So who won this debate?

Thanks for the live blog from last night.  So who won this debate?

Do you think the more aggressive stance from Obama, with the two candidates getting into each other’s space and into each other’s face, paid off?

How will this debate play with undecided voters and the general public?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    There was a debate last night?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    There was a debate last night?

  • Dan Kempin

    “So who won this debate?”

    The Moderator. She got in some good shots against Romney.

    ( I’m not sure why Romney didn’t have a “second” for this duel like the president did, but give her credit. She covered the President’s back quite well.)

  • Dan Kempin

    “So who won this debate?”

    The Moderator. She got in some good shots against Romney.

    ( I’m not sure why Romney didn’t have a “second” for this duel like the president did, but give her credit. She covered the President’s back quite well.)

  • SKPeterson

    The official answer is “The American People.” Stick to the script yahoos.

  • SKPeterson

    The official answer is “The American People.” Stick to the script yahoos.

  • fjsteve

    Way too negative. Way too much bickering by both candidates. As I’m watching the little public approval ticker at the bottom of the screen I kept asking myself why they continually got bogged down in attacks, knowing the approval rating dropped every time they did. I know that’s just the view of undecided voters and they need to speak to all voters but I suspect most people are similarly put-off by attack politics. Then, when I regained my senses, I realized that they’re politicians and the high road is not even on their map.

    That said, I’d have to give the edge ever so slightly to Obama if only because Romney lacked specifics in a lot of ways and kept saying “I know how to create jobs!”. Well, that’s fine if you do but please tell us so we can decide whether we think your ideas will work.

  • fjsteve

    Way too negative. Way too much bickering by both candidates. As I’m watching the little public approval ticker at the bottom of the screen I kept asking myself why they continually got bogged down in attacks, knowing the approval rating dropped every time they did. I know that’s just the view of undecided voters and they need to speak to all voters but I suspect most people are similarly put-off by attack politics. Then, when I regained my senses, I realized that they’re politicians and the high road is not even on their map.

    That said, I’d have to give the edge ever so slightly to Obama if only because Romney lacked specifics in a lot of ways and kept saying “I know how to create jobs!”. Well, that’s fine if you do but please tell us so we can decide whether we think your ideas will work.

  • Tom Hering

    Like I said in last night’s thread, the general opinion will be that Obama won – but not by much. And he’ll get a bump in most polls – but not very much. Yet “not by much” and “not very much” are probably enough for an incumbent to win reelection.

    I can’t wait for next Tuesday’s debate, with its foreign policy focus. If Romney again politicizes the Benghazi tragedy, we’re going to see what we saw last night, and then some: a controlled but genuinely angry response from the President. And that’ll be some great television.

  • Tom Hering

    Like I said in last night’s thread, the general opinion will be that Obama won – but not by much. And he’ll get a bump in most polls – but not very much. Yet “not by much” and “not very much” are probably enough for an incumbent to win reelection.

    I can’t wait for next Tuesday’s debate, with its foreign policy focus. If Romney again politicizes the Benghazi tragedy, we’re going to see what we saw last night, and then some: a controlled but genuinely angry response from the President. And that’ll be some great television.

  • Tom Hering

    fjsteve @ 4, right. Romney says he knows how to create jobs, but how’s he going to create jobs if he’s President – if he’s the top guy in government – and government, as he keeps insisting, doesn’t create jobs. I’m very confused! :-D

  • Tom Hering

    fjsteve @ 4, right. Romney says he knows how to create jobs, but how’s he going to create jobs if he’s President – if he’s the top guy in government – and government, as he keeps insisting, doesn’t create jobs. I’m very confused! :-D

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    I would say the moderator lost rather than won, because everyone witnessed her getting into the argument and then getting it wrong. She also cut off Romney on Fast and Furious while allowing Obama to go on about hiring teachers. Textbook media bias.

  • http://necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    I would say the moderator lost rather than won, because everyone witnessed her getting into the argument and then getting it wrong. She also cut off Romney on Fast and Furious while allowing Obama to go on about hiring teachers. Textbook media bias.

  • fjsteve

    Tom, #6, just from what I know about Romney’s platform I can only extrapolate that he believes the government can create jobs by creating an atmosphere where businesses can thrive, rather than actually hire more people directly or infuse funds into programs that hire people. I just wish he’d emphasized that point more clearly.

  • fjsteve

    Tom, #6, just from what I know about Romney’s platform I can only extrapolate that he believes the government can create jobs by creating an atmosphere where businesses can thrive, rather than actually hire more people directly or infuse funds into programs that hire people. I just wish he’d emphasized that point more clearly.

  • Barbara T.

    Obama is so obviously envious and jealous of Romney that it makes him look so petty and childish.

  • Barbara T.

    Obama is so obviously envious and jealous of Romney that it makes him look so petty and childish.

  • Tom Hering

    fjsteve @ 8, I understand. But your good explanation ruins the fun. :-(

  • Tom Hering

    fjsteve @ 8, I understand. But your good explanation ruins the fun. :-(

  • Trey

    Romney won hands down. Not only did he throttle Obama on the economy, taxed and his record, he caught the president in a bald face lie. Tom can post a 100 messages fawning over the president, but he isn’t going to convince anyone with his bluster.

  • Trey

    Romney won hands down. Not only did he throttle Obama on the economy, taxed and his record, he caught the president in a bald face lie. Tom can post a 100 messages fawning over the president, but he isn’t going to convince anyone with his bluster.

  • Tom Hering

    Trey, do you seriously believe I expect to convince anyone here? I’m not Tom Quixote.

  • Tom Hering

    Trey, do you seriously believe I expect to convince anyone here? I’m not Tom Quixote.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom still buys into the narrative that a debate performance can win the election. Do I need to suggest books to read? What will convince you, Tom?

    Meanwhile, I watched about 5 minutes of the debate and was so annoyed by both insufferable yahoos that I had to turn it off. So I can’t comment knowledgeably on who “won”–as if it matters who “wins” when spitting out pre-scripted answers to a bunch of pre-screened, softball questions. After all, both campaigns signed an agreement stipulating that there would be “no surprises” in this “debate.” And yes, the irony was so thick that there aren’t enough scare quotes in the world.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom still buys into the narrative that a debate performance can win the election. Do I need to suggest books to read? What will convince you, Tom?

    Meanwhile, I watched about 5 minutes of the debate and was so annoyed by both insufferable yahoos that I had to turn it off. So I can’t comment knowledgeably on who “won”–as if it matters who “wins” when spitting out pre-scripted answers to a bunch of pre-screened, softball questions. After all, both campaigns signed an agreement stipulating that there would be “no surprises” in this “debate.” And yes, the irony was so thick that there aren’t enough scare quotes in the world.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus @ 13, make me, like yourself, a curmudgeonly crank in the insular world of academia, and I’ll become convince-able. ;-)

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus @ 13, make me, like yourself, a curmudgeonly crank in the insular world of academia, and I’ll become convince-able. ;-)

  • Other Gary

    I listened to about half of it on the radio, so I’m not in a position to give a really good evaluation. Still, I think Romney _sounded_ better, and that surprised me. I was one of the people before the debates assuming the debates could only ADD to the President’s lead in the polls. That the Governor clearly won the first debate and at least tied the second shows Mr. Obama’s reputation as a debater was overrated.

    This is the first morning I’ve awakened with the thought that our next president really might be a Mormon. And then when I add to that his position on Israel and Iran, I start getting really, really concerned.

  • Other Gary

    I listened to about half of it on the radio, so I’m not in a position to give a really good evaluation. Still, I think Romney _sounded_ better, and that surprised me. I was one of the people before the debates assuming the debates could only ADD to the President’s lead in the polls. That the Governor clearly won the first debate and at least tied the second shows Mr. Obama’s reputation as a debater was overrated.

    This is the first morning I’ve awakened with the thought that our next president really might be a Mormon. And then when I add to that his position on Israel and Iran, I start getting really, really concerned.

  • BW

    Cincinnatus,

    Sure recommend some books, I would look into them.

  • BW

    Cincinnatus,

    Sure recommend some books, I would look into them.

  • Kirk

    I think the debate was a draw because if was fairly disappointing all around. I don’t know about you all, but I certainly didn’t here anything new or that I didn’t know about the candidates positions.

    I felt that Obama obviously did better than last time, but basically spent the entire time vindicating his term. He has to address his record, of course, but when I’m voting for a man, I’d like to know what he plans to for the next four years. Right now, I’m just assuming it’ll be basically the same as what he did for the past four years. Still, I’d like to hear an agenda.

    As for Romney, I’m continually disappointing by his inability and/or unwillingness to explain his tax plan. I think the criticisms that are leveled against it, that merely limiting deductions and closing loopholes, aren’t enough to cover $5 trillion in tax cuts and absurd expansions of military spending. I realize there’s supposed to be a component by which tax cuts spur growth and increase revenue, but no one, including Romney, suggests that this increased revenue would offset the cost of the tax cuts. Typically, I’m in favor of tax cuts, but when we’re running such a huge deficit, I’m more concerned about the solvency of the country than about a few extra hundred dollars in my pocket every year.

