Is This Really Political Discourse? My First and Last Experience with the Debates

I wasn't planning on watching the debates, but my wife made me watch the first 20 minutes.  Is this really what passes for political discourse in this country?  I was particularly struck by the appeals to unnamed authorities -- both candidates said something like "I saw a study the other day [unnamed] that said my plan was great" or "your plan was bad."  Seriously pathetic.

And, after the corporatism and cronyism of the last 8+ years, the fact that Romney could not explain why it made sense to cut tax rates but eliminate deductions just convinced me he deserves to lose.  He was losing to class warfare rhetoric on tax cuts, when he should have been taking the high ground, even with the occupy wall street folks, saying that it was time to stop tilting the tax code towards special interests and populist fads at least one of which -- the tilting of the tax code to home ownership -- helped drive the recent economic downturn.

I blog and don't tend to debate in real time, because I always think of great quips hours later, but even I had the perfect rejoinder for Obama in real time when he said, "I think we should return to Clinton era tax rates, when the economy was great and growing."  Romney should have said, "If I am President, I will happily work with Democrats to do just that, as long as they agree to return to Clinton era spending levels.   After all, if government policy during that era was really so perfect for the economy, then spending levels must have been appropriate as well."

I don't plan to watch any more of this garbage until and unless they include someone other than the Coke and Pepsi candidates.   I'd like to see Gary Johnson but heck, even adding a Marxist would probably help.

65 Comments

  1. fredrick.:

    Political discourse becomes more harsh 4 weeks before an election. Come back Nov 7 and you will get the normal blandness.

    You came because Maggie showed Warren taking out the flow restricter?

  2. fredrick.:

    Companies and people are holding back waiting for the election, so they can make informed decisions what to do with the money. I think whomever is elected, the money will start to flow again. I suspect with Romney the money will flow a bit more because folks will believe they won't have to have as much of a reserve to counter all the socialist garbage we will have to put up with Obama.

    Personally in my family we are saving our asses off and trying to make our expenses as low as possible just in case the tax breaks go away in January. We get about 3500 a year in a break for that which does not seem like much at first until your realize that is all my marginal discretionary spending. Yes we have to pay the house and electricity every month and then buy food ... no matter what and that takes the bulk of the paycheck - and then when we look at the left over that is the money we save for vacation, going to movies and such. It is this entertainment budget which will disappear.

  3. fredrick.:

    Unfortunately at campaign events fellow libertarians sabotage his campaign by only asking about Pot laws. Those are all the video feeds they have on poor Johnson talking over and over about yes I would abolish pot laws.

    Makes him and the party look like a one issue candidate/party.

  4. fredrick.:

    Dems hire trolls to write pablum like that into Internet forums to generate FUD (Fear Uncertainty, Doubt) about Romney. You are warned.

  5. fredrick.:

    If the leftists are going to revolt, they are going to revolt regardless, whether the vote was close or not. Believe it or not, riots are usually planned out in advance(Having gone to SFSU for college, and lived in SF - I learned this) . And since the potential rioters tend to hang in leftist enclaves, it is the leftist enclaves that will be hit. You expect the riots in San Francisco and Chicago right? Not Dallas, Houston.

    Let them burn down their own cities. I really don't care.

  6. fredrick.:

    Read my post - It is highly unlikely all the votes for Nader would have gone for Al Gore- As in your premise is incorrect, or not applicable - if if if.

    "If wishes were horses then beggars would ride,
    If turnips were swords I'd have one by my side.
    If 'ifs' and hands were pots and pans
    There would be no need for tinkers hands!"

    -Traditional, Origin Unknown

  7. Dan:

    pfft, Al Franken won because of fraud, just like Dan Malloy won the CT governor election in 2010. "Discovered votes" after the fact - but hey Holder said we've never had a documented case of voter fraud, right?

  8. dan:

    If Gore won, we'd have been signed on to Kyoto and the housing crash would have came by 2004, time he was out, and he'd have perhaps sent a cruise missile or two to look for bin laden and hit a dirt mound instead.

  9. dan:

    "There is no difference R or D" may be true - but that leaves out the fact that the D party has been eaten from the inside by the Progressive party - remember Hilary herself saying she was no liberal, she's a progressive - the same disgusting Wilson-esque crap that gave us midnight votes, income tax, the federal reserve...

    There may be no difference were were talking about "your father's Democrat party" but that is long gone just like the notion of blue dogs.

  10. AnInquirer:

    Much too hard on Romney. Remember: the audience he needs to win are not those who understand individual responsibility, liberty, math, and reward-to-effort. Those who understand those concepts (under 40% of the population, I guess) will not be voting for Obama. Rather, he needs to be persuasive for the 15% (my guess) of the population who are open to hearing about the concepts of limited government, self-responsibility, and explanations unfiltered by the mainstream media. He is talking to people who have been raised in an education system that promotes equality of outcomes, class warfare, and the world view that the source of all evil is white males.

  11. AnInquirer:

    Russ, a bit of exaggeration. In that direction, yes, but not that far.

  12. AnInquirer:

    Certain regulations are necessary for a well-function economy. Government needs regulations to protect private property, to insure the rule of law, and to facilitate the operation of competitive markets. The trouble is when regulations are designed to reward your political friends or to force your world view on others. Although such misuse of regulations did not originate under Obama, such misuse has bloomed to devastating levels under him.

  13. fredrick.:

    And if his opponent had 5000 more votes could Franken have won even with fraud? Votes do matter.

  14. markm:

    "I think those that throw away progress towards their principle because they can't get exactly their principles are pretty silly."

    Progress towards what principle? Romney might not move as fast towards bigger government and less liberty as Obama, but (just like both Bushes) he will move in that direction. It's pretty silly to think that you can go North by voting to go slower to the South...

  15. mesocyclone:

    I see. So it doesn't matter to you if things get bad quickly or slowly? There is no way Romney will move towards big government as fast as Obama. As for liberties, as far as I can tell, Obama has a slight influence on libertines, but other than that, I don't see him as bringing fewer liberties. Care to explain which liberties Romney is going to do worse on?

    Beyond that, there's a disturbing trend towards ratcheting bigger government. Reagan ran into this. It may or may not be solvable, but unless you think the only way to go south is to let things get so far north that they collapse, it's pretty silly to vote for the norther or the two.