#Debates: President Obama’s Performance, the Backfire Effect, and Romney the Liar

More thoughts.


Immediately following the debate, I was frustrated. And visibly so. You can check out the postdebate analysis that I did with Team Blackness over at The Root. We were not amused.  I was angry, actually.

As time passes, however, I’m more and more confident that President Obama will ultimately be viewed as the winner of last night’s debate, for multiple reasons — six, to be exact:

1. Mitt Romney lied. A lot. And the media is already starting to do its job and fact-check Mitt’s nonsense.  Long after his confident performance is forgotten, he will be left with his own lies, fabrications, confabulations, half-truths, mistruths, and flip-flops.

2. President Obama answered the questions posed: During a press conference call this morning with top Obama campaign advisers, David Axelrod was asked why President Obama didn’t do more to point out and highlight the myriad Romney falsehoods. Axelrod responded that Obama’s strategy going in to the debate was to answer only the questions posed. Axelrod pointed out that Mitt Romney is running a campaign that is completely untethered from the truth, and noted that the ultimate question in the campaign will be one of character.  And you know what? We already know that Romney has no character or core beliefs.

3. The Gish Gallop fallacy: I saw this graphic floating around on Facebook and a lightbulb went off in my head like a ton of bricks. The Gish Gallop! Of course!

[read full post at ABLC]

84 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    As time passes, however, I’m more and more confident that President Obama will ultimately be viewed as the winner of last night’s debate, for multiple reason

    Whew! For a minute or two there…

  2. 2
    wasabi gasp says:

    Get bullshit on your boomerang and you’ll take a bath.

  3. 3
    Schlemizel says:

    I’m probably gonna get toasted for this but I gotta say it.

    We have had, what, 200-300 threads fretting over last night. Do we really need yet another one? Has there been any front pager that has not weighed in – often multiple times – to plow this same sad plot of ground. Is there anything left to say?

    OfA has responded & left Blogistan (yes, Skippy coined that term) has done all the lifting necessary unless we really think last night was really a game changer.

    Lets get on with the campaign

  4. 4
    Randy P says:

    I don’t know if he’ll be judged the winner of that debate or not. But I’ve come around in other ways. Earlier on a dead thread I said this: ” Nate Silver has Obama at 86% today. I realize it’s too early to show debate effects, but I saw one worrier here predict that the number might drop to 70% as a result of last night.

    Know what? I’m not sure it will drop at all. If it does, I’m betting it stays on this side of 80. Our man knows what he’s doing. He knew as well as we did that Romney was going to be emitting lies all night. I think we’re going to learn once more that he knows the right way to sucker the right wingers.”

    I’ve started remembering how many times in the last 4 years, hell in the last 6 months a “what is he thinking” turned into a killer blow against the GOP.

  5. 5
    Brachiator says:

    David Axelrod was asked why President Obama didn’t do more to point out and highlight the myriad Romney falsehoods. Axelrod responded that Obama’s strategy going in to the debate was to answer only the questions posed.

    Crappy strategy.

    The goal should have been to remove any last doubt that Romney even belonged on the same stage as the president.

    Which he doesn’t.

    This could have been done without dealing with Romney’s torrents of lies.

    And you know what? We already know that Romney has no character or core beliefs.

    The idea was to make sure that every potential voter knew this as well by the end of the debate.

    Romney is emboldened when he thinks he has rattled an opponent. He counts on this to distract observers from his essential emptiness.

    Obama’s advisors let him down. They have another chance to kick Romney to the curb. I hope they do it.

  6. 6
    Randy P says:

    @Randy P: I shouldn’t limit that to the GOP. One of those moments was his “gaffe” at saying Egypt was not an ally. They lost no time in stepping up to denounce terrorist attacks.

  7. 7
    blingee says:

    ABL Vista Home edition SP1 nailed it…for a change. She even managed to get through that whole post with out mentioning racism once. Quite an accomplishment for her.

    So while the wonks and beltway masturbators and blogging fucktards all froth and squirm over this latest shiny object, the endgame is what matters and on that Obama just has that much more ammunition. Remember, it’s chess not checkers.

    The whole Gish Gallop thing is….urrum like who cares! It may help win debates but if that is not the endgame like say…in a presidential debate….it’s gonna bite Rmoney in the ass hard.