    I still advocate for electoral boxing matches, and I think this debate clearly vindicates that opinion.

  • Kirk

    I think the debate was a draw because if was fairly disappointing all around. I don’t know about you all, but I certainly didn’t here anything new or that I didn’t know about the candidates positions.

    I felt that Obama obviously did better than last time, but basically spent the entire time vindicating his term. He has to address his record, of course, but when I’m voting for a man, I’d like to know what he plans to for the next four years. Right now, I’m just assuming it’ll be basically the same as what he did for the past four years. Still, I’d like to hear an agenda.

    As for Romney, I’m continually disappointing by his inability and/or unwillingness to explain his tax plan. I think the criticisms that are leveled against it, that merely limiting deductions and closing loopholes, aren’t enough to cover $5 trillion in tax cuts and absurd expansions of military spending. I realize there’s supposed to be a component by which tax cuts spur growth and increase revenue, but no one, including Romney, suggests that this increased revenue would offset the cost of the tax cuts. Typically, I’m in favor of tax cuts, but when we’re running such a huge deficit, I’m more concerned about the solvency of the country than about a few extra hundred dollars in my pocket every year.

    I still advocate for electoral boxing matches, and I think this debate clearly vindicates that opinion.

  • WebMonk

    Well, I think there’s a really important thing to consider in this election that hasn’t been brought up until today: alliterative tickets (Romney/Ryan) have never been beaten.

    This shows the incredible shallowness of the American public – they don’t care about the actual issues but are instead driven by how the ticket name SOUNDS. The debate performances matters not at all.

    You can verify what I said here.

  • WebMonk

    Well, I think there’s a really important thing to consider in this election that hasn’t been brought up until today: alliterative tickets (Romney/Ryan) have never been beaten.

    This shows the incredible shallowness of the American public – they don’t care about the actual issues but are instead driven by how the ticket name SOUNDS. The debate performances matters not at all.

    You can verify what I said here.

  • Tom Hering

    Obama/Biden is alliterative too. That’s why the country is evenly divided/polarized. (The “ba” in Obama and the “bi” in Biden are the stressed syllables.)

  • Tom Hering

    Obama/Biden is alliterative too. That’s why the country is evenly divided/polarized. (The “ba” in Obama and the “bi” in Biden are the stressed syllables.)

  • fjsteve

    WebMonk,

    Technically, they’re both alliterative. Romney/Ryan, oBama/Biden. Though the latter might be more appropriately described as consonance, it can be considered alliteration because of the accent on the second syllable.

    However, it does explain why McCain lost. :)

  • fjsteve

    WebMonk,

    Technically, they’re both alliterative. Romney/Ryan, oBama/Biden. Though the latter might be more appropriately described as consonance, it can be considered alliteration because of the accent on the second syllable.

    However, it does explain why McCain lost. :)

  • MarkB

    It amuses me to see people complain that Romney doesn’t give details of his tax plan or any of his plans. This is a charge leveled by Obama in his campaign ads and the funny thing about it is that even after four years as president, Obama does not give us any specifics about what he will do to turn things around.

    I think what Romney said in the first debate was right on, in that he said that he only wants to give the general broad outline of what he is proposing so that he can work with both sides to craft a solution.

  • MarkB

    It amuses me to see people complain that Romney doesn’t give details of his tax plan or any of his plans. This is a charge leveled by Obama in his campaign ads and the funny thing about it is that even after four years as president, Obama does not give us any specifics about what he will do to turn things around.

    I think what Romney said in the first debate was right on, in that he said that he only wants to give the general broad outline of what he is proposing so that he can work with both sides to craft a solution.

  • fjsteve

    Dang, Tom beat me to it.

  • fjsteve

    Dang, Tom beat me to it.

  • Julian

    A gotcha moment based on a political nonissue such as Benghazi does not indicate a win.

    Every time I almost want to vote for Mitt, he starts making a mountain out of a molehill. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

  • Julian

    A gotcha moment based on a political nonissue such as Benghazi does not indicate a win.

    Every time I almost want to vote for Mitt, he starts making a mountain out of a molehill. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

  • Carl Vehse

    “So who won the debate?”

    Well, Traitorobama had a good time. He should have lit up a cigar. Last night, CNN media whore Candy Crowley got down on her knees and ‘serviced’ Barry right there in front of the studio audience and television viewers.

    Move over, Monica. There’s another “legacy” to take your place! (Bill Clinton should be jealous!)

    Details and video at Newsbusters.

  • Carl Vehse

    “So who won the debate?”

    Well, Traitorobama had a good time. He should have lit up a cigar. Last night, CNN media whore Candy Crowley got down on her knees and ‘serviced’ Barry right there in front of the studio audience and television viewers.

    Move over, Monica. There’s another “legacy” to take your place! (Bill Clinton should be jealous!)

    Details and video at Newsbusters.

  • DonS

    As I said last night, the upshot of this debate is that Libya will be a major topic of conversation this week. The president can ill afford to lose more of his precious campaign days discussing his administration’s disastrous foreign policy missteps, leading up to the foreign policy debate next Monday. This debate will not help him win the election. He is currently behind, and he will remain so.

    Although most of the snap polls gave Obama a narrow debate win, he lost decisively on the economy questions. Unfortunately for him, the economy is what most voters are basing their votes on.

    Cincinnatus, I understand your point about campaigns not moving numbers, at least not significantly. Rasmussen, the pollster, has a similar view, and states it clearly on his site, believing that campaigns are actually very stable things, with numbers barely moving during their course. There is a strong argument to be made that voters would move to their exact same choices even if no campaigning were to occur be either candidate.

    However, in this case, it is pretty clear that the poll numbers moved significantly toward Romney after the first debate. I believe, given the typical Democratic bias in most polls, that they moved from an essentially tied race to one that favors Romney by 3-5 points. Would these numbers have eventually shifted any way? Perhaps. It may be that voters were just looking for some confirmation that Romney was adequately “presidential”, and the first debate served that purpose. If it hadn’t occurred, perhaps some other event would have sufficed as the impetus.

    In any case, once voters choose the challenger over the incumbent, they do not typically move back. Undecideds also typically choose the challenger by significant margins, for the simple reason that, if you haven’t made up your mind to support the incumbent by now, after 4 years, you aren’t going to. For this reason, it would be very hard to see how Obama moves back into a competitive position in this race, barring some kind of “October surprise” event of significant proportions.

  • DonS

    As I said last night, the upshot of this debate is that Libya will be a major topic of conversation this week. The president can ill afford to lose more of his precious campaign days discussing his administration’s disastrous foreign policy missteps, leading up to the foreign policy debate next Monday. This debate will not help him win the election. He is currently behind, and he will remain so.

    Although most of the snap polls gave Obama a narrow debate win, he lost decisively on the economy questions. Unfortunately for him, the economy is what most voters are basing their votes on.

    Cincinnatus, I understand your point about campaigns not moving numbers, at least not significantly. Rasmussen, the pollster, has a similar view, and states it clearly on his site, believing that campaigns are actually very stable things, with numbers barely moving during their course. There is a strong argument to be made that voters would move to their exact same choices even if no campaigning were to occur be either candidate.

    However, in this case, it is pretty clear that the poll numbers moved significantly toward Romney after the first debate. I believe, given the typical Democratic bias in most polls, that they moved from an essentially tied race to one that favors Romney by 3-5 points. Would these numbers have eventually shifted any way? Perhaps. It may be that voters were just looking for some confirmation that Romney was adequately “presidential”, and the first debate served that purpose. If it hadn’t occurred, perhaps some other event would have sufficed as the impetus.

    In any case, once voters choose the challenger over the incumbent, they do not typically move back. Undecideds also typically choose the challenger by significant margins, for the simple reason that, if you haven’t made up your mind to support the incumbent by now, after 4 years, you aren’t going to. For this reason, it would be very hard to see how Obama moves back into a competitive position in this race, barring some kind of “October surprise” event of significant proportions.

  • SKPeterson

    WM – What about Carter/Mondale over Ford/Dole, followed by Reagan/Bush over Carter/Mondale, then Reagan/Bush over Mondale/Ferraro? Or, Bush/Quayle over Dukakis/Bentsen?

    It would appear that fewer syllables in combination win over more. Except that Carter/Mondale beat Ford/Dole. But it holds for Nixon/Agnew over McGovern/Shriver, but not so much for Nixon/Agnew over Humphrey/Muskie.

    It would seem that the alliterative/consonance theory fails over the last 40 years of US presidential elections.

  • SKPeterson

    WM – What about Carter/Mondale over Ford/Dole, followed by Reagan/Bush over Carter/Mondale, then Reagan/Bush over Mondale/Ferraro? Or, Bush/Quayle over Dukakis/Bentsen?

