Skip to main content

View Diary: Grow Up Already: You Can't "Win" A Debate By Lying (328 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  You are the audience. (65+ / 0-)

    You are the one who's talking.  It's like the media has convinced you that you don't exist, and reality is all just someone else's third-hand opinion.  That's insane.  Were you convinced by Mitt Romney?  Did you believe him?  If not, what is this shit you're talking?  Who are you speaking for?  Does one guy being not living up to your fantasies mean the other guy won even if you know for a fact his key points are crap?  

    Asking that we each make a judgment call and take responsibility for our own opinions is not "denial."  Frankly, it's the opposite of that - it's demanding that you stop letting politics just "happen" to you and start putting your own mind to work on it.  Is it your judgment that Mitt Romney told the truth and made more convincing arguments or isn't it?

    Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

    by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 02:14:13 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Applause! (58+ / 0-)

      Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!

      I've tried making this point in several threads since Wednesday night. Some have called me arrogant, said I tried to shame others. I just couldn't see how a legitimate debate would be won on lies and obfuscation. Mitt came off as a deranged person and bully. That wasn't a good look to me.

      You are the one who's talking.  It's like the media has convinced you that you don't exist, and reality is all just someone else's third-hand opinion.  That's insane.  
      Amen! Rove and crew have played these mind tricks on the population for years. We gotta stop falling for this crap and call it out. Call the media out as well.

      You've made the point I wanted to make so masterfully. Again, thank you!

      •  Me, too (15+ / 0-)

        Reminds me of the people back in 2004 who argued we should pick Kerry as our nominee because they thought other people liked him (he's electable!). Almost no one I encountered felt that way about him themselves, it was all projecting other people's reaction.

        •  Exactly. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elwior, Troubadour

          In 2004 I met a Vietnam vet who preferred Clark but said he'd vote for Kerry in the primaries because the public wasn't ready for a general. No amount of logic could dissuade him--he knew he was right. ...of course he ended up admitting I was right.

          To this day I still say that everyone not behind Clark should be slapped; and blamed for the extra 4 years Bush got, (not withstanding that Kerry really had more votes).

          The fact is that the way the media wrote off Clark is exactly parallel to the second main point of your diary.

          •  Great point. (0+ / 0-)

            I was a Clark supporter too, and was dumbfounded by the attitude of a lot of people toward him.  He had the clear potential to electorally annihilate Bush, he was eloquent and courageous, and had brought together a diverse and energetic coalition, but the media just made up reasons out of thin air to savage him and Democrats just nodded their heads to it like zombies.  I knew we had lost the initiative the moment we nominated Kerry.  

            Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

            by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 03:42:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Amen. (0+ / 0-)

              I was a Clark supporter, too.  Broke my heart when he stood down.  For all the reasons you and others here have stated.

              I'm late reading this whole thread of comments, but had to put my 2 cents in about General Wesley K. Clark!

              I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

              by KayCeSF on Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 02:56:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  THIS (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Troubadour

          "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
          CALL EVERYONE YOU KNOW in OH, PA, FL, NC and TX. Make sure they have the ID they need to vote, and make sure YOU are registered and ready to vote!

          by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:59:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  MSNBC and Current-- (19+ / 0-)

        Both panels of superstar pundits fell for the perception based upon voice volume that vocal modulation that Romney overcame his annoying sociopathy and won the day. No one seemed to be looking at his frenetic, overstraining facial expressions, his angry and aggressive posturing, etc.

        BECAUSE the media, nearly as a multi-headed hydra, declared that Obama was incompetent, they seem to have persuaded the listening audience of all orientations that, indeed, Obama came out of the debate as a wimp. Thus, the slight bump in Romney's favor, when he should have been ridden out of the country on a rail for his abject dishonesty and phoniness.

        I didn't see any of it. I saw Romney as an emotional mess, a wild-swinging, go-for-broke challenger who's end justified any means possible. I saw him as a morally vacuous bully who, within the content of his responses and allegations, made no sense.

        I was appalled at the media stars' visceral reactions, especially that of Chris Matthews. One of the few voices of reason and restraint was Lawrence O'Donnell.

        •  The media NEEDED a Romney win (11+ / 0-)

          That's all there is to it. The media needed Romney to become "competitive" again, so they can continue to run with their "everyone does it," and "it's a horserace" theme. They are incapable of reporting the truth or substance. All they can report is style.

          Granted Obama was lackluster during the debates. But imagine what the "story" would have been if he got "uppity." "Angry Black man" as far as the eye can see. Imagine if he had been snarky and used a lot of zingers (as Romney was purported to be planning to do, but didn't. Hmmm what could THAT media frenzy have been about? Goading Obama to come loaded for zinger bear? Maybe?) And the media coverage would have been "How could Obama be so mean to nice affable Mitt?" All Obama could do was keep calm and use his talking points. Which he did.

