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After The Dust Has Settled

The much-lauded first debate has come and gone. As most everyone now knows, Romney won the debate...

The much-lauded first debate has come and gone. As most everyone now knows,  Romney won the debate. This was in part because President Obama basically didn’t show up with anything close to his “A” game. Progressives and liberals trying to salvage something out of this have been pointing out how many times Romney lied and changed positions to get that win. They point out that President Obama was right on the facts even thought Romney was better on style and soundbites.

That said, as I pointed out previously – debates aren’t about substance, they’re about style, and one liners and theater. And Romney simply showed up prepared to put on a good show and did. Republicans rejoiced that they might be back in this and be able to win the election afterall. Democratic reactions ranged from hand ringing to outright anger that Obama didn’t put it away in a year where the margin of victory is predicted to be so razor small.

The reason Romney had a good debate is because it was impossible for Obama to be completely prepared to debate a candidate who doesn’t himself know his position. Romney made positions and ideas up on the fly, with no specifics, and challenged Obama to retort against plans which are impossible to implement.

You can be sure that Obama’s debate prep team was sitting there in aghast horror as they prepared for a debate over policies which apparently weren’t relevant. It’s like preparing for a football game only to realize that you will be participating in a sepak takraw tournament. (Look it up, I promise it will intrigue you and the rules aren’t half as confounding as Romney’s policy proposals.)

Two days later the Unemployment Rate and Jobs Reports came out showing job growth this month as well as upward revisions for the past two months and, politically more important, the un-employment rate dropped to 7.8% as more people returned to work. Republicans jumped the crazy fence accusing Democrats and “those guys in Chicago” of cooking the numbers. Asides from playing the part in the bizarre right-wing trend to assume any fact that doesn’t agree with their opinion is part of a conspiracy theory, it is telling on two fronts.

First the Tea Party Republicans and Romney know they cannot win on substance and facts but they can win on theatrics. That’s why they brought in all the lies and “I don’t know what you’re talking about” responses to matters ranging from how a 5 trillion dollar tax cut for the rich is revenue neutral to how companies get tax breaks for sending jobs overseas.

I myself was laughing at Romneys “who are you going to believe – me or your lying eyes” defenses but the reality is they worked. The second point is that it proves that Obama’s policies which are based on real facts work. Yes, things could be better. But when opposition Republicans at the national level and in the states have made it clear that they are willing to do anything incluidng hamper or even derail the recovery in order to regain power this is in some ways proof that facts do beat theater – at least when it comes to econonics.

Unfortunately an election this close and an electorate this polarized doesn’t lend itself to facts winning over theater. When an entire side of the electorate is inclined to believe anything that doesn’t support their side is a lie and a communist-Nazi-socialist plot of the day there’s not a lot you can do. Remember what they say – don’t argue with a crazy person – people watching might not be able to tell the difference. Because of that it becomes all the more important that Biden and Obama come prepared to play the debate game, NOT give a policy briefing at news conference. And from saving Big Bird to pointing out how Bain Capitol pioneered off shoring because of its tax advantages, both the ad wars and the future debate responses need to make sure that the Etch a Sketch candidate doesn’t become the Etch a Sketch President.

The thing to take away from this debate is that this race isn’t over. This debate probably isn’t going to be looked back upon as the turning point of the election. They rarely are. What this debate did more than anything was galvanize the campaigns. Republicans are encouraged once again, thinking maybe all hope isn’t lost. What we need to do now on the Democratic side is prepare for the ground game in 30 days. You can be sure that President Obama’s campaign is preparing for the next debate and that we need to help out in any way we can on the local level. This is going to be a close one and every vote counts.

Reprinted from State Senator Curt Thompson's (D-5th) blog. Also, check the Senator out on Facebook and Twitter.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew October 11, 2012 at 03:56 AM
"Two days later the Unemployment Rate and Jobs Reports came out showing job growth this month as well as upward revisions for the past two months and, politically more important, the UN-employment rate dropped to 7.8% as more people returned to work." Funny a couple of months ago the jobs numbers were over-reported by 30 to 50 percent and not a peep about that during THIS release in light of the previous whiff? Since its driven by unemployment participants, as these folks exhaust their time did they just LEAVE the labor force or transfer to welfare? Smoke and mirrors doesn't even do this justice and may just be an insult to hard working mirrors everywhere.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew October 11, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Token communist charge made to fulfill expectations (Smiles)
Otis The Town Drunk October 11, 2012 at 04:52 AM
R, you are spot on. I think we (the intelligent and rational) work ourselves up over stupidity like this because we care and understand the corruption in government. Bureaucracies in government that fear unemployment for themselves if the truth is realized by the majority. Our children are going to pay for the stupidity of today's complacent, Entertainment Tonight fans. Keep fighting the good fight for the sake of our youth.
Karsten Torch October 11, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Amy, I applaud your efforts, and the efforst of every other liberal out there for your desire to try to take care of our unable. However, I, like many of my Conservative brethren, think that your approach is unrealistic and, quite frankly, detrimental. First, regarding innovations - the US leads the world in the area of medical innovations. We are the world leader in advanced technology, and why we are the country you want to be in should you get sick - we have the highest survival rate for terminal diseases in the world. And this is not because we subsidize our medical community. Other, we can't spend ourselves into prosperity. Japan tried this, and failed miserably. Our government produces nothing it doesn't first take from another source, and it doesn't do this very efficiently. Why would it be better to take money from people that earn it and spend it for them? And eat up most of it in administrative costs? This doesn't even mention the idea that doing for people encourages them not to do for themselves. There's a story that's going around about the DNR tells people not to feed bears because they will become dependant on people for that food and dangerous, yet we're increasing people all the time on the government dole, and that the ideas are related. And I tend to agree with the sentiment. As can be seen in the riots in Greece....
Karsten Torch October 11, 2012 at 06:31 PM
people are likely to become comfortable with what is provided for them, to the extent they will expect it, not do anything to change what they receive, and become violent when it is taken away. I truly believe the war against poverty is directly responsible for the rampant poverty in this country, and the reason for our large inequality of incomes.

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