Was I Watching the Same Debate?

The reason I stopped reading Andrew Sullivan was the roller-coaster hysteria that ABL just pointed out. “Obama may even have lost the election tonight” my ass. That said, Sully is kind of the spastic colon of the DC media. He thinks he’s some kind of sophisticated, Orwell-like “in it but not of it” guy, but the reality is that he’s a creature of that town as much as George Will or Cokie Roberts. His gut just moves faster, so he craps out his response in real time while those old dinosaurs have to wait for their Metamucil to do its work.

Certainly on the surface Romney looked better because he spat out his laundry list of lies quite effectively, while Obama struggled to regurgitate his prepped lines and is so habituated to never appearing angry that he missed lots of opportunities to call Romney out. But, like the rest of the DC media, Sully’s sensors are not tuned to pick up bread-and-butter issues. And Mitt Romney totally fucked himself last night on a key one, Medicare. Mitt looked like the kid who just gave the teacher an apple and was waiting for the pat on his head as he explained that his Medicare changes would only apply to people under 55. In other words, most of the population, and their children, would get “vouchers”. People do not want this policy, no matter how nice Romney’s suit looked last night.

In general, “lies” isn’t exactly the right word for what Romney threw out last night. I like the term “confabulation” because they were sound-good statements that were mainly unrelated to the positions that he’s been running on for the last 18 months. When these get unpacked, the DC press will finally realize that Romney spit out a bunch of shiny, nice sounding nothings. Unlike the primary debates, which are basically beauty contests, the Presidential debates get analyzed to death. There’s more than a day of “who gaffed the most”, “who looked the best”. Romney clearly is winning that part of the cycle. The next part, the part that never happened last Winter and this Spring, is “what did these guys actually say”. And on that score, Romney lost. You can’t make up a whole Presidential campaign in two weeks of debate prep, and that’s what he did.






154 replies
  1. 1
    Linda Featheringill says:

    I said this is the thread below but it bears repeating. The CNN snap poll respondents were male and female but were all white, all 50+ in age, and all lived in the south.

    http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2...../top12.pdf

    Respondent info is on page 21 of the report.

    Kay thought that most of the folks watching the debate might fit these categories but I’m not convinced that’s so.

  2. 2
    mattH says:

    I was listening in the car, and the one thing Romney said that caught my attention was his statement about removing deductions for people at the 25k to 50k range of income. even a two income family at 100k, being generous, is well below his 250k middle class remarks a few weeks back.

  3. 3
    Birthmarker says:

    He also said he was for means testing for benefits. That is pretty stunning.

  4. 4
    PeakVT says:

    When these get unpacked, the DC press will finally realize that Romney spit out a bunch of shiny, nice sounding nothings.

    But will they report it? Probably not.

    However, the O-Team will be able to make a whole series of campaign commercials on the theme of flip-flopping Mitt out of last night’s debate. That’s the main upside I see.

    Someone made an interesting discovery about CNN’s snap poll: the only useful sample was of white southerners. I shit you not. It’s complete journalistic malpractice for CNN to have put it out was being a useful poll.

  5. 5
    The Red Pen says:

    he missed lots of opportunities to call Romney out

    Or maybe he didn’t miss them, but passed on them.

    Romney needed to win this debate. Obama just needs to win the series. If I’m right, Obama will do fine in the first two debates and clobber Romney in the third debate when Romney will no longer have an opportunity to Etch-a-sketch his way back into a favorable posture.

  6. 6
    dubo says:

    Unfortunately, when the media turns to the “what did these guys say” analysis, all the fact checkers will tell us they both told some lies and experts disagree on what the effects of their plans are, so it was a tie!

  7. 7
    Mark S. says:

    but the reality is that he’s a creature of that town as much as George Will or Cokie Roberts.

    Ouch.

    Along with Medicare, did Mitt’s answers about his tax plan make any fucking sense? At one point it seemed like he said he wouldn’t cut taxes unless it was deficit neutral. Well, I guess Mitt’s not cutting any taxes. Also, shouldn’t you have a rough idea of what your plan will do?

    I got to say, Mitt did come across as a lot more moderate, at least the parts I saw.

  8. 8
    Hill Dweller says:

    The NBC and MSNBC crowd are damn near calling Willard the President this morning. “It’s a game changer!”. Gregory and Todd have matching tiny erections.

    If the jobs numbers are good Friday and the Obama campaign really hits his debate lies, I think this nips any Willard momentum talk in the bud.

  9. 9
    David says:

    Fox News poll has Obama winning the debate! Voting still open:

    http://foxnewsinsider.com/2012.....15-rounds/

  10. 10
    TS says:

    I was annoyed when the President didn’t pick up on Romney’s first set of lies about govt “trickle down” – but following that Romney was dead in the water on Medicare, SS and health care. That covered the first 45min & it will be interesting to see how many then tuned out.

    Romney lied his way through the rest of the debate – got in his one and only zinger which has been used much more often against the GOP than against the President – and over talked the moderator.

    The President appeared tired (as I think he has for a couple of weeks now) and missed a couple of opportunities to call out the lies – the fact checkers will do the latter over the next couple of days.

    The media is in raptures – they think they have a race. How ANYONE calls them left wing and/or Obama supporters is beyond my understanding.

  11. 11
    Rey says:

    The next part, the part that never happened last Winter and this Spring, is “what did these guys actually say”. And on that score, Romney lost. You can’t make up a whole Presidential campaign in two weeks of debate prep, and that’s what he did.

    That’s my take. Romney gave me whiplash. He was lying and spinning and running so far to the left, the former Gov. of Mass finally showed up. He appeared to be trying to make up for everything he hasn’t said in the past several months.
    Money Boo Boo had several months of primary races, the convention and deep pockets to get his message out, he has been a failure.
    Obama has a very serious day job, cut him some slack- he IS the President. Rmoney doesn’t have anything else to do but prepare for a debate.

  12. 12
    El Cid says:

    Fucking thank you. That Medicare voucher moment by Mitt will end up being huge.

  13. 13
    Quincy says:

    I doubt Romney gets called out by the media, but he’s too far behind to win on debates alone. OFA really needs to draw up some ads contrasting his debate remarks with his 47 percent comments to hammer home that Romney is saying different things in the debates than in private

  14. 14
    atlliberal says:

    “You can’t make up a whole Presidential campaign in two weeks of debate prep, and that’s what he did.”

    Sure you can, all you have to do is make all of the DC pundits think you look presidential because you can be an obnoxious ass confident, while lying through your teeth and make Chris Mathews have a tingle up his leg. Substance doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is how you look and sound up on that stage.

  15. 15
    debbie says:

    Romney displayed exactly what the Republican Party has become: nothing more than oily salesmen and greasy mortgage brokers. Style over substance, paired with the belief that listeners are too stupid to see through the slogans and banners.

  16. 16
    MikeJ says:

    @Linda Featheringill: I had some stuff on the margins of error in the last post.

    Basically, if the subgroups had fewer than about 130 people in it they didn’t break them out on the cross tabs. That doesn’t mean there was nobody in that group.

    Since there’s more than one math geek here perhaps they can check my math on the rest.

  17. 17
    jheartney says:

    When these get unpacked, the DC press will finally realize that Romney spit out a bunch of shiny, nice sounding nothings.

    In what alternate universe are you living? They will realize nothing of the sort. Coverage is all about the gladiatorial contest, which WIllard won convincingly. The DC press has been aching for a Romney comeback narrative, and last night they got one. It’s all we’ll be hearing for the next few days.

    The worst thing for the press is a foregone conclusion to the election. They desperately crave a horse-race, because they’re incapable of covering the campaign in any other terms. This first debate gives it to them, and there’s no way they’ll let it go.

  18. 18
    Mary says:

    @The Red Pen:

    Or maybe he didn’t miss them, but passed on them.

