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View Diary: Reality and the post-debate responses (263 comments)

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  •  First debates dont matter, thats the conclusion (4+ / 0-)
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    hopi13, avsp, politicalceci, matt2525

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 10:51:08 AM PST

    •  Wow, that's not even close to the conclusion. (14+ / 0-)

      Seriously, did you actually read the diary?

      The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

      by Orange County Liberal on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 10:57:17 AM PST

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    •  Oh, but it did. NC briefly switched to Obama and (9+ / 0-)

      then went back under the red waves.

      Kinda sucks.

      No, REALLY sucks.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:49:35 PM PST

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      •  No, I don't believe that. (5+ / 0-)

        Anyone who permanently turned against Obama after the first debate was merely looking for a reason to do so. And had Obama done well in that debate, the MSM/GOP would have fixated on a word or phrase or exhale and that would have been their turning point. Romney sucked in the first debate. He was rude, pushy, untruthful and unpresidential. They would have found a way to boost Romney, no matter what happened in that debate.

        We gave the Romney campaign hundreds of millions of dollars and all we got was this stupid t-shirt! - The Koch Brothers.

        by kitebro on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:24:00 PM PST

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        •  Then how do you explain Obama's rise after (1+ / 0-)
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          the VP and second debate?

          To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

          by sneakers563 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:30:30 PM PST

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          •  Sam Wang of Princeton Election Consortium's (0+ / 0-)

            blog suggested that Romney's improvement in the polls after the first debate was a bounce and was caused more by enthusiasm among Republican voters than by "switching".  He cites a state poll in Wisconsin which showed more likely Republican voters than earlier but very little change in "undecided" voters.  He also noted that the upswing toward Obama, or the "debounce" as he calls it, which we saw after the VP debate was too soon to have been directly caused by it (it takes a few days to process and publish poll data).

            In other words, the first debate made a lot of apathetic Republicans get really excited and want to run out and vote for their guy but it wore off quickly.

            If this is, in fact, the correct explanation, Republicans may have shot themselves in the foot by limiting early voting in Ohio, Florida and elsewhere.

        •  Totally agree with you kitebro (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z, kitebro

          and thanks for pointing it out.

    •  I would say that my conclusion was (15+ / 0-)

      that reality based reality is always preferable to bubble or faith based reality. First debates can matter - they nearly did this time. But by listening to the truth, President Obama course corrected.

      Something Republicans just don't do.

      Rick Perry - the greatest scientist since Galileo!

      by Bobs Telecaster on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 03:34:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did you *see* the polling graph? (7+ / 0-)

      The first debate did matter, quite a bit. Yes, he wound up making up for it, but it certainly was a near-term setback.

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:05:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the data graphed is not in a vacuum (1+ / 0-)
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        Code Monkey

        Yes, these are all interesting conjectures, but off the top of my head I can think of several other, simultaneous factors that contribute to the downward slope from that first debate.

        For example, the opening debate this is traditionally the time when low-info, disinterested, and genuinely undecided voters start paying attention. It is likely that anyone in those categories might reasonable drift toward the new guy, ie Romney, before a sufficient number came to their senses.

        The jury is still out, IMO.

        "Archaeological description is . . . an abandonment of the history of ideas, a systematic rejection of its postulates and procedures, an attempt to practice a quite different history of what men have said." --Michel Foucault

        by Adelard of Bath on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:26:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But the way they start paying attention (1+ / 0-)
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          is by watching the first debate.

          I agree, though, that it may be an overstatement to attribute the whole downward slope to Obama's poor debate performance. The first debate marked one final massive lurch to the center for Romney, really serving more as a product roll-out for Romney 7.0 than anything else. He maintained that new position through the rest of the campaign, and he was clearly stronger for having shaken the mighty Etch-a-Sketch one last time. So while Obama could've done better at countering that initial shift, it seems likely there would've been movement in Romney's favor just for his better positioning (Obama probably couldn't have prevented that entirely from succeeding, at least in the short term).

          Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
          Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
          Code Monkey like you!

          Formerly known as Jyrinx.

          by Code Monkey on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:40:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't see the effect of the first debate. (1+ / 0-)
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          I have seen this graph many times and, based on where the First Debate arrow is pointing, I don't see any debate effect. The line is going down before the debate and continues down after. With no change in slope. Whatever caused the drop seems to have been happening before the debate.

          I would like to see a graph with a longer timeline and some indication of when the polls were taken because this graph doesn't support the story.

