Presidential Debate Free Fire Zone

Tonight is the second debate between Romney and Obama. We’re not anticipating many comments here, because we suspect that people interested in chatting about the election are likely to have other websites to go to, but since there’s nothing else going on anyway and we don’t want our humble blog to go dead for the night, we’re yielding to the occasion.

We’re well aware that most of you don’t agree with your Curmudgeon’s politics. That’s okay. Feel free to express yourselves — regardless of how misguided you may be. As long as you’re not a creationist, our benevolence is turned up to its radiant maximum.

But you don’t have to comment about the debate. As with all our free-fire zones, we’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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36 responses to “Presidential Debate Free Fire Zone

  1. Time to kick Romney’s lying balls over his ears!

    Food. Check. Tv. Check. Beer. Check. Biased opinion. Check.

    I’m ready!!!

  2. Still undecided, Doc bill?

  3. Google Steve Kangas to see why liberalism works for all and libertarianism is that road to serfdom. Google Liberalism Resurgent.
    Use these blogs to give your say on liberalism versus the other isms.
    http://aleshamilton.wordpress.com
    http://democritusdotcom.wordpress.com
    http://lynnlamb.blogspot.com

  4. Griggsy, free fire does not mean free SPAMing. Oh, and one of your links is broken, the other are just kinda useless.

  5. Tomato Addict, I wasn’t thrilled by his comment, and I haven’t looked at his links, but in the spirit of things I decided to let it stay. Anyway, we won’t be hearing from him again.

  6. Romney could have used Admiral Akbar on the Libya-Rose Garden statement: “Go ahead proceed Mr. Governor”

    IT’S A TRAP!!!!

    And down Romney went fact-checked on the spot, live television, on tape as lying, lying, lying. Although, to throw a bone to the Mittster, he probably didn’t know the facts, just what he was told by his minders. I think there’s a behind the scenes clip of him calling for “Help, Mr. Wizard!” Either way he came off as a stumbling, bumbling idiot, especially after he cast a glance back at the President announcing his impotent attack.

    Sorry, Tom, you ain’t that terrific.

  7. Ehhhh…

    The Benghazi thing is a bit muddy. I went back and watched it and feel like it’s reasonable to say he called it a terrorist attack. I can see how someone less disposed to being generous to the President might not, though.

    Still, Romney walked right into it. He got thrown to the lions tonight.

  8. Now that there is an approaching referendum in Great Britain which may result in Scottish independence from the United Kingdom, I will modestly suggest (I put it no stronger) to our errant Colonial cousins across the pond that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is most graciously prepared to forgive and forget our little transatlantic spat of 1776 and is benevolently willing to welcome America back into the Britannic fold.

    Or at least, welcome back the original 13 miscreant colonies, as no one could possibly want Florida or Texas.

    And — as I think on it — you can keep Georgia as well. And, on further reflection, Alabama, Mississippi, Utah, South Carolina — in fact, just forget I suggested anything.

    At ease, and as you were….

  9. I just don’t have the heart to get behind either candidate despite our county’s desperate need for leadership. Neither one of them is what this country needs so I will probably just vote Independent.

  10. No idea if this has any accuracy or merit at all; either way, it’s an endorsement Republicans should shun:

    At creationism museum, visitors exhibit strong faith in Romney

    The article does at least include a photograph of one of the Creation Museum’s exhibit: a mannequin Adam and mannequin Eve desporting themselves in a stream.

    Apparently, Adam and Eve were white folks…

  11. Megalonyx said:

    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is most graciously prepared to forgive and forget our little transatlantic spat of 1776 and is benevolently willing to welcome America back into the Britannic fold.

    Okay, THAT is funny! Cheers & God (Blessed Be He) Save the Queen!

  12. Megalonyx:

    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is most graciously prepared to forgive and forget our little transatlantic spat of 1776 and is benevolently willing to welcome America back into the Britannic fold.

    Heh. Do you realize that even adding our relatively liberal northeast region to the UK would still probably shift your politics to the right? Its not too far from the truth to say that our liberals are your conservatives.

