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A European perpective on the last US presidential debate

by Frank Schnittger Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 08:10:17 AM EST

I watched the debate in Spain at 3.00AM so wasn't at my sharpest. Europe wasn't mentioned much except when Romney choose Greece as a metaphor for things going sour if the national deficit isn't tackled. I wonder how Greek US voters feel about that! Some impressions from a European perspective:

  1. Obama immediately started attacking Romney - didn't seem quite "Presidential", "above the fray" yadda yadda

  2. Obama was at a disadvantage in attacking Romney because Romney has zero actual foreign policy experience, so all Obama's criticisms seemed personal, almost petty. Romney could attack broad Government decisions or events or outcomes, and it didn't come across as quite so personal.

  3. Romney tacked so hard to the left on substance, it's hard to see how this could not hurt him with some of his thinking base - although the wingnuts were probably just keen to see him act "Presidential" and couldn't give a crap about actual policy.

  4. Romney's attempt to say he never would have "let Detroit go bankrupt" was so incredible it probably undermined his credibility on every other issue. Sometimes you just have to own up and admit you made a mistake - it hurts a lot less that coming across as totally unbelievable and dishonest - and improves your credibility elsewhere because everybody accepts you will make some mistakes and will be relieved that you own up when you do.

  5. Romney said the word "Peace" so many times in his closing - even where it didn't fit into the meaning of the rest of the sentence it almost sounded ridiculous - a palinesque word salad - as if some focus group polling told him that was the word which got the most positive emotional response from swing voters.

  6. Diehard Republicans will be satisfied that Romney looked Presidential compared to a carping President - some will worry that he tacked so far to the centre that his positions often seemed indistinguishable if not to the left of Obama. It will reassure some he is not a wingnut and others that he is "ready for office".

  7. On the Dem side Obama did what he had to do to reassure and bring out his base.

  8. My guess is that the few remaining undecideds will call it a near draw and go with the "devil the know" rather than an unknown and unknowable Romney who spent the night trying to show he is not Bush, but who is still too much of a reminder of the Bush years.

  9. If Romney were the incumbent and Obama the challenger, undecideds might have gone with Romney as the safer bet.

  10. If Romney loses narrowly he might yet become the GOP nominee in 2016. He has probably done enough to make Republican's feel he is their best hope in a contest they will be absolutely desperate to win after 8 years of Obama. He will then be regarded as "experienced" even though he will be 69 and won't actually have held down a real job in 14 years.

The MSM/polling reaction to the debate of a slight/pronounced Obama edge will probably also help swing those undecided voters who switched to the football long before the end of the debate. It will help create a narrative that Obama is back on his game and that the first debate was an uncharacteristic "blip".

Some voters need reassurance that the President still wants it badly enough to really fight for them. The setback at the first debate may actually help Obama in the long run - killing any complacency on the Democrat side and reassuring independents that Obama is not too aloof or arrogant to stop listening to them or caring about their concerns. Everybody likes a comeback kid. Romney had that going for him after the first debate - now that psychological edge is with the President.

It's better to have the late momentum rather than to peak too early and have the narrative saying your lead is slipping coming up to the polls. It's surprising how many voters make a very very late impulse decision almost after they enter the polling booth. In the privacy of that space the temptation is to play it safe - whatever fighting public positions you may have taken with your friends outside.


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European Tribune - Comments - A European perpective on the last US presidential debate

If Romney loses narrowly he might yet become the GOP nominee in 2016. He has probably done enough to make Republican's feel he is their best hope in a contest they will be absolutely desperate to win after 8 years of Obama. He will then be regarded as "experienced" even though he will be 69 and won't actually have held down a real job in 14 years.

My impression is that the field of republican candidates was so wacky this year because less wacky candidates were waiting for 2016. So Romney got the nod as the only serious candidate and all the big business support that comes with it. If he loses now I think that he will not run in 2016.

Obama Unlikely to Get Big Debate Bounce, but a Small One Could Matter - NYTimes.com

A CBS News poll of undecided voters who watched the debate found 53 percent giving it to Mr. Obama, 23 percent to Mitt Romney and 24 percent declaring it a tie.

Mr. Obama's margin of victory in the poll was slightly wider than Mr. Romney's following the first presidential debate in Denver, which a similar CBS News poll gave to Mr. Romney at 46 percent to 22 percent.