          But I think hsi frustration with the media showed in his performance. He should have been more up and "presidential." In that he did fail. But he won on substance and content. The media doesn't do substance and content. He knew he was going to be judged the loser no matter what he did.

          Can you imagine the media reaction if Obama had called Romney on his lies? How DARE he? Romney would have been fully justified" in getting angry and been lauded for being a "fighter."

          Romney was going to win the debate as long as he didn't strip naked and fling poo at the camera.

          Get real, people. Obama didn't lose, he simply had no way to win. Obama losing is just the story the media was eager to report.

          •  thank you. (7+ / 0-)

            and what's beyond disgusting is that they called out  Gore on his sighs and said he lost because of them.
            yet the frantic posturing, the lying, the strange weird sickly smile throughout, the interruptions, the aggressiveness, the weird body language.
            that all get s a HUGE PASS now.

            uh huh.
            and they wonder why they are so hated.

            i wrote this yesterday.
            i don't think POTUS did that bad.
            not saying great, not at all. not saying he was good.
            could have been much better - but meh.
            don't think this will change anything.
            but, what makes me sick is this:

            what i'm hating with all my heart.
            is everyone admitting MR lied through his teeth and was swarmy. and then going "he won".
            it's whats wrong with society period.
            knowing that  he lied, knowing that he was borderline socio in those lies, and still saying he won.
            it send the wrong message. and the younger people..
            no everyone. embraces it as the new reality.
            in order to win, you lie. cheat and steal.
            we teach that it's wrong.
            but in reality, we embrace it and reward it.
            and that's what makes me sick.

            We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear. Robert Louis Stevenson

            by Christin on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:13:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, no. Competent politics is about perception (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Showman, Vicky

            and truth BOTH, and figuring out how to sway people. Lots of liars have won elections, and lots of truth-tellers have lost. Obama lost the perception game in that debate, and was not a competent enough politician for those 90 minutes. Hopefully he'll make the adjustment, but there was damage done from a political and perceptual level.

            This manipulation (by Romney as many before him) is a problem of human nature, but also of modern media-based elections since the 1940s. FWIW, great (if disturbing) article in the New Yorker recently about why political consultants and politicians can influence naive and lazy Americans -- which notes also why Truman lost the universal health care political debate.
            http://www.newyorker.com/...

            "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

            by Kombema on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:42:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But why does perception always have to favor... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Troubadour

              ... the worst of our natures? The instinct-driven, the craven, the shallow parts of ourselves? The parts that couldn't give a rat's ass about our fellow man, but are only about our own comfort?

              Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

              by Lucy Montrose on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:22:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Whose perception? (0+ / 0-)

              Where the hell are YOU in this sweeping statement?  It's like you've retreated into some little hole outside of time and space where you're offering boxing commentary instead of participating.

              Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

              by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 03:45:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Public perception, what else? Not sure what you (0+ / 0-)

                mean by the last sentence, but interestingly metaphysical, if nothing else.

                "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                by Kombema on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:11:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Ahem - the problem's been around since the 1920's. (0+ / 0-)

              And certain very evil people were early masters of the black arts of political manipulation.

              It was packaged, commercialized and mass-produced in the 1940's, is all.

              If it's
              Not your body,
              Then it's
              Not your choice
              And it's
              None of your damn business!

              by TheOtherMaven on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 10:13:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, by that logic, it's been around since the (0+ / 0-)

                nation was founded, since political manipulation is nothing new. I meant, of course, the professionalization of the political consulting business, the advent of the "mad men" in the business, etc.

                "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                by Kombema on Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 11:10:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  This is exactly what has been bothering me most (10+ / 0-)
          BECAUSE the media, nearly as a multi-headed hydra, declared that Obama was incompetent, they seem to have persuaded the listening audience of all orientations that, indeed, Obama came out of the debate as a wimp. Thus, the slight bump in Romney's favor, when he should have been ridden out of the country on a rail for his abject dishonesty and phoniness.
          I was not able to watch the debate live, so I had to rely on reading the liveblogs. I like to look around at different sources to see how various audiences are reacting. I read Andrew Sullivan, for one, and he was having a meltdown. Seriously, reading him I came away with the perception that Obama was laying on the floor behind his podium, asleep, and Romney was a shining bright star that he was in love with. He notes that Romney is lying about everything, but he doesn't care. Romney is "owning" the debate -- Sullivan is swooning over his manliness and "strength" and he does not CARE about the goddamn lies! They apparently mean nothing, as Andrew says at the end that Obama may have lost the election that night. So apparently blatant lies and bullshitting the country like a used car salesman is "presidential" and "strong" -- what a goddamn load of bullshit!!!! I tell you, I have lost all respect for Andrew Sullivan because of this incredibly shallow and dramatic reaction.