    ***

    I’d like to see more of last night’s instant fact checking used in future debates. While last night it hurt the GOP candidate and favored the Dem, that’s not always or necessarily going to be the case. I think the country is better served overall when both candidates know their statements may be immediately compared to reality. At a minimum, it will reduce the amount of hyperbole and (daydreaming here for a moment) improve the quality of arguments on both sides.

  13. I dunno, I might be persuaded to vote Mitt if he shared his Binder Full o’ Womens! Not picky, mind you, a couple of Orion Slave Girls would be fine, thank you very much.

  14. The Moderator should be fired for overstepping the limits of her job — “fact checking” is not part of moderating a debate — and on her lone venture into that realm, she has had to subsequently admit she was WRONG!

    Obama did NOT characterize the Benghazi attack as as being perpetrated by terrorists — as opposed to a spontaneous riot that got of control over a grainy YouTube video — in his Rose Garden speech. He made a generic reference to “acts of terror” not specific to Benghazi at all.

    More to the point, even if Obama HAD characterized Benghazi as a terrorist attack the day after it occurred, why then did he and everyone in his administration spend the next two weeks lying about it?

  15. Nothing happened in the debate last night to alter the perception coming out of the first debate that Romney is a credible alternative to Obama, whom the public perceives as having better economic policies. Thus, the narrative established in the first debate continues apace, which means Romney will continue to pick up support from swing voters and undecideds. The focus groups last night confirm this.

    Obama needed a knock-out last night to reverse the trend, and to undo the public perception of Romney as an acceptable alternative. He didn’t get it. Not even close.

    Thus, the $100 million ad campaign to demonize Romney as the Second Coming of “Gordon Gekko” is now in tatters, exploded by the affable, friendly, knowledgeable, reasonable, empathetic, and articulate Romney the public has now seen in two successive debates. Their narrative of the “GOP War Against Your Vagina” is similarly exploded as a myth. All the distractions the Dems spent so much time, effort, and money to create are now swept aside, like burning rubble, while the stark reality of the last 4 years of economic and fiscal mismanagement stand athwart the path to Obama’s re-election, and nothing stands between Romney and the White House.

    Obama has lost the economic argument, and it is the only argument that matters in this election.

    Absent the knock out by Obama last night, this debate is a strategic victory for Romney, regardless of the tactical outcome. The last debate is foreign policy, not economics. Obama no longer has an opportunity to win the economic argument, and since it is the only issue that ever really mattered, the election is over.

  16. DocBill – just like that, there are a bunch o binders of women! :-)

    http://bindersfullofwomen.tumblr.com/

  17. Longie says: “Nothing happened in the debate last night to alter the perception coming out of the first debate that Romney is a credible alternative to Obama, whom the public perceives as having better economic policies.”

    I imagine that the adamant supporters on each side will perceive the other guy as having lied his butt off, but that’s of no consequence. The election isn’t about how each party’s base will vote — that was never in doubt.

    I think Longie has penetrated to the core of the matter — the perception of Romney as an acceptable alternative. He does appear to be that. Therefore, if there is a widespread but unspoken dissatisfaction with the last four years under Obama, as there ought to be, then those who may have been sitting on the fence will now find it acceptable to vote for Romney, having seen that despite the claims of Obama’s campaign, he’s not the reincarnation of Count Dracula.

  18. I think the Reptilicans made a big mistake by not getting behind Rick Perry as the presidential candidate. In retrospect Perry would be perfect for many reasons. First, it would get him out of Texas and that would be a personal plus. Texas has what is called a “weak governorship” in that the Gov makes a few appointments and has to show up at the office once a month or so, but the rest of the time he spends with photo ops, ribbon cuttings and making inspirational speeches. Perry has a demonstrated and proven track record of being an outstanding weak governor. And that’s exactly what we need in a President.

    Second, I think the case can be made for having an unprincipled, pandering opportunist as President. You don’t need to be smart. George Bush proved that by surrounding himself with smarter people. You don’t have to lead because the country pretty much leads itself. You do have to look Presidential (check for Perry), be photogenic (double check for Perry), have a likable, attractive wife (again check Perry), at least appear as sincere as Reagan really was (triple check Perry), and have a personal relationship with, if not chosen by, God (Perry in spades). Principles only cause conflict. Why cause conflict when you can simply go with the flow, make things easy, have people actually like you.