  8. 8
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    If the Simpson/Patterson garbage debates are any indication, this debate is an ominous development.

  9. 9
    Meg says:

    The Gish Gallop indeed.
    I noticed that’s what Romney was doing within 10 minutes last night, just did not know there is a name for it.

  10. 10
    feebog says:

    I agree that Obama won over rMoney on substance last night. Al Gore did the same thin when debating Lil’ Smirky in 2000. But Gore sighed and rolled his eyes a few times and of course that was much more important than Gore being right on all the substantive issues.

    Televised debates are not about substance. They are about image and sound bites. Matthews and Schultz understand that, and that is why they were so upset last night. I also agree that if the main stream media does it’s job and calls bullshit on all of rMoney’s lies last night, the needle will not move much. But that’s asking a lot of a very lazy and easily distracted media.

    Bottom line, job numbers come out tomorrow. If they are good numbers that will be the new headline and this debate will soon be forgotten. Let’s also remember that we have three more debates, the next in just a week. The sky is not falling, that was just a cloud passing by.

  11. 11
    Joe Buck says:

    I agree that Romney’s lies will hurt him. But I don’t know what Obama and his people were thinking if their strategy was “only answer the questions posed”, and to purely play defense. Maybe they thought that Romney would just come off as a dick, and Obama seems to value appearing reasonable above all else. But it made him come off as passive, weak, and disinterested, and some voters will only look at the debates and ignore all the analysis as “spin” (even the fact-based analysis that points out the lies).

    I’m sure that the team will correct that mistake next time, and first debates tend not to matter nearly as much as later debates. But they need to step up their game and make some corrections.

  12. 12
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    @Schlemizel: Politics is a spectator sport, and is over-analized as such. In this particular case, however, I think this analysis is somewhat warranted, as a kind of therapeutic washing of the ton of bullshit we were buried under last night.

  13. 13
    maya says:

    ♫Ting-a-ling♫-ling♫

    Look, Daddy. Teacher says every time a Mitt lies a dead Jew gets baptized.

  14. 14
    Chyron HR says:

    If Obama is President on January 22, 2013, then he won this and all subsequent debates. Judging the debates by any other metric is just wanking.

  15. 15
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    @Joe Buck: Actually, pre-debate, I was thinking they should use the same strategy they actually used. Obama is winning, he should use a low-risk low-reward strategy. Romney, who is losing, needs a high-risk high-reward strategy, which is what he did. The high-risk part is coming in the next few days:

    – His lies
    – The fact that he will further alienate his base with his tack to center
    – Solidifying his image as a dick.

    Plus, Romney in beserker mode was likely to have fucked up royally. The fact that he didn’t doesn’t change the fact that the “waiting for the other guy to fuck up” strategy was sound, at least in theory.

    Let’s see how the long game plays out.

  16. 16
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    @Chyron HR: Taking the long view, I think Mitt’s tack to center is gonna cost the GOP big time if Obama wins. The argument from the right is gonna be “Mitt lost because he ran to the center”… and in 2016, there will be too much precedent for the base not to nominate a Palin-like hard-right person.

  17. 17
    Lolis says:

    @Brachiator:

    Talk like this is delusional. The American public has accepted that Romney has the qualifications/character to be on that stage, rightly or wrongly. None of us are undecided voters and we have no idea what the fuck they want or think. A loser attacks and a winner defends. Obama is winning so he is not going to act like he has ten points behind and act like a rabid dog. Romney’s “win” is the equivalent of a dead cat bounce. He is still going to lose in about a month.

  18. 18
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Joe Buck:

    But I don’t know what Obama and his people were thinking if their strategy was “only answer the questions posed”, and to purely play defense.

    I agree that pure defense isn’t going to cut it. I wonder if they adopted that strategy out of necessity since the N-dimensional search space of possible Romney lies (with truthiness manifolds) was so large they couldn’t possibly prepare for it all, so they said ‘fuck it, we’re just going to tell the truth about our proposals, that’s all we have time to prep for anyway’.

  19. 19

    @Meg:
    I’d never heard the term ‘Gish Gallop’ before today, either, so don’t feel bad.

    I prefer the term “Bullshit Attrition”, but that’s not family-friendly.

