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I have to acknowledge that I am 65 and have been teaching for 44 years. I have debated and been involved in teaching debate as well as teaching the Constitution.

My initial reaction to the debate war this: appalled

My initial reaction to the punditry after the debate: appalled

This morning, however, I am really angry - at a great many people.

Follow below.

First, I assumed that of any moderator, Jim Leher would do an excellent job, especially in follow-up questions pertaining to specific details in each candidates' plans. This just did not happen, Jim Leher essentially became a door-mat. Sad, isn't it, when a fairly repsectable journalist cannot control a debate?

Next, my first and last impression of Mitt Romney was this:
 1. He felt he needed to "take it" to Obama as his right wing money holders wished.
 2. He seemed to rush through a bunch of word salad having to do with what? I don't know what he talked about half the time.
 3. He totally disrespected Jim Leher and the President. For me, he solidified his rich, prep school bully attitude.
 4. He looked like many of us in the 70's, on speed, trying to study for an exam. We thought we had nailed it. People told us, as we spouted book knowledge non-stop, that we had nailed it. But we didn't nail it.

Furthermore, it is disheartening how so many people are driven by the narrative created by the media and its pundits.

Ed Schultz looked like the frothing maniac he was during the initial health care debate when he didn't get his public option.

Rachel Maddow allowed the ex-mayor, Rudy G, to be nasty and condescending to Chris Hayes, who was not allowed to get his point across. This surprised me about her. I expcted a more nuanced analysis of the debate from her. She seemed to coast along with the rest of the pundits.

Steve Schmidt? Why in all that is holy, would anyone listen or care what he thinks. This is the man whose brilliant plan for 2008 was Sarah Palin. So whenever they turn to him I ask, "and why again should I listen to a man who totally screwed up a campaign opine on another?

For me, and surprisingly, Al Sharpton seemed to have actually listened to the President and some of the "zingers" he managed to get in, albeit in his usual calm, unobtrusive manner. As Al said, Romney was allowed to rattle off all his lies, and if anyone does not think the Obama campaign is not putting the three or four different Romneys together is insane.

Lawrence O"Donnell seemed to have the most intelligent view of the debate.

But my point is this: Have we been so dumbed down in this country as to proclaim as winner of a debate the person who is the rudest, loudest, and the most dishonest? Is that how we expect the leader of the free world to act?

And further, because Romney was a bully and loud and dishonest and disrespectful, are we so dumbed down that we failed to listen and hear what the calm, intelligent candidate had to offer?

I don't care how many pundits or Kos people or newspapers or blogs or tweeters believe Romney won because? He supposedly "took charge?" He didn't take charge. He didn't follow rules. He was the epitomy of someone who believes that he should get what he wants, when he wants it, and will do and say anything to get there.

There was one BIG loser in last night's debate, the American people, who did not have a moderator to slow things down and demand explanation. The voters lost because they still have no clear idea where one candidate stands on certain important issues.

The way Jim Leher moderated, the way Romney acted, the way the pundits clearly did not listen to the President, proves that most of Americans have been sufficiently dumbed down to accept lies, accept bullying as a positive, and seems not to care about details and specifics.

The final nail in the coffin for me was the story my IPad brought up immediatly after the views of the pundits. Honey Boo Boo is getting a raise!

To me, that says it all. If we don't work to GOTV for Barack Obama, as imperfect as he is, than we deserve what happens to this country.

As for me, I will continue to contribute, to make calls, to knock on doors, but, since being able to vote, and having voted in every election, be it national, state, or local, if Barack Obama is not reelected, 2012 will be the very last vote I ever cast.

P.S. After 44 years of teaching, it is time for a new graduate to fill my position if I retire. And IF is the big unknown. With a Romney/Ryan administration, I will never be able to afford health care - or their Medicare plan. How many others are not retiring because of this? So how many graduates do not get a chance at a job?

