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LIVEBLOG: Presidential Debate #1

The first thing to remember is that every single detail you see in front of you -- from the red carpet, to the blue background, to the font used for the Declaration of Independence, faintly outlined behind them -- every detail is carefully, finely planned. 

More than that, every facial expression and "spontaneous moment" has been well rehearsed beforehand. "Presidential debate" is really a misnomer. There is no debate about it any more. It is a political clash of titans, and more depends on their preparation and rehearsals than on their ideas and policy proposals.

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Reader Comments (13)

Andrea,

Thanks for the late night follow-up of the debate. I didn't watch and it's precisely because of everything you stated. It's not real and mainstream media doesn't care because it's only about them.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterasech01

Great points. Glad I have access to somebody who'll watch this junk as it happens so I don't have to.

I'll be throwing a little something in to the hat for you.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterE'VilleMike

You have the understanding of Romney's use of "trickle down government" all wrong and your bias is showing to boot.

"Trickle down" was used pejoratively by the democrats in criticism of the Reagan tax plan, but the origin of the term goes back to Will Rogers criticism of economics in the Depression.

Obama believes, as do most democrats, that government is the creator and source of economic activity and prosperity and use the tax code to enforce through law what the economy will not deliver on its own. Obama's own Freudian "you didn't build that..." gaff highlights this belief.

This redistribution of wealth through the tax code is a major difference in philosophy between red and blue. We have evolved, as a nation, to a class of creators and doers and a class of takers and sitters, and to a divide in politics between people who see government as the solution and those that see government as the problem.

Mr Romney turned both the phrase "trickle down" and the philosophy back on Obama and the democrats. This was masterful. It was the democrats that created the pejorative use of the phrase "trickle down" so they can have no direct objection here. Obama himself has made no secret of either his desire to increase the size and scope of government or his belief that government is the driving force behind the prosperity of the US.

Romney, disagrees with both of these and used the democrats own phrase to lampoon the foolishness of the notion that further increasing the clanking behemoth of a federal government we already have will result in prosperity "trickling down" to the average Joe.

Doing this immediately energized his base and did exactly what a debate is supposed to do: highlight a substantive policy difference between the two candidates. That he was able to set this difference so clearly before the American people with such an economy of words is testimony to his intellect.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCibrario

Nice straw man argument, Cibrario.

"Obama believes, as do most democrats, that government is the creator and source of economic activity and prosperity blah blah blah"

Nothing you say after that means anything because the Democrats and the Obama of your posted comment exist only in your imagination.

We're hip to your tricks - you need to think of something else.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterE'VilleMike

Romney's phrase "trickle-down government" made me *so* mad! We all know that Reagan's "trickle-down economics" do not work. Wealth does not trickle down to workers like me when the top 1% or 2% receive "encouragement" in the form of tax breaks, lax regulations, etc. Now Romney and the Republican Party are trying to use the alienation that Democrats (and, I would say, the majority of non-wealthy Republicans and independents) feel when we hear the phrase "trickle-down" against us. Trying to make us associate failed trickle-down policies with Obama and the Democrats. Such a dirty trick!

I also want to state that I resent the implication (see Cibrario's comment) that because I earn less than the median income, I'm a "taker" and not a part of the great American workforce. I happen to have spent my life working in a specialty that is not well compensated monetarily, but that requires a high level of education and expertise. Some things in life are more important than being filthy rich. And the American system rewards certain kinds of employment much more generously than others -- compare, for example, professional athletes vs. school teachers.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEveT

"Trickle-down government" is exactly what it says on the tin: government takes, then redistributes, and along the way a rather substantial portion gets lost in the bureaucratic shuffle. Our country spends over $3 trillion -- how much of that actually get to the individual who needs it? Very little -- a trickle.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKJ

Drat, I might have known that one of you steel trap brained Hoosiers would have seen through my clever trickery: I told the truth.

Democrats have given us Social Security, moved the Social Security trust into the general budget, granted Social Security benefits to immigrants who have never paid a nickel into the program, removed the Social Security tax credit, saddled us with Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants, Government Subsidized Housing, Welfare, Food Stamps, Head Start, SSI, FEMA, taken over virtually all student loans and have, through Obamacare, begun the disastrous process of nationalizing the healthcare industry, not to mention the fouling of state and local budgets with similar and parallel programs.

The cost of these programs is now north of 60% of the federal tax load. Or in another way to think about it, this amounts to a little over $30,000 per person per year. Seems like a lot to me.

If, as you suggest, the democrats have not wished to expand the size and scope of government, they have laughably failed in their effort not to do so.

While I imagine that you are a net "taker" regarding entitlements and therefore this doesn't matter to you, you still should make every attempt to immerse yourself in the facts and become "hip" to the truth....dude....if only so that you can fully enjoy the free ride you're getting at the expense of other peoples work.

The facts are not your friends.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCibrario

I like the final entry. The media do take it upon themselves to let us know what they think we should think, even though many of us watched the same debate, and should be able to form our own oppinions.

October 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Johnson

fascinating book lists 10 corporate sponsors who've taken over the presidential debates from the League of Women Voters. Not long before this becomes The Bud Light Presidential Debate.

George Farah, Founder and Executive Director of Open Debates. He is also author of the book, "No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic Parties Secretly Control the Presidential Debates."

October 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGuy

I admit that I watched several hours of the coverage following the debate. This may be part of my problem. I listened to the actual debate on headphones and I didn't hear the slam dunk by Romney that so many others saw. Maybe a Nixon/Kennedy thing.

What I heard are two smooth talking sharpies who are very good at talking and making it sound like they have done much and have even bigger plans. I find them to be more alike than different.

All the talking heads seemed to be interested in the set of the candidates jaw, the body language and the cut of their suits, not in what either of them said or didn't say. If you would have replaced the words presidential debates with the words Miss America Pageant and Romney and Obama with Miss Utah and Miss Illinois one might have expected the commentary to include the cut of their swimsuit, their evening gown and how well they could juggle.

After this, most of their time was spent analyzing what each other thought about it and not so much on what the candidates actually said.

I find the whole thing a bit depressing, but I do like Guy's idea about overt corporate sponsorship of the event. I would actually love it if the candidates were forced to wear labels like stock car drivers so I could see who is behind these candidates.

It would somehow seem more honest in a tragic sort of way.

October 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKai Hermsted

Now that a few days have passed, I am even more disheartened as I see the media pronouncing Romney the "winner" while fully acknowledging that he lied through his teeth many times, as well as ignoring the ground rules and being rude to the moderator and the president.

In what universe is this type of reprehensible behavior considered "winning" a debate?

October 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEveT

Arrgh, I've always thought that about the media talking to the media. Thank you for confirming it! Wow.

October 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterApril B

Romney "won" the debate?! I watched it with a conservative friend and when we heard that Romney had won we both looked at each other puzzled saying: what debate did we watch? It never occurred to us that Obama did that badly until the media announced it. What? Now that is a profound example of media influence if there ever was!

October 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobbie37

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