  20. 20
    wasabi gasp says:

    The Chicago boys have a name for what Obama pulled off last night… the Snuggie.

  21. 21
    Wag says:

    @Randy P:

    I’ve started remembering how many times in the last 4 years, hell in the last 6 months a “what is he thinking” turned into a killer blow against the GOP.

    A point well worth remembering. Thanks

  22. 22
    Schlemizel says:

    @maya:

    I am so gonna steal that!

    @The Bearded Blogger:

    but its become like OCD – we keep washing and washing and washing while the world moves on. Its not going to get better after the 25th FP post if the first 20 didn’t do the trick

  23. 23
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @The Bearded Blogger:

    The fact that he will further alienate his base with his tack to center

    __
    I’m not seeing any alienation at all. The GOP base is in full tribalistic beserker mode and right now they’d be just fine with Romney proposing to liquidate the kulaks as a class and expropriate the commanding heights of the capitalist economy if it made Obama look flustered on stage.
    __
    I think the GOP will pay a price for the fake-Democrat-lite Chicken Suit Dance that Romney performed last night but it won’t be until after the election when they no longer have any “well, at least we stood up for what we believe in” fairy stories to console themselves with when they go to bed at night.

    Also, as your comment at #16 points out, the probability of Romney-the-RINO being blamed for GOP failures in this election just went to 100% after Romney’s etch-a-sketch shaking last night. If anybody won the debate it was Paul Ryan and his post-2012 career.

  24. 24
    manual says:

    I’m sorry but Obama lost the debate. Sure, on the facts he was right and Romney was wrong. But a debate is about presentation, not a regression analysis. Romney was clearer, more prepared and willing to take control of the debate, which are way more important than fact (did Reagan or Bush have facts on their side?).

    For starters, why are you using Axlerod’s conference call as a jumping off point. Those conference calls are not meant to help establish a narrative, not serve as a true baromoter of anything. Of course he’s going to spin it so to rationalize Obama’s and his poor choices (really, they have the same social security stance?). What’s he going to say, ‘hey, we screwed up.”

    To any voter who counts, and there aint that many of them, they are not the most sophisticated consumers of politics (they have better things to do), so whomever seems right (seems, not actually) and appears (appears, not actually) to have a greater narrative for the country will be the winner.

    Relying on the ex post facto support of the american media establishment (really, you want to rely on those guys? Because the both sides do it, Ryan is serious types dont strike me as a good group to team up with) is going to do no good.

    What Obama needs to do is be willing to be sharper with his answers and take control of the debate, rather than actually just answering the questions – this is not the Doha debates. Obama can clearly beat romney, but he has to step out of the cruise control mode that his campaign has set for him.

  25. 25
    Petorado says:

    Whether intentional or not, the focus of last night was all on Mitt. And he used that time to lie and misrepresent to his base, that have to be privately questioning their faith in him, the media, as well as the rest of us. Last night gave Mitt the rope and he tied himself a nice necktie with it. Next debate, Obama has to tighten that knot by being more succinct, more fierce, and telling the public straight that Mitt’s a liar. Mitt needs to hang by his petard. O’s initial strategy may have been mistaken, but it can be turned into a win in the future. Biden had better be the pit bull next week.

  26. 26
    Enhanced Mooching Techniques says:

    So anyone who thinks they can do better against a Gish Gallop than Obama I dare you to reply in a serious tone to the OP in this example of the Gish Gallop and not end up looking the petulant butt of a joke.

    Sure the OP is snarking big time, but look how the attempts to rebut him come out. It real easy to look the “winner” when you don’t take the thing seriously.

  27. 27

    The corporate press/media is not going to expose Romney as a liar. They have had the chance to do that every day this year and have been pretty consistent in not doing it. They haven’t done anything like that in years.

    It is up to the Obama/Biden team, every living Democratic official, and all of us to put that word out there. Sure, people are annoyed, but you have to keep repeating it:

    Romney is not telling the truth because he knows if he did he would lose the election.

    It’s the same explanation for why he won’t release his tax returns. He knows what’s in there and he knows that if Americans see it he will lose the election.

    There is kind of a theme here, no?