          But then is when it gets scary... I don't have television anymore, but I go online and see the clip of Chris Mathews, echoing everything Sullivan wrote. What the hell. Romney lies through his teeth, dominates and intimidates people and acts like an asshole, and oh yeah completely changes his positions 180 degrees and did I mention he lies about everything? And yet somehow this is perceived by everyone as "winning" ?!?!?

          Why are the media and pundits not going nuts about the fact that a presidential nominee just went on stage and spewed bullshit for 90 minutes? Why in the god damn fuck is that winning? Because he was macho? Oh good lord. We are in deep shit trouble. That was how I felt and have been feeling (in waves) ever since the debate. Scared to death because people are falling for this shit!

          But ... are they really? Well that I don't know. I have been breathless waiting for enough polling data to find out. I do not think we have the facts yet, so I remain worried, but the waves of fear are getting smaller and farther apart, and I sometimes feel optimistic. I watched the video of Obama in Ohio yesterday, read the Big Bird jokes, these gave me a lift. All is not lost. But overall still this is a bad time IMO, to see how easily people like Sullivan and Mathews are lead to swoon over macho-man bullshit and be persuaded by words they KNOW are blatant lies and still see it was winning. That is deeply depressing.

          •  andrew sullivan was an complete idiot that night (5+ / 0-)

            an embarrassment.
            to himself and his blog.
            his hysteria was something that made my skin crawl.
            and i lost a ton of respect for him that he'll never earn back.
            this is not the FIRST time he did this, this year.
            i let the others go.
            this time he's off my bookmarks.

            i loved him for his honestly, his independence, his sanity, his level headed take on things.
            i love reading him because he's not a progressive, or a D.
            i need to be out of the bubble.
            he was a raving lunatic that night.
            he is an obama supporter, but my god.
            reading his rant that night cast a lot of doubt on the faith i had in him, that he knew what he was talking about.
            he does not.

            We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear. Robert Louis Stevenson

            by Christin on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:17:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Men prefer strong and wrong to "weak" and right (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            near mrs, Vicky

            "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
            CALL EVERYONE YOU KNOW in OH, PA, FL, NC and TX. Make sure they have the ID they need to vote, and make sure YOU are registered and ready to vote!

            by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:00:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  To their and everyone else's detriment. (nm) (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              near mrs, TrueBlueMajority

              Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

              by Lucy Montrose on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:22:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Ugh, another pundit zinger. (0+ / 0-)

              Unless YOU are a man who prefers strong and wrong to "weak" and right - AND believes that Mitt Romney being a lying, depraved, sociopathic jerk made him look strong - all you're doing is defining reality by some stupid pundit trope instead of your own reason.

              Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

              by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 03:50:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  all i have is anecdotal evidence (0+ / 0-)

                so many of the women on this blog and in my real life are admiring Obama's performance and so many men are talking about how O was "weak" because he didn't "stand up" to Rmoney more "forcefully".

                i only ran across a handful of comments running the other way.

                "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
                CALL EVERYONE YOU KNOW in OH, PA, FL, NC and TX. Make sure they have the ID they need to vote, and make sure YOU are registered and ready to vote!

                by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:24:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  so i am responding from what i am observing (0+ / 0-)

                not just repeating someone else's trope

                "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
                CALL EVERYONE YOU KNOW in OH, PA, FL, NC and TX. Make sure they have the ID they need to vote, and make sure YOU are registered and ready to vote!

                by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Oct 08, 2012 at 09:25:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I wrote a diary last week (6+ / 0-)

            Echoing your exact sentiments.

            My take: when the loudest, rudest, most dishonest and disrespectful candidate is declared the "winner," our society is in deep trouble.

            Seems to me that a good journalist would have merely pointed out that while Romney went off like a college kid on speed, the substance was not there.

            I fear people in this country have been dumbed down.

            •  But don't you see the problem (0+ / 0-)

              with the statement that "the people" have been dumbed down?  Your only basis for that is what pundits say.  I think the people have developed something of an immunity to punditry - the zombie-like nodding of some around here notwithstanding.

              Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

              by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 03:51:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The media's nihilism needs to be called out (0+ / 0-)

            and punished, not rewarded and echoed.

            Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

            by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 03:46:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. This has been confusing me no end. (26+ / 0-)

      How can people say: He won and he kept lying and bullying the moderator?
      To me, he has lost. He wasn't convincing to me. Neither on substance, nor on behavior. Quite frankly, sometimes when he talked down on the moderator I could have slapped Romney.
      What are the parameters?
      Did the guy win who convinced you?
      or
      Did the most guy win who was most macho during the debate?
      Honestly.
      That's why, during theses discussions, I began to ask my confused self: now -  what is winning?
      Thanks for unraveling my mental knot!