    And, finally, let me point to the great success that is Queen Elizabeth II. Is she responsible for the price of gasoline, er, petrol, in Great Britain? No! Is she responsible for employment or unemployment? No! Is she responsible for health care? No! Of course not! She sits back and lets other people get on with doing that stuff and Great Britain seems to get by just fine. The Queen is loved, she cuts ribbons and attends photo ops and everybody cheers “God save the Queen!” at the drop of a farthing. We need that kind of rally pole here in America and I tell you we missed the boat letting Perry go. He would have been perfect for the job.

  19. docbill1351 says: “I think the Reptilicans made a big mistake by not getting behind Rick Perry as the presidential candidate.”

    Over-the-top satire. It was the GOP’s rejection of Perry, Santorum, and Bachmann that kept me from changing my party registration to Independent.

  20. docbill1351 notes

    the great success that is Queen Elizabeth II. Is she responsible for the price of gasoline, er, petrol, in Great Britain? No!

    Satirical intent aside, I think one can indeed make a serious case for having, as in the UK and elsewhere, a Head of State that is separate from Head of Government: the latter come and go, the former is fine as a national mascot.

    Imagine if it had been a purported Prime Minister Cameron skydiving into the Olympic Opening Ceremony instead of Her Madge Liz? Half the spectators would have been hoping the chute wouldn’t open. But with Liz, we all enjoyed the show!

  21. Longshadow:

    The Moderator should be fired for overstepping the limits of her job — “fact checking” is not part of moderating a debate

    Yes, how dare she compare what they say to reality!

    Longshadow, whether it was part of her formal contract or not, don’t you want each candidate’s statements to be held up to objective fact? Isn’t it a good thing when we can make these debates less about who has the strongest rhetorical statement and more about what policies they advocate and what the expected implications of those policies will be?

    I frankly care very little about who can put together the best sound byte. But that seems to be what you are advocating the debate should be; let them speak without the moderator bringing up criticisms or inconsistencies.

    Thus, the narrative established in the first debate continues apace

    Call me a dissenter; I thought Romney clearly did better than Obama in the first, and Obama did a little better than Romney in the second. So I don’t think the second debate helped Romney.

  22. Megalonyx says: “I think one can indeed make a serious case for having, as in the UK and elsewhere, a Head of State that is separate from Head of Government”

    How little you understand us, Pondhopper. In the US, apart from government personnel, there is no entity called “the state.” The people are sovereign in the US — or at least they’re supposed to be.

  23. Eric wrote:

    Longshadow, whether it was part of her formal contract or not, don’t you want each candidate’s statements to be held up to objective fact? Isn’t it a good thing when we can make these debates less about who has the strongest rhetorical statement and more about what policies they advocate and what the expected implications of those policies will be?

    I frankly care very little about who can put together the best sound byte. But that seems to be what you are advocating the debate should be; let them speak without the moderator bringing up criticisms or inconsistencies.

    The moderator’s job is to impartially moderate the debate — make sure the debators don’t stab each other with sharp instruments, maintain decorum, and take turns speaking in a manner that vaguely resembles adult discourse.

    The moderator cannot play “fact-checker” and still be impartial in her role as moderator — fact-checking inevitably puts the moderator in the position of taking sides, and that is incompatible with the job of moderator.

    Fact-checking is what happens AFTER the debate.

    And lastly, in her attempt to fact-check, Crowley was demonstrably wrong, and had to admit it afterwards. She should resign or be fired for overstepping her assigned role in the debate, and interjecting herself into the debate content.

  24. The moderator cannot play “fact-checker” and still be impartial in her role as moderator — fact-checking inevitably puts the moderator in the position of taking sides…

    How so? AIUI the candidates were arguing over a recorded speech, so she pulled it up. How does that exactly “take sides?” This is very much the way a judge operates: when both parties agree on a matter of fact, accept it. When they don’t, look at the evidence.

    As long as the fact checking methodology is reasonably imparitial, then the conclusion that one person was wrong and the other was right is not ‘taking sides.’ Its doing competent journalism. IMO we need more of that sort of analysis, not less. The fact that her methodology showed that she herself was wrong is, to me, an indication that its pretty impartial.

