Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Obama Wins Debate #2, on Points, Not a Knockout

Barack Obama apparently pounded a few Red Bulls as he came out swinging last night. I think the town-hall forum suited him. And as has been the formula for this Administration, Joe Biden tested the waters, then Obama dove in. Biden in the VP debate was aggressive, interrupted, and bordered on smugness and arrogance. Obama pulled back the haughtiness a little, but still interrupted, still made smug remarks, was still aggressive. He not only debated Romney, he worked the ref. At the end of the debate he even prompted moderator Candy Crowley to cut Mitt Romney off. He told the moderator how to moderate the debate.

Rude and aggressive wins. Passive and polite doesn't. It's a fact. I'm fine with it. Supporters of either candidate can point out the opposite candidate's lack of politeness, but both are rude, both are pompous, both are somewhat disconnected from us. As much as some would like to think their man is well mannered, neither side supports a polite, respectful angel fighting against a rude bully. They're both bullies.

Candy Crowley didn't do a good job at moderating this debate. And that's how I know Obama won. The loser of a debate frequently blames the moderator, and here I am, a Romney supporter, criticizing the moderator.

She did insert herself far too much into this debate. I wanted to see Obama and Romney in a verbal brawl, and she broke it up far too often. There were times when they needed to be separated  but she frequently didn't allow them to discuss issues. She moved on to new subjects far too often. She seemed to have money on the over/under for the number of questions the audience would get to ask.

The debates are the only chances for candidates to directly address each other and their points, Crowley didn't allow them to do that. They answered a question, insinuated something about their opponent, and Crowley didn't let the opponent respond. We moved on to the next question.

I'm sorry, but I wanted to hear Obama and Romney last night, not Joe Undecided from Islip, NY. And certainly not Candy Crowley, who by the way did not do her job in ensuring the candidates answered the question asked.

So cue the out-of-context talking points. On the Left, I'm already seeing that apparently Mitt Romney thinks women exist in binders (trapper keepers?). Also, Mitt Romney is rude (and Obama is polite and humble? Really?). There was also that stupid question about AK-47s, about which Romney talked about single-parents. Although this study from the University of Chicago points out that gun violence is disproportionately carried out by children of single-parents. But don't let an actual discussion of Romney's points interrupt the Left telling jokes to each other. The memes must go on!

All these debates are entertaining, but I feel like this election boils down to a difference in philosophy not a difference between two men. Do you want Government to take care of you and also guide your life, or do you want an opportunity to take care of yourself and guide your own life? As far as the candidates go, they're both rude, both kind of jerks, both skew the truth, so it's the philosophy that separates them.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Union Fines Members if They Don't Campaign for Elizabeth Warren

I was tempted to use stronger words in this post's title. "Union Forces Members to Campaign for Warren," or even "Mercenary Campaigners: The Unholy Alliance Between Warren and a Carpenter's Union."

Now that's just a guy being filmed. Who knows who he is, where he is, et cetera. Hardly a firm source.

But hidden (and I mean hidden like opening scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark hidden) in a Boston Globe story was confirmation that if union workers don't participate in rallies, they will lose $150.

Mark Erlich, executive secretary treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, said the worker was describing an annual assessment that is waived when members do community service, which can include attending a political rally.

"Brown is flat-out wrong," Erlich said. "We have never and never will fine any member for not participating in political activity and have never paid any member to participate. Brown’s voting record is motivation enough."

So it isn't technically a fine. You just lose money if you don't participate in the rally. Which actually sounds very much like a fine.

How is a political rally considered community service?

If that's the case, would going to an Obama or Romney rally count as hours for court ordered community service?

Elizabeth Warren denied knowledge of this policy and I don't doubt it. What does she actually know about what working people do and have done to them? That's probably why Scott Brown has an unusual amount of union support for a GOP candidate (one WHDH poll had Brown supported by 46% of union members, and Warren by 41%). Maybe not from the unions themselves, but from the members who actually work.

Friday, October 05, 2012

All the Left Has Are Memes

After Mitt Romney soundly defeated Barack Obama in the first Presidential Debate, all Obama and his supporters could do was make each other laugh with funny memes about Mitt Romney.

Then again, that's all he and his supporters have done for the past few months. Whether it was making fun of Romney's $10,000 bet offer to Rick Perry, or Romney's comments about 47% of Americans who don't pay income taxes, or Bain Capital, or putting a dog in a crate on the roof of his car, or having a car elevator in his garage, or not hugging his garbageman, or giving tax breaks to the wealthy, or the alleged war on women... et cetera.

There haven't been many factual arguments emanating from the Left. And there certainly hasn't been any talk of Barack Obama's illustrious 4 year record as President.

Now it's Big Bird's turn to be a Liberal meme.

Seriously, that's the best the Left has. Funny as it may be, it addresses no issue, and adds nothing to the discussion of this country's problems except snark and dismissiveness.

The day after Mitt Romney pointed out that Barack Obama's record with the economy is questionable, all the Left seemed capable of doing was spreading this meme around. Why is that? Maybe because when actually talking about issues, the Left has nothing but air and fluff. They couldn't really address any of the points Romney adroitly made in the debate. The Left can't stand on Obama's record. All they can do is make jokes that make other Liberals laugh.

One common thread - before the debate and after - for Liberals was that Mitt Romney hasn't been detailed with his proposals.

I think it's hilarious that the same people who screamed ambivalent slogans like "Hope" and "Change" and now "Forward" are demanding details. When did these people become so meticulous? All Obama has to do is say "Yes we can" and they cheer wildly. But with Romney, they demand details.

However specific or nonspecific Romney has been, he has a general plan to alter the course of the economy. All Obama has are jokes about Sesame Street characters. Well to borrow a word from my favorite Sesame Street resident, I think it's time for Obama to scram.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Mitt Takes Gloves Off, Pummels Obama

We all thought Barack Obama was the skilled, smooth-talking debater, and Mitt Romney was the disconnected, awkward robot.

But in delivering their messages, Romney was a concise Power Point presentation. You could see bullet-points on the screen as he spoke. Obama was an unprepared professor without any notes, nursing a hangover, and ad-libbing his early morning lecture.

Even when not talking, Romney was winning. While listening to Obama, Romney maintained a polite but emotionless poker face. When Romney spoke, Obama hardly looked at him. He smirked smugly, and sometimes looked away, as if he didn't want to be there.

I think the endless series of GOP debates helped Romney prepare. The sweaty, white-hot crucible of Newt Gingrich & company seems to have turned Romney into a savvy debater. Obama has spent the last 4 years selling his policies and campaigning. He's accustomed to speaking in monologue, not dialogue. And the media doesn't ask him challenging questions. Last night was something new for Obama.

The substance of the debate also favored Romney. Obama reiterated some of his campaign's rhetoric about tax cuts for the rich, and about the deficit left by George W. Bush. Romney did well to address and dismiss those tactics.

Unfortunately for Obama, he couldn't boast much about his record. He tried boasting about Bill Clinton's then comparing it to his own. Meanwhile, Romney demonstrated an impressive understanding of economics and businesses. Every point Romney made ultimately led to job creation, how he plans to do it, and how Obama has failed to do it.

Last night the real Mitt Romney introduced himself to America, and to Barack Obama. For Obama's sake, he'd better have been paying more attention than it seemed like he was paying.