    Romney needed to win this debate. Obama just needs to win the series. If I’m right, Obama will do fine in the first two debates and clobber Romney in the third debate when Romney will no longer have an opportunity to Etch-a-sketch his way back into a favorable posture.

    I had the same thought. Maybe I’m just too much of a homer, but I have a sneaking suspicion that tonight’s performance may turn out to be a great example of Obama’s famous rope-a-dope strategy. By letting Romney get away with a lot last night, the Obama team has teed up a great opportunity clobber him with his lies and flip-flops in the coming weeks.

    Probably wishful thinking.

  19. 19
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    What I want to ask those saying that Romney won the debate is: why? Did he make points that you think were valid? Did you agree with any of them? So he lied a lot, Obama didn’t, and since Romney was more aggressive, he “won” the debate?

    For Sullivan or others, are they thinking that there were a bunch of voters saying “Hmm, I don’t know which candidate to vote for, I’m just not sure yet which one is meaner and more aggressive?” If not, then what the hell?

    Obama was like this debating Hillary, people may have forgotten. He kept saying “Well Hillary and I actually agree about this point” and there was much gnashing among his fans. He won the nomination though, and she didn’t.

    Sarah Palin was really mean and nasty in her acceptance speech, really aggressive, the line then was “outta the park!” and “a home run!” from pretty much all the Villagers.
    And we know how that turned out.

    No one except pundits and political junkies cares about the things pundits care about. It’s an entirely different set of criteria. This for example:

    “he missed lots of opportunities to call Romney out”

    presumes that “calling Romney out” would somehow get Obama more votes. I really doubt it.

  20. 20
    f space that says:

    Within minutes of the debate starting Rmoney was disavowing everything he has said in this election cycle. It may take a while for this to sink in. It is hard to debate someone who is just spouting nonsense that has no relation to what they said before.

  21. 21
    sdhays says:

    Every time Mitt Romney emphasized that nothing in Medicare would change for people currently in the program or soon to be in the program was very bad for him. When you’re obviously trying to reassure people that the changes you want to make won’t apply to them, it definitely sends the signal that what you’re trying to do sucks.

  22. 22
    Captain Haddock says:

    In what fantasy land do Republicans get called our for their lies? if you are waiting for fact checkers to do their job you have a long wait.

    The story will be “Romney’s comeback” and “boring Obama, yaawwwwnnnnn”.

    Maybe Obama will have Clinton coach him for the next debates, Kerry certainly didn’t help.

  23. 23
    dan says:

    You give the DC Press too much credit. They deserve none.

    Romney lied, then smiled smugly, like, what are you gonna do about it, and then neither Lehrer or Obama did anything.

  24. 24
    El Cid says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I’m so, so sick of this bullshit about how great a writer Andrew Sullivan is so someone reads him because every now and then blah blah blah. There are so many great writers out there who are simultaneously not a bunch of pompous right wing twits.

  25. 25
    amk says:

    Here you go. mittbot’s lies exposed.

  26. 26

    Here are my thoughts on the debate.

    Obama failed to call Romney on his blatant lies, and maybe there was a reason for it — maybe he didn’t want to look “angry” or be too much on the defense. Maybe he thought he’d let the fact checkers do that work for him. I dunno.

    And please let’s hope Jim Lehrer goes into retirement. What an awful, awful performance.

  27. 27
    Quincy says:

    The most depressing part of the debate was watching the guy on our team champion villager catnip like Simpson-Bowles and education reform while the villagers all swoon for Romney because he was more butch. I think Obama did as much as he could given what he had to deal with the first four years but this campaign we’re getting the worst of both worlds, awful villager ideas without the fawning media coverage.

  28. 28
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @El Cid: Sorry, I edited out the Sullivan comment, mostly just because my post was too long and so took off the part that wasn’t related to the rest.

    Didn’t mean to leave you dangling in the future, as it were.

  29. 29
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    Sorry mistermix, I’m with the rest of the peanut gallery here. What makes you think the lies will actually get told, when the press has such a compelling narrative of “MITT THE CONFIDENT SUPER-GENIUS TRAMPLES BORING STUPID OBAMA FOREVER!!!”

  30. 30
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    Just remember, President Kerry won all three debates against one-termer Bush. So, be very afraid.

    How many races since the dawn of the TV era were changed by the debates?

  31. 31
    Butch says:

    I could stand to watch only a few minutes. The smug, condescending look on Romney’s face made me want to backhand him.

  32. 32
    PeakVT says:

    @amk: That’s a good start. They need take that kind of presentation and jam it into some 30-second spots.

  33. 33
    gogol's wife says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    My husband is the registered Independent in our household. We watched about 7 minutes of the debate (all we could stand), and I said, “Why is Obama just letting him get away with all these lies?” He said, “Obama looks confident, calm, and presidential. If he answered every point Romney is making, he’d look petty, and Obama works hard at not being petty. He has great spiritual depth, almost Lincolnesque. What I see is that Romney is losing so he’s nervous and energetic, and Obama knows he’s winning so he doesn’t have to be so manic.” For what it’s worth. Oh yes, he also said, “Why is the moderator favoring Romney so much?”

  34. 34
    jonst says:

    Andrew can be a hysterical asshole. At times. But he has a keen eye and ear how the MSM is going to spin something. Leaving aside facts. He is right in his panic. As far as the MSM is concerned. Will this debate impact upon election much? Personally, I doubt it. It was not O’s best night…that’s clear, and Mitt had the gift of low expectations that a bad month with do for ya. So he came away looking ok.

    You denigrate Andrew all you want…and a few will somehow spin this as a racial issue…’only white guys..bla bla bla. I think the facts are…it was a bad night for Obama. So what? In the grand scheme of things it won’t matter on election day. Mitt is in big trouble.

  35. 35
    MikeJ says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    How many races since the dawn of the TV era were changed by the debates?

    Politicalwire had a thing on this the other day. Typical swing is less than one point, the biggest ever was something like 2.5.

  36. 36
    kerFuFFler says:

    “The next part, the part that never happened last Winter and this Spring, is “what did these guys actually say”. And on that score, Romney lost. ”

    So, what makes people think that the “part that never happened last Winter and Spring” (the thinky part) is going to happen this time around? Seems like a lot of people just initially pay attention to the superficial aspects and never get around to unpacking the rest. Too bad so much of the media gives them a giant shove in that direction.

  37. 37
    General Stuck says:

    After this morning, I’m mothballing the computer for a few day, to not read all the patently stupid shit from our political class we have, both left and right. That are running on analysis of cotton candy sugar highs, filling empty minds with empty calories.

    It was leaked out a while ago that Obama was not going to be the attack dog in the first debate. And he wasn’t. There are many more dynamics to a POTUS debate than who tripped the emo meter most. It matters what has gone on in the campaign leading up to the debate, and it matters what is said in the debate to be mined for ads and stump speech fodder. After the debate, after the cacophony of idiots way too enthralled by the optics of it all, drown out the memory of what was said and how it was said, then the ads and follow on stump speeches take center stage.

    Romney won the pissing contest, but laid bare his monumental duplicity with the mother of all flip flops returning as Dr Jekyll from a long run as Mr. Hyde. That will now be consumed and digested by voters, especially swing voters. And it has come straight from the horses ass in a debate he supposedly won.

    Obama’s best line of the night, and the summation of competing economic memes, was the cold delivery of the ginormous and clear differences in both Rommey’s and his party’s philosophy, and that of dems and Obama. It is the one topic that voters are tuned into with any depth and effort.

    As Obama said, he is carrying on Bill Clinton’s method, and Romney is doing the Bush thing all over again. I thought it was decimating and telling to watch Romney lie like a dog that he wasn’t doing what everyone has heard him do for a year and a half now.