    It would appear that fewer syllables in combination win over more. Except that Carter/Mondale beat Ford/Dole. But it holds for Nixon/Agnew over McGovern/Shriver, but not so much for Nixon/Agnew over Humphrey/Muskie.

    It would seem that the alliterative/consonance theory fails over the last 40 years of US presidential elections.

  • Rose

    There’s something unappealing, if not creepy, about women over 60 who grow long curly hair and have that silly-putty face look that comes from plastic surgery.

  • Rose

    There’s something unappealing, if not creepy, about women over 60 who grow long curly hair and have that silly-putty face look that comes from plastic surgery.

  • Dan

    It is a shame when the first death of a US ambassador is politicized. What has politicized it?

    On 9/11/12 US embassies around the world were surrounded by protesters. This was not the case in Benghazi. In Egypt, though, where the embassy was assaulted, the embassy staff communicated apologies for the anti-Muhammad video and said unfortunate things regarding American freedom of speech.

    Before it was known that Ambassador Stevens was killed, Mitt Romney released a statement criticizing the Egyptian embassy for its “apology.” Romney’s statement was essentially a pointed version of the walking back the State Department also made regarding the embassy statements. The Obama campaign, despite the essential agreement between Romney and State, criticized sharply the “politicization” of Romney’s statement.

    Then we- the American public- found out about Ambassador Stevens’ death. The State Department had known about this from the moment it was happening. They had been on the phone with people in Benghazi while the attack- which had no connection to any Libyan protest- was occurring.

    In President Obama’s comments the day after, he condemns the “attack” in the third paragraph. In the fourth paragraph he speaks about the video not justifying the general violence of the region. In the eighth paragraph he talks about the 9/11/01, tying together the 9/11/01 deaths, the soldiers who died in Afghanistan’s war, and the death of Ambassador Stevens. In the tenth paragraph, he says, “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.”

    Because the statement was unclear, follow-up questions were asked over the course of the next two weeks. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied that it was a terrorist attack. Ambassador Rice denied that it was a terrorist attack. President Obama said we did not know if it was a terrorist attack. Instead, the video-led-to-riots narrative was used as an explanation for what happened. For a summary, re-watch how President Obama discussed this with Letterman. He said there, “Here’s what happened. You had a video that was released by somebody who lives here, sort of a shadowy character who — who is an extremely offensive video directed at — at Mohammed and Islam, making fun of the Prophet Mohammed. This caused great offence in much of the much of the Muslim world. But what also happened was extremists and terrorists used this as an excuse to attack a variety of our embassies.”

    There was no protesting mob in Benghazi. The State Department is on record saying they knew this from the beginning.

    In the debate last night, President Obama said, “The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime.”

    This comment was indistinct enough to be worth clarifying. CNN had previously reported that September 20th was the first time the Obama administration had called the attack “terrorism.” Romney was right in his follow-up that the President might be making news if he would clarify his comments. If the President had believed the event to be a terror attack on 9/12, it raises questions on why the White House line was so different.

    Romney was teeing this up in the debate. He asked the President to give a clear answer. The President would not give a clear affirmation, saying only, “Please proceed, governor.” Before Romney could draw out the implications of contradiction, Crowley intervened. She said, “He did call it an act of terror.” Applause broke out from the crowd. Video shows that Michelle Obama was one of the ones applauding.

    The debate rules were left shattered at this point. A moderator is not supposed to fact check in a debate, nor is a crowd supposed to cheer or boo, because it is important to let the two debaters set the first impression of what happened. Fact checking after the debate is important. During the debate, however, any time an opponent decides to counter an assertion he brings more attention to it. The two debaters should be allowed to decide which assertions need correction and which do not.

    The intervention on President Obama’s behalf by Crowley and the first lady and others in the crowd skewed the debate at this crucial point. Because Crowley cut off discussion soon after, Romney was left looking like he did not know what the President said. Only after the debate did Crowley admit that Romney was “right in the main.” Of course, he was also right in the specific. Romney had asked, “You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you’re saying?” Obama had not used the singular in his comments on 9/12, and the president had also then implied a connection to the spontaneous demonstration.

    Crowley’s response to this question was the exact opposite of Martha Raddatz’ in the VP debate. Given that neither POTUS nor the Vice President have been available to answer questions on this topic, a journalist should hunger for an opportunity to clarify the record here. Raddatz did ask follow-up questions that made news last week. She made news for what VP Biden said. Crowley made news for what she said.

    What is at stake here? President Obama’s Libya policy was to allow Europe to take the point position and to keep all American boots off the ground. If he had succeeded in Libya with this strategy it would be influential in how we consider using American influence in future events like these.

    But the refusal to put American soldiers into Libya- even after the embassy had requested more security- had the cost of the lives of our Ambassador and three other Americans. The successful attack further emboldens Al-Qaeda. Remember what an impact Somalia had on Bin Laden’s strategy. How much more so will the death of the ambassador impact ongoing Al-Qaeda strategy?

    The President’s administration has incredible incentive to cover this up. If he will not make himself available to the press, is Romney supposed to say nothing? Romney’s handling of this has appeared to me to be very restrained, in fact. (Partisans on Romney’s behalf have not been as restrained, I agree.)

    To me, the debate is the side show. The unanswered Libya questions and the response by some- not all, not Raddatz, e.g.- in the fourth estate is outrageous. Watergate was a cover up of a campaign break-in. Scooter Libby went to jail for the “cover-up” of a CIA agent’s outing. This is a potential cover-up of Al-Qaeda’s murder of our Ambassador. That it was an incompetent, ineffective cover-up does not excuse it.

  • Dan

    It is a shame when the first death of a US ambassador is politicized. What has politicized it?

    On 9/11/12 US embassies around the world were surrounded by protesters. This was not the case in Benghazi. In Egypt, though, where the embassy was assaulted, the embassy staff communicated apologies for the anti-Muhammad video and said unfortunate things regarding American freedom of speech.

    Before it was known that Ambassador Stevens was killed, Mitt Romney released a statement criticizing the Egyptian embassy for its “apology.” Romney’s statement was essentially a pointed version of the walking back the State Department also made regarding the embassy statements. The Obama campaign, despite the essential agreement between Romney and State, criticized sharply the “politicization” of Romney’s statement.

    Then we- the American public- found out about Ambassador Stevens’ death. The State Department had known about this from the moment it was happening. They had been on the phone with people in Benghazi while the attack- which had no connection to any Libyan protest- was occurring.

    In President Obama’s comments the day after, he condemns the “attack” in the third paragraph. In the fourth paragraph he speaks about the video not justifying the general violence of the region. In the eighth paragraph he talks about the 9/11/01, tying together the 9/11/01 deaths, the soldiers who died in Afghanistan’s war, and the death of Ambassador Stevens. In the tenth paragraph, he says, “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.”

    Because the statement was unclear, follow-up questions were asked over the course of the next two weeks. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney denied that it was a terrorist attack. Ambassador Rice denied that it was a terrorist attack. President Obama said we did not know if it was a terrorist attack. Instead, the video-led-to-riots narrative was used as an explanation for what happened. For a summary, re-watch how President Obama discussed this with Letterman. He said there, “Here’s what happened. You had a video that was released by somebody who lives here, sort of a shadowy character who — who is an extremely offensive video directed at — at Mohammed and Islam, making fun of the Prophet Mohammed. This caused great offence in much of the much of the Muslim world. But what also happened was extremists and terrorists used this as an excuse to attack a variety of our embassies.”

    There was no protesting mob in Benghazi. The State Department is on record saying they knew this from the beginning.

    In the debate last night, President Obama said, “The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime.”

    This comment was indistinct enough to be worth clarifying. CNN had previously reported that September 20th was the first time the Obama administration had called the attack “terrorism.” Romney was right in his follow-up that the President might be making news if he would clarify his comments. If the President had believed the event to be a terror attack on 9/12, it raises questions on why the White House line was so different.

    Romney was teeing this up in the debate. He asked the President to give a clear answer. The President would not give a clear affirmation, saying only, “Please proceed, governor.” Before Romney could draw out the implications of contradiction, Crowley intervened. She said, “He did call it an act of terror.” Applause broke out from the crowd. Video shows that Michelle Obama was one of the ones applauding.

    The debate rules were left shattered at this point. A moderator is not supposed to fact check in a debate, nor is a crowd supposed to cheer or boo, because it is important to let the two debaters set the first impression of what happened. Fact checking after the debate is important. During the debate, however, any time an opponent decides to counter an assertion he brings more attention to it. The two debaters should be allowed to decide which assertions need correction and which do not.

    The intervention on President Obama’s behalf by Crowley and the first lady and others in the crowd skewed the debate at this crucial point. Because Crowley cut off discussion soon after, Romney was left looking like he did not know what the President said. Only after the debate did Crowley admit that Romney was “right in the main.” Of course, he was also right in the specific. Romney had asked, “You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you’re saying?” Obama had not used the singular in his comments on 9/12, and the president had also then implied a connection to the spontaneous demonstration.

