arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It’s Over…Almost!



Thank you, Jesus! There is a god! The 2012 Debates: The Mini-Series is over!

It is time to reflect back on the highs and lows of the climatic performances by our candidates.

EPISODE ONE: THE PHANTOM CONSERVATIVE

Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney came out swinging, scoring a TKO and nearly pummeling moderator Jim Lehrer in the process. Even Big Bird got roughed up. President Obama avoided eye contact with his rival for much of the debate, to the point that he appeared to doze off at times. Even he admitted he had an off night.

Throughout it all Romney, the extreme right wing conservative from the primary debate era, gave way to Romney, the middle-of-the-road Republican. Even Bill Clinton was amazed!  No one could tell if this new phantom conservative was the real deal, or just another case of political expedient flip-flopping.

Yet, this seemed to go unnoticed as everyone dwelled on Obama’s performance. Liberals scratched their heads for days wondering what happened to their leader. After awhile, we learned to look forward to the future debates, and pretend like this first debate never really happened. Sometimes denial is a prudent way to go.

EPISODE TWO: ATTACK OF THE VEEPS

Two devout Roman Catholics, both up for vice president, took their turns at the debate table. Joe Biden, the scrappy fighter from Scranton, reacted with vigor at most things his rival Paul Ryan said. Biden rolled his eyes, gestured dramatically with a flourish, laughed, scoffed, and all but horked up a hairball on Ryan. Okay, so Biden might have come off as a borderline psychotic, but hey, this was authentic Joe!

Biden admitted his faith was strong, but drew the line at imposing his beliefs on others. Ryan, on the other hand, all but confirmed the fears that people had about John F. Kennedy. On social issues, Ryan appeared to admit that he would take orders from the Vatican. I realize the fears are groundless, but it still matters to many people. 

Witness the Christian evangelicals reluctance to support Romney due to his Mormon faith. Witness also the conservative right who can’t make up their minds to denounce Barack Obama as a Muslim (because of his middle name) or a radical Christian (because he attended services in Chicago presided over by Rev. Jeremiah Wright). Faith can be a moral guide, but it can also be divisive.

EPISODE THREE: OBAMA STRIKES BACK

The President showed up this time, reaffirming that he is more at ease at a town hall debate format. His eye contact and body language were greatly improved over the first debate (which we now officially declare never happened at all). This gave Romney more than enough room to make a few gaffes. Both candidates talked over the other, and at times the exchanges got a little testy.

The most memorable moment happened with Romney’s criticism of Obama’s timing of the phrase “act of terror” while talking about the embassy attack in Benghazi. This prompted a real time fact check from moderator Candy Crowley, who corrected Romney’s assertion that Obama did use the words one day after the attack, although Obama’s phrasing made it sound like he was not specifically referring to THIS attack as an act of terror.

Conservatives groused that Crowley overstepped her bounds; one pundit (from Fox News, natch) proclaimed that moderators should be nothing more than pieces of furniture. My, talk about extreme views! I would think that moderators should be more engaged than say, an empty chair (are you taking notes, Mr. Eastwood?). Sometimes moderators need to keep the proceedings moving, but we should allow them the right to step in and tell the combatants to go to their neutral corners when the debate is on the verge of devolving into fisticuffs.

So, kudos to Crowley for keeping the second presidential debate bloodless.

EPISODE FOUR: HORSES, BAYONETS, AND SUBMARINES, OH MY!

Finally, the fourth debate transpired in the land of sunshine, orange groves, Cuban refugees and their descendents, and of course, very, very old people. Once again, Obama seemed to be on top of his game, while Romney whined that Obama’s criticisms of Romney’s position (some of them in a perpetual state of flux) were just personal attacks.

Defense spending was a delicate subject for the combatants. Romney vowed to increase spending for defense, explaining at one point that our Navy has fewer ships now than it did in 1916. Obama countered with a delightfully condescending explanation that America also has less bayonets and horses now than we did in 1916. He also explained that we have ships that go underwater called nuclear submarines to further clarify that America’s defense needs have changed in the last 100 years. Obama could have really emphasized his point if he had raised his fingers as quotation marks around the words “nuclear submarine”, much like Mike Myers used the gesture when his character Dr. Evil used the word “laser” in the Austin Powers films. 

Ah, but that might have been bad form, or even un-presidential. It would definitely have been over the top, as in Joe Biden-over-the-top. The vice president definitely would have gotten away with the “quotation mark finger gesture.”

Other than this incident, the debate on how each would manage America’s foreign policy was rather devoid of controversy. Surprisingly, Romney agreed with Obama most of the time on the president’s foreign policy decisions. If this is really true, and not another example of Romney flip-flopping around, then why should we, the American people, hire someone else to lead the country? Why shouldn’t we just rehire Obama?

Again, I believe it is time to rejoice that the debates are over! Soon the American voters will have their say. Regardless of the outcome - whether we wake up on November 7 and know who will lead us for the next four years, or if there will be another protracted legal battle up to the Supreme Court in our future - rest assured the republic will survive. Of course, our chances of survival would be better if everyone had a bayonet…

(Thank you for reading. Kudos to everyone for surviving this campaign!)

2 Comments:

Blogger Bob said...

"Romney agreed with Obama most of the time on the president’s foreign policy decisions."
Which I, like the LA Times, sees as a Mitt Romney endorsement of a Barack Obama presidency!

October 24, 2012 at 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Janey said...

Beautifully and delighted composed! BRAVO, RTG!

And that Paul Ryan sure is HOT!!!! :-)

Love,
Janey
PS: I'm voting for the Libertarian Party candidate, Gary Johnson.

October 24, 2012 at 6:28 PM  

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