    This election is still about the economy, and a broad billboard was painted last night, of each guy’s plan to fix it. IT was the difference between one candidate’s unflinching ideas and a record of prior success, and the other blustering that his plan isn’t really his plan, likely because it failed before. The voters have to decide who to believe and trust with the correct solution, and that is largely out of Obama’s control.

    I don’t think presidential elections are won via national television or press. I think they are won through the drudgery of local campaigning day after day, in live events and local tv coverage.

    This is all for me. The weather is beautiful here right now, and there are a lot of things that need doing in meat space.

  38. 38
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @sdhays:
    Has anyone asked either Romney or Ryan why current recipients of Medicare are being exempted from the new plan?

    If the new plan is better than current Medicare—delivering quality healthcare at lower cost—then why should current recipients be left out of that?

  39. 39
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    Again, your husband’s impressions mirror my own. Which is why all this fawning over Romney running away with the debate, even from the liberal side of the commentariat simply baffles me.

    @Southern Beale:

    I read your overview, and one thing I had to take issue was Obama being ‘vague’. He may not have gone in on the full details, but he came off more concerned about the wonk than Romney was, even if he kept pushing that $5T number a bit too much. Mitt felt vaguer to me and all over the place, but I guess it doesn’t matter when you can bully your way through to having the first and last word every single time and can talk fast.

  40. 40
    Keith says:

    A few weeks ago, Sully was saying Romney was the favorite. Hell, yesterday he posted a damn closeup pic of an uncircumsized penis. He’s lost his f’n mind. The guy is seriously hormonal to the point where he needs an “Airplane!” line of people shaking the shit out of him.

  41. 41
    mistermix says:

    Look, I get it that the media is generally unequipped to deal with a complete liar like Romney, but they’ve been getting better as the campaign has progressed.

    Today is going to be all about the flash, so, yes, Morning Ho will be sporting a woody. Let’s check back in a couple of days and see where we are. I think the chips are going to fall on Obama’s side more than Romney’s when they’re all counted.

  42. 42
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @gogol’s wife: Excellent eyewitness report, thanks.

    I really think there are a couple of groups who saw the debate so strongly in this “Obama lost!” fashion: pundits, for reasons mentioned above, and then Obama fans. And then of course hard core Romney supporters too, I’m sure. Okay, among the groups who saw it this way…

    Wanting Obama to just slap that smirk off of Romney’s lying face is probably a more common feeling among hard core supporters than people like your husband, in other words. As satisfying as it might be for us, I doubt it would help him with independents much and likely the opposite.

  43. 43
    Ash Can says:

    Did I expect Romney to get steamrollered? And how. Am I disappointed? Ditto. But am I ready to pack it in? Bitch, please.

    My takeaways were a few questions and observations. First, do Obama and/or his campaign team feel they need to avoid letting Obama appear angry at any and all cost? I have no answers to this myself nor will I even speculate, after having observed how batshit-insane many of my fellow whites have gone since the prez was elected.

    Second, will Romney’s base really give him a pass on anything at all, as long as he says it to directly score points against Obama, viz. in a debate setting? Once again, I don’t know the answer to that either, since AFAICT social issues weren’t covered at all in the debate. (I was unable to watch, so I’m relying on second-hand info.) The base is obviously willing to give him a pass on the economic issues that did get discussed. If social issues had been covered, would Romney have continued to play the moderate, and thrown his base under the bus? That base hasn’t really gotten him very far in the polls so far, so he may have been willing to do that. Or maybe he’s too chicken to do that. Unless these topics are raised in the next debate, we’ll probably never find out. (Since the next debate is a town-hall format, though, I think there’s a very good chance at least a couple of them will be brought up.)

    Third, as others here have already said, Romney gave the Obama campaign a shit-ton of material to work with last night. All they have to do is fill a minute with side-by-side clips from last night’s debate and Romney’s campaign speeches to perpetuate the idea that Romney’s all over the map on the issues and that his policies can’t be pinned down. In that respect, regardless of how well he did in the debate as a free-standing performance, he’s hung a big sign on himself that reads, “Hit me.” And the Obama campaign probably will.

  44. 44
    Cacti says:

    The morning after, it seems like Romney’s most memorable moment was saying that he wants to kill Big Bird.

  45. 45
    Rex Everything says:

    Is Sully back off the regular blogroll and back on “blogs we mock” yet?

  46. 46
    mistermix says:

    @jonst: I think we’re saying the same thing – Sullivan is quick on the draw with the conventional MSM wisdom. I don’t value it much, maybe you do.

  47. 47
    kerFuFFler says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): I’d like to think you’re right and that winning debates does not win elections as in the case of Kerry. But maybe it works for Republicans, just not Democrats.

  48. 48
    kerFuFFler says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): I’d like to think you’re right and that winning debates does not win elections as in the case of Kerry. But maybe it works for Republicans, just not Democrats.

  49. 49
    PeakVT says:

    @Southern Beale: Lehrer was awful and the format, at least for the first debate, was bad. Perhaps when the candidates have worked off their adrenaline and publicly established what their positions are in a previous debate, a looser format could be informative. But a more tightly controlled format, with a moderator who was informed enough to alter the questions on the fly when a candidate makes a new statement, would have been better for the audience than what we saw last night (and, of course, better for Obama).

  50. 50
    shortstop says:

    I’d like to gently interrupt the rope-a-dope theorizing and general insistence (against all historical precedent) that Mitt’s policies/lying will get thoroughly unpacked to say: yes, this isn’t remotely as bad as Sullivan is saying (is it ever?), and Mitt inadvertently handed out plenty of ammo last night, but the president really needs to get a handle on the long-winded, meandering answers and get to the fucking point faster and more succinctly. Really. He really does.

  51. 51
    AliceBlue says:

    I’m old enough to remember when Mondale wiped the floor with Reagan in their first debate. I don’t remember President Mondale though.

    One of my favorite comments from TPM: “Romney looked like he was on day three of a week long meth bender.”

  52. 52
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @kerFuFFler: Well it worked for Jack Kennedy. That had a lot to do with optics, which were new at the time, at least the TV version. Kennedy looked young and positive and Nixon looked swarthy, permanently unshaven, and shifty. People even said that radio listeners thought Nixon won, TV viewers the opposite, IIRC.

    At this point everyone has seen and seen these candidates non-stop, so not much is going to be changed by one TV appearance in that sense.

  53. 53
    Laura says:

    Has there been anything more on this screwed up CNN poll? Are they admitting anything? Is it an error? WTF

  54. 54
    bemused says:

    @Jay in Oregon:

    That’s a great question.

  55. 55
    beltane says:

    I think we’re all upset that this sleazy, soulless bully was once again allowed to escape without the ass-whooping he so richly deserves. It violates our basic sense of justice to see this pig-greedy, vicious lowlife get away with his lies and nastiness. I guess people like Mitt are the reason humans developed the concept of hell-since they never get their’s in this life it is comforting they will get it in the next.

  56. 56
    Cacti says:

    I’m a pessimistic person by nature. But even so, I don’t think there is that much to be gained or lost from the debates. Most people have made up their mind already.

    In the days before 24-hour media saturation, the debates really were a first glimpse of the candidates for a lot of people. That’s not the case anymore.

  57. 57
    Cassidy says:

    If I *understand all the commentary last night, Mitt didn’t win anything. It does sound like the POTUS was off his game, but as someone mentioned, he’s tired, has a real day job, and campaigning, so I ain’t upset. Yes, the media wants their horserace and hacks like Todd and Sully are going to play it up, but we’ve already reached a point where the pres has been mocking, somewhat honest, and antagonistic of Mitt and Opey. That line was crossed weeks ago. So while our bloated villagers might have to spend a few weeks cleaning the jizz off, there will be people doing articles to point out the BS fest that happenned last night.

    *I did not actually watch as I was in school.

