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Nervously Optimistic

I’ve been asked by my sons’ scoutmaster to watch tomorrow night’s debate with my 11-year-old sons and the rest of the Boy Scout troop and provide my expert advice. Should be fun, but I’m on pins and needles, as I’m more anxious about tomorrow night than any other night in the campaign.

Tomorrow night is the only night Romney can lose this thing.

All but the most diehard partisans now recognize that this race has slipped away from the president, and that Joe Biden’s toothy meltdown sent thrills up MSNBC legs but didn’t stop the slide. Barring some cataclysmic event, the Romney momentum will continue to build and the Romney landslide will proceed as scheduled.

Tomorrow, however, could be that cataclysmic event.

It probably won’t be, but that makes it worse. When things are going this well, I always get nervous. All signs point to another Romney victory tomorrow, which makes me counterintuitively think that perhaps Romney and company might be getting cocky. But, that said, let me tell you why they have reason to be cocky.

Romney went into the first debate with expectations in the cellar and a media waiting to call it for the prez before anyone said a word. Romney was far better than expected; Obama was far worse. So what are the expectations for this next debate? Hard to tell. It’s kinda weird.

First off, everyone expects Obama to do a lot better.  But how does he accomplish that, exactly?

The president himself chalks up his tumble in Round 1 to his being too “polite.” If that’s really what he’s thinking, then he’s setting himself up for failure. Town halls are a far more difficult venue in which to spew bile the way Biden did while sitting across the table from his opponent. And angry, shrill, whiny Obama isn’t going to play well with moderates and independents, although he may keep Rachel Maddow from intentionally defenestrating herself. His problem in Round 1 wasn’t that he was too friendly; it was that he had no defense for the indefensible. And since Round 1, Benghazi has morphed into a full-fledged disaster for the president, and attempts to blame it all on Romney are pathetically feeble. His record stinks, and he’s not going to better defend it if all he does is amp up the nastiness.

The “liar. liar, pants on fire” approach doesn’t work well when the guy you’re accusing can calmly and confidently correct you. And, again, Benghazi has been a parade of lies that has been marching into the living rooms of America for the past month. So if Obama just aims for Romney’s non-flaming trousers in an attempt to roast rhetorical marshmallows on them, he’s going to lose.

Expectations for Romney are skewed, too. The message from the first debate should have been that this guy is not to be trifled with, which would have raised expectations sky high for him this time around. But most lefties refuse to acknowledge that, because that would require them to recognize that Romney is not, in fact, the love (hate?) child of Thurston Howell and the devil himself.

So instead, they insist Romney won by means of Satanic interference, and that it was his brazen dishonesty coupled with Obama’s ineffectuality that won the day for him. So they discount Romney’s competence even as it stares them in the face. In addition, they maintain that the town hall format is ill-suited to Romney’s style, when Romney has actually been holding successful town hall events all year long. This also ignores a harsh reality that no one seems to notice; the prickly, aloof, out-of-touch candidate in this race is not Mitt Romney, but Barack Obama. Where are the indications that he’s warm and cuddly? He’s used to being worshiped, not challenged.

All that considered, tomorrow looks like another good night for Romney, perhaps one good enough for him to put this whole thing to bed.

So you can see why I’m worried, can’t you?

Biden Unleashed and Unhinged
Your Guy Won

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  1. Spot on. My expectation? It will be played to a draw. Obama doesn’t really have it in him to be Biden-esque rude. Dismissive? Derisive? Yes and yes. But not attack-dog belligerent.

    But what if … is a fun game. What if it devolved into a “Man of the House”, Robin Williams on crack style rant against Mitt, with the moderator imploding? What if Obama, as expected, brings up Bain, and instead of answering the audience, Mitt turned to Obama and said, “Mr. President, what experience or knowledge, if any, can you possibly have about what it takes to be successful in business?” What if they use classic debate misdirection (Gore did this quite effectively in 2000), where they answer the question from the audience, and then pose a question of their own to the other candidate?

    Should be a fascinating night!

  2. I will tell you the ten points that will end Romney for good.

    1) Force Romney to actually explain how he can be both for the 100% of the Nation now while in fact he stated he was really only for 47% plus the 3% he needed to win the election just a few months ago. Because if you’ve written off half the political spectrum it is hard now to say that you are now all of sudden for them. You cannot be inclusive and exclusive at the same time.

    2) Force Romney to actually defend his position on Territorial Taxation Scheme and force– link this with exportation of jobs– and that isn’t hard to do because that is what it stands for.

    3) Force Romney to explain how giving 20% tax cut to people in his tax bracket will some how decrease income inequality. Remember inequality is still an issue and it is time that Obama pulls it out.

