My first thought about last night's second Presidential Debate was: did MSNBC have to hire a search team to assemble so many stupid people for their focus group? Good Lord, Undecideds, these two men are night and day! Their policies are night and day! Their personalities are night and day! How could you possibly have watched them campaign for months and debate twice and seen a million ads about each of them and still not have made up your freakin' minds?
You either think Obama has done as well as possible with what he inherited four years into his administration or you don't. You either think Romney has better ideas for where to go from here or you don't. You either think abortion should be made illegal or you don't. You either think gays should be able to marry or you don't. You either think Dream kids should be able to stay in America or you don't. You either agree with Mitt Romney that it is fair for him to pay less taxes on a $20 million income than a teacher or you don't. You either believe 47 percent of Americans are freeloaders or you don't. How hard could it be? I don't understand you. Are you going to go with the last ad you see before going into the voting booth?
My second thought in reflecting on the debate was that Mitt Romney is an arrogant asshole. I used to work in a corporate office in which the executives left every Friday at noon for lunch at the country club followed by an afternoon of golf. They made a special point to inform us that they'd be out for the rest of the day, seeming to enjoy rubbing it in. The Plant Manager always said, "wish me luck." And I always thought, "luck? I hope you trip over a tee and break your neck." All the employees despised him and his cronies for their attitude of smug superiority toward the "little people". Mitt Romney makes me feel the same way.
And you know what finally happened to that plant? The executives bought it. They ran it into bankruptcy. They walked away with big $$$ and the workers walked away to unemployment lines and lost pensions. My bosses were pioneers in what eventually became the Bain Capital model of investment.
My third thought about the debate was: thank God, Obama brought his A-game this time and didn't let Romney get away with the obfuscations (okay, call them lies) and bullying tactics of the last one. And thank you, Candy Crowley for not being a door mat as Jim Lehrer was. The cracks in Romney's facade showed last night when he actually had to face an opponent who fought back. He was hectoring; he was contemptuous; he was in-your-face; he was holier-than-thou. Obama doesn't like Romney either and that was plain to see but his reactions were more direct. Romney's most naked moment came when he thought he was moving in for the kill when he questioned whether Obama had called Libya an act of terrorism in the Rose Garden. He was wrong, of course, and both the President and Crowley called him on it and deflated his "gotcha" balloon.
And lastly, I wonder what effect the debate will have on the electorate. When I went to Facebook, all the Romney supporters were still Romney supporters who thought he had won or at least, that he would have won if Candy Crowley hadn't been in the tank for Obama. All the Obama supporters were still Obama supporters who thought he had won in a breeze. The spinners were all there spinning like tops.
Are there really a significant group of people out there who continue to agonize about their decision? Are there enough of them to make a difference? Romney was gaining some momentum prior to this debate. Was that because of the last one and will they now swing back to Obama? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Myself, I wonder how any woman could vote for Romney when he so clearly is laps behind on women's issues. Do women know about forcible rape and Personhood Amendments and the Blunt Amendment and what another conservative justice will do on the Supreme Court and the abolishing of Planned Parenthood and how they will cope with a child with a pre-existing condition if Obamacare goes away? I wonder how any gay person could vote for Romney when he is so clearly behind the curve on their issues. Do gays know that he opposes their full equality? I wonder how any Hispanic could vote for Romney when he is so clearly out of touch with the future. Do Latinos know about self-deportation and the "papers, please" act that Romney lauded as a model for the nation? I wonder how any young person could vote for Romney. Do students know that he was opposed to eliminating the banks as the middle man and giving the funds directly to students for student loans which Obama did? I wonder how any poor person could vote for Romney. Are poor people aware of how he demeaned them by calling them victims who refused to take responsibility for their lives? I wonder how any union worker, especially auto workers, could vote for Romney. Do they know he advocated letting Detroit go bankrupt, despite what he says now?
Rich people yes, I understand Romney's appeal for them. Bankers, yes. Lobbyists, yes. Oil companies, yes. But the rest of us are nuts if we vote for Mitt Romney.