  58. 58
    jayboat says:

    @f space that:

    Within minutes of the debate starting Rmoney was disavowing everything he has said in this election cycle. It may take a while for this to sink in.

    Only as long as it takes the Obama team to produce the first ad with some delicious Rmoney quotes as main theme and blanket Florida etc with them?

  59. 59
    gogol's wife says:

    @AliceBlue:

    Same here! Reagan already looked as if he had Alzheimer’s to me, and I didn’t even know what Alzheimer’s was.

  60. 60
    Enhanced Voting techniques says:

    Something to consider with Obama’s performance – the Right has been screaming about they finally found The Whity(r) tape that shows Obama’s true inner angry back man. And there was Obama on national TV being polite to an abusive white man no one likes.

  61. 61
    chopper says:

    @f space that:

    basically, the guy molted last night. like all lizard men he sheds his skin once a year.

  62. 62
    1badbaba3 says:

    Patience, boys and girls. Obama is like Usain Bolt; slow out of the blocks, but with a finnishing kick like no other. Happens every time. He, and we, will be cool.

  63. 63
    Cassidy says:

    @Ash Can:

    First, do Obama and/or his campaign team feel they need to avoid letting Obama appear angry at any and all cost?

    I was wondering that last night when playing catch up and all I could think of is that BO really doesn’t like personal conflict. He’s a nice guy and tries to work with everyone and even his campaign has been conducted a lot nicer than it has to be. Secondly, and this is only what a straight white guy can think of, but I’d imagine that not getting angry is a skill every black man has to learn, especially if they pursue higher education and go into traditional white male professions.

  64. 64
    khead says:

    Romney: He wants to kill Big Bird. And your grandmother.

  65. 65
    beltane says:

    @Enhanced Voting techniques: In the wingnut mind Obama is simultaneously both “Obambi” and Malcom X.

  66. 66
  67. 67
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Watch the favorables/unfavorables.

    If they don’t move, nothing changes.

    No one upside-down in October has won a Presidential election, going back at least to 1980. And Romney’s been upside down for months.

  68. 68
    smith says:

    @f space that:

    And minutes afterwards, his team disavowed his stance on replacing “Obamacare” with “Romneycare.”

    Last night he wasn’t challenged on his lies, but it will get harder and harder for him to keep up which lies he is telling to which audience.

    Obama will be ready for him in Debate #2 and I expect the Convention Mitt vs. Debate Mitt ads to be rolling out any day now.

  69. 69
    mai naem says:

    I was talking to my sister who’s not as obsessive as I am about politics and she said Obama was letting Romney lie. I dunno. It doesn’t make sense to me but maybe he comes back the next debate and goes after him. To me, Obama seemed distracted. Not tired, distracted. I also thought Romney looked like he was hopped up on some kind of stimulant. Whatever. I don’t think it’s a gamechanger but Obama gave him an opening which I don’t like and furthermore, I want to take the House back – not sure if this performance helped in that goal.

  70. 70
    jonst says:

    @mix…you wrote:


    @jonst: I think we’re saying the same thing – Sullivan is quick on the draw with the conventional MSM wisdom. I don’t value it much, maybe you do”

    I value the MSM the same way I regard skunks. I want to know where they are, and in what direction, at what speed, they are heading. Other than that…they are of little concern to me. Sullivan is a good weather vane of DC. That does not mean it is a big wind blowing there.

  71. 71
    General Stuck says:

    @Cacti:

    I think the Obama people are going to hone in a one or two memes that are the bane of every challenger to an incumbent with an imperfect record, they all have. There are several basic thresholds to be met for getting elected president. An incumbent has a distinct advantage of having already met those thresholds. The challenger has to prove he has the temperament to be president, the smarts, the toughness etc…… And incumbent basically has to convince that he is on the right track, and has a plan for a second term, to make it better.

    And most of all, a challenger has to prove he has the basic good character to be president. Past the normal sway voters give politicians for degrees of lying. This is Romney’s wide open wound, from all that has come before through the primaries to now. And he didn’t do himself any favors in that department last night. And Obama will make him pay for that.

  72. 72
    Enhanced Voting techniques says:

    @beltane:

    In the wingnut mind Obama is simultaneously both “Obambi” and Malcom X.

    There isn’t enough space in the forum to list what they think Obama REALLY(r) is.

    But, Obama did head the mem off. For Obama now it’s really not screwing the pouch with the independents at this point.

  73. 73
    Xantar says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Serious question: can this possibly be justified somehow if CNN claims they were trying to poll undecided voters? At this point, there probably aren’t many non-white people who are undecided about the presidential race.

  74. 74
    jheartney says:

    @Laura: My guess is that the poll was too small to break out by region/age/race. The sample contained nonwhite, nonsoutherners under 50, but not enough to create meaningful crosstabs. The reason it appeared the sample was so skewed was that all the respondents were dumped into a single category. They should have just not included anything about crosstabs since they didin’t have any data.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    MikeJ says:

    @Xantar: The respondents weren’t all white. There were about 100 non-whites. That’s just too few to draw any reasonable inferences from in break outs.

  77. 77
    ant says:

    my boyfriend who doesn’t think about policy at all (apathetic), said romney came across as a jerk.

    He also made a policy comment that I found interesting due to his perspective from working at a walmart pharmacy. Having free market principals with people choosing between a bunch of different privet health insurance doesn’t work in real life.

    People get confused, and frustrated with the choices. They are always asking him witch is best.

    As for myself, I was amazed at how Mitt just says anything he wants to, with no shame.

  78. 78
    Hill Dweller says:

    ThinkProgress says Willard told 27 myths(lies) in 38 minutes last night.

  79. 79
    magurakurin says:

    @David:

    bwahahahaha. I didn’t even see the debate and I voted for Obama, and Obama is still winning on the Fox “poll.” After all these years, the left blogsphere still wins on the “torture Lou Dobbs” poll-jack game.

  80. 80
    bemused says:

    Mitt was like a kid talking hyper fast to his parents trying to snow them that he will definitely ace the math final despite failing every math test all semester.

  81. 81
    chopper says:

    @MikeJ:

    which just goes to show how much all the villager and blog pantshitting really adds up to nothing at all.

  82. 82
    beltane says:

    @Hill Dweller: Last night would have been the perfect moment for Romney to get heckled for his lies the way Ryan did at the AARP convention. That is the type of treatment Romney deserves for his pathologically deceitful behavior.

  83. 83
    pattonbt says:

    Im just curious how people react to Romney’s body language and facial expressions. I’ve said my piece on the outcome on impact of the debate, but the thing that still gets me is how poorly Romney comes off in the visuals. Maybe not Nixon bad, but he just doesnt deliver stuff well and then the smugness and completely insincere quasi paternalistic, disappointed look down his nose move that he does when he’s dissing someone.

    I dont know how that is appealing to anyone other than those of the tribe.

    The bits I saw he looked awful. Sure, he was combative and alpha male giving starbursts to the village and tribe, but I dont see how that plays to the middle who are uncommitted.

    Maybe its just me (and I am of course biased), but the more affable and comfortable looking guy usually wins, and that always seem to be Obama. Romney just stiff and awkward.

  84. 84
    Steve says:

    Something I’ve noticed this morning from Facebook, TV, walking around Manhattan, etc. is that the only people talking about the debate are the people who always talk about politics. In other words, it’s important to remember that the world keeps turning. The nation did not suddenly wake up this morning prepared to give Romney a new appraisal.

    Someone asked how Romney’s base feels about him basically turning himself into a liberal last night. From what I can see, they are all 100% fine with it because all they really care about is that they think 0bama got crushed.

    A couple people above mentioned the first Reagan-Mondale debate. I’d wager that there’s actually quite a few of us who are old enough to remember it. Honestly, I do not think it is possible for a human being to perform as badly as Reagan did in that debate. Even Bush’s first debate from 2004 (“it’s hard work!”) was not nearly as awful. Of course Reagan won 49 states anyway.