        •  The first debate mattered because the R campaign (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eden4barack08, Justin93

          and the media were looking for anything that would save him and they jumped on the narrative, that was in part unwittingly supplied by R. Maddow and C. Matthews.

          I think there could have been a "reality based" critique of the debate that didn't springboard Romney. I wish they'd thought twice before speaking.

          Personally, I was with Sharpton, who immediately noted that Romney lied his ass off all night.

          I just heard a remark from C. Matthews that continues his narrative.

          I agree that we are "reality based" and they aren't, but we should also develop a "killer instinct" when we have them ( and they are bad guys) barely able to respond to a standing 8 count.
          Instead, we started throwing rotten tomatoes at our guy.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:56:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I find these lessons learned discomforting... (2+ / 0-)
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      New Dawning, vadasz

      If our conclusion is that:

      1. Obama lost the first debate using an approach that emphasized a calm and reasoned deliberation of visions concerning preferred solutions to MSM chosen issues.

      2. Romney won the first debate in a ground altering landslide by aggressively interrupting both his opponent and the moderator, lying repeatedly even after being rebutted or corrected (though calmly).

      3. Obama and Biden decided to rehearse zingers and posture themselves more aggressively to win the rest of the debates.

      how do you think debates in future elections will look? I mean, if campaigns are looking at this, looking at the way the media reacted to this, and looking at the "public opinion shift" that (never) occurred as a result, they will advise candidates to just go up there and yell political stereotypes and epithets at one another without end. It'll make for great entertainment, but then we'll be scratching our heads wondering why policies have less and less correlation with reality (like now, but worse). Further, we'll wonder why voters remain ill informed on most substantive issues.

      First, as all of the polling data and Kos's own image shows, the race was on a tightening trajectory before the first debate even occurred, so the debate had nothing to do with the race tightening. That was bound to happen. It was probably held a little tighter at the margin for a little longer than it otherwise would have been because liberals rand around with their hair on fire like a bunch of morons instead making some (legitimate) critiques of Romney's performance of their own, and the media wanted a close race, so they kept that narrative running unopposed (remember, the only plausible opposition would have come from our now flaming-headed liberal media representatives). As I've said in diaries and other comments, the most plausible explanation is that after a long, hard-fought primary that left the conservative base unhappy with the nominee they got, in the build-up hype of the first debate, the base started coming home. The race was always going to be close in national polls, so the debate had nothing to do with that. And the debate didn't change the electoral college numbers at all.

      Now, and I've said this before too, so I'm just going to paste it here:

      I feel like what happened is here at Kos we pride ourselves on being "reality-based" and consistently mock Republican refusal to ever own up to any wrong-doing or failures. I think the unfortunate side effect is we are too quick to find "errors" on our own side, as a strange "evidence that we can recognize our screw-ups." I think an unfortunate consequence of this is that we sometimes play into conservatives own hands by acknowledging failures that aren't failures, and I think this debate was one of those times. People will point to polls to reaffirm, "See, no denying it, Obama lost," but in my mind, if we had been more forceful in our defense of what was, in all reality, a strong performance from Obama, the media coverage, and thereby the public perception of the debate, would have been dramatically different.

      Let's take Biden/Ryan as an example. Biden crushed Ryan, both in substance and style, but conservative pundits and the noise machine came to their man's aid and said Ryan looked "calm and presidential" and critiqued Biden's aggressive style. This blunted the effects of the debate. Biden won in the public's mind, but not by a landslide. A similar defense would have been even more legitimate for Obama's first debate, since he had his facts straight (Ryan [and Romney at the first debate] didn't) and laid out a clear and coherent vision for term two (again, Romney didn't in the first debate). We could have acknowledged that Romney would be perceived a winner but offered some forceful push back against the substance, tactics, and even the rude, childish style that Romney used. The acknowledged loss would still have Obama face reality and improve, but we could have stemmed the media narrative that followed all the way to this day about how amazing and tide turning Romney's performance was, thereby discouraging future use of such tactics.

      But no, we'd rather prove we are "reality-based" by leaping at the opportunity to admit defeat from an onslaught of lies and rudeness. And we wonder why our discourse and the range of policies we discuss and problems we focus on isn't better aligned with the nation's needs.....

      Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

      by steveholt on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:02:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Way to miss the point (0+ / 0-)

      by actually denying reality.

      Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

      by Joe B on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:08:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you referring to me? (0+ / 0-)

        If so, explain to me what I've posited that I did not support with some evidence or rational argument. Seriously. You really think that lying incessantly and rudely interrupting everyone is a debate win? Really? That's sad. What the hell reality do you live in? If that's the case we might as well just turn politics into WWE wrestling matches.

