….and of Mittonnesty, Mittology and Mittematics!
I know the verdict is in and most say Gov. Mitt Romney “won” the first debate with Jim Lehrer moderating. Yet after watching it and considering it the past few days, I now think Pres. Barack Obama actually won, and this will show on election day.
How and why? Well, for starters Romney's high energy and bullet point delivery was structured to brazenly open attacks on the President; as though everything was his fault. As though everything was normal about this past 4 years and Obama just couldn't cut it. Romney gave no quarter, when a dollar is actually due.
I think Romney's intention is clear. His strategy is starting to look like Sen. John McCain's late in the game of 2008. Despite standing atop the GOP platform, and being tethered to it, Romney is moving, like McCain before him, to pretend that he is "the one" for the middle class, for global leadership. In doing this he is deftly and suspiciously mirroring much of, if not exactly, Obama's position. The difference today is Obama is not espousing positions on matters, he is leading on them. And they are entirely consistent with what he said in 2008, to Sen. McCain and the nation, that he would do.
Now I think it is worthwhile to remember too that after Obama was elected; everyone, including his own top advisers, told him to pick a few items from his platform on which to focus. We all know what Obama said to that, to paraphrase: "Let's do it all; it can't wait, America must proceed on all fronts." And that is what he has been doing. And so, no wonder he's looking a little tired and gray. Perhaps also a bit annoyed of Romney's parroting Obama's positions. It must be stunning to Obama how Romney so brazenly proclaims them his own. While at the same time, saying that Romney somehow, by some virtue, can do it better. Obama is coming up short somehow.
I suppose Obama, like me and many others are confused and wonder where has Mitt kept all his ideas and bullet points until now? Were they at the accountants or in a Swiss vault with his tax returns? Only now to show up, in a nick of time, a few seconds before the election? Is Mitt finally divulging his previously secret “plans” formerly know only to him? A big vision that he's had all along, since the land before time? Or is it his perfect illusion? A trickster's ploy in the last minutes of the race?
Mitt on top of that, topped my over the top estimation of his "opportunism". In the space of 90 minutes, he completely re-scripted himself, for the umpteenth time. Mitt Romney clearly says anything; even the 180 degree opposite of what he's just said. The man who wouldn't apologize to the 47%, who doubled and then tripled down on that in the days and weeks following the public surfacing of that video, then apologizes, just a day after the debate. Why? Because its convenient, or no, rather its absolutely necessary, to get elected! That's why. So he swallowed his No Apologies pride and "apologized"; for 100% personal gain – not for you, suckers!
And why else? I think because Obama didn't raise the matter in the debate. Knowing if he had, that Romney might opportunistically “apologize” with a contrite look and sweet smile in front of the millions of watching Americans. And to thereby show he is human and win their hearts, if only for this critical moment in time; at vote time. So what is Romney really trying to say then, to the 47%? I think it's something like this: “I love you 100% my sweet little 100%, and I need your vote. I am sorry I didn't respect you before; I respected you all my life, take my word for it, and after I am President, I will be forever grateful and you will be... well; you're then fired!”
Mitt seems to know naught but confrontation and intimidation. He started the debate threatening Jim Lehrer, Big Bird and PBS. An old and nice man, a cartoon, and an institution. I thought somewhere in there he might offer Obama a haircut too, but apparently thought better of it. Maybe this is what caused Jim to lose control of the debate? I doubt Jim expected this. How did he feel? Jim surely remembers Mitt's heartfelt “I like to fire people” comment. I can see Mitt loves power; is it possible he enjoys telling intended victims he loves them first; just before vanquishing them?
I used to think Mitt just didn't have a heart. I now fear it's worse. America needs more than a slasher right now, it needs a man with vision for its people too. If corporations are people Mitt, then deficits are people too. Deficits do need to be slayed, but let's not start with Jim and Big Bird. Okay? Let's not cut the heart out of America, let's cut the fat; better let's work together to fix and grow the economy and jobs and streamline at the same time.
I think Mitt's level of honesty remains a central to this election. Have a look at Paul Krugman's comments here on ABC News This Week. Perhaps Mitt has defined a new kind of honesty; a Mittonnesty, with two nn's like Pinnochio. Lord knows, he's said enough things to grow two noses, so two nn's seems about right*. Perhaps his view is that it's okay if you are "instantaneously honest" based on your personal calculated objectives, and not taking into account any other moment in time. Some Einstein relativity thing; something about time & memory not running back past this instant or forward to the next. Americans still have no idea what Mitt really believes or what he will do if elected. It is still just trust his math of 2 plus 2 equals 6 and everything will work out. Mittematics I guess?
Somehow, despite the Ryan budget and his support for it, we must believe taxes will not be raised on the middle class; despite his denigrating and disparaging comments about the 47%, we must all of us believe he has their back; despite his Bain background and his obvious lust to fire people, including Jim and Big Bird, he will create jobs; despite being for Obamacare before he was against it, and then being for restoring most of it again after he kills it, he will repeal it, yet also keep most of it (if you think that is confusing well, I agree, yet there it is for what it is); despite..... well, you can research it yourself.
There is a whole field of 180 degree turns and Mittconsistencies. You need a PhD in Mittology to straighten it out.... this is a field that is right up there with mythology.