  85. 85
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    My take, I guess is that in 2008 the public saw a contrast between a crazy old man and a poised young man and went with youth. Obama needs to show up next time to draw that contrast again. While I didn’t expect him to be shouty, he had better stop acting like he’s older than Romney.

  86. 86
    smith says:

    @Steve:

    I don’t remember the Mondale-Reagan debates (I was a small kid), but I remember the Kerry-Bush debates and I thought Kerry cleaned his clock in all of them. Of course we all saw what happened there – people just didn’t like Kerry and people just don’t like Romney.

  87. 87
    KXB says:

    I have an uncle who is an older, Indian, straight version of Sullivan. He was going on and on about how Obama blew it, and that it may have cost him the election. He pointed to that absurd CNN poll that showed 2/3 of respondents said Romney won the debate. I pointed that Kerry won all the debates with Bush, and he still lost. Clinton did not shine in debates in 1996 or 1992.

    The debates are not meant for “undecided” voters – they are aimed at supporters. Romney supporters can walk away knowing that he can go toe to toe with Obama, so long as consistency is not an issue. Obama supporters, like myself, will give POTUS the benefit of the doubt that he is playing a long game (still a month to go people).

  88. 88
    quannlace says:

    Criminy, I’m giving cable news a pass for the next couple days. It’s getting waaaay too overheated. On Tuesday, on MSNBC, they were giggling like little kids waiting for Christmas morning. Last night, on the post-debate analysis, I swear to God Chris Matthews was ready to burst into tears. ‘Where’s the real Obama….47%…emergency rooms!” Lord.

    The upshot today seems to be, “Romney was energized” Sure. Like if you repeat the word ‘jobs’ 147 times.

  89. 89
    DBaker says:

    Anybody see this clip with Chris Hayes on MSNBC questioning a verb, a noun and 9/11 last night:

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/giu.....redit-him/

    I don’t agree with the headline/caption at all. Giuliani really came across as a total dick, but what do I know.

  90. 90
    kd bart says:

    The Villagers hated every State of the Union speech Clinton ever gave. The public loved them.

  91. 91
    Jennifer says:

    I don’t think either one of them won.

    Obama was sleepwalking; he didn’t have any punch but he did do a creditable job of explaining his positions and how they differ from Rmoney’s.

    Rmoney was hyperkinetic – he came across as nothing so much as a glib, fast-talking salesman. The press may have eaten it up, but ask yourself how you – and most people – feel about glib, fast-talking salesmen. IOW, he didn’t do himself any favors, no matter how the press corps spin it.

    The biggest fault I found with Obama wasn’t actually his demeanor but the fact that he allowed himself to get tangled up in a bullshit back-and-forth about how tax cuts “create jobs.” He had the perfect opportunity to point out that this is what Republican candidates have been running on for at least the past 16 years, that it has served as nothing more than an excuse to help people who don’t need help pay less in taxes and has create not one net new job, because TAX CUTS DON’T CREATE JOBS; DEMAND creates jobs, and Rmoney & his party’s policies have had the ultimate effect of lowering demand through concentrating wealth and pushing austerity when demand is already too low.

    That was a huge missed opportunity to really change the conversation. A Democrat is never going to win on the “tax cuts create jobs” front, because first of all, they don’t, and second of all, Democrats are not fiscally irresponsible enough to make the kinds of cuts Republicans want to make when they toss out this bullshit. Best to just point out bullshit as bullshit, and really make a distinction between yourself and the other guy who’s selling snake oil.

  92. 92
    hep kitty says:

    I hate to keep injecting race into this thing but, again, been watching this for some time. I’m not so sure you can draw parallels to past debates. I’m just saying. I’ve never been so hypersensitive to racism (being white) in my life But, you know, I haven’t been living in a vacuum these last 4 years or so, so I’ve seen and learned a thing or two.

    On a completely different note, every time Obama started talking, Romney started doing the blinking reptile eyes

  93. 93
    Cacti says:

    @smith:

    Of course we all saw what happened there – people just didn’t like Kerry and people just don’t like Romney.

    Romney’s problem is, he’s getting killed with women voters (18 points) and hispanic voters (50 points).

    Nothing he said last night is going change many minds in either group.

    Dubya needed 48% of the former and 40% of the latter to win in 2004. Mitt isn’t within sniffing distance of either number.

  94. 94
    General Stuck says:

    @Steve:

    I think people tune into prez elections at varied intervals leading up to election day, to reach a xenith during the last week. And true swing voters may be the last of those. They are the folks you stand in line behind at Mcdonald’s, whilst they do a full review of every item on the menu to pick their choice, and have that choice explained to them. And then decide at the last minute to have something else.

  95. 95
    tomvox1 says:

    Sully is never really “with us”. He is just killing time flirting with the Left while waiting to be swept of his feet by the next big daddy mean macho man that comes along. Last night, he got that ol’ Reagan tingle up his leg from Romney despite the fact that 80% of what he said was 100% bullshit.

    That said, the Prez better pick up his game. Not sure whether that performance was a result of overconfidence, lack of respect for his opponent or exhaustion but it was awful. He’s not having a polite discussion; it’s a war of ideas and we have got to win it. He’s our standard bearer and he has got to punch back. Whether by design or lack of prep, Obama missed about 5 hanging curveballs last night (“love is where you put your money” Then you must really love the Cayman Islands, Governor/Tax policy: I think it’s fair to ask people like Mitt Romney to pay more than 14% in income taxes don;t you?, etc.). The next debate has got to be better.

  96. 96
    Barry says:

    @Linda Featheringill: “I said this is the thread below but it bears repeating. The CNN snap poll respondents were male and female but were all white, all 50+ in age, and all lived in the south.”

    I checked that – holy crap!

    And nobody with ‘no college’, either.
    Nobody listed as ‘liberal’.

  97. 97
    hep kitty says:

    @Jennifer:

    He had the perfect opportunity to point out that this is what Republican candidates have been running on for at least the past 16 years

    I am completely mystified by this since he repeats it in every speech. The old trickle down policies don’t work, for obvious reasons – where are the jobs? Every single speech I hear, he makes a point to address this.

    Just WTF??

  98. 98
    HRA says:

    I switched over from C-SPAN to MSNBC after the debate. I was stunned at Ed and Chris Mathews. Then it became clear to me that after all these years, they really do not know President Obama.
    Turned off the TV -went to bed.

    Thanks for the thread mistermix. I agree.

  99. 99
    beltane says:

    @Jennifer: Romney’s mannerisms reminded me of an aggressive door-to-door salesman who showed up at my house a few years ago. The guy was so hyper and obnoxious that I was tempted to call the cops. One has to wonder if women voters found Romney’s demeanor to be similarly off-putting.

  100. 100
    Cacti says:

    @HRA:

    I was stunned at Ed and Chris Mathews

    Two bombastic TV personalities are upset that the POTUS isn’t bombastic enough.

    Reminds me of that old trope about when your only tool is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail.

  101. 101
    DBaker says:

    @HRA: I was watching Current(which is really interesting because of the Twitter feeds) and switched right into Chris Matthews diatribe, who looked like he was going to cry. They were all saying “Obama should be watching MSNBC because then he would have not made the mistake of not challenging Romney” It’s the height of arrogance – this might be anathema in these parts, but I get a little now what Somerby has been saying. I still will watch Chris Hayes because his program is actually intelligent.

    Speaking of Hayes, this is a better clip than the one I posted above because it picks up Rachel Maddow finishing off Giuliani: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXPg1tSBqXg

  102. 102
    smith says:

    @Cacti:

    Don’t forget his zero support among African-Americans.

  103. 103
    MikeJ says:

    @Barry: It’s not true. there were about 130 moderates and 190 conservatives. 430 – 130- 190 leaves about 110 liberals. That would have put the margin of error over their max, 8.5, so they didn’t report it.