    Crowley’s response to this question was the exact opposite of Martha Raddatz’ in the VP debate. Given that neither POTUS nor the Vice President have been available to answer questions on this topic, a journalist should hunger for an opportunity to clarify the record here. Raddatz did ask follow-up questions that made news last week. She made news for what VP Biden said. Crowley made news for what she said.

    What is at stake here? President Obama’s Libya policy was to allow Europe to take the point position and to keep all American boots off the ground. If he had succeeded in Libya with this strategy it would be influential in how we consider using American influence in future events like these.

    But the refusal to put American soldiers into Libya- even after the embassy had requested more security- had the cost of the lives of our Ambassador and three other Americans. The successful attack further emboldens Al-Qaeda. Remember what an impact Somalia had on Bin Laden’s strategy. How much more so will the death of the ambassador impact ongoing Al-Qaeda strategy?

    The President’s administration has incredible incentive to cover this up. If he will not make himself available to the press, is Romney supposed to say nothing? Romney’s handling of this has appeared to me to be very restrained, in fact. (Partisans on Romney’s behalf have not been as restrained, I agree.)

    To me, the debate is the side show. The unanswered Libya questions and the response by some- not all, not Raddatz, e.g.- in the fourth estate is outrageous. Watergate was a cover up of a campaign break-in. Scooter Libby went to jail for the “cover-up” of a CIA agent’s outing. This is a potential cover-up of Al-Qaeda’s murder of our Ambassador. That it was an incompetent, ineffective cover-up does not excuse it.

  • Rose

    Dan,
    Excellent timeline and exposition.
    The best I’ve seen.

  • Rose

    Dan,
    Excellent timeline and exposition.
    The best I’ve seen.

  • Kirk

    @Carl,

    Some of your finest work yet. I still think you’re a robot owned by tODD.

  • Kirk

    @Carl,

    Some of your finest work yet. I still think you’re a robot owned by tODD.

  • Kirk

    Rose @27

    Thanks for giving us the most important take away of the night.

  • Kirk

    Rose @27

    Thanks for giving us the most important take away of the night.

  • CRB

    For most of the debate, (rather, the rhetoric) I kept thinking: “Where have I heard this before?”

  • CRB

    For most of the debate, (rather, the rhetoric) I kept thinking: “Where have I heard this before?”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    A gotcha moment based on a political nonissue such as Benghazi does not indicate a win.

    Our embassy is attacked on 9/11 and our ambassador is assassinated, and it is a non-issue.

    Stunning.

    we are too stupid to survive

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    A gotcha moment based on a political nonissue such as Benghazi does not indicate a win.

    Our embassy is attacked on 9/11 and our ambassador is assassinated, and it is a non-issue.

    Stunning.

    we are too stupid to survive

  • Cincinnatus

    How is the murder of an ambassador under preventable circumstances not a relevant political issue?!

  • Cincinnatus

    How is the murder of an ambassador under preventable circumstances not a relevant political issue?!

  • Abby

    Dan @28 — you need to put that out on YouTube. Make a commercial, please!

  • Abby

    Dan @28 — you need to put that out on YouTube. Make a commercial, please!

  • Tom Hering

    How is the murder of an ambassador under preventable circumstances not a relevant political issue?! (@ 34)

    It’s relevant, but let’s admit: it’s being made more important than it really is by Republicans who need an attack point, and a 24/7 media that needs a hot story. How do I know it’s being made more important than it really is? Because none of us are aware of our embassies and ambassadors 99.999% of the time. They’re almost never in the electorate’s thoughts. This wouldn’t be half the issue if this wasn’t an election year.

  • Tom Hering

    How is the murder of an ambassador under preventable circumstances not a relevant political issue?! (@ 34)

    It’s relevant, but let’s admit: it’s being made more important than it really is by Republicans who need an attack point, and a 24/7 media that needs a hot story. How do I know it’s being made more important than it really is? Because none of us are aware of our embassies and ambassadors 99.999% of the time. They’re almost never in the electorate’s thoughts. This wouldn’t be half the issue if this wasn’t an election year.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@36:

    That’s impossibly disingenuous and you know it. Of course, I won’t deny that Republicans are seizing on this issue and trying to make as much of it as they possibly can–and what party politician wouldn’t?

    But the fact that most people aren’t “aware” of our ambassadors is hardly a valid measure of the political importance of an issue. Most people aren’t aware of what goes on in the vast majority of our government agencies at every level, but that doesn’t mean none of it is important. Ambassadors are high-ranking, presidentially appointed government officers–regardless of whether the average voter can name even one of them. Historically, any harm done to an ambassador has been regarded as an act of war.

    How is that not an important issue?!

    I think your partisan sympathies are blinding you a bit here. You don’t want Obama to look bad–fine. But that’s no excuse for pretending that the murder of an ambassador is no-big-deal, politics-as-usual stuff!

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@36:

    That’s impossibly disingenuous and you know it. Of course, I won’t deny that Republicans are seizing on this issue and trying to make as much of it as they possibly can–and what party politician wouldn’t?

    But the fact that most people aren’t “aware” of our ambassadors is hardly a valid measure of the political importance of an issue. Most people aren’t aware of what goes on in the vast majority of our government agencies at every level, but that doesn’t mean none of it is important. Ambassadors are high-ranking, presidentially appointed government officers–regardless of whether the average voter can name even one of them. Historically, any harm done to an ambassador has been regarded as an act of war.

    How is that not an important issue?!

    I think your partisan sympathies are blinding you a bit here. You don’t want Obama to look bad–fine. But that’s no excuse for pretending that the murder of an ambassador is no-big-deal, politics-as-usual stuff!

  • Julian

    Benghazi is a manufactured issue. In this case, it would have happened under Romney’s watch had he been president. Stunning in its brilliance, I know. Thanks,sg. Elementary, really.

  • Julian

    Benghazi is a manufactured issue. In this case, it would have happened under Romney’s watch had he been president. Stunning in its brilliance, I know. Thanks,sg. Elementary, really.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus @ 37, you know darn well I didn’t say it’s no big deal. I said it’s twice the issue it would be if it weren’t an election year. As for it traditionally being an act of war, that’s neither here nor there, as we weren’t attacked by another state. So that whole angle isn’t part of the “importance equation.” It just helps all the bluster along.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus @ 37, you know darn well I didn’t say it’s no big deal. I said it’s twice the issue it would be if it weren’t an election year. As for it traditionally being an act of war, that’s neither here nor there, as we weren’t attacked by another state. So that whole angle isn’t part of the “importance equation.” It just helps all the bluster along.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@39:

    To be honest, I think it would be a much bigger issue (in practical, not campaign, terms) if this weren’t an election year. Obama obviously wants to distance himself from the issue–he’s been wanting to do that the whole time, given his prodigious efforts to blame the incident on a movie trailer rather than a security failure. But I suspect that in an “off year,” we would be currently contemplating some form of armed reprisal instead of just talk.

    Julian, for all his trailing, nonetheless raises a valid point: there’s no reason to believe that this wouldn’t have happened under a Romney administration. But we don’t know that, and it doesn’t matter. It did happen under Obama’s watch, so the question is whether his response has been acceptable. I haven’t been a fan, so far–and Romney knows there are lots of skeptics like me.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@39:

    To be honest, I think it would be a much bigger issue (in practical, not campaign, terms) if this weren’t an election year. Obama obviously wants to distance himself from the issue–he’s been wanting to do that the whole time, given his prodigious efforts to blame the incident on a movie trailer rather than a security failure. But I suspect that in an “off year,” we would be currently contemplating some form of armed reprisal instead of just talk.

    Julian, for all his trailing, nonetheless raises a valid point: there’s no reason to believe that this wouldn’t have happened under a Romney administration. But we don’t know that, and it doesn’t matter. It did happen under Obama’s watch, so the question is whether his response has been acceptable. I haven’t been a fan, so far–and Romney knows there are lots of skeptics like me.

  • Julian

    @cin

    I hope you didn’t mean to say I was “trolling”, because that’s not what I was doing. If I am “trailing” please explain.

    Personally, as an undecided voter who wants to vote for Romney but can’t get over Romney, anyone who suggests that this debate was won because of his take on Benghazi is trolling ME. I’m just going dizzy with all the spin.

  • Julian

    @cin

    I hope you didn’t mean to say I was “trolling”, because that’s not what I was doing. If I am “trailing” please explain.

    Personally, as an undecided voter who wants to vote for Romney but can’t get over Romney, anyone who suggests that this debate was won because of his take on Benghazi is trolling ME. I’m just going dizzy with all the spin.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Security for the embassy was like zero. That in a country that has terrorist activity and whose government was recently overthrown with the help of the US. Come on, more security is a no brainer. If they had had security and simply been overwhelmed, that would be different, but they basically had no security and that is so obviously unacceptable.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Security for the embassy was like zero. That in a country that has terrorist activity and whose government was recently overthrown with the help of the US. Come on, more security is a no brainer. If they had had security and simply been overwhelmed, that would be different, but they basically had no security and that is so obviously unacceptable.

