Friday, October 5, 2012

And Winner of the First Round is....

The first debate: I can't add much to the verbiage already written on how Romney came ready to shed blood while Obama looked like he wished the NBA season would soon start. Clearly Obama had the most to lose and Romney capitalized on his underdog status.

I would be thoroughly surprised if Obama doesn't recover and really go for the jugular in the next debate. It's no secret that he has mastered NLP techniques and can be a truly eloquent and convincing speaker. Romney has exposed himself to counterattack on several key issues, and if Obama doesn't pick at the ripe fruit dangling in front of him then he doesn't deserve another term.

If Romney were elected, it wouldn't be the end of the world (that particular event is scheduled for a later date regardless of who is president). In the many ways that it has been difficult to distinguish Obama's policies from Bush's, the same would hold true if we flip back to a Republican regime. Given his obvious attempt in the debate to migrate back to the moderate Republican that he once was, this is a clear signal that very little would change under a Romney presidency.

Romney's bigger problem is the rage and betrayal that the Republican right wing would feel if he were elected. It's all good to blame Obama for every problem now, but when the same problems and same policies persist under a Romney regime, who will be the target of angst?

Obama should press the Mittster to fill in some of the blanks on his deficit cutting plan. How to maintain military spending and cut taxes without gutting programs that many depend on? Oh sure, now he says the tax cuts will be "revenue neutral"; let's spell out in advance just which tax deductions and perks will be eliminated. In the past, this sort of approach has never flown in congress. Powerful interests stand ready to defend their specific tax perks. Also, recall how just a few months ago, the Republican congressional leadership refused to sign on to elimination of deductions for corporate jets - they called it a "tax increase". Mr. Romney, it's time to 'splain just how you would do this.

Normally, I would not be so open in my bias toward the Dems. However, given the foam-at-the-mouth extreme rightwing lunacy that has overtaken the Republican party, it's frightening to imagine how the landscape could change without a Democrat in the White House to block their draconian impulses. For the first time in many decades, a serious attempt is being made to pass a national "right to work" bill that would gut the labor movement. Elimination of unemployment and food stamps would be next. An entire generation's progress on many humanitarian issues could be rolled back. If this happened to coincide with another economic downturn, serious civil unrest would result.

If all this political fighting is turning you off, here is an alternative to take your mind off it. All the blood and guts, and none of the boring pedantic politics!

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