  28. 28
    👽 Martin says:

    Yeah, he’s not going to be seen as winning. Nobody is going to be able to dress up last night that well. But the hysterics over how Obama handed over the election to Romney were equally unrealistic. He had a bad night. He’ll take some damage over it. In the next week, it’ll come down to which campaign can maximize the gain or minimize the damage, and Team Obama has been running rings around Team Romney and will continue to do so. The damage will be minimized, Romney’s guys won’t be able to make any real progress from this because they’re fucking incompetent, and we’ll go into the VP debate and a whole new narrative will build, and it’ll either get better for us or worse. Repeat.

    My only concern today is that Team Obama seems to be going for the flip flopper charge. I think that’s a loser. I think they had it right before – paint him as an extreme conservative. Instead of going down the flip-flopper route, I think he should be attacking Romney’s policies as so extreme that he refuses to detail what they involve or to lie about what he’s planning on doing. It’s something that Biden can easily jump on in the debate with Ryan and Obama can return to in debate #2 now that he has a better sense of how Romney will approach this.

  29. 29

    @blingee:

    She even managed to get through that whole post with out mentioning racism once. Quite an accomplishment for her.

    What made you think you had to throw that in? Cheesy, dude, cheesy. And dumb, too. Do you know why she brings up racism a lot? It’s because, to borrow a line from the vice president, it’s a big fucking deal.

    In other news, shitty news, I had two dogs this morning. This evening I only have one. We’re leaving for my mother’s hose tomorrow afternoon to bury my beloved dog Abby in the country, where she’ll lie next to a big old fig tree with so many of our other dogs. fifteen and a half years isn’t nearly long enough…

  30. 30
    Yutsano says:

    @James E. Powell: This may be academic anyway. Sununu already stepped on Willard’s dick this morning.

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joe Buck:

    Maybe they thought that Romney would just come off as a dick, and Obama seems to value appearing reasonable above all else. But it made him come off as passive, weak, and disinterested, and some voters will only look at the debates and ignore all the analysis as “spin” (even the fact-based analysis that points out the lies).

    Now, don’t take this the wrong way but … you’re a white guy, right? All of that alpha-male chest beating seems to work pretty well on white guys and make them think less of the guy who seems more passive.

    The problem for Romney is that he already had the white guy vote in the bag. What he needed to do was win over women, Latinos, and African-Americans. And those voters do not like “alpha male” behavior, because it has been directed at them far too often throughout their lives. They think that guys who act the way Romney did last night are douchebags. They may put up with them in real life because they want to keep their jobs, but there’s no way they’re going to vote for one.

    Romney needed to increase his appeal yesterday and convince women, Latinos, and African-Americans to vote for him. Instead, he further alienated those voters.

    I’m still convinced that Romney won last night’s battle, but he’s going to lose the war, because he cannot win solely on the votes of white guys. It ain’t 1960, or even 1980, anymore.

  32. 32
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    @Schlemizel: Well, you’re right about that. I’d like to think we’ll be over this tomorrow…

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Right now, anything that kind of looks like a win will satisfy the base, but when the sugar high passes the tack to the center could impact enthusiasm and turnout, specially if he’s significnatly behind in the polls come election day.

  33. 33
    virginia says:

    The President basically put the media on notice that they need to do THEIR jobs — Starting with Mr Lehrer. There is NO way that Obama performance was not a piece of art and a tool of combat. No way. It’ll take a few days and I would imagine it was difficult for Obama to get through it but he basically forced the other fellow to engage in a pole dance on national TV and strip himself down to his big Big Bird. Complete with the cable guys on either side going off off and off — and exposing themselves. High time for that also — Jon Stewart did it in the recent past — and we have gotten and will be getting another taste of it. It’s a Palin without an actual Palin and I predict, bet you 20 bucks, that Biden is going to clean Ryan’s clock and that THIS time it’s gonna count.

  34. 34
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    @James E. Powell: Romney the mistery candidate… a good metaphor could go a long way… Maybe an ad of a couple buying a house and the real estate person refusing to show them any of the rooms?

  35. 35
    gocart mozart says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God:
    I’ve always called it “a machine gun spray of bullshit” but I like Gish Gallop better.

  36. 36
    virginia says:

    Stepped and sipped and basically sucked.

  37. 37
    Anya says:

    For the love of god, can we just stop this ridiculousness. We’re supposed to be reality based for fuck’s sake. Romney won the fucking debate. Period. He might not gain a lot out of it now but if the president repeats last night’s performance in next debates then mittens will reap the benefits.