  • dust

    It’s more than a murder of a top level diplomat, it means the evil doers are back and gaining strength.

    if they get safe refuge again in some country while working out details for a nuclear strike, it changes everything on a level that dwarfs the original 9/11 attack.

    Scary scenario, not for the timid, maybe not plausible, so let’s not worry…let’s all go shopping and look the other way?

    cheers!

  • dust

    It’s more than a murder of a top level diplomat, it means the evil doers are back and gaining strength.

    if they get safe refuge again in some country while working out details for a nuclear strike, it changes everything on a level that dwarfs the original 9/11 attack.

    Scary scenario, not for the timid, maybe not plausible, so let’s not worry…let’s all go shopping and look the other way?

    cheers!

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus @ 40, as the President has repeatedly made clear, we are indeed “contemplating some form of armed reprisal.” Against the terrorists responsible. So I don’t know why you keep suggesting Obama is doing nothing along the lines of justice/payback. I thought the conservative complaint was that this drone-happy, terrorist-assassinating President has been doing too much.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus @ 40, as the President has repeatedly made clear, we are indeed “contemplating some form of armed reprisal.” Against the terrorists responsible. So I don’t know why you keep suggesting Obama is doing nothing along the lines of justice/payback. I thought the conservative complaint was that this drone-happy, terrorist-assassinating President has been doing too much.

  • Cincinnatus

    Julian@41:

    Yes, I meant trolling–with all due respect, I suppose. To claim that Benghazi is a “manufactured” issue is just ridiculous and, frankly, stupid. The murder of an ambassador due to a security failure is not a manufactured issue. I mean, what are you (and Tom) suggesting? That we should ignore it? Pretend it didn’t happen? Concede that it’s no big deal? It is a big deal.

    Now, I couldn’t care less about your stance on Romney. I don’t lose sleep over “wanting” to vote for anyone. Your vote isn’t particularly important, and it doesn’t really matter who wins in this particular election. I also didn’t watch the entire debate, so I can’t comment on who “won.” (Also, how is it possible that you are still undecided this late in the game?)

    Anyway, regardless of your partisan affiliation, the murder of an ambassador is big news and a big deal.

    Here’s an example of a manufactured issue: Obama’s birth certificate. The plight of Big Bird.

    Here’s an example of a real issue: The murder of a United States ambassador by a gang of terrorist thugs who invaded sovereign to drag his body out into the street and publicly desecrated his corpse.

  • Cincinnatus

    Julian@41:

    Yes, I meant trolling–with all due respect, I suppose. To claim that Benghazi is a “manufactured” issue is just ridiculous and, frankly, stupid. The murder of an ambassador due to a security failure is not a manufactured issue. I mean, what are you (and Tom) suggesting? That we should ignore it? Pretend it didn’t happen? Concede that it’s no big deal? It is a big deal.

    Now, I couldn’t care less about your stance on Romney. I don’t lose sleep over “wanting” to vote for anyone. Your vote isn’t particularly important, and it doesn’t really matter who wins in this particular election. I also didn’t watch the entire debate, so I can’t comment on who “won.” (Also, how is it possible that you are still undecided this late in the game?)

    Anyway, regardless of your partisan affiliation, the murder of an ambassador is big news and a big deal.

    Here’s an example of a manufactured issue: Obama’s birth certificate. The plight of Big Bird.

    Here’s an example of a real issue: The murder of a United States ambassador by a gang of terrorist thugs who invaded sovereign to drag his body out into the street and publicly desecrated his corpse.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The debate seemed to boil down to competence. Romney is clearly competent at governing and financial matters. Those are the problems we currently have. Obama is clearly incompetent at governing (even at routine stuff like embassy security) and with financial matters as his economic track record shows. We would fire even our best friend if his performance were so poor. Certainly, we need a different direction and Romney has done well in these areas, making him the obvious choice even if you don’t like him.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The debate seemed to boil down to competence. Romney is clearly competent at governing and financial matters. Those are the problems we currently have. Obama is clearly incompetent at governing (even at routine stuff like embassy security) and with financial matters as his economic track record shows. We would fire even our best friend if his performance were so poor. Certainly, we need a different direction and Romney has done well in these areas, making him the obvious choice even if you don’t like him.

  • Abby

    “. . . they basically had no security and that is so obviously unacceptable.” What about the matter that extra security was requested and DENIED?!!!

  • Abby

    “. . . they basically had no security and that is so obviously unacceptable.” What about the matter that extra security was requested and DENIED?!!!

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Here’s an example of a manufactured issue: Obama’s birth certificate.

    Interestingly it also came from Hilary Clinton.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Here’s an example of a manufactured issue: Obama’s birth certificate.

    Interestingly it also came from Hilary Clinton.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@44:

    Did you suddenly lose the capacity to make distinctions? It would seem that exacting appropriate justice upon demonstrated murderers is different from sustaining an undeclared drone war against Pakistani civilians.

    And even that ignores the bigger issue: the murder of our ambassador in Libya was a direct response to our official Libyan policy as crafted over the past 1.5 years. Hey, maybe we shouldn’t have enabled a revolution by Islamists! Maybe we shouldn’t have rushed to establish our diplomatic influence there! And when we did, maybe we shouldn’t have ignored basic security guidelines! Whether you like it or not, these are questions that Obama will have to answer for at some point.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@44:

    Did you suddenly lose the capacity to make distinctions? It would seem that exacting appropriate justice upon demonstrated murderers is different from sustaining an undeclared drone war against Pakistani civilians.

    And even that ignores the bigger issue: the murder of our ambassador in Libya was a direct response to our official Libyan policy as crafted over the past 1.5 years. Hey, maybe we shouldn’t have enabled a revolution by Islamists! Maybe we shouldn’t have rushed to establish our diplomatic influence there! And when we did, maybe we shouldn’t have ignored basic security guidelines! Whether you like it or not, these are questions that Obama will have to answer for at some point.

  • dust

    Cinc at 49…..great points, except if the mid east does unravel and it gets really nasty and somehow over here, then we all will answer for the mistakes :(

  • dust

    Cinc at 49…..great points, except if the mid east does unravel and it gets really nasty and somehow over here, then we all will answer for the mistakes :(

  • Julian

    Ok cin, I’ll take the bait. Benghazi is a big deal. Fine? Ok.

    For an independent deciding between Obama, Romney, a third party or abstaining completely, Benghazi is such small potatoes that anyone bringing it up in such a context can rightly be suspected if distracting from much more important issues.

    I basically just reworded my original comment.

  • Julian

    Ok cin, I’ll take the bait. Benghazi is a big deal. Fine? Ok.

    For an independent deciding between Obama, Romney, a third party or abstaining completely, Benghazi is such small potatoes that anyone bringing it up in such a context can rightly be suspected if distracting from much more important issues.

    I basically just reworded my original comment.

  • JunkerGeorg

    I admittedly am grinding my ax here, but would someone please tell me if I’m alone in wondering why neither candidate is sufficiently (and all media left and right is suspiciously ignoring) the problem which is seriously affecting ALL Americans, namely, is INFLATION on fuel, goods & services, pharmaceuticals, etc??? This of course is just another way of saying that our unbacked and overprinted US dollar is dramatically being devalued, with the result that it is worth less and less and thus buys less and less. I can only wonder how soon it will be before we’re under one global currency, along with one global ruler holding the purse strings (e.g., the UN wanting to tax the internet, supposedly working with Hilary Clinton this).

    There has been little talk about inflation and the usage of “quantitative easing” by the Federal Reserve to try to fix our economic problems. Even more disturbing is that this last round of quantitative easing is obviously a political move by Bernake to try to save Obama and his own job. (As Senior citizens ask what happened to their savings/investments). Taking sides in politics has no place in a decision that hurts ALL Americans so much, to the benefit of a few in Government, Public Unions, Too-Big-to-Fail Big Business, and Foreign Banking entities whom we don’t even know. I’m all for free-market capitalism on MainStreet over against socialism of Obama, but neither am I for fascist crony-capitalism between Government and Wall Street, something which both candidates arguably are deep in. (Yes, I do believe there is some truth to the suggestion that the world is ultimately run by bankers, or from a Biblical point of view, by the principalities and powers working through them, along with the use of “dishonest weights and measures” which an unbacked US dollar really represents.)
    Granted, this economic trend has been around a long time, significant being the time since Reagan’s second term when he appointed Alex Greenspan, although it has had a major growth spurt over the last 4 years. Thanks to the Fed’s printing press which enables it all the spending/debt increase, pushing the collection of the tab down the road, if the Bush Government spent like a drunken sailor, then the Obama Government has spent like a college girl with her daddy’s credit card on Spring Break in Cancun! Yeesh!

    While both chairman Mao Obama and Obamney can talk about the plight of Middle Class, and copy each other in speaking of the need for more “jobs”, nevertheless, this issue of INFLATION/DEVALUED DOLLAR is something which is affecting not just 23 million but ALL Americans, regardless of whether we have a job or not, and regardless of our party affiliation, income level, social status, gender, etc. Yet again, neither candidate is serious about addressing this anymore than the media on left and right is serious about highlighting this.