Other polls, conducted among a broader group of voters rather than just undecided ones, suggested a smaller margin for the president.

So this should mean an Obama win. At least if there are no surprises.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 08:42:08 AM EST
Romney got a 4% bounce from his first debate win whilst Obama got almost nothing from Biden's and his own wins in the second and third debates. So the jury is still out as to how much the debate itself will ultimately matter - except in the sense that it reassured Dem activists and consolidated his GOTV efforts.

If it come down to GOTV, my sense is that Obama will win with a few states to spare.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 08:47:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is really an Irish perspective. For a European perspective, check the German papers today. Südeutsche
Romney siegt nach drei Runden
Die Zeit
Romney besteht den Commander-in-Chief-Test
No comment.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 08:51:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's actually really my personal perspective but who wants to read my personal perspective on Daily Kos so I have appointed myself their informal European political correspondent!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 09:01:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
????
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 09:17:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The German reporters seem to think Romney won the debates.....
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 09:28:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Reminds me of a comment by Brit photographer Terry Fincher from years ago on the Germans: "Three coats of grey paint and they'd be at it again." :-)

Checking him out I find he died in 2008, great guy.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/oct/08/pressandpublishing.photography

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 12:00:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RIght, I gathered that.

I'm just curious about the mindset that leads to that conclusion.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 12:07:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No idea. I had better things to do that read the articles. But I've had a low opinion of Die Zeit's view of the U.S. for a long time (they actually mentioned Gore's alleged claim to have invented the internet years after any other respectable paper would do so). I was more surprised to see such a headline in the SZ.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 01:13:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And maybe, a fondness for horses and bayonets? (not to mention those gold ingots...)
by Bernard on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 03:44:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't like that line at all. I felt, I don't know, that it sounded arrogant and even somewhat contemptous of soldiers, which is made worse by his compulsory exhortation of said troops a few seconds later. That's just an emotional thing, but I wouldn't be surprised if others share it too. And yes Mr. President, we know there are such things as aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines. But we might still worry about the US Navy.

Check out the video and tell me what you think.

And people still do use bayonets.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 06:00:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only contempt I perceive is of Romney. It still seems professoral and somewhat undignified.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 07:00:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Contempt for the argument that fewer ships in the US Navy today than in 1916 proving that the US Navy is a weaker force than it was in 1916 ...

... seems well-earned contempt.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Oct 24th, 2012 at 10:08:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No matter how good a ship is, it can't be in two places at once. There are very real worries about the US Navy force structure, the shipbuilding plan and so on, and a lot of this worry stems from the superexpensive destroyers/cruisers (who more or less play the role of the battleships of yore) and the Navy refusal to build cheaper frigates instead, something along the lines of the La Fayette class (and don't say Littoral Combat Ship, or I'll scream).

Anyway, I got the feeling that the President just waved away a serious issue in quite a cavalier way, so as to get a nice put-down on Romney.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 04:43:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, modern ships can be in more places during a given time interval than 1916 vintage ships could. Because modern ships are faster.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 05:29:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They still cannot be in more than one place at any given moment, even if the speed argument you make does make certain sense. Still...

Chris Cavas' interview with Romney surrogate John Lehman last week brought up the fleet size debate once again.  And again, a chorus of observers leaped to their feet to assert that comparing fleet size across the years is irrelevant, pointing to (as this article demonstrates) the increased range of influence a single ship today can exercise, largely through its long range precision weapons.

There is no disputing this.  I give up.  I agree.  Count me in.

To a point.  And that point is, when one considers a fleet in combat--actually killing people and wrecking things--this comparison has merit.

The problem as I see it, is that our Navy spends the overwhelming majority of its time not killing people and wrecking things.  It spends most of its time trying to convince some of the folly of conflict, while convincing others of the certainty of our response in their defense.  In this effort, the range of weapons and sensors--while not irrelevant--is far less relevant than in actual warfighting.  Networks don't scare anyone, and they don't assure anyone.

These functions are most effectively carried out by the presence--seen and inferred--of ships and submarines.  In this pursuit--numbers matter more than networks and CEP.  There has been a good deal of work done recently in assessing the ingredients of conventional deterrence, and what comes up time after time is the preponderance of force levels IN THE REGION in question.  Ships in Norfolk matter less than ships in the neighborhood, just as troops at Fort Drum matter less than troops in the region.  This is the entire premise upon which forward presence is built.