  104. 104
    The Red Pen says:

    @Cacti:

    The morning after, it seems like Romney’s most memorable moment was saying that he wants to kill Big Bird.

    That floored me for another reason. One of the persistent rumors among religious anthropologists who study Mormonism, is that there are a set of secret Joseph Smith prophecies that were mysteriously “found” by Brigham Young. Supposedly, one of them has to do with a giant golden bird. Apparently, the Mormon elders — those “in the know” on these kinds of super-inner-Mormon secrets — consider Big Bird to be an outrageous mockery of this prophecy and, as a result, have a burning hatred of Big Bird.

    The best I’ve gotten from rank-and-file Mormons is that yes, there are some things in the upper echelons of the Church that are closely held, but they haven’t heard that one. They have heard about the “white horse,” but that’s not a secret. But Romney isn’t rank-and-file, he’s a Bishop.

    I tend to find this “golden bird” prophecy credible because I’ve heard it from serious academics; it would explain why Romney fixated on Big Bird, and I’ll bet there’s someone in Salt Lake City who is really pissed he brought it up.

  105. 105
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Watch the favorables/unfavorables. If they don’t move, nothing changes.

    They didn’t.

  106. 106
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    I just find myself stunned. The more and more I try and find reactions here, the more slavishly pro-Romney it becomes to the point of calling it the best debate performance in 3 decades and so uber-fucking-assured that Romney is the true god-president of fucking forever over that lazy dim fake of an Obama.

    My head is literally throbbing over the idea that the country is really shifting over this bullshit.

  107. 107
    HelloRochester says:

    The problem is not whether the debates will effect the choices of people who pay attention to politics- they won’t. Debates are purely about capturing low information voters. Low information voters vote for whoever is perceived as winning as if they’ll get a decoder ring in the mail for voting for the guy who wins.

  108. 108
    Fwiffo says:

    Counting on the press to call out lies is a pretty bad bet.

  109. 109
    Hill Dweller says:

    Willard is starting to get hammered for his lies.

    Kessler has called bullshit on Willard’s claim that there are six studies that say his tax plan can be revenue neutral.

    Jonathan Cohn is hitting Willard for claiming his tax plan doesn’t cost 5 trillion.

    ABC called Willard’s debate performance “Mostly Fiction”.

    We’re starting to see some push back already.

  110. 110
    Kay (no, not that one) says:

    “We lost the debate tonight.” I attended a watch party for the debate. The room I was in was generally very positive about Obama’s performance. It was a very diverse group, with African Americans (both born here and immigrants), Whites, Hispanics, and immigrants from middle-eastern and Caribbean countries. It was also pretty female (and older female, at that). The only 2 people in the room that thought the President lost – and lost decisively – were the 2 older white men in the group.

    I’m wondering if differing perceptions of who won or lost are related to differing experiences for white men than for other groups. Maybe those of us who are not entitled by birthright just find that pushy, entitled, the-rules-don’t-apply-to-me approach more dickish and off-putting than men do, I don’t know.

  111. 111
    slightly_peeved says:

    @Cacti:

    He likes being able to fire muppets that perform services for him.

    These muppets think they’re entitled to cookies, to trash cans, to rubber duckies…

  112. 112
    DBaker says:

    @The Red Pen:

    My prediction is this: Ralph Reed and his secret army of Christians are not going to come out vote for a Mormon, where McCain still received a lot of these votes, in other words, the polling in red states is off because the sampling is wrong. Call it the reverse Bradley effect.

    I have no means of empirically testing this other than my knowledge of fundamentalist Christians – they really loathe the Mormons with the heat of a thousand suns.

  113. 113
    SenyorDave says:

    @Kay (no, not that one): I’m a 53 year old white male, staunch liberal, and I thought Obama lost and was terrible. I’m talking style, obviously, since Romney has truly become one gigantic lie, But Obama seemed flustered most of the night. Romney is a very smoothe liar. And if there are two debates more like this, it will move the needle a lot.

    Obam has a difficult problem in that it is tough when one of your biggest selling points is that you held off a bunch of batshit crazy legislators from doing something completely insane.

  114. 114
    beltane says:

    @Kay (no, not that one): The reaction to Mitt’s bullying and hectoring was very visceral for anyone who has been at the receiving end of abuse by male authority figures. My mother was genuinely disturbed by Romney’s performance and I wonder if other older women who had to suck up and take all kinds of demeaning crap from male bosses, family members, etc. felt the same way.

  115. 115
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    The levels of delusion around here are reaching GOS proportions. The media are going to correct the record? What universe do you live in? Obamas performance was abysmal. He did.t lose last night but if he continues this way he will. At no point did he talk about Romney and bain, being outof touch, women, hispanics, emergency rooms. Nada. Which would be sort of ok if he didn’t look and sound like he was on horse tranquilizers. He was defensive and deferential to an absurd degree. He showed no vision and gave rambling borderline incoherent answers. He
    made john kerry look like hl mencken. It wasn’t 11 dimensional chess to get Romney later. And debates don’t suddenly not matter. The debate was important and obama shit the bed worse than I thought was possible. And anyone saying anything different is up to their eyeballs in bullshit.

  116. 116
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Ash Can:

    First, do Obama and/or his campaign team feel they need to avoid letting Obama appear angry at any and all cost?

    Yes. Congrats for bringing it up.

    But still, it stuns me how many liberals are ignorant of the realities of being black in America.

    The “Angry Black Man” is Obama’s third rail; the vast bulk of middle America will only vote for a “nice” black man. Any display of anger, even the least little bit, and he loses. ( you might find the origin of “cool” to be educational here )

    As the first black president, Obama has less freedom, less power and more places he can’t go.

    Second, will Romney’s base really give him a pass on anything at all, as long as he says it to directly score points against Obama, viz. in a debate setting?

    Now this is a good question. Which force will prevail in the Tea-Party brain; the cynical “he’s only saying that to get elected,” or the ideological “he’s a RINO!”

    I don’t think anyone here can possibly know the answer.

  117. 117
    hep kitty says:

    @Fwiffo: Yes, expect much fawning over his performance, regardless of substance or accuracy or anything like that, you know, facts get in the way.

  118. 118
    Cacti says:

    @The Red Pen:

    But Romney isn’t rank-and-file, he’s a Bishop.

    Mormon Bishops aren’t really that high on the totem pole. Romney’s position in Mormon circles comes from being a member of the Pratt-Romney family, one of the oldest in Mormondom, and producer of many Mormon apostles.

    John Huntsman also comes from the Pratt-Romney line.

  119. 119
    DBaker says:

    @SenyorDave:

    But Obama seemed flustered most of the night. Romney is a very smoothe liar. And if there are two debates more like this, it will move the needle a lot.

    Here’s the thing. (and I credit a snippet of the Alex Bennett program of this, who I otherwise really don’t care for). If someone throws a bunch of numbers and facts at you, that come completely from left field, it is impossible to prepare for. Romney did a complete 180 on a bunch of his positions from what he had been advocating for months. Obama actually pointed this out, in a subtle manner.

    In retrospect, this might have been a much better performance than we gave him credit for.

    Another point that I would like to bring up which both Al Gore and John Fugelsang mentioned on Current: It is really hard to acclimatize to the Denver altitude if you have not been there for a couple of days. Romney had been there for a couple of days – Obama flew in at 2pm. Perhaps this is somewhat of a cop out based on the previous paragraph, but it could certainly explain why he looked somewhat tired and disinterested.

  120. 120

    […] significant vulnerabilities this debate exposed for the Republican cause.  For example, I agree with Mistermix that Romney’s signal mistake was to open himself up for a renewed assault on his Medicare […]

  121. 121
    Old man by the sea says:

    The CNN flash poll respondents were all white, over 50, self-described conservative or moderate, and from the South.