      The future is renewable.

      by KiB on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 04:48:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Romney did a debate filibuster. Ran out the clock (9+ / 0-)
        LEHRER: Excuse me. Excuse me. Just so everybody understands, we're way over our first 15 minutes.

        ROMNEY: It's fun, isn't it?

        But oops he couldn't resist firing everyone on the stage and your pretty Big Bird too.

        Hey Ryan, where you goin' with that trans-vaginal probe in your hand

        by 88kathy on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:47:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  i agree (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CS in AZ, wewantthetruth, KiB

        Who the hell decided that if you go on tv and act like an asshole to thd moderator, that you will be decided the winner no matter what lying crap comez out of your mouth?   If that was the standard for mitt romney, the bar is waaaaay low.

        I think obama was stunnex like i was to see someone do the etch. Scetch without one blink to a national audience.  Mitts strategy was to lie his ass off and if obama called him out on it, then the debate becomes a match of calling each other liars.   Romney will never admithe lies and will do it with a straight face.  People like him really believe what they say, even if they know they are lying.  

        Republicans believe its not lying if its related to politics.  Thsy just say its whats done in politics.   See michael steele on hardball.

        •  This is a great question... (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          muzzleofbees, jgumby, Christin, near mrs, KiB
          Who the hell decided that if you go on tv and act like an asshole to thd moderator, that you will be decided the winner no matter what lying crap comez out of your mouth?
          I have been thinking about this too. It is disturbing. And I think the answer might be, Sarah Palin. She really demonstrated the technique, and showed them that it can work to boost popularity. For instance when she lied about the results of the ethics investigation, which found that she has guilty of misuse of power as Governor. She went on TV to respond to it, and said ... that she was glad to be exonerated of any wrongdoing! With a big smile. Truth? Whatever. She's got such a sassy style! Steve Schmidt and others were appalled and told her "you can't do that, it's not true!" and she just laughed at them. Watch and learn, you CAN just lie, and get away with it, and if you do it right people will eat it up and love you for lying to them.

          Apparently the Romney team has taken that lesson to heart. And Mittens was apparently a lot better than Palin at acting like he could be president, enough to fool a lot of people. The bar has indeed been lowered to the very bottom. To me the fact that someone like Mitt Romney has even a remote chance in hell of winning this election is just head-shaking and scary. What is wrong with people? My friend says to me last night when I asked her this question, one word answer: racism. Maybe she's right. I don't know. I just want so much for this to be over and President Obama back at his job. Sigh.

          •  Dumbya (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OldDragon

            was an expert at this......lying and not getting called on it. it's because he cleared brush and people wanted to drink a beer with him....

            ......good call by Supreme Court.....maybe if they did not give Dumbya the election the almost 4000 people who died on 9/11 and the thousands who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan (americans and non-americans alike) would still be here.

            That Supreme Court has blood on it's hands.

            •  And yet another media zinger! (0+ / 0-)

              People wanted to "drink a beer with Bush"!  Who the fuck were these people?  I never wanted to drink a beer with that pathetic psycho - did you?

              Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

              by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 03:56:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  This is still caught in a web of punditry. (0+ / 0-)

            You don't know what other people thought when they saw the debate - you only know what pundits report other people believed that still other people thought about it!  This crap is a hall of mirrors, and ultimately the only people making it up are the pundits themselves.  They needed Romney to "bounce back," so that's what they reported.  Reality need not apply.  I don't think they would have cared if Romney had showed up at all: The headline would have been "Romney's Manly Absence Puts Obama on Defensive."

            Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

            by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 03:55:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The "Gish Gallop" (7+ / 0-)

        It has been mentioned in several diaries that Romney used the "Gish Gallop" technique., whereby the speaker brings forth a rapid and extensive statements containing so many falsehoods, half-truths, exaggerations, and non-sequiters, that the opponent can scarcely keep track of them, much less refute them. To the audience, who also can't keep track of it all, it appears he is confident and has a great command of the material. That is how to many non-critical minds Romney "won" the debate.

        "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

        by midnight lurker on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:45:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But since there is such a thing as reality (0+ / 0-)

          he didn't win the debate.

          Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

          by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 03:57:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Perception is Everything ... (0+ / 0-)

            especially to those who cannot reason it out for themselves. The media (who should be neutral) have an interest in keeping the race alive because of ratings, etc. The GOP welcomes such distortions and keeps the cycle going.

            "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

            by midnight lurker on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:15:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Well the thing is people here obviously are (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shypuffadder, Kombema, itsbenj

      About how others viewed the debate and how it will effect the numbers. All of us here already know mitt was lying but the rest of the country didn't as you can see by the shifting poll numbers in mitts favor. We can't deny that is what's happening. I'm worried about that.