    I simply disagree with your implication that the moderator’s role is to serve as timekeeper/umpire and nothing more. As I said in my earlier post, I think this just leads to a rhetoric competition, which doesn’t serve the best interests of the country. Yes, fact-checking can come after. But like a newspaper putting a one-line retraction of Saturday’s story in Sunday’s paper, its going to be ignored or go unnoticed. Immediate, real-time fact checking is much more likely to affect people’s opinion and thus much more likely to actually reduce the use of rherotical tricks by candidates. If you want to see a reduction of hyperbole, ‘baffle them will baloney’ type of speech, and outright lying by candidates – which I do – then real-time fact checking is going to accomplish that a lot better than day-after fact checking.

  25. I have it on the authority of “highly placed sources” that Candy Crowley has terminated her employment as Second Presidential Debate 2012 Moderator. Yep, she’s done.

  26. For the 3rd debate, candidates will have be equipped with red handkerchiefs, which they toss out on the stage to call for an instant replay and fact-check.

  27. Our Curmudgeon notes

    In the US, apart from government personnel, there is no entity called “the state.” The people are sovereign in the US

    …and, in a similar fiction, also said to be sovereign in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, &c. &c.

    But I understand your point–and share your (apparent, if I read it aright) view that ‘thus it should be’.

  28. Obama and most other Democrats talk of a tax cut as being an expense to the government. For instance, they ask, “How do you propose we pay for that tax cut?”

    This is a fallacy. If you cut taxes, you are not making the money disappear. To the contrary, a tax cut keeps the money in the private sector, where it can be used to invest in economic growth.

    If the economy grows, more people will be earning wages and salaries, which then will be taxed, thus increasing the government’s revenue, not cutting it.

    Tax rates were cut in 1982, leading to the greatest period of prolonged economic growth the US had ever experienced. Why are we still arguing about this? Why can’t we learn from our successes?

  29. I like your challenge-flag idea, TA! But just like in the NFL, there needs to be a control mechanism to prevent frivolous challenges.

    So, with that in mind, I propose that if a candidate throws his flag and is found to be in error, he gets one pass. After that, he gives up five electoral votes for each erroneous challenge.

  30. Tim Anderson

    The Sensuous Curmudgeon has politics? Good grief – is that like having a mole on your chin?

    I think I might have politics in the same sense that Johnson’s dog had hind-leg-standing abilities. In the mean time there are some other political matters to be dealt with.

  31. RSG: In the 80′s the taxes were very high (leftover from paying off WWII debt) and the cuts had an obvious effect. It is less clear to me that additional cuts can have the same effect. Certainly there must be diminishing effects as taxes are cut to zero. There is a tax rate greater than zero that is necessary, sufficient to our needs, and in some sense fair and just, and no one talks about this right level of taxation. If people were shouting “Taxes should be xx.x%” instead of just shouting for cuts, I could take it more seriously.

    I’d also like to see 11-man teams lined up at the debates who tackle the speakers as their time expires. And maybe some card girls.

  32. TA, I like the idea of having the speaker’s microphone cut off automatically as his time hits zero. And it stays off until it’s his turn to talk again. It would need to be automatic so that the moderator would not be able to show favoritism.

  33. Was it just my local signal, or did Obama have some microphone difficulties early on?

    Here –> This is what we really need! Especially the ending. :-)

  34. @TA: “Ben Stein on taxes!”

    And he’s just as correct on taxes as he is on evolution. “Expelled!” from Fox News, though.

    About the Monty Python skit — I’m sure the ratings would be way up for the debates if people thought something like that might happen!

  35. Good grief – is that like having a mole on your chin?

    Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it. ;P

    Off topic, but I learned 2 new insults on the political blogs today: “Überputz” (describing Biden) and “a load of old wank,” describing Obama’s “The-dog-ate-my-homework (-before-I-ate-the-dog”) Benghazi defense.

    Beyond that, it’s time to put this thread to bed — or I’ll be seeing Candy Crowley in my dreams (and be celibate forevermore. I’d rather have a mole on my chin.)