“As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other.” — James Madison, Federalist No. 10 — 1787.
In watching last night’s presidential debate one thing became crystal clear to me — Mitt Romney, much to my chagrin, was not going to hit President Obama with his weapons of mass destruction. Instead he decided to act “presidential” and take some fictional high road that he and his political advisors though was the better course and allow Obama to act as petulant child by attacking him and in some cases spewing bald face lies.
The debate opened with the moderator, Bob Schieffer, asking a question on the current events in Libya. As I sat watching Romney, who had the first bite at this apple, I thought Romney would have an opportunity to really take Obama to the woodshed. But he didn’t. Then I had to scream at the TV and grab Romney by the throat and shake him.
Instead of pointing out the many missteps the Obama Administration made regarding the attack on our consulate in Benghazi and the murder of our ambassador along with three of his protectors Romney stated that the attack was carried out "apparently by, I think we know now, by terrorists of some kind against our people there."
He then went on to “congratulate Obama on taking out Osama bin Laden and going after the leadership in Al Qaeda and said; “But we can’t kill our way out of this mess. We’re going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy.”
There were so many things Romney could have attacked Obama on regarding the attack and the subsequent cover up. He could have challenged Obama on the State Department ignoring Ambassador Stevens request for added security. He could have mentioned the fact that the State Department was watching the attack in real time from an unmanned aerial vehicle. He could have asked Obama why he did not order the quick reaction force stationed in Italy, an hour away from Benghazi into the fight or an AC130 gunship to take out the attackers. But Romney did none of these things. Instead he turned the conversation to the economy.
When Obama accused Romney of investing in China when he was with Bain Capital Romney said nothing. This is when a screamed at the TV in hope that Romney would hear me as I wanted him to mention that General Motors, the government owned car company, has plans to build 70% of their vehicles in China, thus loosing thousands of jobs in the United States. According to recent article in Forbes Less than one in five GM vehicles are manufactured in the United States. The article states:
“According to Obama, GM does everything right. It offers high-paying jobs to American workers. It invests at home. GM put American manufacturing back in the high-tech race on American soil. The new GM is good for America, and America is good for GM, as a former GM chairman declared in 1953. GM is back where it should be.
We need to look no further than General Motors’ own figures to learn that GM outsources almost two thirds of its jobs overseas. Less than one in five GM vehicles are manufactured in the United States.
To be exact: GM’s December 31, 2011 annual report shows General Motors of North America accounting for 98,000 of the 207,000 GM jobs worldwide. But 12,000 of these jobs are in Canada and 11,500 are in Mexico. Accordingly, GM has 74,500 jobs in the United States and 122,500 abroad, even after Obama’s touted surge in Detroit jobs. Almost two thirds of GM’s jobs are in other countries.
GM’s outsourcing is not a slip. GM clearly states that foreign investment and outsourcing of jobs are an integral parts of its growth strategy.”
Romney could then have stated that GM still owes the American taxpayer $24 billion dollars. Once again Romney let Obama of the hook and allowed him to continue his rant about Romney outsourcing to China. This was driving me crazy. Romney did, however, mention Solyndra and Obama’s failed green energy initiative.
Then Obama really got testy when he accused Romney of wanting the car companies to go belly-up and lose thousands of jobs. Romney responded that he had recommended a structured bankruptcy with government guarantees for the companies when they came out of bankruptcy and for the protection of the warranties for those who owned GM and Chrysler vehicles. This is when Obama lost it and virtually called Romney a liar and screamed that we should fact-check his statement. Well it turns out the Romney was telling the truth and Obama was lying into the camera without any hesitation at all. The
“You were very clear that you would not provide government assistance to the U.S. auto companies, even if they went through bankruptcy," Obama said, going on the offensive. "You said that they could get it in the private marketplace. That wasn't true."
But Romney rejected the claim — and he's got the op-ed he wrote to back him up. "Under no circumstances would I do anything other than to help this industry get on its feet," Romney said, "And the idea that has been suggested that I would liquidate the industry, of course not."
In a 2008 op-ed entitled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," Romney did in fact call on the government to play a role in responding to the auto crisis but in the form of federal guarantees, not loans.
"The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk," Romney wrote in The New York Times editorial.
You could see the rage on Obama’s face as he lied to the American people.
Like many conservatives I was looking for an ending similar to Sunday’s Giants-Redskins game when Elli Manning hit Victor Cruz for a game winning 77 yard TD pass with seconds left on the clock. Instead we got the boring Bears-Lions game where the bears plodded to a win over the hapless Lions.
His remarks about horse, bayonets, aircraft carriers, and submarines were not only demeaning they were out of bounds for an incumbent president. Within moments of his remarks a Marine tweeted that the Marines still use bayonets, as do the rest of the military. In fact they train with them.
The whole time during the last Presidential debate, Mitt Romney looked like the incumbent and Barack Obama looked like a challenger trying to keep it together. More specifically, Barack Obama, when he made eye contact, looked like he was seeing and invisible hand writing “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin” on the wall behind Bob Schieffer. This was a man who knows the gig is almost up.
Throughout the debate, Mitt Romney smiled, agreed, and avoided fights. Barack Obama did everything he could to get into fights. That’s not what incumbents in a comfortable lead do.
The biggest issue to come out of this debate, though, was Barack Obama totally claiming that sequestration was Congress’s fault — he signed it into law — and that it would not happen, despite it being the law of the land.
Within mere moments after the conclusion of the debate, the Obama camp already walked it back. It is never good for the President of the United States when, immediately upon conclusion of a must win debate, his campaign team is already walking back his bold statements. His jokes about sequestration will haunt him in military towns and his dismissiveness of the American Navy will hurt him in key swing states.
We’re two weeks away and signs point to the Obama campaign flailing about like a chicken with its head cut off — or more precisely Florida, North Carolina, and, of all things, Virginia cut off. Colorado too seems to be slipping out of Obama’s reach making Ohio more and more necessary. Paul Ryan has begun making incursions into Western Pennsylvania, which gets Ohio media markets, but also helps Republicans in Pennsylvania — something Obama cannot do for Democrats.
Within a week, the Obama campaign will probably trot out some blonde somebody with Gloria Alred to claim Mitt Romney and his five sons have all been sharing her. It will be their October Surprise. No doubt Eric Holder will be enlisted to drum up a few indictments too. They’ll pin their hopes on last minute fiction.
The Obama campaign is desperate and scared. Desperate and scared campaigns, like animals. tend to lash out. We’re seeing signs of that now with the “binders full of women” nonsense among other things. The Obama campaign has made a near fatal — quite possibly fatal — mistake. The campaign has been run on what Barack Obama has done for people without barely a hint of what he will do in his second term. People want to vote for something. Obama has given them nothing to vote for — just reminders of a past that includes a whole lot of unemployment and a still deeply unpopular take over of the American healthcare system. At least there’s Big Bird and Sandra Fluke.
What’s more, Mitt Romney and the GOP both are benefiting tremendously from Team Obama’s pride. The Obama campaign cannot, out of pride, admit it is losing key states. Consequently, the campaign continues to pour money into states like Florida that have fully slipped away. The Obama campaign is also hoarding Democratic Party funds that could be spent on other races. An unwillingness to let go of states and money and an inability to help other Democratic campaigns is not just costing Barack Obama, but is costing the Democratic Party as a whole.