Above, 'the picture of the night,' according to the website I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists (www.classwarfareexists.com). 'I think this picture sums it up,' wrote blogger Icarus. 'Romney interrupting Obama in the debate again, with no respect or deference for the president. This picture is a perfect caricature of Romney during his entire campaign. 10k bet?'
By Emily Theroux
After watching the second Obama/Romney debate, a town-hall brawl staged at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island, I felt as if I’d disappeared down Alice in Wonderland‘s rabbit hole into the “sea of tears” and come up gasping for air in Orwell’s 1984.
Nothing the Republican standard-bearer said made sense. Up was down. Black was white. Truth and lies were indistinct, mutable, virtually interchangeable, because that’s how Mitt likes it. Chaos and dissension permit him to dominate the conversation, manipulate the viewers’ perceptions of his rival, and falsely cast himself as upholder of righteousness, captain of industry, foreign policy virtuoso, and champion of the middle class — which bamboozles the unwary as long as the debate moderator buckles and Romney’s opponent remains loath to call a flip-flop a dirty, deliberate lie.
This time, however, no one — with the possible exception of the 82 absurdly indecisive and largely uninformed town-hall questioners — was taking Mitt the Impaler’s smug, derisive nonsense lying down.
The moderator, Candy Crowley of CNN, fought back valiantly against Mitt’s dizzying displays of entitlement, pique, condescension, disrespect, and refusal to observe the rules of the debate.
President Obama showed up this time firing on all cylinders: the actual 2008 campaigner, come back to life. While Willard “Myth” Romney kept coming at him — throwing hissy-fits of petulance when Crowley or Obama had the temerity to stand up to him; ominously stalking the stage while alternately seething and smirking; hurling contempt and flinging invective — it was clear that Mitt wasn’t quite sure what hit him.
Obama was present, engaged, wry, witty, assertive, even aggressive when necessary, without relying on Joe Biden’s fallback posture during last week’s vice-presidential debate with Paul “Lyin’ ” Ryan — laughing in his opponent’s face every time he lied. From the moment when Obama first said, “Candy, what Governor Romney said just isn’t true,” I knew it was only a matter of time before Mitt the Wazzock (a name which shall live in infamy Across the Pond) lost his loosely corralled marbles and launched into the primary-tested “Mitt the Twit” arrogant-bully persona taken viral by tweeting Londoners last summer.
The Mittster, by contrast, was defensive and offensive in turn, rattled, domineering, snappish, pouty, and a complete churl. My relatives in South Carolina have an expression for such boorish behavior: Mitt acted, as my mother used to say, “like something on a stick.”
Fox ‘questioned the questions’ undecided voters asked
Not that you could tell Obama trounced Romney from the wingnut drivel that inevitably followed the debate. The fools on Faux News were spinning Romney’s embarrassing performance so furiously that some actually concluded that the sorest of sore losers won the debate!
You could have set your alarm clock by Fox’s — and, I’m afraid, CNN’s — escalating paint-by-numbers idiocy.
- Color #1: Brit Hume, the Fox “straight news guy,” observed, “I thought Mitt Romney was the same Mitt Romney we saw in Denver two weeks ago” (no mention of the cold, unalterable fact that Mittens was lying like a used-car salesman and insolently hectoring the sitting President of the United States — nor that he was devastated by the president’s comebacks to his preposterous lies, and Crowley’s “fact-checking” of Romney’s mischaracterizations of Obama’s reaction to the Sept. 11 attack on the American consulate in Libya). Hume did conclude, however, that Obama ” will probably be declared the winner of this, on most cards.”
- Color #2: John King of CNN fell into the predictable mainstream trap of trying so hard to keep from being accused of “liberal media bias” that such journalists end up creating a “false equivalency” between the comparatively rational Democrats and the extremist “insurgent outlier party” that the GOP has devolved into. “I think Gov. Romney did a very good job prosecuting against the incumbent’s record,” King proclaimed. (That assessment becomes meaningless when you’ve delved into Romney’s symptomatic pattern of deceit long enough to realize that what appears to the uninitiated as “a very good job” is merely a very thorough pack of lies.)
- Color #3: Sean Hannity raved about Romney’s debate “win,” calling Romney’s performance “the most-devastating indictment of the Obama economy that we’ve seen. CBS snap poll 65-34 Romney tonight.” (This was not what other journalists said about the CBS poll. The Washington Post said Obama won 37 percent to 30 percent, while 33 percent described it as a tie; they also reported that a “snap CNN/ORC poll” said Obama won, 47 percent to 39 percent. Other mainstream sources agreed.) Hannity also called Romney’s failure to make the case that Obama “didn’t call the attack in Libya an act of terrorism” (when he clearly did) the debate’s “best moment.”