If one values forward presence, then fleet size MUST matter.



Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 10:57:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tl;dr version: If you want gunboat diplomacy, you need moar gunboats.

But I don't, so I don't.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 12:03:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Antipathy to US foreign policy which results in a lack of such policy from the US doesn't mean the end of gunboat diplomacy. It only means someone else will fill the vacuum, left by the US Navy.

And someone must protect the sea lines of communication if international is to be possible.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 12:14:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
international trade

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 12:15:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is, however, some space between total withdrawal from foreign affairs and routinely anchoring large fleets offshore from other people's capitals to intimidate them.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 12:51:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From what we have seen the gunboat policy of today depends less on scaring the general population and more on scaring the political and military elite. If anything being visibly intimidating decreases the political space for the local elite to find their interests perfectly aligned with those of the US. And surely the local elite can realise the odds without parading boats outside their capital?

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 01:00:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently Romney's naval advisor builds ships for the Navy. I don't think a serious debate was on the cards.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 05:36:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, nobody would want to hear that:



A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 08:38:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you think that Romney - or the general viewers - were interested in having having a serious debate on Navy shipbuilding strategy in the context of multiple strategic risks you might have a point. But then I don't think you know what US Presidential debates are all about.

A separate point is that navy ships and submarines and aircraft carriers carry planes and missiles with ranges sufficient to ensure that you don't have to be in two places at once in most foreseeable instances.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 08:53:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd look for an increase in boat numbers more than ship numbers ~ like the role that the 88 foot Stiletto was an experimental platform for.

Dump the Marine Expeditionary Force equipment and put in a well-deck / dry slip elevator, and the four boat mothership capacity of a modern version of the Whidby Island class Dock Landing Ship ought to be able to be increased to eight or more boats.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 05:29:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think "Undignified" might be the European and (officially the) GOP view.

Everyone's mind is already made up on the issue, what was on the line was whether "our guy" could "win" the debate. If yes, I might get off the couch and vote in November.

So where some saw "undignified" others saw "not boring" and "finally standing up for himself". Maybe even someone you'd like to have a beer with.

Whether that should be what decides elections is a different question ...


-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Oct 24th, 2012 at 10:15:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but Obama was "dignified" and "presidential" in the first debate, and got his clock cleaned.

In terms of what matters from the last debate ~ short clips on youtube ~ Obama cleaned Romney's clock in the last debate. Just absolutely wiped the floor with him, like it was a pro-wrestling decided in advance pasting of Romney.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Oct 25th, 2012 at 01:57:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My point exactly.


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 05:39:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the US military still has a hundred or so horses as well, but they no longer do bayonet training in basic training in the army.

The most brain dead reporting in the "morning after" was the US ABC network which reported "zOMG the military still has bayonets", just quoting the numbers the Army and Marine Corps owns without even asking whether that was more or less than we had during the Civil War.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 08:33:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am reminded that the British charged the Argentinians with bayonets fixed at Goose Green during the Falklands war.

Apparently the soldiers themselves couldn't believe it when the order was given, but they had them and used them and were able to gain an unlikely victory

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 24th, 2012 at 02:38:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, with respect to Romney's "argument" that Obama has been overseeing a decline in US naval strength because the US has fewer ships today than in 1916 ...

... not zero ships, but fewer ships ...

... does the British Army have more bayonets today than they had in 1916, or fewer?


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Oct 24th, 2012 at 10:07:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The British Army was fighting a total war, including conscription, with one bayonet for every man. So of course there are fewer bayonets. But this is a very simplified way of discussing a complex naval issue.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 04:46:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"But this is a very simplified way of discussing a complex naval issue."

And just comparing the bare number of ships isn't?

by IM on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 05:02:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
YES!

That's the point: Romney has been stumping repeatedly on the argument that "the US has fewer ships today than in 1916".