    Pick your poison. I have major problems with both candidates, who are not so different as the media would like us to think. Both mimic each other in saying they’re all about the Middle-Class, Small Businesses, and Jobs without providing, or at least sufficiently communicating, any substantial specifics other than to attack the other’s plan and/or attack the other for not having a plan at all. Romney can speak of “lowering tax rates” while Obama can speak of “cutting taxes”, but there is no difference in essence between them when it comes to not addressing the “stealth tax” that ALL Americans are paying at the pump, in the grocery store, at the pharmacy, etc..

    To Romney’s credit, at least he has a plan (and cutting capital gains tax is a major card he should continue to play), unlike Obama whose future plan amounts nothing more than criticizing Romney’s proposed plan while continuing on the same path of the last 4 years. Having said that, Romney’s plan wouldn’t get us out of debt until somewhere around 2045, and only that if we froze spending at current levels, which aint gonna happen. And Romney can rightly talk about the need for energy independence, yet even with new refineries/pipelines/offshore drilling, the effects we’d see in prices at the pump (even if the Fed/Opec ever would allow it) wouldn’t be seen for another 10-15 years, so it isn’t a short-term solution/easing on the burdens we Middle-Class are facing.

    This Inflation/Devalued Dollar is the root problem which lies behind these issues of Middle-Class prosperity, Small Business viability, and Job growth. It even is a major social issue for families, if not also a women’s issue! I mean, even aside from the moral/religious liberties issues, I feel sorry for any woman who thinks that their Sugar Daddy Obama pimping out to them free contraceptives and abortifacients is a bigger issue than addressing a debased currency which makes everything from their fuel, food, clothing, and cosmetics cost triple the price that it did even 4 years ago.

    Ich habe genug. Our citizenship is in Heaven. Gotta remember that after a good vent.

  • JunkerGeorg

    I admittedly am grinding my ax here, but would someone please tell me if I’m alone in wondering why neither candidate is sufficiently (and all media left and right is suspiciously ignoring) the problem which is seriously affecting ALL Americans, namely, is INFLATION on fuel, goods & services, pharmaceuticals, etc??? This of course is just another way of saying that our unbacked and overprinted US dollar is dramatically being devalued, with the result that it is worth less and less and thus buys less and less. I can only wonder how soon it will be before we’re under one global currency, along with one global ruler holding the purse strings (e.g., the UN wanting to tax the internet, supposedly working with Hilary Clinton this).

    There has been little talk about inflation and the usage of “quantitative easing” by the Federal Reserve to try to fix our economic problems. Even more disturbing is that this last round of quantitative easing is obviously a political move by Bernake to try to save Obama and his own job. (As Senior citizens ask what happened to their savings/investments). Taking sides in politics has no place in a decision that hurts ALL Americans so much, to the benefit of a few in Government, Public Unions, Too-Big-to-Fail Big Business, and Foreign Banking entities whom we don’t even know. I’m all for free-market capitalism on MainStreet over against socialism of Obama, but neither am I for fascist crony-capitalism between Government and Wall Street, something which both candidates arguably are deep in. (Yes, I do believe there is some truth to the suggestion that the world is ultimately run by bankers, or from a Biblical point of view, by the principalities and powers working through them, along with the use of “dishonest weights and measures” which an unbacked US dollar really represents.)
    Granted, this economic trend has been around a long time, significant being the time since Reagan’s second term when he appointed Alex Greenspan, although it has had a major growth spurt over the last 4 years. Thanks to the Fed’s printing press which enables it all the spending/debt increase, pushing the collection of the tab down the road, if the Bush Government spent like a drunken sailor, then the Obama Government has spent like a college girl with her daddy’s credit card on Spring Break in Cancun! Yeesh!

    While both chairman Mao Obama and Obamney can talk about the plight of Middle Class, and copy each other in speaking of the need for more “jobs”, nevertheless, this issue of INFLATION/DEVALUED DOLLAR is something which is affecting not just 23 million but ALL Americans, regardless of whether we have a job or not, and regardless of our party affiliation, income level, social status, gender, etc. Yet again, neither candidate is serious about addressing this anymore than the media on left and right is serious about highlighting this.

    Pick your poison. I have major problems with both candidates, who are not so different as the media would like us to think. Both mimic each other in saying they’re all about the Middle-Class, Small Businesses, and Jobs without providing, or at least sufficiently communicating, any substantial specifics other than to attack the other’s plan and/or attack the other for not having a plan at all. Romney can speak of “lowering tax rates” while Obama can speak of “cutting taxes”, but there is no difference in essence between them when it comes to not addressing the “stealth tax” that ALL Americans are paying at the pump, in the grocery store, at the pharmacy, etc..

    To Romney’s credit, at least he has a plan (and cutting capital gains tax is a major card he should continue to play), unlike Obama whose future plan amounts nothing more than criticizing Romney’s proposed plan while continuing on the same path of the last 4 years. Having said that, Romney’s plan wouldn’t get us out of debt until somewhere around 2045, and only that if we froze spending at current levels, which aint gonna happen. And Romney can rightly talk about the need for energy independence, yet even with new refineries/pipelines/offshore drilling, the effects we’d see in prices at the pump (even if the Fed/Opec ever would allow it) wouldn’t be seen for another 10-15 years, so it isn’t a short-term solution/easing on the burdens we Middle-Class are facing.

    This Inflation/Devalued Dollar is the root problem which lies behind these issues of Middle-Class prosperity, Small Business viability, and Job growth. It even is a major social issue for families, if not also a women’s issue! I mean, even aside from the moral/religious liberties issues, I feel sorry for any woman who thinks that their Sugar Daddy Obama pimping out to them free contraceptives and abortifacients is a bigger issue than addressing a debased currency which makes everything from their fuel, food, clothing, and cosmetics cost triple the price that it did even 4 years ago.

    Ich habe genug. Our citizenship is in Heaven. Gotta remember that after a good vent.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    And even that ignores the bigger issue: the murder of our ambassador in Libya was a direct response to our official Libyan policy as crafted over the past 1.5 years. Hey, maybe we shouldn’t have enabled a revolution by Islamists! Maybe we shouldn’t have rushed to establish our diplomatic influence there! And when we did, maybe we shouldn’t have ignored basic security guidelines! Whether you like it or not, these are questions that Obama will have to answer for at some point.

    The really big issue is the issue of the culture of incompetence and indifference. The incompetence and indifference relating to the failure to help reduce debt and create a climate friendly to job growth when so many need to get back to work. The incompetence and indifference to the fact that greatly increasing the public’s dependence on welfare, food stamps, unemployment benefits funded by constantly raising the debt ceiling cannot continue. The egregious incompetence and indifference to pain and suffering caused by the illegal and profoundly stupid Fast and Furious operation. The incompetence and indifference to the humiliation and provocation of the attack on our embassy and our ambassador’s assassination is really just about on par with what we have seen for four years. Obama is really only good at getting elected and passing out goodies to those who elect him. I am actually sad to say that, but there is a fair amount of evidence that he isn’t good at his job and doesn’t care because it is so much fun golfing and entertaining celebs.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    And even that ignores the bigger issue: the murder of our ambassador in Libya was a direct response to our official Libyan policy as crafted over the past 1.5 years. Hey, maybe we shouldn’t have enabled a revolution by Islamists! Maybe we shouldn’t have rushed to establish our diplomatic influence there! And when we did, maybe we shouldn’t have ignored basic security guidelines! Whether you like it or not, these are questions that Obama will have to answer for at some point.

    The really big issue is the issue of the culture of incompetence and indifference. The incompetence and indifference relating to the failure to help reduce debt and create a climate friendly to job growth when so many need to get back to work. The incompetence and indifference to the fact that greatly increasing the public’s dependence on welfare, food stamps, unemployment benefits funded by constantly raising the debt ceiling cannot continue. The egregious incompetence and indifference to pain and suffering caused by the illegal and profoundly stupid Fast and Furious operation. The incompetence and indifference to the humiliation and provocation of the attack on our embassy and our ambassador’s assassination is really just about on par with what we have seen for four years. Obama is really only good at getting elected and passing out goodies to those who elect him. I am actually sad to say that, but there is a fair amount of evidence that he isn’t good at his job and doesn’t care because it is so much fun golfing and entertaining celebs.

  • Jon

    I was fascinated by the President’s ability to utterly evade any useful answers to the actual questions posed from the audience on his economic record.

    Will I have a job? Why are the things that I need to buy so expensive? Why doesn’t your administration care that gas prices are so high?

    All they got back from Obama was a bunch of talking points about so-called accomplishments and high-brow rhetoric that had nothing to do with what the undecided voters were really concerned about.

    I came away with the impression that the president is simply offering 4 more years of the same policies and plans that he had given us during the last four years.

    Quite simply, the president’s argument is a plea to not change horses in the middle of the race, and to inject fear of the other choice.