        I'm so sick of hearing other progressives pretend Obama got crushed. Sure, he should have pushed back harder on the lies, but most intelligent people can understand when something has been rebutted and can recognize when already refuted remarks are being repeated. I understood Kos' point just fine, thank you. My point is that in the reality of what happened in the debate, there was plenty to point out in critiquing Romney's performance that wasn't made until days later, when the narrative had already been set in the public's mind. There is a way to acknowledge a loss without crying or irrationally throwing your candidate under the bus or running around screaming about a falling sky. There's also a way to manage a loss without unreasonably ceding a debate to a guy that lied his way through it while being an asshole. You know, thing's like saying, "Yeah, Obama could have done better [sending a signal to Obama], but he remained calm and reasoned while Romney flailed about and interrupted incessantly. Not very presidential. Oh, and let's talk about Romney's slew of lies." Boom. Obama knows to do better, reality is acknowledged, and we can still CRITIQUE THE REALITY THAT THE OTHER GUY SUCKED TOO, IN A DIFFERENT WAY.

        Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

        by steveholt on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:21:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We are not pretending that he got crushed, he did! (0+ / 0-)

          And it wasn't because we said so, it was because they viewers thought so overwhelmingly. The snap polls demonstrated this clearly.

          I am afraid that you are not engaging with reality on this.

          Ok, so I read the polls.

          by andgarden on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:57:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No. Snap polls are not scientific polls. (0+ / 0-)

            It is you that is taking the narrative baked by the MSM and megaphoned on here for the weeks that followed and repeating it to make it reality. Essentially, the MSM, took unscientific snap polls and screamed
            "Romney won" unopposed by our own pundits. There are interaction effects between media narratives and scientific polls because the first nationally representative sample wasn't until two days after the debate was over and the narrative had solidified. It is you that is just repeating a fictional account to the point that it has become true in your mind. Re-watch the debate, and do it with a clear head, knowing that the election's over and it doesn't matter now. And just watch.

            Listen, I'm not opposed to critiquing President Obama when he deserves it, and there are plenty of areas where he deserves it. For instance, he was not forceful enough in requesting a large enough stimulus, allowed the health care debates to get way out of hand before joining the fight, and when he did, he was timid. My point is that although I think Obama is a great president, I have a laundry list of complaints with Obama and am not afraid of saying when he's wrong. On this, he's and everyone parroting the "he got crushed" meme is just taking a lazy person's route to analysis. Any rational, informed person watching the debates who knew the issues would say Romney won on style and Obama won on substance. That's the reality of what happened in the debate without any of the hyperventilating Kossacks or profiteering pundits screaming "Game Changer!" nine thousand times. And that should have been our messaging after words.

            "Yes, Romney won on style, but he lied a lot and didn't offer any plan. Obama won on substance. Further, I thought Romney was a little rude at times." You see? That is an accurate, reality based assessment based on the debate itself. Not critiquing the president's posture, or where he looked, or how much energy he showed. That's small-minded theater critiquing that makes modern television journalism a joke and should have NO place in discussing the policies that affect us all. Period. If you truly believe that what matters in political discourse is how forcefully someone shouts their lies, then it is you, not I, who is no different from the blowhard pundits on the right.

            An informed understanding of polling data would tell you that the inability of separating debate effects from post-debate narrative means you only have a partial view of what the population's actual take away from the debate itself was. In other words, you don't know what the "reality" was in the public mind on the debate alone, as there's no comparison in which Obama was defended by the left. As I said above, Biden/Ryan would provide more insights as an approximate point of comparison, because the style dynamic was similar, but conservatives, even those that acknowledged that Ryan lost, pushed back by saying Biden was rude and Ryan looked presidential. Of course, not really true of Ryan, but it helped stem the damage a bit, and the national polls (the scientific ones, not the snap polls) showed Biden winning, but only by a thin margin.

            The reason I think this matters, as I stated above, is what the hell will our discourse look like when shouting down people, lying incessantly, and refusing to provide any policy details at all is considered an objectively landslide win in a debate?

            Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

            by steveholt on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 09:17:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Let me clue you in on something: (0+ / 0-)

              The snap polls merely confirmed my own reaction. I didn't need Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, or anyone else to tell me how the debate went (in fact, I didn't watch them). I already knew.

              Ok, so I read the polls.

              by andgarden on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 09:31:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

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