    No non-whites.
    No liberals.
    Nobody from the Northeast, the Midwest, the upper Midwest, the West, the Southwest, the…

    It’s almost like they did it to acheive a preconceived outcome…

  122. 122
    Cacti says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered:

    The levels of delusion around here are reaching GOS proportions. The media are going to correct the record? What universe do you live in? Obamas performance was abysmal. He did.t lose last night but if he continues this way he will. At no point did he talk about Romney and bain, being outof touch, women, hispanics, emergency rooms. Nada. Which would be sort of ok if he didn’t look and sound like he was on horse tranquilizers. He was defensive and deferential to an absurd degree. He showed no vision and gave rambling borderline incoherent answers. He
    made john kerry look like hl mencken. It wasn’t 11 dimensional chess to get Romney later. And debates don’t suddenly not matter. The debate was important and obama shit the bed worse than I thought was possible. And anyone saying anything different is up to their eyeballs in bullshit

    Back with your sandwich board, I see.

  123. 123

    […] know for sure how much the debates “moved the needle” until early next week. And mistermix thinks Romney screwed himself badly on the Medicare question. So, we’ll see. Tweet […]

  124. 124
    Steve says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered: It’s really not necessary to post the same comment 20 times. Like everyone else, you are a person with an opinion. You are not the bearer of the God-given truth.

  125. 125
    1badbaba3 says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered: Speaking of delusions…

  126. 126
  127. 127
    Joey Giraud says:

    @Kay (no, not that one):

    I found Romney to be coming across like a hyperactive con-artist; his eyes blinked too much, he was fidgeting all the time.

    Romney’s smile was forced and weird, his stare was unnerving, his voice was dry and brittle.

    Obama was calmer, mostly unflapped, although I think Mitt had a few new lies that threw Obama off balance a bit. Most importantly, Obama’s voice was warmer and easier on the ears.

    Not very comforting; I’ve known quite a few charlatans and I can identify them pretty quickly. I also know a lot of people who can’t tell; who fall for the con-job almost every time.

    So I suppose a lot of stupid swing voters might have seen Romney as a “very nice man.”

  128. 128
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @Cacti:

    Back with the spitballs I see. Its ok. If you’re just a little more jaded and clever on the internet, the cool kids will finally let you sit at their table. I’m sure of it.

  129. 129
    bemused says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Do you have any particular “tells” to nose out charlatans? I get a gut feeling that someone is really off but I haven’t figured out yet what specific things set off my radar.

  130. 130
    1badbaba3 says:

    @Fwiffo:Press? We don’t need no stinkin’ press.

    @SenyorDave: You go with that.

  131. 131
    The Red Pen says:

    @DBaker:

    I have no means of empirically testing this other than my knowledge of fundamentalist Christians – they really loathe the Mormons with the heat of a thousand suns.

    Here’s what I’ve seen on Free Republic: they do hate Mormons with the heat of a thousand suns, but that’s like a glow-stick compared with their burning hatred for Barack Obama. Anti-Mormon bigotry is explicitly condoned on Free Republic (Freepers who decried it have been purged). As a result, you can call Mitt Romney a member of an anti-Christian cult all day long and you can even say that you can’t vote for him as a result. You cannot, under any circumstances, suggest that Obama is a better choice.

    I think you’ll agree — based on your experience — that fundamentalists are also masters of ignoring the obvious. These are people who have no difficulty with the bizarre claim that the universe is only 6000 years old. These are people who worship an angry, country-club asshole who bears no meaningful resemblance to the Jesus who’s actually described in myths and legends they claim are inerrant historical facts.

    I think the polls are accurate and these idiots are supporting Romney despite his undesirable choice of religion.

  132. 132
    Cacti says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered:

    Back with the spitballs I see. Its ok. If you’re just a little more jaded and clever on the internet, the cool kids will finally let you sit at their table. I’m sure of it.

    We get it, really. We’re all doomed.

    As @Steve said, how many posts can you spend saying the same thing?

    Or do they pay you by the post?

  133. 133
    Renie says:

    @hep kitty: Yes that blinking was driving me crazy! Great line “blinking reptile eyes”.

  134. 134
    Joey Giraud says:

    @bemused:

    I never really thought about it, like making a list?

    I had a really good little book once about great con-artists, heck of a history. There was one 18th century Frenchman who was stunningly effective.

    Most charlatans I know are of the fundamentalist religious variety. My family is in the biz; more honest then most.

    The “tells” are both what they say and how they say it of course.

    Huh. Thanks a lot. Now I’ll be thinking about this all day.. :)

  135. 135
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @Steve:

    So I’ve posted I think 4 times since last night. One opinion for me in this thread. Cacti? About seven times in this thread alone, with backup from the usual spiballers. But you’re right. I don’t know why i bother offering opinion at the internet equivalent of the world’s most unsatisfying and glib circlejerk

  136. 136
    Marylou says:

    TOTALLY agree with your comments….you can’t trust a fast talker, and that’s what Romney was last night..a well rehearsed fast talker, liar…it was a SHOW for him..
    one thing…I THOUGHT I heard him say people under 60 (SIXTY) wouldn’t be impacted by his plan for Social Security cuts…I can’t find it anywhere…and Obama didn’t respond to it…

  137. 137
    HRA says:

    @beltane:
    “The reaction to Mitt’s bullying and hectoring was very visceral for anyone who has been at the receiving end of abuse by male authority figures. My mother was genuinely disturbed by Romney’s performance and I wonder if other older women who had to suck up and take all kinds of demeaning crap from male bosses, family members, etc. felt the same way.”

    Yes, ex-bosses and ex-husband were happy to dish out demeaning crap. You bet we recognize Romney. Some of us also recognize a wife who is dealing with it and wonder why.

  138. 138
    Kirbster says:

    Did the term Etch-A-Sketch come up last night? Did no one ask, “Who are you and what have you done with Mitt Romney, severe conservative?”

  139. 139
    moda31 says:

    I think a lot of people wanted to see President Obama go in for the kill, and hammer Romney on all of his BS. Obviously that would have been fun for us liberals to watch, but I’m not sure it would have won him a lot of points with people in the middle. One of the things I keep hearing people say, is that they’re shocked Obama didn’t bring up Romney’s 47% remarks at all, but I actually think that was kind of smart. Pretty much everyone has heard those comments by now, and up to this point no matter how Romney has tried to “clarify” his statements, he’s done a pretty terrible job of it. Going into the debates, I think that was one thing his team was expecting to have come up, and you’d better believe they’d prepped him with a memorized response designed to put that story to bed. By not bringing that up at all, Romney was robbed of the opportunity to “fix” his biggest gaffe to date, this allows the Obama campaign to run ads on it till forever, because the only response that voters can point to from Romney remains his previous lousy attempts.

    Overall, I think the President seemed calm and sensible like he always does, if slightly distracted. He had some good moments, but he also left a lot unchallenged; all in all not great, but not terrible either. Romney came off better than he normally does, if a bit hyper & rude to the moderator. He looked to be talking back at Obama, rather than talk TO the voters. Most importantly though, I don’t think he behaved in a way that ran hugely counter to the perception voters already have of him, and that’s problematic. Most people will still think that Romney reads as a douchey CEO, if one who can on occasion tell a story about some poor person he met once. What were perceived as his negatives going into the debate, pretty much still remain.

    The President needs to step it up a little next time, and I think the townhall format will allow him to do that; He’s way better at interacting with actual people than Romney is. Until then, the fact that Romney basically denied supporting all the policies he’s spent the last year arguing for, will make for a lot of effective ads for the Obama team. As usual, when you put today’s tape up against yesterday’s tape, and last week’s tape, it’s not a winning scenario for Romney.