      "I'm not mad at them (tea party) for being loud, I'm mad at us for being silent for the last two years. Where have we been"? "it was never yes HE can, it was Yes WE can". - Van Jones

      by sillycilla on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 05:49:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  there are no shifting poll numbers in his favor (21+ / 0-)

        he improved his favorability among republicans.  that's all he got out of this. meanwhile, he's taking huge hits on sesame street and on lying his ass off.

        puhleeze.

        Die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

        by Cedwyn on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 06:00:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Where is he taking hits? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kombema

          All I see is people in the msm and on this site talking about the debate and none of it is good for Obama. I personally agree that it's absurd people think Romney won while he lied but the thing is that is what is perceived right now. When democrats on tv say Romney looked presidential it doesn't help Obama. I'm worried about that perception and what it will do to the numbers. Nate even says he think Romney will get a decent bump. We can't be in denial. I just pray we can turn it around.

          "I'm not mad at them (tea party) for being loud, I'm mad at us for being silent for the last two years. Where have we been"? "it was never yes HE can, it was Yes WE can". - Van Jones

          by sillycilla on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:42:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  There has been some movement (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joynow, CS in AZ, Kombema, itsbenj, Vicky

          in Romney's favor since the debate per 538. On of the two polls cited (and showing small gains in swing states) was Rasmussen, so obviously take that with the appropriately sized grain of salt.

          It remains to be seen what effect the debate will have on the race, but I don't think we do ourselves any favors by arguing Obama didn't "lose" that debate. While in my perfect world debates would be judged on substance, of course there's more to it than that. Optics count whether we like it or not, and Obama's demeanor/energy/body language were all terrible. In addition, a big part of 'winning a debate' is clearly countering the assertions made by your opponent, and correcting blatant lies. Obama failed to do this.

          Obama's team, and Obama himself acknowledge this, so I don't see why we aren't allowed to acknowledge it ourselves:

          At first, Obama didn’t think his performance was a complete disaster. But he began Thursday morning by watching excerpts of his own performance and was especially struck by his own tentative, grim demeanor — especially when he and a more relaxed Mitt Romney were broadcast in split-screen. It was worse than he thought, according to one person close to the situation. He was subdued but positive on a conference call with staff.

          He huddled with his inner circle — David Axelrod, David Plouffe, Valerie Jarrett, Anita Dunn, Ron Klain and Jim Messina — and settled on the theme they hammered all of Thursday — a direct attack on Romney that accused him of out-and-out lying on his tax-cut claims and portrayed the former Massachusetts governor as a two-faced imposter willing to say anything to win.

          Hours after arguably the worst debate performance of his career, Obama charged that Romney is a different man than the guy he faced Wednesday. But it was the president who seemed to be a totally different guy on Thursday. Gone was the distracted, deer-in-headlights mumbler. In his place, suddenly, was someone doing a pretty good impersonation of Obama ’08.

          And as that article makes clear, the campaign team clearly identified a problem, and moved swiftly to correct it. Of course the first step is admitting there was a problem to begin with.
          •  Good article, thanks for the link! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kombema, Christin, cato

            This is pretty much what I thought about what had happened.

            For all that’s been written about his flop in front of roughly 67 million viewers, the reality, according to the people who know him best, is that he just wasn’t in the right headspace. The president had too many conflicting thoughts bouncing around his head and could never quite reconcile his desire to attack Romney with his fear of alienating voters by appearing angry or unpresidential. The result was a muddle that has given Romney new life.
            For all that we would like to believe it was all part of a master strategy or planned response to Mittens dizzying lie-fest, it never made any sense to think that Obama deliberately allowed himself to come across as bad as he did that night. As to why he "was not in the right headspace" at such a critical moment, remains unanswered. No one seems to know...
            Obama had always planned to play it pretty safe, but his advisers expected him to be more aggressive, peppering Romney with requests for specifics on his deficit and tax plans. They also figured on him smiling a whole lot more, a key part of winning the body-language battle.
            So why did he have such an off night? I am beginning to think they may need to explain it. The president coming across to the country as confused and unclear and not sure of himself might be something he needs to address openly. Of course anything he says will be seen as an "excuse" and maybe rightly so. But still, whenever he appears in front of a national audience as the POTUS, and he comes across this way, would be concerning. At this extremely critical point in time, it does leave you wondering what the hell happened and why he had not gotten himself "into the right headspace" to go into that debate. If there is a good reason it might be wise to share it with the voters.
            •  I don't know that he has to explain (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CS in AZ

              it necessarily, though the above article is certainly a small effort from the Obama Campaign to do just that. For the next debate, he just needs to work on body language/demeanor and techniques for forcefully rebutting Romney's lies and distortions in an affable and presidential manner.

