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Wednesday, October 17, 2012


he done it

It's the day after the so-called debate with Obama and Romney. I was driving home from visiting friends who live a half hour away. I heard it on the radio driving home, laughing much of the time, every time Romney spoke. He is the greatest comedy on the airwaves these days. He makes Bill Maher seem brilliant when I really don't believe he is. I was heartened somewhat to see that Obama was up to the game this time. I'd heard one report of the first "debate" that Denver is a mile above sea level and Obama went there directly from sea level, the air so thin his mind was befuddled. It's the best explanation I've heard for his dazed semi-absence during that hour on the air. I'd imagined Karl Rove would send Romney in with a new strategy the second time besides interrupting and changing the subject, winding Obama up in his own words. Evidently Rove did not have a new strategy for a surprise attack, which I don't get. Like it worked once, it will work again. But it didn't work again this time. Obama and staff realized these debates are not about information. Aggressive style is the debate form, and this time Obama and staff were ready.

I listened to what they were saying while driving and, like I said, laughed much of the time, derisive laughter at republican buffoonery that has become so absurd since 1980 when Reagan strategists stole the election with Central American drug money from CIA drug sales, buying a deal with the Ayatollah in Iran to arrange hostage release after Reagan wins, and not at all if Carter wins. It was outrageous at the time, the same kind of outrageous as the republican supreme court decision to give the win to the loser in 2000 and next to re-define corporations as people. Rove is using these debates to make some advances for Romney by twisting up Obama's words and history with nonsense. Of course, Rove uses nonsense for the trump card, which works consistently. It's Rove's particular style, his signature. Last night Obama was ready for it and countered the nonsense. I'm recalling a moment where Romney meant to trip Obama up accusing him of his record, waited for Obama to react and Obama said something to the effect of, "Proceed, governor." That tripped Romney into gibberish, gobbledy-gook that people fall into on the air when they lose their script. I'm recalling Tom Brokaw ad-libbing during a San Francisco earthquake, "San Francisco is an isthmus in the Pacific island." I don't laugh at him, I laugh at the phenomenon that is consistent. I too would stumble all over my words unscripted on the air.

That was the corner Obama put Romney into, handing him an unscripted moment. Like: Live through this! That, for me, was the cleverest moment in their aggressive verbiage. I noticed Obama made the audience laugh a few times. Lawyers tell me that if you can make the courtroom laugh during a jury trial, you've got it in the bag. The audience laughter told me what I'd already guessed, that Obama was in control this time. I can't really go by what I assess of their back and forth verbiage, because news analysts and republicans say something happened that I never noticed. These "debates" are about snagging "swing voters," the ones not allied to one party or the other. The strategy for both parties is to use these television appearances on prime time to give the appearance of outwitting the other, a kind of verbal boxing match with referee. In American politics, aggression is the winning style. We get to listen to two politicians talk aggressively to each other to suggest to the audience they're in control. Daddy's home. It surely must gall the racist party to see Romney one-upped by the Kenyan-American on national tv. But I doubt they saw it that way.

It was a political experience I suspect everyone who heard it came out of the same as they went into it. Television noise, no dead air. A moment without noise on tv allows the viewer a moment to think, and somebody might think about turning it off. Once I turned it off in the car, I did not turn it back on in the house. I'd heard more than I wanted to hear. I just wanted to get a feel for the nature of their dance around the mental ring in an imitation boxing match. Right away I got it that Obama was trampling Romney, and continued to listen to hear him do it some more. Of course I prefer Obama, because I like having somebody for king of the world who has some intelligence. Obama, Clinton and Carter were the only presidents I've seen with intelligence I admired and felt good that the king of the world had a good mind for decision making. When we had Reagan we were saying this is the bottom for how ignorant a man can handle the white house. Then Bush2 showed us Reagan was not the bottom. Reagan's summing up of his administration at the end was: It could have been worse. W came along and proved him right. Romney is showing us W was not the bottom either. It can get worse. Karl Rove's purpose is to see to it.


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