DEBATE III: GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS

Posted in Quick Hits on October 23rd, 2012 by Ed

Quick reactions:

1. The way that the candidates and the parties they represent have fundamentally identical views on foreign policy issues – Drones? Cool! Israel? My favorite! Iran? Bad! – goes a long way toward explaining why some Americans feel like there is no real difference. Granted, those differences appear stark on social issues and kinda-sorta-I-guess there are economic differences. But if this debate was the only thing you saw, it would be easy to conclude that these are two sides of the same coin.

2. Mitt's dead eyes made it more obvious than in the previous debates that he really doesn't give a flying shit about any of this, he's just saying whatever he thinks he needs to say to round up enough votes to get into office and address the only issue he cares about: insulating his economic bracket from any threats from below. That's it. Everything else is so much noise to him. His self-presentation in this debate was, "Look, I know I've taken like five different positions on this. I know that you know. And frankly I give zero shits."

3. I can't even imagine how much you would have to hate Obama to listen to Romney and think "Yeah, this guy sounds great!" He doesn't sound interested, he talks in circles, he takes scripted potshots at Obama and then admits that his positions are basically identical (i.e. on Afghanistan), and he talks about comprehensive strategies that he never explains. Unlike in the economic-themed debates where he throws out slogans people can respond to – Low taxes! Job Creators! Loud Noises! – he can't even do that much with foreign policy. How anyone convinces themselves that he scored a resounding victory on Monday night is beyond me. First debate? Sure. Yesterday? He did everything but take a dump on the stage.

4. The overwhelming sense I get when Romney talks is a guy shaking a handful of beads at some Indians and saying in an unnaturally loud voice, "LOOK! SHINY! I GIVE YOU BEADS, YOU GIVE ME ISLAND!" It's so easy to picture him alone with his advisers back-slapping and laughing, telling each other, boy, I bet those morons just ate that up. Can you believe they're buying this crap?

I can't either, Mitt.