              I would also like to see him rapidly list three or four of Romney's biggest lies from the first debate at the beginning of the second debate, thereby throwing Romney's credibility into doubt right from the start. (A "there you go again" moment would be fantastic). And for pete's sake throw Romney some curve balls and get under his skin, this is a man who does not react well to surprises or to being challenged.

              I don't worry so much about why it happened, I chalk it up to a combination to being President AND having to campaign. Romney had the luxury of simply preparing for the debate. Obama had to do that plus run the damn country. Romney has also been through over 20 debates in the past 6 months, he was playoff form, and Obama was throwing the first pitch of spring training (to use a sports metaphor).

              •  I agree with a lot of your thoughts here... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Vicky, cato

                but for me the biggest worry is that this was not the first pitch of spring training. To use another sports metaphor, I'll go with Nate Silver's article from a few days ago, that this debate was the opening play of the fourth quarter. Team Romney went into it having played badly and down by at least a touchdown, and they had very low odds of winning and were seen as floundering.

                The debate was in effect a fumbled ball by Obama, and Romney captured it and made a field goal. This has the double hit of lost momentum for our side, and putting the opponent much more within striking distance. It revitalizes the game when we could have locked in a win.

                There's not a good way to spin this. Obama can come back, and I'm sure he's going to give it his all and I know he has it in him. But the problem with waiting for him to come back in the next debate is where the football metaphor breaks down. In many states, voting has already started. The end game is happening now.

                And as such, you would think that President Obama would have gone into this play, well, ready to play. Ready to put it away for the win. Maybe he simply underestimated Romney's ability to pull off what he did, after being a continuous bumbling fool for months, so Obama did not bother with serious preparation. If so that is understandable to a point. And his events in Ohio yesterday were uplifting. I don't think it's over by any means, but it does make the win more of a challenge than we had before.

                •  I don't disagree. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CS in AZ

                  It was an inexcusable performance, but I'm done rending my garments over it.

                  All of Mitt's lies and flip-flops have opened him up to some devastating counter-attacks, some of which we've already seen in new ads and Obama's stump speech - so the campaign isn't waiting for the next debate. It wasn't some brilliant jujitsu plan by the Obama campaign, but they are at least effectively counter-punching now, and I expect a much more combative and prepared Obama in a few weeks.

          •  I can see my message still isn't getting across. (0+ / 0-)

            You are not a mirror.  Your opinion of how a debate went is not supposed to be based on your projection of what you believe other people saw, let alone uncritical acceptance of corrupt media's interpretation of what other people saw - a democracy can't function like that.  What did YOU see?  Were YOU persuaded by Mitt Romney's lies?  Do YOU think lying is an argument in favor of a political candidate?  We need to stop hiding in abstractions and accept that it's just us making decisions - other people will decide how they'll decide, and our responsibility is to decide for ourselves.

            Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

            by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 04:05:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's getting across, (0+ / 0-)

              I just don't agree with it. I watched the debate in real time, and I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach from Obama's opening statement right through to the end. My analysis of his performance was not swayed by the media in the slightest, since I didn't watch one second of post-debate coverage.

              Of course I wasn't persuaded by Romney's lies. Come on. Like I said in my comment above, debates are about more than the facts (or lack thereof) put out there by the candidates. It's about demeanor, body language, gestures, and energy as much or more so than ideas. Modern debates do not exist to present the positions of each candidate in rational manner. They just don't. It's a big pissing match at best, and Obama fared horribly in that regard.

              He was listless, unfocused, and unpersuasive. He let Romney lie his ass off without much pushback, and let himself and the moderator get pushed around. He looked small. He failed in the task at hand, and he and his team have acknowledged as much. He dropped a huge opportunity to end this race and boost our chances down-ticket.

              I don't care what OTHER people saw, I saw a man who didn't look like he really wanted the job, and that pissed me off. I'm as big of an O-bot as they come, but god damn he didn't get the job done this week.

      •  What is happening is that you (0+ / 0-)

        are rewarding Mitt Romney's lying by echoing nihilistic "good news for John McCain" pundit bullshit trying to drum up support for Romney on sheer force of assertion instead of promoting your own views about what it means to lie in a debate.

        Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

        by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 03:59:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  This seems odd to me. What's wrong with (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neuroptimalian, The Walrus, cato, Kombema

      admitting Romney "won" the debate?

      If the standards of a political debate are to try and convince people you are capable and worthy of their votes, and your opponent is not or has failed at the position, then Romney won. Obama looked indecisive and unsure. Romney constantly put him on the defensive and made it appear he had all the facts.

      From what I recall about debating, you are assigned a position and you try to convince the audience you are right and the other guy is wrong. By that standard, facing an audience not familiar with certain facts and Romney's previous positions, I think it's fair to say Romney won.

