Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2012 Presidential Debates: Round 2 

USA Today:

Most people are understandably cynical towards politics & government, but they are still necessary aspects of society.

If politics is an inevitable part of being an active citizen, it's best to try to improve it. There needs to be a balance between institutions like private business & government. Neither one is inherently evil- but unscrupulous people can corrupt either system.

I try to avoid getting cornered into conceptual boxes when it comes to my political thoughts. Although I'm registered "Independent," I usually find Democratic priorities more agreeable. The GOP have gone off the deep end in certain areas, especially "social" issues.

However, their biggest fault is their mindless, unyielding party-line opposition to initiatives that could help the country & its economy. Their primary focus is to unseat President Obama by blocking everything on the agenda- regardless of the havoc it wreaks upon the rest of us.

Anyone who follows Congressional votes, & the battles waged since the 2010 midterm, knows that major legislation is not happening without the cooperation of the Republican-led House.

If you are conservative, you might be happy about the lack of government activity. However, it's therefore much too simplistic to blame the President for the nation's economic problems if Congress is not cooperating with passing jobs bills & effective stimulus measures.

President Obama has done a good job, in my opinion. He's been a business-friendly, centrist technocrat who has bent over backwards to compromise with conservatives- he's definitely not a hardcore socialist, or even extremely liberal. I'm well aware of his failings, the undelivered promises, (...close Guantanamo, end drone strikes, faster economic recovery, etc...) and the fact that he's a politician. I am also aware that he is just a man like everyone else. However, I generally agree with the gist of the legislation he's advocated & overall vision for how the country should be run. If anything, I don't think he's been forceful enough in pushing a "progressive" agenda.

Last night was the best that I've seen Obama in fighting back against the many nonsensical Republican policies & ideas that have dominated political discourse, for which Mitt Romney is now the standard-bearer.

To be fair - in the first debate, Obama was horrible. I really couldn't believe how much of a snoozefest it turned into. I knew everyone was going to declare Romney the winner, because of his borderline-obnoxious manic aggressiveness. He apparently activated the "fear" area of people's primitive lizard brains, overcoming Obama's futile attempt at measured reason.

After the debate last night, I watched & read the many analyses on various websites with their reader comments. I like to get a spectrum of opinions & perspectives, even if they're idiotic.

I thought that last nite Pres. Obama clearly overwhelmed Gov. Romney, stylistically & substantively. The President asserted himself as a thoughtful, responsible, yet tough, leader. This time, he didn't let Mitt Romney continue to be his usual douchebag self, without response. Do I think either of these guys have all the right answers?... of course not. However Romney has no answers to anything. His stated fundamental approach to economic policy is a 3-card monte game. There's no way he can 1) cut taxes 2) increase the bloated Pentagon budget, and 3) reduce the national debt, without crippling the federal government (which is probably the actual goal). It's absurd on its face.

It always cracks me up how government-hating politicians want to attain & maintain power within the government they think's no good. I guess it's about the idea of infiltrating something, to destroy it from the inside out. The problem is... if democratic government is severely limited, society becomes unbalanced, then financial & corporate power is free to prey on the people.

Even though the CNN poll showed Obama 'winning' the debate overall, I was baffled to see the pundits on the different stations were downplaying it. The low expectations for Mitt Romney are Sarah Palin-esque... while Obama apparently needs to heal someone on stage, then punch Mitt out to make an impression. I'm not sure if the media is trying to keep it a horserace, or if people are really that clueless. It's most likely both.
Anyway, I understand why Romney supporters would go into denial. As a candidate, Mitt sucks & so they can't let Obama have any slack whatsoever. For Team Romney, it's better to bullshit your way to imagined victory than to accept defeat. It shows the whole right-wing mentality of winning at any cost, even if it's at the expense of consensual reality & one's own common sense.

When Obama had a lackluster performance last time, his supporters universally acknowledged it & demanded better, for the sake of the national discourse.

This time, The President showed why he has been elected to one of the most difficult jobs on Earth. He handled Mitt as an intellectual, moral, and rhetorical inferior- which he is. Gov. Romney was left awkwardly stammering on several key moments, when Obama gave him an oratorical smackdown.

Mitt just never looks comfortable in his own skin, while Barry O. is usually the coolest guy in the room. I don't know if it's Romney's uncomfortable personality, the disturbing lack of empathetic emotion, or just the fact that he's an out-of-touch plutocrat who acts like a jackass... he just doesn't seem like a person who can relate to the average person's problems. Case in point, his recent comments about people, with no insurance, being able to get care in an emergency.

He has absolutely no clue how society works for most people... yet, he's going to be in charge of running the country?!? Let's hope not.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think Romney is totally incompetent. He surely wouldn't be as much of a disaster as Dubya was- or as some of the GOP primary contenders would be. However, the ultra-rich have already had a field day at the expense of society-at-large. These are Gov. Romney's base. Therefore, a vote for him basically concedes the Republic to his special moneyed interests, whose only goal is to reap endless profit from the people.

There's still another debate to come, but I'm pretty sure I'll be sticking with "The Long Legged Mack Daddy" After the experiences of the last four years, he has undoubtedly learned lessons on how to govern effectively that will hopefully inform him if he wins a second term.

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