Hence the Horses and Bayonets rebuttal.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 05:31:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, that was a great line.  The Republicans are always carping about how the Democrats are dismantling the armed forces, and it's just crap.  That "too few ships" theme is one every Republican talking head has been pounding on, and it's long past time the BS was called.  He made the right point: These ain't your grandfather's armed forces.  And remember, he was talking to a man who a month ago was wondering why you can't open the windows on a jet airliner.
by rifek on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 08:47:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
His line was "we also had more horses and bayonets then" - making the point that merely counting ships is comparing 1918 apples with 2012 oranges. He could have gone on to say that one Ohio class submarine has more firepower than the total armed forces of all but a handful of foreign powers - and the US has 18 of them. - thus nicely bringing in the name Ohio at a time when there is a 50% likelihood that Ohio will be THE tipping point state that decides the election.

his follow-up point that we have things called Aircraft carriers and submarines was condescending and perhaps arrogant, but perhaps necessary to highlight just how stupid the standard wingnut line about ships is. That's one Republican talking point which is permanently off their list.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 24th, 2012 at 04:32:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He could have gone on to say that one Ohio class submarine has more firepower than the total armed forces of all but a handful of foreign powers - and the US has 18 of them. - thus nicely bringing in the name Ohio at a time when there is a 50% likelihood that Ohio will be THE tipping point state that decides the election.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Oct 24th, 2012 at 04:36:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought the delivery could've been better.  If he'd done it in the stereotypical Calm, Dry, Mildy-Assholish Obama way, it would've been a home run with me.

I liked it anyway, but I like sarcasm.  Most people don't, in my experience.  

I thought it was contemptuous of Romney, not soldiers.  And the point was right: Even setting aside nuclear weapons, today's American Navy would turn 1917's American Navy into oatmeal.

Romney might as well be criticizing him for the Army not standing in a line in open fields like "gentlemen" when it fights the Taliban too.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 24th, 2012 at 07:41:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew J Jones:
If he'd done it in the stereotypical Calm, Dry, Mildy-Assholish Obama way, it would've been a home run with me.

But you are not the target audience. Beer swilling low information undecided who may or may not vote are, and you have to lay it out pretty graphically for those guys to get it...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 24th, 2012 at 01:34:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's true.  I'm a beer-swilling high-information voter.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Oct 24th, 2012 at 06:15:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The other audience are unenthusiastic likely Obama voters. The Republican vote turns out, year after year, rain or shine. Big chunks of the Democratic vote are much more volatile in terms of turnout.

In a swing voter state like Iowa and Colorado, getting the uninformed low information undecided voter is critical. In a base turn-out state like Virginia, its much more important to get the base fired up.

The horses and bayonets does both ~ it makes the point about how much the 1916 ships comparison is a load of bullshit in a way that even a low information voter can easily understand, and as a "zinger" that can be spread around on twitter and facebook, it gets the base fired up.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Oct 25th, 2012 at 02:02:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see your point about contempt for soldiers. I really don't get how you come to that conclusion.

He was emphasizing that Romney was pandering on this issue because the Navy itself had recommended a different approach to its needs.

by Upstate NY on Wed Oct 24th, 2012 at 10:35:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Starvid:
I didn't like that line at all. I felt, I don't know, that it sounded arrogant and even somewhat contemptous of soldiers
It's your prerogative.

Starvid:

But we might still worry about the US Navy.
And what exactly are you worrying about? Today's Navy, US or elsewhere, is a hundred times more powerful than in 1916, even with fewer ships overall.

Starvid:

Check out the video and tell me what you think.

As expressed above: that Romney's line "fewer ships in the Navy today than in 1916, ergo we're weaker", is incredibly dumbfuck. And yes, it's a standard GOP talking point: those peaceniks, "apologize-to-the terrists" Dems who hate America and weaken our troops. Well, that's no excuse: bullshit is as bullshit does. Romney served it and Obama gave him a well deserved spanking.
by Bernard on Wed Oct 24th, 2012 at 04:11:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the point is that the US Navy is built to win a previous decade's war that never occurred.

But the US Navy has 51 frigates and 62 destroyers, even if the frigates are not as light as one might prefer for a primarily Sea Lane Control mission ... if so many were not dedicated to defending the increasingly vulnerable to missile attack full sized aircraft carriers, 12 groups of four frigates, four ASW/AAW destroyers (aka cruiser), and a fast attack boat mothership could easily be put together, some helicopter only around a Land Ship Dock mothership, some helicopter / jump jet around a Helicopter Dock mothership.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 05:47:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wait a minute, I misread the Wikipedia machine, it was 51 ships of the Oliver Hazard Perry class built ~ I believe its only 23 frigates in active service, so after six are decommissioned in 2013, only 17 frigates remaining.