      A minor setback for team Obama, with the good fortune of Romney being Romney and saying something so stupid it undermined any benefit he might have gained. The heartless prick wants to outsource Big Bird. Unbelievable.

      Let's move along.

      Vote Tea Party Taliban! Bring the Burqa to America.

      by Pescadero Bill on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 06:54:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  By that standard (4+ / 0-)

        Mitt won the debate - with Mitt Romney. He contradicted his OWN positions. It was hard to tell who he was debating up there, to be honest.

        "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

        by Diogenes2008 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:33:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You're talking about public (12+ / 0-)

        perception, diarist is talking about our individual discourse. Of course Romney won the punditry, which has helped fuel public perception. It's up to sane people, people who believe in rational academics standards of discourse, to point out that you don't win a debate by overwhelming your opponent with lies. If sane people concede this debate to Romney after all his OBVIOUS lies and clear deception then I'd like someone to tell me the purpose of these debates going forward. People here seem to accept that winning really does go to the boldest liar. And that's unacceptable for any community that values civilized discouse. If democratic pundits and democratic supporters defended civilized discourse, rather than cowering to Romney's stylistic stream of bullshit, the storyline on this debate would be much different.

        There are two types of republicans, the rich and the stupid. The rich ones strive to keep the stupid ones stupid and the stupid ones strive to keep the rich ones rich.

        by frankzappatista on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:35:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What's wrong with it? A guy sells cars ... (6+ / 0-)

        ... and while he's selling, he's all slick and seemingly affable and really passionate about his cars, which he says are the best vehicles ever and you should buy them because they're practically free.

        But people who know a little bit about cars know the cars this guy sells take forever to start and when they finally do they blow smoke, don't steer, don't stop, and cost a fortune.  And even people who don't know specifically about cars have been following this guy around enough to know he usually says completely different things about cars when he's not trying to sell them to you.

        Should those people tell you he was a great salesman and leave it at that?  Or should the very first thing they say to you is that the salesman is looking straight into your eyes and lying his ass off?

        Members of the media are supposed to know cars, or at the very least, know the salesman.  So why was the story, "He won," and not, "He stood on a stage and lied directly to the American people over and over again?"

        That's what's wrong with it.

        •  this is a perfect restatement of the point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          estreya, Troubadour

          this observation deserves to be a diary all its own

          "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
          CALL EVERYONE YOU KNOW in OH, PA, FL, NC and TX. Make sure they have the ID they need to vote, and make sure YOU are registered and ready to vote!

          by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:03:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  this would be true (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OleHippieChick, Troubadour

        if mittens had not lied and used facts.......not sure how much convincing he did, he sure was louder and more aggressive........and rude and not willing to adhere to the rules.....can't see how anyone can say mittens "won" when he was lying the whole time.

      •  Pescadero Bill - you are exactly right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pescadero Bill

        By any standard of judging a competitive debate Romney won, why is that such a big deal to admit? When sports teams lose the first of a three game series they tip their cap to the winner and prepare for the next game. The next debate plays into the President's strength and he needs to bring his A game.  

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:29:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is not a game. (0+ / 0-)

          And the fact that Mitt Romney is playing one doesn't make it one.  I honestly don't understand how you could fail to understand that while believing yourself to be part of a reality-based community.  There is no possible way to win a debate by lying if you hold there to be such a thing as reality.  And if you don't hold there to be such a thing, what are you doing here?

          Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

          by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 04:10:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Let the white boy have his inning, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Santa Susanna Kid

      it won't affect the outcome and it comforts his followers.  Meanwhile, we keep working.

    •  Thank you! (10+ / 0-)

      If Mitt Romney "won" by being a bully, then we might as well just have boxing matches, and whoever beats the other one to death "wins".

      Because that appears to be where we're headed - most aggressive person wins the day.

      Hell no.

      President Obama told us his policies, he didn't get sucked into the Mitt Vortex Of Lies, and he behaved like A RATIONAL ADULT, thank you.

      Lying, pandering, patronizing, bullying and (for fuck's sake) contradicting your own platform IS NOT WINNING. Not unless you're just an adrenaline junkie who cares nothing for facts.

      "We have only the moral ground we actually inhabit, not the moral ground we claim." - It Really Is That Important

      by Diogenes2008 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 07:32:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is absolute nonsense (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      billyb, Kombema, itsbenj, Vicky

      How can you assert that I can't watch a debate from the prospective of a third person? That I can't perceive how someone other than me might perceive something? The shorthand for it is "standing in someone else's shoes".  Ever heard of it? So yes, as an Obama supporter, I did not have a "come to Romney" moment because of the debate. But as a rational human being who has the ability to view things from the perspective of another, I can see how someone else - many in fact - might have had a "come to Romney" moment in that debate. You're the one who is delusional when you assert that we can know and therefore only speak about our own reaction.  That's just so utterly ridiculous.