Romney retaliates with imperious, hit-and-run debating style
“Romney came across as a kind of irritating know-it-all who doesn’t operate well when he’s challenged,” said Jonathan Alter to Chris Matthews, in what had to be the understatement of the evening.
At one point, Romney charged Obama with a 14 percent drop in oil production and a 9 percent reduction in gas production this year on federal land — because, he said, the president halved the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands and in federal waters. “This has not been Mr. Oil or Mr. Gas or Mr. Coal,” he snarked.
Then, after Obama called Mitt’s attack “not true,” the Republican started in on Obama with a manic, rapid-fire inquisition that astonished viewers with its sheer impertinence, as well as by Mitt’s absolute refusal to let Obama finish a response or get a word in edgewise.
“So how much did you cut ‘em by?” (Obama, again: “It’s not true.”) “By how much did you cut ‘em by, then? (Obama: “Governor, we’ve actually produced more oil on —”)
“No-no,” Mitt snapped, as if shushing an impudent child or dismissing an “illegal” Mexican gardener. “How much have you cut on licenses and permits on federal land and federal waters?” (Obama: “Governor Romney, here is what we did. There are were a bunch of oil companies —”) “No, I had a — I had a — I had a question —” (Obama: “No, you — no, you — you — you want —”) “— and the question was, how much did you cut them by?” (Obama: “— you want me to answer a question, I’m —”) “How much did you cut them by?” (Obama: “I’m happy to answer the question.”) “All right, and it is?”
OMG, MittWit! I fumed. Did you remember to take your meds today?!!?!
Obama actually managed to articulate a paragraph about refusing to let oil companies squat for 20 to 30 years without drilling on public lands. Then more crossfire ensued over whether oil production was up (Obama) or down (Romney) on federal land. Finally, Mitt bashed Obama with this doozy: “I don’t think anyone believes that you’re a person who’s going to be pushing for oil and gas and coal. You’ll get your chance in a moment,” the challenger informed the incumbent, “because I’m still speaking.”
(Obama: “Well, Governor, if — if you’re asking me a question, I’m going to answer it.”) “My — and the answer is I don’t believe people think that’s the case, because I — I’m — that wasn’t a question.” (Obama: “Okay. All right.”) “That was a statement.”
A white supremacist advertises his racist proclivities to like-minded voters attending a weekend rally for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who targeted white voters throughout his campaign with racial dog-whistle signals. Photo by Getty Images.
Un-freaking-believable! Mitt Romney was just as testy, disdainful, and disrespectful toward President Obama as he was to Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, or Rick Santorum — “swatting him away,” as Chris Matthews put it. Noblesse, in Romney’s case, does not oblige. (“Excuse me; I’m still speaking … I’m not finished … Anderson? Anderson? … Let me complete!”) The baby of George and Lenore Romney’s family, MittForBrains can be insufferably whiny and demanding when he doesn’t immediately get his way.
“Candy, I’m used to being interrupted,” joked Barack Obama, Leader of the Free World.
And dissed. A “white pride” voter was allowed to attend a Romney campaign event over the weekend wearing a navy-blue T-shirt emblazoned with the following legend: “Put the White Back in the White House.”
Sadly, ever since Obama’s first State of the Union address, when the execrable South Carolina congressman, Joe Wilson, shouted out, “You lie!” to the first black president of the United States, such staggering effrontery has precipitously eclipsed the audacity of hope.
Debate results indisputable: Mitt slept in doghouse last night
After the fireworks ended with Obama’s “47 percent” grand finale, Ann Romney’s subdued behavior was telling: No congratulatory kiss and hug for hubby.
By morning, fortunately, cooler heads than the talking ones on Fox News prevailed. Although they weren’t effusive in their praise, the usually insufferable Morning Joe team on MSNBC gave Barack Obama some credit for winning the debate — while ascribing to Mitt Romney a heap of blame for losing it.
Joe Scarborough, who called the debate “Romney’s missed opportunity,” made it clear that he didn’t like Mitt’s autocratic and dismissive debate posture (although Scarborough’s condescension toward Candy Crowley was almost as irksome as Romney’s poised-to-go-viral comment about the “binders full of women” that he falsely claimed resulted from his own efforts to recruit “qualified women candidates” to hold cabinet positions and agency posts in Massachusetts).
“You don’t run over a female moderator,” said Scarborough. “And you don’t run over the president of the United States.” The general consensus, he added, dictated “that you treat the president with deference.”
About Mitt Romney, Morning Joe sidekick Mike Barnicle opined, “He behaved as if he were a CEO and this was a hostile takeover.”
Let’s hope he doesn’t see dollar signs in American voters’ eyes and decide, once he wins the election, to ship all of our jobs to China.