    I also thought that Romney played very well to women in the debate. Whereas Obama’s tactic is to try to scare women, I thought Romney was reassuring. Romney directed a lot of his answers on a wide range of topics to try to reflect stability and comfort. Take his answer to the “gun control” question, for example. What we need to do is promote stability in the family, he said at the start. I think that type of response resonates with women voters.

    Obama just repeats the same old liberal canards about gun control and abortion, as if that’s what all that women everywhere and always really want to have. It’s a bad stereotype.

  • Jon

    I was fascinated by the President’s ability to utterly evade any useful answers to the actual questions posed from the audience on his economic record.

    Will I have a job? Why are the things that I need to buy so expensive? Why doesn’t your administration care that gas prices are so high?

    All they got back from Obama was a bunch of talking points about so-called accomplishments and high-brow rhetoric that had nothing to do with what the undecided voters were really concerned about.

    I came away with the impression that the president is simply offering 4 more years of the same policies and plans that he had given us during the last four years.

    Quite simply, the president’s argument is a plea to not change horses in the middle of the race, and to inject fear of the other choice.

    I also thought that Romney played very well to women in the debate. Whereas Obama’s tactic is to try to scare women, I thought Romney was reassuring. Romney directed a lot of his answers on a wide range of topics to try to reflect stability and comfort. Take his answer to the “gun control” question, for example. What we need to do is promote stability in the family, he said at the start. I think that type of response resonates with women voters.

    Obama just repeats the same old liberal canards about gun control and abortion, as if that’s what all that women everywhere and always really want to have. It’s a bad stereotype.

  • Cincinnatus

    Julian: Why is it “small potatoes”? Because it doesn’t affect/benefit you personally and tangibly? I guess that’s a fairly typical sentiment for a voter who hasn’t yet decided whom to vote for, even after 12+ months of perpetual campaigning and discussing. Yeah, I suppose I’m being uncharitable, but…if you can’t understand the importance of the murder of an ambassador as a direct result of the President’s foreign policy, then I don’t really know what else to say.

    That said, I agree with JunkerGeorg’s little rant. But he and I both know that the banksters who fund both parties have no interest in curbing inflation.

  • Cincinnatus

    Julian: Why is it “small potatoes”? Because it doesn’t affect/benefit you personally and tangibly? I guess that’s a fairly typical sentiment for a voter who hasn’t yet decided whom to vote for, even after 12+ months of perpetual campaigning and discussing. Yeah, I suppose I’m being uncharitable, but…if you can’t understand the importance of the murder of an ambassador as a direct result of the President’s foreign policy, then I don’t really know what else to say.

    That said, I agree with JunkerGeorg’s little rant. But he and I both know that the banksters who fund both parties have no interest in curbing inflation.

  • Abby

    “There has been little talk about inflation and the usage of “quantitative easing” by the Federal Reserve to try to fix our economic problems.” — “The middle-class is being SQUEEZED” — that’s what they’re calling it.

  • Abby

    “There has been little talk about inflation and the usage of “quantitative easing” by the Federal Reserve to try to fix our economic problems.” — “The middle-class is being SQUEEZED” — that’s what they’re calling it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I admittedly am grinding my ax here, but would someone please tell me if I’m alone in wondering why neither candidate is sufficiently (and all media left and right is suspiciously ignoring) the problem which is seriously affecting ALL Americans, namely, is INFLATION on fuel, goods & services, pharmaceuticals, etc??? This of course is just another way of saying that our unbacked and overprinted US dollar is dramatically being devalued, with the result that it is worth less and less and thus buys less and less. I can only wonder how soon it will be before we’re under one global currency, along with one global ruler holding the purse strings (e.g., the UN wanting to tax the internet, supposedly working with Hilary Clinton this).

    The audience brought it up and Romney addressed it. Just as an aside, regarding a world currency (petrodollars?) wouldn’t a Mormon just instinctively want the US to remain as sovereign as possible? Or do I misunderstand the significance they place on the US in their religion?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I admittedly am grinding my ax here, but would someone please tell me if I’m alone in wondering why neither candidate is sufficiently (and all media left and right is suspiciously ignoring) the problem which is seriously affecting ALL Americans, namely, is INFLATION on fuel, goods & services, pharmaceuticals, etc??? This of course is just another way of saying that our unbacked and overprinted US dollar is dramatically being devalued, with the result that it is worth less and less and thus buys less and less. I can only wonder how soon it will be before we’re under one global currency, along with one global ruler holding the purse strings (e.g., the UN wanting to tax the internet, supposedly working with Hilary Clinton this).

    The audience brought it up and Romney addressed it. Just as an aside, regarding a world currency (petrodollars?) wouldn’t a Mormon just instinctively want the US to remain as sovereign as possible? Or do I misunderstand the significance they place on the US in their religion?

  • Dan

    Julian @51 and Tom @36 -

    In the end, your vote(s) could boil down to abortion, to the economy, or to the environment. We can each make different cases for which is most important. I don’t expect us all to agree which is the most important issue. That’s democracy.

    But one issue which cries for our attention and honest discussion is how our country will respond to ongoing aggression from Islamist terrorism. Clinton tried one strategy. GWBush tried another strategy. Obama has tried a still different strategy. At the end of the 11 years after 9/11/01, an Al Qaeda associated group successfully killed 4 Americans while Muslims around the world were protesting with great anger against the US.

    I’m not convinced that 4 years (or even 8 years) is enough time to fairly judge a foreign policy. That’s an inherent problem in having this discussion. Nevertheless, we need a substantive debate as a country, because aggression rooted in Islamo-fascist ideology is not going away.

    And that’s precisely the thing about the Benghazi cover-up (which should be called a cover-up until the Obama team presents a timeline which explains things successfully another way). Our president’s administration appears to be trying to maintain the conceit that we have defeated (or are at least on a path towards final defeat) what led to all the 9/11/01 deaths.

    Why deny increased security in Libya? It was a point of pride for the administration not to have put boots on the ground there. 9/11/12 would not have happened the way it happened had John McCain been president. Maybe McCain’s way would have been worse if he had put boots on the ground in Libya, or even in Libya and in Syria. But Libya is Libya partially because of how Obama chose to prosecute that war. And the Ambassador, who knew his life was in danger, had his request for security denied because of how Obama chooses to posture American presence in the middle-East.

    It may be that, overall for the country, it is better to sacrifice the 4 lives we did than to sacrifice in the ways McCain’s strategy would have had us sacrifice. But we have to be able to have that debate honestly.

  • Dan

    Julian @51 and Tom @36 -

    In the end, your vote(s) could boil down to abortion, to the economy, or to the environment. We can each make different cases for which is most important. I don’t expect us all to agree which is the most important issue. That’s democracy.

    But one issue which cries for our attention and honest discussion is how our country will respond to ongoing aggression from Islamist terrorism. Clinton tried one strategy. GWBush tried another strategy. Obama has tried a still different strategy. At the end of the 11 years after 9/11/01, an Al Qaeda associated group successfully killed 4 Americans while Muslims around the world were protesting with great anger against the US.

    I’m not convinced that 4 years (or even 8 years) is enough time to fairly judge a foreign policy. That’s an inherent problem in having this discussion. Nevertheless, we need a substantive debate as a country, because aggression rooted in Islamo-fascist ideology is not going away.

    And that’s precisely the thing about the Benghazi cover-up (which should be called a cover-up until the Obama team presents a timeline which explains things successfully another way). Our president’s administration appears to be trying to maintain the conceit that we have defeated (or are at least on a path towards final defeat) what led to all the 9/11/01 deaths.

    Why deny increased security in Libya? It was a point of pride for the administration not to have put boots on the ground there. 9/11/12 would not have happened the way it happened had John McCain been president. Maybe McCain’s way would have been worse if he had put boots on the ground in Libya, or even in Libya and in Syria. But Libya is Libya partially because of how Obama chose to prosecute that war. And the Ambassador, who knew his life was in danger, had his request for security denied because of how Obama chooses to posture American presence in the middle-East.

    It may be that, overall for the country, it is better to sacrifice the 4 lives we did than to sacrifice in the ways McCain’s strategy would have had us sacrifice. But we have to be able to have that debate honestly.

  • JunkerGeorg

    @Abby, post #56,

    You’re right. The Middle Class, or to qualify things more correctly, the PRIVATE-sector, tax-paying Middle Class, is being squeezed by both parties, if not vampirically bled dry. It’s just that one party has been doing it more dramatically than the other. Ala Lady Thatcher once said about socialism (and its cousin fascism): “Socialism is great until you run out of other people’s money.”

    Perhaps the greater alarm is simply the condition of our electorate and overall culture nowadays. I mean, back in the inflationary days of President Carter with the long lineups at the pump, you could have run a monkey against him in 1980 and the monkey would have won handily. But not so today, given how many are on the government dole among other things. The incumbant’s plan can simply amount to offering free contraception in the next four years in addition to the food stamps the past four years, and that “math” will make more sense to them than cutting taxes like capital gains. As the saying goes, “We get the leaders we deserve.”

