS. PBS only gets a small portion of its funding from the federal government, and Sesame Street even less. So stop yer crying over Big Bird’s demise. Not gonna happen.

5) President Obama does not understand his own job. Most people these days do not understand the federal government’s actual job, to be sure. However, when the President said, “The first role of the federal government is to keep the American people safe,” he was wrong. The first role of the federal government is to protect people’s rights. That is the fundamental and primary role of the federal government.

The President also said:

But I also believe that government has the capacity — the federal government has the capacity to help open up opportunity and create ladders of opportunity and to create frameworks where the American people can succeed. Look, the genius of America is the free enterprise system, and freedom, and the fact that people can go out there and start a business, work on an idea, make their own decisions.

But as Abraham Lincoln understood, there are also some things we do better together.

So in the middle of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln said, let’s help to finance the Transcontinental Railroad. Let’s start the National Academy of Sciences. Let’s start land grant colleges, because we want to give these gateways of opportunity for all Americans, because if all Americans are getting opportunity, we’re all going to be better off. That doesn’t restrict people’s freedom; that enhances it.

And so what I’ve tried to do as president is to apply those same principles. And when it comes to education, what I’ve said is we’ve got to reform schools that are not working. We use something called Race to the Top. Wasn’t a top-down approach, Governor. What we’ve said is to states, we’ll give you more money if you initiate reforms. And as a consequence, you had 46 states around the country who have made a real difference.

But what I’ve also said is let’s hire another hundred thousand math and science teachers to make sure we maintain our technological lead and our people are skilled and able to succeed. And hard-pressed states right now can’t all do that. In fact, we’ve seen layoffs of hundreds of thousands of teachers over the last several years, and Governor Romney doesn’t think we need more teachers. I do, because I think that that is the kind of investment where the federal government can help. It can’t do it all, but it can make a difference, and as a consequence, we’ll have a better-trained workforce, and that will create jobs, because companies want to locate in places where we’ve got a skilled workforce.

There is a lot wrong there, but I will make just three points about it.

6) Since the start of federal involvement in education, the quality of education has either gone down or remained flat depending which stats one might use. The notion that this time we will get it right is just ludicrous, and the President should be ridiculed for that comment.

7) The federal government telling states what to do, even if it is bribing them to obey, is exactly a top-down approach. How does Obama not realize this?

8) Establishing a society wherein people are dependent on government to provide them with opportunities enhances only the freedom of the politicians to do what they please. That does not make the citizens more free. It makes them less free. Duh.

Romney said this:

And there really are two very different paths that we began speaking about this evening. And over the course of this month we’re going to have two more presidential debates and vice presidential debate. We’ll talk about those two paths. But they lead in very different directions. And it’s not just looking to our words that you have to take in evidence of where they go; you can look at the record.

9) Once again, no, there are not two very different paths. And looking at the records of Romney and Obama is one reason I will be voting for neither one. Both of them have dismal records as political leaders.

My suggestion: vote for Gary Johnson. He has a great record as a political leader. Wikipedia has this to say:

He entered politics for the first time by running for Governor of New Mexico in 1994 on a fiscally conservative, low-tax, anti-crime platform. Johnson won the Republican Party of New Mexico’s gubernatorial nomination, and defeated incumbent Democratic governor Bruce King by 50% to 40%. He cut the 10% annual growth in the budget: in part, due to his use of the gubernatorial veto 200 times during his first six months in office, which gained him the nickname “Governor Veto”.

Johnson sought re-election in 1998, winning by 55% to 45%. In his second term, he concentrated on the issue of school voucher reforms, as well as campaigning for marijuana decriminalization and opposition to the War on Drugs. During his tenure as governor, Johnson adhered to a stringent anti-tax and anti-bureaucracy policy driven by a cost–benefit analysis rationale, setting state and national records for his use of veto powers: more than the other 49 contemporary governors put together.

[…]

Andrew Sullivan quoted a claim that Johnson “is highly regarded in the state for his outstanding leadership during two terms as governor. He slashed the size of state government during his term and left the state with a large budget surplus.” According to one New Mexico paper, “Johnson left the state fiscally solid,” and was “arguably the most popular governor of the decade . . . leaving the state with a $1 billion budget surplus.”

Do I really need to say any more?

2 Responses to “Some Notes About the Debate”

  1. I was looking over your pages her & noticed how the random topics in your blog were displayed…different fonts, sizes. They looked like those word magnets on a refrigerator that you piece together for random sentences, poems, etc. I bought some once from a garage sale that were almost all in Spanish.

    I was trying to get a screen shot of that to send to a friend, but all it copied was the Mitt Romney debate link. It seemed pretty far from the erotica you post so being the inquisitive one that I am I clicked on it.

    I remember that debate. How terrible Barrack Obama performed & how distressed his base was. And most likely how distressed he was. Mitt Romney performed beautifully. Based on that debate, if voting had happened right after we would have a different president. Sadly, we don’t & our country is a mess. It’ll get better, but that’s really neither here nor there.

    I just wanted to pass along that I have enjoyed your writing thus far.

    Have a great day.

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