That would be eight groups of two frigates, four DDG destroyers, a helicopter carrier and a dock landing ship, with the helicopter carrier and landing platform dock carrying a streetfighter squad of six fast attack missile boats each, with 20 Harriers, 6 ASW helicopters on the helicopter carrier in a sea control mode, 4 ASW helicopters on the landing platform dock, eight ASW helicopters on the four destroyers, and four smaller ASW helicopters on the two frigates.

Given a mission to pursue sea lane defense in the Atlantic, the west Pacific and through to Japan and Australia, that's quite a number of ships ...
... though taking on the mission that the Navy is presently pursuing to land an expeditionary force of Marines at some random location in some random part of the globe and blow shit up implies that most of those Sea Lane Defense Groups are too busy in the role of undermining the long term security of the US to be used for sea lane defense.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 09:26:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When did Rupert Murdoch buy all the German papers?  The only other explanation for someone declaring Rmoney the winner would be massive hallucinogen use.
by rifek on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 08:39:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looking at the "odds of winning" chart, it looks very much like what the Obama campaign "got" from the the second Presidential debate was a halt to their slide and the start of a slow improvement in their chances.

Since foreign policy is not deciding this election, what Obama will have gained from what was a clear win in the debate (according to all of the snap polls) is likely to be more of the same.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 08:28:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When you are already, if slightly, ahead, a draw is as good as a win, but he got a win anyway...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 24th, 2012 at 01:36:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
These debates are often so reductive to appeal to the American electorate. This is why Romney refused to engage on foreign policy and only talked about the economy. It's also why Obama attacked Romney by calling him a flip-flopper.

A trap that Romney fell into by claiming he didn't want to dissolve the US auto industry.

Gov'ts don't pick winners apparently. Yes, it would have been great to see all the hedge funds and banks implode. Gov't should have stayed out--apparently.

by Upstate NY on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 11:55:00 AM EST
Yes! I recall the anguished cry of 'Tyler Durden' in the fall of 2008, as the TARP was being passed:
"They are going to be picking winners and losers!" He went on to lament that there would then be no brake on the misbehavior of the TBTFs.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 02:09:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you are a wingnut GOPER, Government is for losers...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 24th, 2012 at 01:37:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, I expected better of this group.

American voters are no worse than any others. They're all human.

The very nationalistic European voters are still decades behind the Americans in understanding union.

Democracy is so obviously not the way to govern humans in this day and age.

Yet no one speaks of it, even when it's so obviously the subject of discussion.

What's better than this crumpled corpocracy?

How do we get there? What's the first step?

Align culture with our nature.

by ormondotvos (ormond no spam lmi net no spam) on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 12:00:51 AM EST
if it were properly implemented...

As far as Europe is concerned, you are still talking about 27 different democracies in the EU alone, and an EU polity that is only slowly emerging. That is a huge subject for another day.

As far as the US is concerned, I would have thought the first step is to repeal Citizen's United, and to redefine all corporate donations for what they truly are - Bribes. The notions that Corporations are people and free speech = money have to be destroyed once and for all.  That and outlawing partisan Gerrymandering and control of the voting and counting processes.

However such fundamental political reforms are not even on the mainstream agenda in US politics and weren't mentioned in the debates, so that that is off topic as far as this diary is concerned.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 05:20:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Democracy is so obviously not the way to govern humans in this day and age.

OK, I'm open to suggestions/alternatives. If the general public is to have NO significant say on important issues, who runs the show? Certainly not overeducated schlubs like Mig and Me. Not us friggin', genuine problem solvers.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 11:43:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If Romney loses narrowly he might yet become the GOP nominee in 2016. He has probably done enough to make Republican's feel he is their best hope in a contest they will be absolutely desperate to win after 8 years of Obama.

2016 promises an impressive field of assholes. Jeb Bush ... ready to go, his younger retarded brother forgotten. Arnie Schwartzynigger ... busy rehabilitating his image with his autobiography; if Raygun the master bullshitter from H'wood can make it, why not him? And what about Fuckabee? ... already has the inside track with FOX. Plenty of biggies.

The good news ... it's only a life sentence. You eventually leave this planet of idiots.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 11:58:36 AM EST
How beautifully offensively put! :)


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Mon Oct 29th, 2012 at 08:37:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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