Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Debating the meaning of debates

We’ve all heard the countless number of political pundits who claim that Mitt Romney revitalized his presidential campaign by showing he actually has a pulse when he performed in last week’s first debate of this election cycle.
BIDEN: The avenger?

There have been many analysis written that say Romney may well be on the path to a Nov. 6 victory, while others are trying to figure what President Barack Obama will have to do to either overcome the Romney advantage (or take back a lead – depending on one’s partisan perspective) come Election Day.

WE EVEN GOT that ultimate acknowledgement of people paying attention – a Saturday Night Live parody of a debate that showed an Obama character as some stuffy government geek getting smacked about by a man named Mitt.

On Monday morning, I sat through an analysis claiming that Vice President Joe Biden would have to go on the offensive in his debate scheduled for Thursday against GOP VP hopeful Paul Ryan if there is to be any hope for the Democratic ticket.

Yet I can’t help but think that all this analysis is such overkill!

Is this really all a matter of the ideologues shouting so loudly that we, the real people of the electorate, are assuming that volume somehow infers a touch of truth?

I’M NOT ARGUING that Obama really “won” the debate held last week. I wouldn’t know. I didn’t see it. I had to work that night, and by the time I was finished and in a position to sit in front of a television set to pay attention, the event was in its final seconds.

I missed it! And a part of me thinks I’m probably better off. I suspect that watching a political debate kills off more brain cells than having enough drinks to warrant an 0.08-or-higher blood/alcohol level.

But I can’t help remember a conversation I stumbled into last week out in suburban Sauk Village.
RYAN: The clincher?

Three men, all of whom were solid Obama supporters, remain convinced that all the political pundits and analysts don’t have a clue what they’re talking about when they say Romney won.

THEY CLAIM THAT all the facts and figures that Romney used in his argument were so blatantly false that it should be held against him that he doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. All emotion, and no substance, is the way they’d characterize the Romney campaign – both before and after debating. Which was the gist of the Chicago Sun-Times editorial on the debate; Romney won on "emotion,"while Obama won on "fact."

It also amused me to hear these men say that it is unrealistic to expect Obama to be able to “fix” the economy in a four-year term – considering how much it was mucked up by a previous GOP administration.

What is amusing to me is the fact that too many of the Obama people really seemed to have a fantasy vision of what Obama was – as though they expected miracles and are now disappointed to learn that he’s a mere mortal.

And not just mortal, but a man who had some serious ideological opposition standing in his way – doing everything they could to thwart him and ensure that nothing he tried to do would succeed.

THE FACT THAT there have been some successes in an Obama Administration (although not as many as we’d like) is probably a sign that he might be worthy of “term two.”

If they say Mitt won, he must have

But that ultimately will be a choice for the voters to make when they start casting ballots at early voting centers later this month; along with at polling places proper on Election Day. That is, assuming they get themselves properly registered to vote – the deadline for which is Tuesday.

And I remain convinced that the bulk of people have already made up their minds. Not on Thursday, nor next Tuesday when the presidential candidates do their “town hall” format confrontation.

They’re not really going to be swayed by which person can shout down the other!


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