      •  sad world you live in . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Troubadour

        winning to you is lying.
        cheating.
        stealing.
        bullying.
          and you understand why others think that's a win.
        good luck.

        We consume the carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own, and fill the slaughterhouses daily with screams of pain and fear. Robert Louis Stevenson

        by Christin on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:24:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So what you're saying is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          itsbenj

          If the polls show Romney got a bump from the debate, then the polls are wrong because you didn't change your view? And since the goal of the debate is to move voters to your side, and Romney moved voters to his side, yes, he won. All that "lying, cheating, stealing, bullying" blah, blah blah has nothing to do with "whether" he won, they have to do with "how" he won. Are you saying because he didn't debate fair, he loses, even though polls will show a bump in his favor? Really? Good luck to you and your version of reality.

          •  If the polls showed such a thing (0+ / 0-)

            then that's a fact to acknowledge and consider on its own terms, but it doesn't change the reality of the objective fact that Mitt Romney's claims were false, and the moral fact - and civilizational imperative - that the outcomes of debates have to be judged on facts, arguments, and substance.  

            If you will not do so, then you have no moral standing from which to criticize others for not doing so, and you have as much as conceded the death of freedom, democracy, and rationalism.  In which case your participation in politics is a futile, sick joke.  Do you stand for something or not?  Or is your idea of reality so completely fucked that you think it means dittoing what pundits say and obeying their narratives as the Word of God?

            Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

            by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 04:19:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  speaking of rational.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Troubadour

        ...a rational person that has been in a coma for the past 18 months may hear mittens and be interested in educating him/her self and reached the reasonable conclusion that mittens is a pathological liar.......there is no way anyone based on 90 minutes of , ahem, debate would ever be able to say for 100% fact "I am voting for mitt romney".

      •  While you're regurgitating pundit talking points (0+ / 0-)

        and your fears about what someone else is thinking, who is talking about what you're thinking?  Not a damn person.  The pundits don't want to hear your thoughts - they wanted a Romney win, and they created one out of thin air.  He didn't even have to show up.  And my question is if you think so little of your own opinions, why should anyone think more of them?  If all that concerns you are abstract worries about other people's perceptions, we already have an entire corrupt media industry for that - what do we need you for?

        Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

        by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 04:13:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Question: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour

      I agree with this: I'm the audience, and each individual voter will vote according to his or her own opinion.

      What's the value of polling?

      That's a collection of many individual opinions. Campaigns, including Obama's campaign, place a very high value on polling. And several polls indicated that a majority of voters thought that the prevaricator won the debate. (I still don't understand how you can win such a debate, but that's a different story.)

      The real story line is this: Obama will win, and will win big, despite a lackluster performance. I'm very happy about that.

      -5.38, -2.97
      It's too big a world to be in competition with everyone. The only person who I have to be better than is myself. - Sherman T. Potter

      by ChuckInReno on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:03:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We can acknowledge polled perception (0+ / 0-)

        while strongly advocating our own perspective.  It's simply like this: "Romney lied.  He lost the debate.  A majority were persuaded otherwise because they were unaware he lied.  Nonetheless, as a matter of fact, he lost."

        Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

        by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 04:21:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  But I'm not the only audience (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kombema, Ash Tree

      And most of the audience isn't as smart or informed as I am.  And it's that audience that matters because I am committed to Obama no matter what.  

      Whether Romney told the truth or not is not the issue.  Because if you don't know what the truth is, and he came across has forceful and sincere while lying, people who don't know better will believe his lies both about himself and Obama.  

      Obama let so many of these lies go unchallenged.    

      This is not about the media convincing me, this is about my own impressions watching that debate.  

      The polls are starting to show a trend that the debate is having an impact.  How big an impact remains to be seen.  

      I think that you are looking at this from your vantage point that the GOP are the "bad guys," but the majority of voters don't necessarily share that view, so they do not see the debate the same way you do.  

      We live in a country where Bush got re−elected.  We live in a country where 46% of the voters put Sara Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency.    We live in a country where a good debate performance stuffed with unchallenged lies can sway lots of votes.

      It's childish to ignore these realities and think that because Romney was lying that he didn't win the debate.  

      •  Exactly. It's patronizing crap to assume we who (0+ / 0-)

        though Obama did a lousy job in that debate were effected by the pundits. Objectively, he did a lousy job.

        And it's naive to imply that only the truth "wins" debates. Lies and half-truths and distortions OFTEN win debates -- and they also often win ELECTIONS. Obama fans need to suck it up and and admit Obama blew that one and move on, and hope the Romney bump from the first debate is small, or passing.

        "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by Kombema on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:19:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site