Thursday, October 4, 2012

Undebatable Disaster

It should have been a glorious night. The Yankees pounded the hated and downtrodden Red Sox, clinching the division title, the best record in the American League and home field advantage until the World Series. And that should have been merely the second most important reason for me to smile. But I was left, at evening's end, shaken not stirred.

It was the worst of all possible debate outcomes. Mitt Romney, abandoning all the extreme right wing talking points and presenting himself as the moderate  he never could be based on his adherence to the extreme ideology of his party. And the professor he faced showed none of the passion, nor the adroitness that I expected, permitting himself to be boxed into the corner, often defensive and seemingly helpless. How could that happen when there was so much opportunity to attack?

Here was the former governor extolling the virtues of a health care plan he had fathered but distanced himself from the entire campaign. And the President merely applauded him for his past good deeds. Here was Mr. Romney misrepresenting that his tax plan was revenue neutral and would not cast additional burden on the lower and middle class, and a President who seemed stunned and unable to prove this nonsense inaccurate. Here was the 47% man, the etch a sketch man, this man who had spoken so inconsistently and so incoherently getting a free pass and being permitted to present an unfettered image of himself as a champion of the masses.

It was an unmitigated disaster. Here was Obama, stumbling and often searching for his words, while Romney peppered him with statistics on everything from green energy to education that the President was unable or unwilling to explain or defend. Here was Obama never showing himself as the warrior for the people, for those most in need of our government's care and attention. Here was a President not even able to distinguish his ideas for the future of Social Security from that of his opponent. Here was a President in free fall.

It was supposed to be a glorious time, when the intelligence and power of the President, coupled with the strength of his positions, would crush a Republican adversary reeling virtually from the start of his own party's primaries. Mr. Romney was full of holes and ripe for the picking. And yet, as the debate concluded, my happiness at the Yankee's success was dwarfed by the shocking events that had unfolded in Denver for 90 baffling and brutal minutes. The reelection was there for the President's taking, but at least on this night it slipped through his fingers. Not much of a 20th wedding celebration for him.


Anonymous said...

OMG, what should have been a slam dunk turned to what was even worse than you describe in my eyes. The president appeared unprepared, slow witted, and somewhat confused as he faced Mr. Stiff as a California Surf Board. He stumbled and mumbled and exhibited unacceptable body language with the arrogant appearing grimaces and smirks. Bad, amateurish mistakes. Now I'm really worried with foot-in-mouth Biden facing off with Ryan in a week.
What a nightmare! I had the most fitful night's sleep with worrying about Obama losing an election after having his opponent on the ropes waiting for a knockout punch.

Robert said...

What made it so much worse was how unexpected it was. Obama seemed so unsure about himself, and about how to make inroads against Romney. You had to wonder why none of the inconsistencies and problems that have haunted Romney were highlighted in the President's remarks.