Despite the debate verdict, I see a whirling Mittdervish of falsehoods, and of double and triple speak as a loser, not a winner. Obama thought it was a debate; a discussion. Mitt took it as an opportunity to dump on Obama in the hope nobody notices Mitt's Mittonnesty. As an opportunity to steam roll Jim to hold the floor and natter on down Mitt's list of points so he can't be questioned.
And just what was Obama supposed to do? Attack Mitt? Call him a liar? We know where that would go. Obama knows he owns the last 4 years, hell we all know it. He can't look like he is disowning it. Having said that though, if you calculate the way Mitt and the GOP have, he deserves to be voted out of office because economic stats from point A to point B are flat. What is missing in their math is that ride down Niagara Falls, which started courtesy Bush and Co. at Point A plus thirty seconds. The American people don't use Mittematics, or GOPenomics. They use mathematics and economics. They know the reality, they have lived it. So has Obama, just look at his graying hair!
Mitt and the GOP are living in the land of the Mad Hatter, or is it Mad Harry, about what happened at the moment Bush handed Obama the keys to the White House. And they conveniently forget the intransigence of the Lilliputian little GOP Congressmen who from day one of Obama's Presidency where trying, trying and eventually tying him, the economy and the American people, to the ground. They need a reality check.
Obama carries the weight of the Nation on his broad shoulders. He also carries the GOP and the Tea Party and related naysayers. Yet they are intentionally slowing; dragging and yes chaining him down; filibusters all. Openly, proudly and on the record they have done this from day one. Just so that Mitt could stand up there in these debates and in his campaign and say what he is saying. And try to make Obama himself, personally the problem.
Whenever not doing that, the GOP leaders and associates were looking to renege on civil rights, including a woman's right to choose (Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock or Paul Ryan anyone?); pushing back on the rights of workers to organize and to a decent wage; pushing back on the incomes and wealth of the middle class; pushing back on the funding and the quality of schools and on the opportunities for college students; pushing back on immigrants, driving them underground and out of the country, and pushing back against the Dream Act; pushing back against the voting franchise..... And generally complaining about helping the needy in these tough times, while concurrently demanding more tax cuts for the rich.
Now, even more cynically, it is clear that people of colour and Muslims are targeted for fewer civil rights. How about these guys in Arkansas? State Representative Jon Hubbard of Jonesboro, Arkansas, reportedly writes that "the institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise." See more at this article; Arkansas Republican's comments on slavery, Muslim stir controversy, by Suzi Parker.
What is Mitt trying to say to Obama on his handling of the economy? “Hey! What a weak man that Obama”. “He's an empty suit, or empty chair or whatever...” because he can't get a simple recovery going. “Why, all he can create is about 5 million jobs in a little less than 2 years. What a lazy man. And before that all he did was put a floor under the Niagara Fallsian drop of 750,000 jobs per month.” And then, as if that misrepresentation is not enough, as if to add insult to injury Mitt and the GOP continue today to be rooting for further losses, fewer jobs. Indeed with the news that the unemployment rate fell below 8 % to 7.8% we are hearing that it can't be that good. It must be a conspiracy, and anyway, we should all still be depressed because the Republicans have a way of calculating Obama unemployment rates differently than normal Presidential unemployment rates – its actually 11% by their math. More Mittematics I suppose?
This is not something that represents a typical run of the mill recession or slow down. This is rebuild from the ground up over a couple of economic cycles. Also, there has been a dramatic and lingering knock on effect from the ripples that are now coming back to America from that Tsunami. The Euro crisis the global slow down affecting China, India, Europe, South America and most everywhere else.
The TARP program and Obama's stimulus ended the fall in jobs in some 18 months. Unfortunately, this inflicted on America the painful loss of some 4 million jobs. Actions under Bush robbed America of the principle tools needed for a full and quick recovery, such as a strong financial system and fiscal situation. If there is a president to fault on the situation of America today, that absolutely is Bush' fault. We all know that.
In the following two years the stimulus, the effect of health care and other policies Obama has managed to get done, have recovered the nearly 4 million lost jobs. As President Obama has said that is hardly enough, and he is working to get much more done. I would say, given this full context, that it is hardly nothing, either.
Obama deserve credit rather than criticism. America has a plan and is moving forward to build its infrastructure, its science, its schools, its health, and its strength and leadership abroad. A plan to deal with the deficit. A plan to build a foundation for an economy built to last. A return to the American Dream. A fair shake and a fair shot to achieve that Dream.
Obama is on this path in an honest and straight forward way. It is more than a promise, it is happening. It just needs to happen much faster. And it is you who can step on the gas right now!
How? Simple; vote out obstructionist politicians. That's it, just vote against any politicians more focused on limiting Obama's future, than expanding America's and yours. Do it right now! Let's go! Just say “That's it for you filibuster”! This will send Congress a message. A strong one. Americans are not going to take this any more!
This gives Pres. Obama's good efforts leverage to propel the country Forward. Obama deserves another 4 years. I think he is focused more on doing right by America and Americans than most politicians in living memory. I think that President Reagan is a good comparison.
So you can do it. It's in your hands. The change is you!
* Note: Pinnochio misspelled intentionally. It is actually Pinocchio; but in Mittonnesty, it is okay to do whatever you want. Mittonnestly!