    Also, too, anoher fucking thread about the fucking debate. Enough already. Yes, I know, no one forced me to click.

  38. 38
    JPL says:

    Last night, I spoke with a son and a brother who thought Obama did fine because facts win in the long run.

  39. 39
    gocart mozart says:

    It’s also called to “Hannity an argument”

  40. 40
    Liberty60 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    FWIW-
    1. The women friends I have on FB all felt that Romney was displaying the jerkish bullying frat boy personna they hate.

    2. Hindrocket wants to be Smithers to Romney’s Mr. Burns.

    So on balance, I think this plays well for us int he long run.

  41. 41
    WereBear says:

    @Randy P: I’ve started remembering how many times in the last 4 years, hell in the last 6 months a “what is he thinking” turned into a killer blow against the GOP.

    I noticed that, too.

    So last night I started applying it; is President Obama’s behavior a strategy, and if so, to what purpose?

    He certainly has to keep his temper and be non-confrontational. It’s not Presidential, it’s not his personality, it’s not a winning move. But I’ve never seen him so seemingly tired and humble… I wondered if it was an act, to increase Romney’s bullying and let him trip himself up with over-confidence.

    If, as it seems evident now, Romney’s campaign strategists are actually so dumb they believe the press, it explains why all that training was actually a Gish Gallop. They heard “If Romney wins the debate it could change everything” so that is what they did.

    And if that’s so, the only strategy to stay afloat the President could use… was the one we saw.

  42. 42
    Yutsano says:

    @Anatoliĭ Lъudьvigovich Bzyp (Mumphrey, et al.): A) Big hugs.

    B) It’s Durf. He never misses a chance to be a colossal dick.

  43. 43
    martha says:

    Yes, the Prez was flat. But by giving Rmoney all the rope In the world, 24 hours later we have zingers like “he’ll get rid of regulation on Wall Street, but he’s going to crack down on Sesame Street.”

    I think that one has legs.

    Also, twitter has been on fire today, especially @bigbird, @firemeelmo, and @occupysesamestreet….just saying…

  44. 44
    Katharsis says:

    ABL,

    I am not a fan of yours. I skip your posts typically. However, I do enjoy ABL 2.0 more and today was the first day I actually clicked over to your site and read the whole thing. Awesome! Keep this up and I may just come around :)

  45. 45
    eemom says:

    the media is already starting to do its job

    [lifts jaw from floor]

    [checks window for flying pigs]

  46. 46
    not motorik says:

    You’re unreadable when you try to spin.

  47. 47
    Joel says:

    Like I said in Tom’s thread, and WordPress liked it so much it agreed with me twice:

    I’m over the debate, but I hope that Obama isn’t.

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    @eemom: what media?

  49. 49
    eemom says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Do we really need yet another one? Has there been any front pager that has not weighed in – often multiple times – to plow this same sad plot of ground. Is there anything left to say?

    You are, perhaps, aware that this is the same blog where there were 853 posts about Conor Jerkdorf in the space of 36 hours…?

  50. 50
    gnomedad says:

    @Liberty60:

    Hindrocket wants to be Smithers to Romney’s Mr. Burns.

    Win. Cracked me up.

  51. 51
    aimai says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I don’t know, I don’t think they are painting him as a “flip flopper” so much as an obviously opportunistic liar. I agree–and Steve M had a very good blog post about this–that up until now Mitt’s various flip flops were actually a very canny strategy to say one thing to one audience and another thing to another audience. Its like running different ad campaigns in different markets. But the debates, by definition, are not like try outs or special slogans for a small subset of the market of voters. The debates aren’t a beta test. They are a generic, national, high focus moment and everything that gets said there gets seen as authoritative and representative. Its actually the most dangerous moment for Romney because he said certain things, definitively, which can be contrasted to other things he said in less well known fora.

    aimai

  52. 52
    WereBear says:

    @Anatoliĭ Lъudьvigovich Bzyp (Mumphrey, et al.): I’m so sorry to hear.

    But 15.5 years is a lot of happy dogtime.

  53. 53
    Keith G says:

    @Lolis:

    A loser attacks and a winner defends.

    Good bumper sticker line, but I wonder what the empirical data suggests.