    4) Talk about Romney’s Bait and Switch in Mass… Talk about how the last time he tried this plan of cutting and reducing revenue he found out it wasn’t revenue neutral at all… now normally I don’t use Wikipedia; however, the sources check so it is acceptable. I mean you talk about how he increased fees, how taxes went up higher than the national average and how job creation was ranked number 47!

    5) In light of number four force Romney to describe how he can cut 5 trillion in spending and about that same amount in revenue generation perhaps even more if some of his tax reforms come through…

    6) Talk about his support of Assault Rifle Gun Ban– always good. The NRA members love their AR-15 Rifles and thirty-round box mags… Hell they really get all warm and fuzzy over those belt-fed machine guns like the Browning M2HB…

    7) Force him to explain how he can agree with the 2014 Afghanistan time-table pull out and still be against it some how? This will paint him in a bad position.

    8) Force hims to explain how his plan for letting the markets self adjust after 2008 would have been beneficial for our economy’s growth between 2008-2011? Especially, when the finical sector was paralyzed with “toxic” dept it created by two-decades of deregulated finical schemes… namely the creation of finical instruments like derivatives– that turned so many non-banks i.e insurance agencies into banks. Like his experience in private equity directly to the collapse in 2008.

    9) Hit him with flip-floping on almost every aspect of his campaign.

    10) Hit him on his record in Mass with his 800 vetoes.

    And that is how you put Romney to bed for good… It can be done. Obama can do it without being nasty. He has to be forceful and direct and focused. He has to know Romney’s stated positions in the past and present. And frankly I think Obama if he prepares correctly will actually take this one out of the park…

    • 1. Pfffffft.

      2. Pfffffffffft.

      3. Pft.

      4. Plffffft.

      5. Pgffffft. (The G is silent.)

      6. Porffffffft.

      7. Pungfffffft. (The G is glottal.)

      8. Pruiuuuuuft

      9. Peffffffffft.

      10. Chocolate babies

    • Nice try.
      1. Guns and religion; Katrina racism; you didn’t build that
      2. Fisker
      3. You didn’t pay attention to the first debate.
      4. Tax cut = INCREASE revenue. Look it up.
      5. see #4
      6. violence in Chicago
      7. Generals, not legislators, provide operational knowledge
      8. GM billions un-repaid and still went bankrupt; Community Reinvestment Act; Fannie/Freddie; Greenspan
      9. gay marriage; single payer; war surge
      10. PPACA

      • Actually number 4) tax cuts and increases in revenue are not directly linked as Dr. Laffer would have everyone believe. In fact there is strong evidence that in many models Laffer’s critical assumption that 100% taxation would lead to net growth of revenue equal to zero is in fact wrong. Many models show that taxation at 100% would still create revenue growth. But even if you don’t agree with those models- the fact is that the Laffer curve has multiple equilibrium points for taxation given various states of economic growth. So merely cutting taxes is not the panacea that Republicans would have it to be. For example the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 did very little to jump start the economy.

        And the rest of your stuff is nonsense. I can counter each one of those. I must point out that Katrina is in fact a specter for the Bush admin. That was 2005 not 2008 to present. So basically you stance is just basically pretend that you have clue what you’re talking about?

        • In examining the Laffer curve, it is Important to remember the characteristics of this deceptively simple plans and not be allowed to blind the economist to the more substantial fabric of the motivations. In this comment, I plan to show the sociological implications of family pressures so great is the drive an otherwise moral rabbit Formax of debris which he consciously knew were against the law. I also hope to explore the personality of Mr. McGregor and is conflicting roles as farmer and humanitarian.

          • Well if you think you can do that I have a great paper you should read on postmodern interpretation of gravity… It’s a scorcher!

        • Of course Katrina happened during the Bush years. With “Katrina racism,” he was referring to Senator Obama’s 2007 speech about how the response to Katrina would have been larger and/or more swift had there not been so many blacks in New Orleans.

  3. I think the saving grace for Romney will be the format. The man’s been town-halling it non-stop for 3 years now. If this were another podium to podium standoff, he’d probably get pummelled in retribution for last time, but – as you rightly point out – Obama has to walk the razor’s edge in being polite to the crowd but issuing scathing rebuttals of Romney’s policies.

    And for heaven’s sake – try not to brainwash the 11 year olds into the Republican party. 🙂

  4. I’m worried too. But…

    Barack Obama is essentially a spoiled adolescent who has been showered with unwarranted adulation by unthinking sycophants throughout his life.