  140. 140
    huckster says:

    Romney “won” because the President let him. It would be easy enough to finish him off now (and believe me, in a purely visceral way i would have loved it) and be done with it, but if you consider the notion that by allowing Mitt to ‘win” this round you buy perhaps a week for down-ballot Democrats not to be bombarded with campaign cash. Donors will feel the need to stick with Romney, particularly if his fav/unfav numbers improve. He needed to win to remain viable, and as long as he looks viable all that money remains at the top.

    i am surprised that after, hell, five years now, people continue to under-estimate the President, or his campaign. I feel like his performance was a deliberate attempt to show contrast between himself and Romney (who comes across like an over-amped Amway salesman) and I think he succeeded. The village wants a horse-race, so Romney was going to “win” this thing merely by showing up.

  141. 141
    Steve says:

    @DBaker: I think you underestimate the degree to which fundamentalist Christian views are malleable. Yes, it’s long been received wisdom that Mormonism is a cult and not real Christianity, but there’s a long history of evangelicals putting their beliefs aside when they become politically inconvenient.

    To take the most glaring example, probably the #1 political issue for evangelicals today is abortion. But back in the 70s, there was actually a lot of diversity and debate on the abortion issue among evangelicals, even in the conservative denominations. It wasn’t until the operators like Jerry Falwell assumed prominence that evangelicals became lockstep opponents of abortion.

    I do not believe the people who believe Obama is the Antichrist are going to let a little thing like voting for a Mormon get in their way. In fact, I believe this election will ultimately represent a huge step forward in terms of mainstreaming the Mormon religion, for better or worse.

  142. 142
    1badbaba3 says:

    @huckster: This.

  143. 143
    bemused says:

    @Joey Giraud:

    Something like that, a few dead giveaways from the get go, as opposed to the Fox News body language “experts”, lol.

    I get an initial off putting feeling about a person and then watch him/her more carefully until I confirm that feeling, or not. I just can’t put my finger on what triggers my spidey sense in the first place. Maybe that’s something that is not easily defined.

  144. 144
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @Cacti:

    We get it. Last night went great and anyone saying otherwise is a doomsaying, idiotic republican plant. Wait that’s too substantive. Glib statement followed by a sweaty desperate need for confirmation by your internet clique that you are “clever”.

  145. 145
    1badbaba3 says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered: mor fibre plz.

  146. 146
    bemused says:

    @HRA:

    What female over the age of five hasn’t experienced the know-it-all, condescending, don’t contradict me little missy attitudes of some men, particularly the older male white group of a generation when male “superiority” wasn’t much questioned?

    I sure didn’t date or marry one of those. By the time I was a teenager, I could recognize the breed from a mile away. Fortunately, I didn’t have a dad like that so I grew up knowing the difference.

    That’s why I don’t understand how women can vote for Republicans, particularly now when those in office are competing to hit a new low in male assholeness.

  147. 147
    The Red Pen says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered:

    We get it. Last night went great and anyone saying otherwise is a doomsaying, idiotic republican plant.

    Wrong. “Republican” should be capitalized, you doomsaying idiot.

  148. 148
    Kay (no, not that one) says:

    @SenyorDave: So you are verifying my point. If the other part of my theory is right (that non-white, non-middle or -older, non-male voters were turned off by Romney), then it will only hurt Obama with white males, who have never been his prime demographic. beltane @ 111 said his mom had a similar reaction to mine. Anyway, I don’t think it’s time to panic.

  149. 149
    xian says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered: you really whipped that straw man. your concern is duly noted. let us know when you shift back to right-wing spin.

  150. 150
    DBaker says:

    @The Red Pen: Agreed. The issue here though is whether they will actually go out and vote or are just saying that they will vote. Given the fact that, for example, the infidelity rate is much higher in Red States than Blue States says one thing above all else, they will say something that goes along with the crowd, but when it comes to actually doing something and being motivated, that is something entirely different.

    I have yet to find or hear about one person who actually likes Mitt Romney. Massive amount of people hate Obama and are voting against him, but in the end that only gets you so far.

    And BTW, I commend you for going over to Freeper Land but it made me want to take a bath every time I waded over there.

  151. 151
    The Red Pen says:

    @Kay (no, not that one):

    it will only hurt Obama with white males

    From what I’ve read, feeds that included real-time reaction lines from focus-groups showed that women lurved Obama by a wide margin.

  152. 152
    patrick says:

    The bits I saw he looked awful. Sure, he was combative and alpha male giving starbursts to the village and tribe, but I dont see how that plays to the middle who are uncommitted.”

    might be my liberal bias, but he came off as a dick, who was hopped up on expressos….

    his weird smirk and lip licking when he talked reminded me of the lyrics from Pink Floyd’s “Dogs”

    “And after a while, you can work on points for style.
    Like the club tie, and the firm handshake,
    A certain look in the eye and an easy smile.
    You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
    So that when they turn their backs on you,
    You’ll get the chance to put the knife in.”

    he literally looked like one of those guys who could be smiling and shaking your hand while sticking the shiv into your side with the other

  153. 153
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay (no, not that one):

    I’m wondering if differing perceptions of who won or lost are related to differing experiences for white men than for other groups. Maybe those of us who are not entitled by birthright just find that pushy, entitled, the-rules-don’t-apply-to-me approach more dickish and off-putting than men do, I don’t know.

    Everyone who seems to be thrilled and/or panicked by Romney’s performance last night seems to be a white man, or at least someone worried about how white men will view it. I have serious doubts that women, Latinos, or African-Americans were quite as thrilled by the performance.

    Sorry, white guys, but women and minorities are not as impressed by the pushy, arrogant, condescending executive as you think we should be. We may have to fake it to keep our jobs, but we don’t actually find that persona to be worthy of respect.

    @Can’t Be Bothered:

    Let me guess — you’re a white guy, right?

  154. 154
    DBaker says:

    @Steve:

    I think you underestimate the degree to which fundamentalist Christian views are malleable. Yes, it’s long been received wisdom that Mormonism is a cult and not real Christianity, but there’s a long history of evangelicals putting their beliefs aside when they become politically inconvenient.

    Agreed with the italicized portion. The issue here though is does Romney and his mormonism inspire enough fear to actually go out and fight for the guy or just say that they support him.

    Now, as far as individual powerful actor, the issue of abortion is very powerful. This is just my personal opinion, but I think that Kenneth Blackwell’s personal actions in 2004 were inspired directly by his personal belief that Bush would save the U.S. from allowing abortion to continue and that he was therefore allowed to do anything, including allowing Diebold to screw around with voting machines and allowing long lines at voting places that Kerry lost Ohio and the election. It was why Karl Rove was smiling like a Cheshire Cat throughout the 04 campaign.

    I just don’t think there are enough individual actors who have a similar motivation to go out and vote because hatred of someone is not a powerful enough driver and the Mormonism just makes things worse. They just don’t trust the guy. They don’t trust Obama either. It is only since Falwell and his cohorts that the evangelical community has been involved in politics. It is my understanding that prior to that there was more of a unto Caesar lassez faire attitude. In other words, at heart they just want to do their thing and be left alone. That’s what all this freedom business that you hear Tea Party people talk about is at its core.

    If Romney ran an anywhere competent campaign, the Supreme Court issue of the power of a President to appoint judges would have been raised. It is one of the most powerful actions that a President has in his arsenal because they are the most long lasting. The monied class, which includes Romney, could not give a damn about social issues; talking solely about “the economy” just strengthened that notion.

    In summary, what I am saying is that there is a difference between saying you will go out and vote for someone and then actually getting in your car, driving to the polling place and actually pulling the lever or pushing the button. To give an example, here in the Great Socialist paradise that is the State of Maryland – Bob Ehrlich thought he had his reelection in the bag. When push came to shove, his evangelical base just stayed home rather than going out to vote because he did some policy things to pander to the middle, such as firing an evangelical from a political post and he lost by 6 points.

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