    Obama is winning so he is not going to act like he has ten points behind and act like a rabid dog.

    Italics are mine.

    Are there only two options? Other’s have brought up that Obama can’t be the “angry Black man”. Well, no shite.

    Nonetheless there are many other African American politicians and public leaders who have set their mind to developing the skills to publicly take on aggressive challenges in a public arena. Humans seem to like their leaders to embrace the theatrics of resoluteness. It’s probably some evolutionary adaptation. I trust Obama and Chicago will be thinking about this.

    In all sorts of competitions, playing defense means that the opposition gets the initiative and that is never a good thing.

  54. 54
    PeakVT says:

    Undecided voters resoundingly refuse to decide on a candidate based on the debate.

    Film at a time TBD.

  55. 55
    greenergood says:

    @Anatoliĭ Lъudьvigovich Bzyp (Mumphrey, et al.): So sorry, Anatolii (i with dots), the loss of animal companions is just so hard, esp. because people who don’t have animal companions look at you and say ‘just get over it’. They don’t realise how important 4-legged beings are. I didn’t realise it until my first feline ruler left me a few years ago – the gap in my life just astonished me (though now happily occupied by another feline ruler). I hope you find comfort in the good years you had with your belle Abby, and the fact that you’ve been a good companion to all your other dogs down the years.

  56. 56
    SRW1 says:

    Going a low risk route and sticking to answering actually asked questions was a perfectly fine strategy for the first debate. What wasn’t up to scratch was Obama’s body language and the energy level he projected. I doubt though that any irreversible harm has been done, especially not if Obama adjusts in the two coming debates.

  57. 57
    Bill Arnold says:

    @👽 Martin:

    My only concern today is that Team Obama seems to be going for the flip flopper charge.

    Not completely sure this is a loser. Surely it’s worth testing a little, mostly by surrogates (dropping it quickly if it gains no traction.)

    But at least now there is the legitimate open question of whether he is a stone cold conservative pretending to be a flip flopper, or a flip flopper pretending to be a stone cold conservative.

  58. 58

    @Schlemizel:

    Has there been any front pager that has not weighed in – often multiple times – to plow this same sad plot of ground.

    Me. I was waiting for the pushback. Bam.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    Schlemizel says:

    @eemom: That was really annoying too/

  61. 61
  62. 62
    Schlemizel says:

    @Sarah, Proud and Tall:

    Then your contribution was something I posted many hours ago in a thread.

    Now I’m gonna be all whiny which is sad cuz I love all you guys. This is exactly the same as when a thread runs out to 300-400 comments. Anything worth saying was said 200 comments ago, nobody is reading through all that and it takes air out of other topics.

  63. 63
    Schlemizel says:

    @(Mumphrey, et al.):

    My condolences. We give our hearts to the darn things (and why wouldn’t we – they give theirs to us). Then they leave too soon & take part of our heart with them.

  64. 64
    Fluke bucket says:

    Rmoney’s entire life has been one long Gish Gallop. Now, on to The Granny Starver!

  65. 65
    opie jeanne says:

    Gish Gallop? As in Lillian and Dorothy Gish in Orphans of the Storm?

  66. 66
    Dr. Loveless says:

    I actually didn’t watch the debate, so I don’t have any opinion on how either Obama or Romney did. But the post-debate spin is going as I predicted: the media declaring Romney the “winner” because he didn’t shit himself onstage, my Repub friends crowing that this means the election is in the bag, and my Dem friends running around in circles flapping their arms like spooked chickens.

    Meanwhile, my Facebook feed is all about Big Bird right now.

  67. 67

    @Schlemizel:

    There are a lot of people who don’t read all the comments, or only read the front page. I suspect they might be interested to know that Obama gave a really good speech.

    I’m sorry that I didn’t recognise that you posted the same video several hours ago in a thread I didn’t read.

  68. 68
    LanceThruster says:

    @Anatoliĭ Lъudьvigovich Bzyp (Mumphrey, et al.): So very sorry. Nice tribute.

  69. 69
    Patricia Kayden says:

    “Last night, Mitt Romney lost”

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/n.....hat-right/

  70. 70
    Foggy F Follansbye says:

    It was Obama vs the monorail. You cannot beat the monorail by arguing it is impractical. You cannot beat the monorail by suggesting healthy alternatives like bike lanes. You can only win by pointing out what happened when Romney was mayor of Ogdenville and put a monorail in place there.