  • JunkerGeorg

    @Abby, post #56,

    You’re right. The Middle Class, or to qualify things more correctly, the PRIVATE-sector, tax-paying Middle Class, is being squeezed by both parties, if not vampirically bled dry. It’s just that one party has been doing it more dramatically than the other. Ala Lady Thatcher once said about socialism (and its cousin fascism): “Socialism is great until you run out of other people’s money.”

    Perhaps the greater alarm is simply the condition of our electorate and overall culture nowadays. I mean, back in the inflationary days of President Carter with the long lineups at the pump, you could have run a monkey against him in 1980 and the monkey would have won handily. But not so today, given how many are on the government dole among other things. The incumbant’s plan can simply amount to offering free contraception in the next four years in addition to the food stamps the past four years, and that “math” will make more sense to them than cutting taxes like capital gains. As the saying goes, “We get the leaders we deserve.”

  • WisdomLover

    Romney won the debate.

    The very polls that declare it a draw also declare him the winner 2-to-1 on economic issues.

    Since those issues are the most important this cycle. Romney won.

    The moderator should never be given another job in journalism. That was the most unprofessional display I’ve ever seen.

  • WisdomLover

    Romney won the debate.

    The very polls that declare it a draw also declare him the winner 2-to-1 on economic issues.

    Since those issues are the most important this cycle. Romney won.

    The moderator should never be given another job in journalism. That was the most unprofessional display I’ve ever seen.

  • Lou G

    DonS @25: Amen to that. Excellent post!

  • Lou G

    DonS @25: Amen to that. Excellent post!

  • Carl Vehse

    According to Kevin Dujan’s article, Barry deliberately attempting to stage a hostage-taking in Benghazi as part of a manufactured “October Surprise” that Obama intended to make himself look great on the foreign stage in the lead up to the election:

    This was timed to lead up to September 11th…when deliberately lowered security at the Benghazi consulate (and OTHER consulates and embassies in the Mideast) was supposed to encourage Muslims to take Americans hostage like they did in 1979. Only, Obama’s plan was to negotiate their quick released by trading the “Blind Sheik” from the 1993 World Trade Center bombings for any Americans taken hostage on 9/11/2012.

    This was supposed to show Obama standing up to Muslims, negotiating “peace”, and proving to the world what an effective and strong leader he was.

    Only…it blew up in his face and the administration has been in overdrive trying to cover this stuff up ever since.

    The only way any of this makes any sense, including the deliberate lowering of security and the disregard of Ambassador Chris Steven’s multiple pleas for help on the ground in Libya in the weeks prior to his murder, is that Barack Obama WANTED a hostage situation to happen so he could “look presidential by resolving it in October”… but the Muslims in Libya went overboard and killed people instead of just taking them hostage.

    This also explains why no effort was made to even look for the Ambassador and others missing from the consulate for many hours: Obama’s gang just assumed he was taken hostage as planned and were STUNNED to learn the ambassador was murdered.

    Why else would Obama go to sleep so casually at 3am that night if he didn’t think things were just going according to plan…but when he woke up at 11am the next day he found that all Hell broke loose instead.

    And then the coverup began.

    Hey, it sounds more plausible than claiming Candy Crowley is a world-class journalist worthly to host a presidential debate.

  • Carl Vehse

    According to Kevin Dujan’s article, Barry deliberately attempting to stage a hostage-taking in Benghazi as part of a manufactured “October Surprise” that Obama intended to make himself look great on the foreign stage in the lead up to the election:

    This was timed to lead up to September 11th…when deliberately lowered security at the Benghazi consulate (and OTHER consulates and embassies in the Mideast) was supposed to encourage Muslims to take Americans hostage like they did in 1979. Only, Obama’s plan was to negotiate their quick released by trading the “Blind Sheik” from the 1993 World Trade Center bombings for any Americans taken hostage on 9/11/2012.

    This was supposed to show Obama standing up to Muslims, negotiating “peace”, and proving to the world what an effective and strong leader he was.

    Only…it blew up in his face and the administration has been in overdrive trying to cover this stuff up ever since.

    The only way any of this makes any sense, including the deliberate lowering of security and the disregard of Ambassador Chris Steven’s multiple pleas for help on the ground in Libya in the weeks prior to his murder, is that Barack Obama WANTED a hostage situation to happen so he could “look presidential by resolving it in October”… but the Muslims in Libya went overboard and killed people instead of just taking them hostage.

    This also explains why no effort was made to even look for the Ambassador and others missing from the consulate for many hours: Obama’s gang just assumed he was taken hostage as planned and were STUNNED to learn the ambassador was murdered.

    Why else would Obama go to sleep so casually at 3am that night if he didn’t think things were just going according to plan…but when he woke up at 11am the next day he found that all Hell broke loose instead.

    And then the coverup began.

    Hey, it sounds more plausible than claiming Candy Crowley is a world-class journalist worthly to host a presidential debate.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Carl Vehse’s judgment, everybody! Let’s give it a round of applause!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Carl Vehse’s judgment, everybody! Let’s give it a round of applause!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    todd @ 63: clap clap clap clap crap crap .. oops! Freudian slip :)

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    todd @ 63: clap clap clap clap crap crap .. oops! Freudian slip :)

  • Carl Vehse

    From yesterday’s news: “Bizarre Coincidence: Democrats Get More Time in All Three Debates“:

    In the first debate, Obama spoke for 3 minutes, 14 seconds more than Romney — which means he got 8 percent more talking time than Romney. In last night’s debate, Obama spoke for 4 minutes and 18 seconds longer than Romney, giving him 11 percent more talking time.

    During the vice presidential debate, the gap wasn’t as wide: Biden spoke for 1 minute, 22 seconds more than Ryan.

    Now here’s CNN Managing Editor Mark Whitaker spin-doctoring for his leftist media skank, as well as the other radical leftist moderators, who gave Traitorobama more time than they gave Romney (GET YOUR BARF BAGS READY!):

    On why Obama got more time to speak, it should be noted that Candy and her commission producers tried to keep it even but that Obama went on longer largely because he speaks more slowly. We’re going to do a word count to see whether, as in Denver, Romney actually got more words in even if he talked for a shorter period of time.”

  • Carl Vehse

    From yesterday’s news: “Bizarre Coincidence: Democrats Get More Time in All Three Debates“:

    In the first debate, Obama spoke for 3 minutes, 14 seconds more than Romney — which means he got 8 percent more talking time than Romney. In last night’s debate, Obama spoke for 4 minutes and 18 seconds longer than Romney, giving him 11 percent more talking time.

    During the vice presidential debate, the gap wasn’t as wide: Biden spoke for 1 minute, 22 seconds more than Ryan.

    Now here’s CNN Managing Editor Mark Whitaker spin-doctoring for his leftist media skank, as well as the other radical leftist moderators, who gave Traitorobama more time than they gave Romney (GET YOUR BARF BAGS READY!):

    On why Obama got more time to speak, it should be noted that Candy and her commission producers tried to keep it even but that Obama went on longer largely because he speaks more slowly. We’re going to do a word count to see whether, as in Denver, Romney actually got more words in even if he talked for a shorter period of time.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, Carl (@65)! Surely everyone had their “barf bags” in hand since, oh, I don’t know, comment #24, when someone (won’t name names) couldn’t refrain from classying up the conversation with an extended oral-sex metaphor.

    Carl “Oral Sex / Take Me Seriously” Vehse, everyone!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, Carl (@65)! Surely everyone had their “barf bags” in hand since, oh, I don’t know, comment #24, when someone (won’t name names) couldn’t refrain from classying up the conversation with an extended oral-sex metaphor.

    Carl “Oral Sex / Take Me Seriously” Vehse, everyone!

  • SKPeterson

    I feel like I am the real winner. Due to this debate, I am now a more informed and educated citizen with a deeper and more thorough knowledge of the issues facing our nation. I now feel fully confident that these candidates have a keen grasp of the fundamental issue of governance and that they both have expressed a requisite enthusiasm for undertaking the duties and obligations of this most esteemed office. Yea, I can say that not only am I a winner of this debate, but all of America from Iraq to Okinawa can stand up proudly and say, “Behold, Leviathan! The banners of our Empire stretch every onward to that glorious day when every knee shall bow to the Eagle, the Stars and the Stripes! Amen.”

  • SKPeterson

    I feel like I am the real winner. Due to this debate, I am now a more informed and educated citizen with a deeper and more thorough knowledge of the issues facing our nation. I now feel fully confident that these candidates have a keen grasp of the fundamental issue of governance and that they both have expressed a requisite enthusiasm for undertaking the duties and obligations of this most esteemed office. Yea, I can say that not only am I a winner of this debate, but all of America from Iraq to Okinawa can stand up proudly and say, “Behold, Leviathan! The banners of our Empire stretch every onward to that glorious day when every knee shall bow to the Eagle, the Stars and the Stripes! Amen.”


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