    For this reason, he quite simply does not have patience for when things do not go his way, and it’s fairly obvious.

    And right now, things are not going his way.

    On top of that, it was reported that Obama is so deluded that he actually walked away from the first debate thinking he won. The fact that reality put a crack in his self delusion probably doesn’t make him too happy.

    What happens when things don’t go as spoiled children would like them to? They have a tantrum.

    It’s also been reported that Obama intends to be more “aggressive” tonight. Since the Kos Kids interpret Biden’s misbehavior as a win, it’s possible that Obama will adopt Biden’s drunken sailor routine and take it to 11.

    For these reasons, I predict either tonight or at the final debate, we will see the cool collected pragmatic moderate character that Obama plays on television begin to crack, as the true Obama descends into full meltdown. The tantrums will begin.

    Another point of pressure that may come into play during the debate, is that as of today, the “guilt by association” defense of Obama, as just been fundamentally transformed into “birds of a feather.”

    Tee hee…

    • What this shows is that fossil fuels still have a strangle hold on energy systems in the nation. I would have pushed for more regulation on fossil fuels in the general power grid- thus making alternative power sources more viable and producing more jobs. But as long as big oil, coal and power can manipulate the political scene so nicely they will never be truly challenged by alternative energy resources.

  5. By the way, remember when Biden asserted that we would leave Afghanistan in 2014, period?

    Well, turns out there are ongoing negotiations to keep troops in Afghanistan past 2014

    I wonder if this will make it into tonight’s debates.

    Biden: The gift that keeps on giving.

      • So my question is what will be your excuse if Obama looks like Ronald Reagen and Mit Romney like Walter Mondale tonight? Will it be a liberal media conspiracy?

        Personally, I think 2020 I will run for President– On a truly revolutionary campaign platform:

        1) Fifty-Four Forty of Fight! After all the peacenik Canadians have been living on what is America for too long.

        2) Repeal the 13th, 14th, 15th and 19th Amendments to the Constitution… I mean civil rights are way over rated right?

        3) Declare the Constitution is a divinely inspired document. And thus making, proposing or even suggesting a law that would harm the nature of it is blasphemy and well punishable by a fine of $250,000 per count and 25 years in jail as well per count– see that will keep those lefty commies in line! Protesting the constitution BLASPHEMY AND WOW it is just like copyright law transgressions… I like that.

        4) Citizenship has to be established by birth of both parents in the US for at least 3 generations! That’s right no more anchor babies from any nation!

        5) America has a manifest destiny to control the world’s energy supplies.

        6) Green Energy is a communist plot to weaken our nation’s strength by using lower-energy contents and over taxation.

        7) The Poor want to be poor and therefore inequality is a positive attribute in our society.

        8) Inequality is the basis of growth and social evolution- therefore it must be good since it built into the fabric of our society as foretold in the Constitution. (more chances to use that Blasphemy clause!)

        9) The United States has the right to engage in Nuclear War without provocation.

        10) Eugenics is a positive goal and should be implemented at the earliest convenience of the state.

        11) Patriarchy is the only right social structure for the home and therefore also the government of America.

        12) All Homosexuals are deviants and therefore wrong and thus must be forcefully transformed into positive humans by being conditioned to be Heterosexuals- I think the LDS will love this one… Repeat offenders will be sent to a penal colony in Alaska.

        13) Rape only happens under the direct presence of force!

        14) Science is the work of Satan.

        15) Liberals are agents of SATAN. And therefore must be sent to the penal colony in Alaska with the Homos.

        16) Big Business LOVES YOU! AND will always have your best interest at heart after all without you where is BIG BUSINESS.

        17) 27th Amendment Corporations are not subject to the laws of this nation– nor are any member of the boards to be sanctioned while operating as integral part of the corporate’s hierarchical power structure.

        18) Aristocracy is AMERICAN. Because our Aristocracy has grown from the world business.

        19) The wealthy are really better than the poor and thus they should not be held to the same standards as the poor.

        20) God lives in America– Right On Wall St. And He Loves Capitalists and Hates The Poor!!!

        I think if I bring this message to the base of the Republican Party and play my cards right I’m shoe in for the 2020 election…

          • I’m a little hurt Andy– but, the said part is I’ve actually really come to the conclusion that I could win with this platform. After all much if it culled right from the speeches, books, and my favorite the rhetoric of the ultra-right wing of the Republican party. I figure I will be the messiah of the ultra right wing.

            So how did you people enjoy that spanking that Obama gave Romney tonight– It made me think of Mondale v Reagen in 1984!

          • I’m sure Macaronis is quite impressed with his platform. He even said so.