    Obama needed to attack Romney’s record as governor.

  71. 71
    opie jeanne says:

    @opie jeanne: Never mine, it’s named for Duane Gish, a creationist who did what Mittens did last night.

  72. 72
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Rachel Maddow is laughing at all the hand wringing by her fellow Lefties. Love her.

  73. 73
    Triassic Sands says:

    David Axelrod was asked why President Obama didn’t do more to point out and highlight the myriad Romney falsehoods. Axelrod responded that Obama’s strategy going in to the debate was to answer only the questions posed.

    That’s a strategy designed to lose a debate. Substance does not matter in an American presidential debate. If you agree to appear in such a debate, your strategy needs to be one that accepts the limitations and realities of these farces and presents your case in a way that will take advantage of the format. Romney did that — which means he lied his ass off. But the “undecided Amurkins” out there don’t know that.

    @Foggy F Follansbye:

    Attack Governor Romney? Why, sir, that would be unseemly…

    (…and I couldn’t agree more.)

  74. 74
    Keith G says:

    @virginia:

    The President basically put the media on notice that they need to do THEIR jobs—Starting with Mr Lehrer. There is NO way that Obama performance was not a piece of art and a tool of combat. No way.

    I’ll have what she’s drinking.

  75. 75
    Karmakin says:

    I agree. Last night Romney probably lost the election. Well…he may already have lost it (during the primaries), but he for sure lost it now.

    Why?

    He has two choices. Either he doubles down on Romney 8.0, the one he unveiled during the debate, pisses off his base, and turns the whole campaign into an argument about who people like better (and to be honest, that’s going to be Obama), or he rolls back to Romney 7.0, goes back to the tax cuts and all that, and he’s proven a liar.

    Those are his options right now. Neither are good options. Both are, in fact terrible options. Yes, Romney gained a little bit of short-term oxygen. But that’s going to blow up in his face.

  76. 76
    Disinterested Observer says:

    Interesting day- after that disappointing Obama performance, what was all over the tv, radio, and facebook? Romney threatening to fire Big Bird. Huge gaffe if you think about it.

  77. 77
    Petorado says:

    A funny thing will happen on the way to the next debate: Romney will have to go back to talking in front of his base. And how will they respond when he has to defend his newfound positions? I don’t know if the response will will so warm, or he will have to revert to the old Romney — which will be noticed, or he won’t go out at all and the base returns to its previous lukewarm state. If Romney is seen as losing any of the steam he built up after this debate, then momentum shifts back to O.

  78. 78
    Another Halocene Human says:

    While wing nuts high-five themselves for being kings of fuck mountain

    Now that is some stylish prose for the books ABL. Kings of fuck mountain. Yes.

  79. 79
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Anatoliĭ Lъudьvigovich Bzyp (Mumphrey, et al.): God, I’m so sorry. It really sucks to lose a friend. RIP.

  80. 80
    Jerome Hiltmen says:

    The lying in this debate by Mitt Romney will be one of his biggest blunders to date.
    He is unbelievable. It certainly reinforces why I do not see him fit as Commander In Chief

  81. 81
    Jerome Hiltmen says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I am a white guy and I think that collectively we SUCK as a group in this country, especially if we vote GOP.

    It shows that we have small penises.

  82. 82
    John Rohan says:

    According to Politifact, Obama “lied” just as much as Romney, possibly more:

    Romney’s statements:
    True: 1
    Mostly true: 1
    Half true: 1
    Mostly false: 1
    False: 1

    Obama’s statements:

    True: 0
    Mostly true: 1
    Half true: 2
    Mostly false: 0
    False: 2

    http://www.politifact.com/trut.....al-debate/

  83. 83
  84. 84
    JustRuss says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Agreed, King of Fuck Mountain has so much awesomeness I’m surprised we’ve never seen if before. Well done.

    I have to agree with ABL, Obama played this well. No Angry Black Man soundbites for Fox and Team Romeny to air ad nauseum, and Mittens gave Obama enough material to run flip-flopper ads til next Christmas. Plus Big Bird. I generally hate the prevent defense, but in this case it’s the right move.

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