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Monday, October 22, 2012

Blogging the debate

I appreciate the reminder that this is the 50-year anniversary of the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis. That is indeed a sobering reminder.

Romney preempts Obama on OBL by congratulating Obama and then saying "We can't kill our way out of this mess."

Romney seemed to let Obama off the hook on Libya. Romney barely talked about Benghazi at all. Maybe he's saving it for his closing like Obama saved 47% for his closing in the previous debate.

All very nice for Romney to talk about what Muslim scholars say we need to do to help these societies. How are we going to do that?

9:11 The 1980s are calling to ask for their foreign policy back. Haha. I don't think such a canned line goes over well.

"Attacking me is not an agenda." Good line, but of course that is what we are here to listen to.

9:13 I knew that Obama's line about having more flexibility after the election would make an appearance. Romney should use that more clearly. I think people who weren't aware of that comment won't know what he's referring to.

9:15 Obama has his own numbered list. Romney's style is catching on. But does anyone really believe that Obama really has Israel as #2 on his list.

9:22 Romney gives the goal of removing Assad and says he doesn't want military involvement. Can it really be done just by leaving it to Turkey and other countries?

9:23 So what is Obama doing to promote a moderate Syrian leadership?

9:24 Obama keeps mentioning Israel and now he's quoting "red lines." He is pretending to be more of a friend of Israel than he really has been. I hope Mitt nails him on that.

9:27 always good to criticize previous administrations; support of Mubarak.

Romney making good points on how our economy is weakening our position in the world. Good to bring i sequestration. But I wonder if undecided voters even know what that is.

Nowhere in the world is the American role in the world than it was stronger. Obama got shafted a bit in not being able to answer that directly.

9:29 People vote for peace? Didn't Gaza vote in Hamas and Egypt just vote in the Muslim Brotherhood.

Good to connect economy to foreign policy.

9:31 America is one indispensable nation. Does that make us exceptional?

It's a myth that our alliances were weaker before Obama came in. Such a canard.

Now Obama tells us he has a plan. Why hasn't he done all these wonderful things in the past 4 years?

9:33 I wish Mitt would stop telling us he knows what it takes to create a stronger economy. Now we're going to hear his five simple steps again. He's done that each debate. I think people are a bit tired of it.

I guess these guys would rather talk about the economy instead of foreign policy.

9:35 Now we're going to talk education - why even bother having a foreign policy debate.

And why should the President being the one to hire new teachers?

Romney is right - the research shows that class size doesn't make a difference. It's the quality of the teacher. And nothing the federal government does is going to help that.

So Massachusetts has smart kids. Was that really due to anything Romney did?

Notice how they just overran Bob Schieffer's desire to talk about foreign policy.

Why is Schieffer interrupting with his skepticism on Romney's spending plans?

9:42 I guess we've totally thrown out the idea of a foreign policy debate.

Obama says sequester won't happen. Let's remember that.

Obama's own defense secretary said how dangerous those defense cuts are. Though his line about horses and bayonets was good.

But I wonder how his contemptuous snark is playing with undecided women.

9:45 Just repeating that Iran getting a nuclear weapon is unacceptable is "just words."

9:48 Romney has seven points on Iran! Take that five-point plans.

What would indicting Ahmadinejad do? As if we could get the UN or any international body to go along with that.

Why didn't Romney nail Obama on how he's treated Israel and Netanyahu I guess the Romney strategy is to be nice, confident, and firm so he seems presidential instead of hitting Obama in his weak spots.

9:53 Good list of how Obama has projected weakness to Iran. Though the CNN undecided gadget twirlers didn't like it.

9:55 The world was not divided when he came into office.

9:56 Romney was excellent there talking about Obama skipping Israel and going to other nations to criticize US. We don't dictate to other nations; we free nations from dictators.

9:57 Obama is prepared to talk about Israel - when he visited in 2007. I hope Mitt Slams him on how he's treated Israel. You can tell he's worried about losing the Jewish vote.

10:02 Ah, here comes the touchdown dance on bin Laden. You knew it was coming. And now he's bragging that he made a better decision than Joe Biden. But is he really trying to say that Romney or any other president (except Joe Biden) would have given that order. "I killed bin Laden." It's all about The One.

10:05 So how is Romney going to keep Pakistan stable?

10:07 They're all ignoring the reality of what Afghanistan will become as soon as we leave. They're becoming a mess already.

Now we're back to the economy.

10:11 If terrorists are going to come rushing back into Afghanistan, why are we so blithe about leaving it?

10:15 Ohio and Pennsylvania name-dropped. Drink.

It's not government that makes business successful! So true.

Romney has an interesting rhetorical device of using how another nation looks at us and how they're seeing us as weak. I think it's a strong way to call Obama weak but use the other nation as the one doing it.

10:21 Romney had a strong answer on China and Obama comes back with the lame and discredited attack about how Romney invested in companies that sent jobs overseas.

10:23 Once again we're rehearsing the same points on the auto bailout. I'm so tired of how Obama has mischaracterized Romney on that.

Good point that investing in companies is not investing in research.

I guess we need Bob Schieffer to play the Candy Crowley role and fact check on Obama's lies on what Romney said about the auto bailout.

Romney left out that Obama shafted the people who had invested in GM so he could give money to the union. And he left out that the car companies then went through bankruptcy anyway.

Good pivot of Romney to say we don't want to go backward to the policies of the past 4 years. Good to talk about what a tragedy this economy has been as Romney looks Obama right in the eyes.

I love teachers too!


mark said...

While liberal blogs seem to think Obama is cleaning Romney's clock, I think it is very close. I'd like to see Obama bring up all the Bush advisors that are guiding Romney. Simple question: Knowing what we now know about wmds, was invading Iraq the right decision?

Eric said...

Mark, that's not a terribly useful question.

Nobody gets to make decisions with the benefits of hindsight; we all have to make the decisions with the information available at the time.

The appropriate question would be "Knowing what we knew *then*, was invading Iraq the right decision?"

Alternatively, the question should be "Knowing what we knew *then*, should we have abandoned sanctions against Iraq?"

Because as I recall it, that seemed to be the only two options. Lots of people were lobbying to drop the sanctions, and even the limited sanction relief (Oil for Food) turned out to be horribly corrupt.

mark said...

No Eric, it is a very useful question. We now know the decision to go war was based on incorrect information and/or lies, yet many still maintain (or pretend to maintain) it was the right decision. War should be the very last resort, not a multiple choice.

Eric said...

Mark, no, it's not terribly useful. By your criterion, then, we should have stayed out of WW II; many reputable historians claim that the US provoked the Japanese, and that Roosevelt knew beforehand of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Yet many still maintain it was the right decision.

War should be the very last resort, not a multiple choice.