Some Observations on US Political Debates

Romney versus Obama, Wednesday, 03 October 2012 “The second topic, which is you said you get a deduction for taking a plant overseas. Look, I’ve been in business for 25 years. (Unlike you who have no real work experience.) I have no idea what you’re talking about. (And neither do you, I would add.)”—Governor Romney (Subtext added.) The President, who was so arrogant as to assume he need not prepare properly for this debate was unpleasantly surprised. Ryan versus Biden, Thursday, 11 October 2012 A win for Ryan was unacceptable to the Democrats; there was too much downside following the … Continue reading Some Observations on US Political Debates

Vision and Truth

President Barack Obama made his case for a second term last night in Charlotte. Today, opinions vary about its impact, from—commentators are using baseball analogies—a grand slam hit to a swing and a miss. This is hardly surprising in the context of partisan interpretations. However, it is also not surprising that opinions would vary about Barack Obama and anything he says, or does. It is his stock and trade to say one thing and mean another, not unlike most politicians who will utter almost anything it will take to get elected or re-elected. Nothing new there either; politicians lie. A … Continue reading Vision and Truth

I’ll Be Damned. We’re Americans!

When New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez shared an anecdote about a lunch date with a pair of crusading Republicans—in which she endured a voyage of self-discovery—she followed up with the revelation, “I’ll be damned. We’re Republicans!” Governor Martinez was one of an array of inspirational speakers at the just-concluded Republican National Convention in which Mitt Romney was formally installed as the party’s presidential candidate. The convention was a barnburner. It was pretty clear the central theme was making the case for the exceptional nature of the American national union. Positive Tone Apparently, convention strategy was to portray Americans as self-reliant, … Continue reading I’ll Be Damned. We’re Americans!

Framing the Debate

The week’s big story is the well-timed announcement of Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan for vice-presidential running mate. It is big because of its impact; it frames the debate for the rest of the campaign. In Congress Ryan has actually tried to address the government spending problem. Democrats and Republicans must talk about this now if they are to say anything about Ryan. The Democrats’ initial response was to denounce Ryan as an “ideologue” and immediately try to discredit his ideas. Small-government Republicans and Tea Party supporters have welcomed Ryan as someone who injects intelligence and practicality into the … Continue reading Framing the Debate

Lessons in Buck Passing

President Truman famously said of his office “the buck stops here”. President Obama apparently believes that the buck stops wherever and whenever he finds it most convenient. In levelling yet another spurious attack against candidate Romney relative to his former role at Bain Capital, president Obama was quoted from a recent interview at a television station in Virginia: “So, you know, as president of the United States, one of the things I’ve learned…was anything that happens on my watch is my responsibility. That’s what people expect.” A couple of observations come to mind. One is that I guess there really … Continue reading Lessons in Buck Passing

Don’t Blame Romney

I don’t like Mitt Romney the politician. However, based on his appearance before an assembly of the NAACP recently, I have some respect for the man. He showed a commitment to principle by standing before that crowd and vowing to work toward getting rid of non-essential, expensive government spending programs if he is elected president. When he included a mention of “Obamacare” as one of his targets he was booed by the audience for 15 seconds. Romney retained his composure throughout. He did not deserve to be treated this way. Apparently, people represented by the NAACP voted nearly 95 percent … Continue reading Don’t Blame Romney