I am trying to understand why the debate about the debate is starting to bother my core. Between the hysterics of the likes of Chris Mathews and Ed Schultz, what we have here is a crisis among the pundit class. They loved how Romney was an in charge powerful white guy. They loved it. Did it matter that he was brash and a liar? Only on a secondary level. They wanted the guy who is America’s idea of a winner: Paternalistic Authoritarian Oaf. They want the President become a bully, or at least to fight like a bully.
They wanted from Obama the appearance, the veneer of domination and power. Well guys, you will not get that from Obama. Since pundits live in the world of theatrics, brashness, zingers, platitudes and pseudo sports environment of winning, they want to impose this culture on all of us. Obama, has an inner core that you still don’t get. It is not the pushy white guy core. The pushy white guy, the Romneys, of this world got us to this mess. Mr. Mathews, I am glad the President does not watch cable news, someone has to step away from the culture of brash and crass.
As someone who worked as a community organizer and in the public sector, I remember countless encounters with men from the public finance sector, investment bankers and such, who would railroad local governments with slick presentations promising everything and offering little substance. When I would break down their faux complexity, they would always appear frazzled and angry. Obama was not professorial, he spoke in a simple and clear language. Romney threw a word salad at us that made no sense. Obama had more time, but apparently Romney used over 700 more words than Obama.
Everything about Romney’s swift talking, glib gibberish means to overpower and not inform the listener . Because, if the listener understood what they were saying, of course they would not buy their gizmo, idea or gadget. Talking fast of furious, shock and awe, with little desire to inform of the complexity and the risks. It seems that we are still impressed with such men and we want to give these lazy peddlers the reigns to lead us. God help us.
So, the pundits declared Obama a loser, based on one debates performance with a verified liar and shape shifter. They crowned the liar and shape shifter as the winner. It seems that these are the values that we want to honor and reward.
Obama I think failed in two ways. Americans do not understand when someone does not look at them. They think it’s fear, cowardice and shame. They want a stare down. Give it to them. Second, no Mr. President, your position in anything is not like the Romney positions, they are in any way similar and they should not be particularly on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the environment, women’s rights, healthcare, gay rights, immigrant rights, foreign policy, education and the environment. Do not give them an opening for discussion, they see it as capitulation. This is the politics as a horse race class, winners and losers.
The responsibility of the commentators after the debate was to judge the performance, but also the content. In the end, Romney changed every single position. Bullied the elder and respected journalist, Lehrer. Violated the terms and conditions of the debate structure and it seems that was a good thing. This is what we want, people who want to win at any cost.
Romney displayed everything that I find repulsive about white male behavior in business, government and many other domains. It starts with a lazy core, it does not matter if you have the skills, credentials, you just have to appear that you have the makings of whatever you are trying to do. Charles Pierce calls it Political Eloquence, I call it the white guy swagger.
In the end, pundit class declared the bullying liar the winner. They even make fun of Obama’s attempt to be polite to the elder Lehrer. Yes, the President was right, he made a human gesture to Lehrer. Lehrer’s ability to control the domineering bully was lacking, but it was not Lehrer who should be faulted, it was the rude liar, Romney. This after all the hype against bullying, we have crowned the supreme bully a winner. They had a chance to call out Romney for his core failings, they missed it. How did they miss it? Obama did not buy into their culture of bullying passing for a virtue.
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