To say I am disappointed in the debate moderator, the pundits, etc. is an overstatement. Frankly, I am deeply frightened about the country my new grandson will have to endure.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I apologize (9+ / 0-)

    For punctuation and grammatical errors I know exist. The truth is I am writing this with blurred vision as I am suffering from conjunctivitis in both eyes.

  •  Fabulous Diary (5+ / 0-)

    Nothing to add - can only say that I agree with you 110%

  •  thanks for this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leu2500, commonmass, worldlotus

    I couldn't watch it live, to spite being an ex debater and generally eating this stuff up with a big spoon.  Too much on the line and too scary.  The result in the press -- right across the board -- has freaked my cookies badly.  I went online and watched.  Unfortunately I am nothing like the audience who can be swayed by this -- to me, Ronnie and both Bushes seemed quite monstrous (as did Clinton, from time to time) --

    As you know, dynamism is important. But the shift in how credibility and truth are treated feels most striking.  Before the debate, it feels like our press felt sneered at by the Romney campaign, and their reaction to that was very negative.  I think this, more than anything, has hurt Romney in the polls.   But whatever the reasons, we now have a Romney victory narrative, and a sneering patriarchal bully being lauded by the press.  The responsibility for addressing lies is may now be on Obama, not the press. My sense is that Romney now has a pass to lie his butt off from now to election day, and Obama will be constantly sniffed for "weakness" -- not being alpha male enough.  I hope against hope I am wrong.

    But -- in any event -- your clear-eyed diary helped me get some perspective on the matter this morning.  

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 07:54:03 AM PDT

  •  I was appalled as well for many of the reasons (4+ / 0-)

    you have listed.  Appalled, disgusted & angry.  

    During past debates-campaigns, I recall discussing with a journalist friend a new fear & desire to move from this country if President Bush was re-elected.  I recall the strange feelings & mind shock when contemplating a McCain-Palin presidency.  Neither of those candidates produced the fear, the anger, revulsion & mind shock that Romney has created in me & that is saying a lot.

    "Bully on speed" showing not one iota of class or depth.  That had to be the most freakish & appalling display in history of a presidential debate to date.

    The only class & depth exhibited last night-President Obama.

    Thank you for so eloquently putting into words what I observed & felt.  No doubt, what many observed & felt.

  •  Thank you! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jessical, commonmass, worldlotus

    Yours is the best response to last night's debate that I have read.  

    "Appalled" is the proper reaction to last night's travesty of a 'debate.'

    And your 2 questions should be our major takeaway from it:  
    "Have we been so dumbed down in this country as to proclaim as winner of a debate the person who is the rudest, loudest, and the most dishonest? Is that how we expect the leader of the free world to act?"

    I sure hope that the President's excellent PR folks follow up on this right away.  

  •  The elephant you missed (0+ / 0-)

    Obama has been Commander in Chief for nearly 4 years.  That he could not command the stage away from a past his prime moderator and a middle school bully is the story.

    •  I can see how you might have this reaction, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think we should consider the possibility that Obama was deliberately giving Romney all the rope he needed to hang himself.  The purpose of the debate (from our point of view) was to educate voters, to put the "real" Mitt on display for the whole country. I think Obama accomplished this. It takes a very smart, very cunning, very principled person to stand up and let a bully rant on, knowing that you will be criticized for not punching back, in order to accomplish the mission.

  •  Here's what I took away from the debate: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jessical, worldlotus
    Mitt Romney: "I like coal".
  •  Thanks for the diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jessical, worldlotus

    I learned how to debate from the Jesuits. NONE of what these people call "debates" are debates.

  •  Jim Lehrer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tinfoil Hat

    Jim Lehrer needs to retire.

    Last night the job of moderator was filled by a brain-addled old man whose walker was run over in the cross walk by the town bully.

    My nine-year old granddaughter would have had better control than Lehrer did last night.

    The only thing this clown show was lacking was a seltzer bottle.

    Silence with a yawn or two accompanied this thrilling announcement

    by Ih8W on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:00:55 AM PDT

  •  I think your emphasis on the moderation important. (0+ / 0-)

    Jim Lehrer was a key factor in this.  He let the bully go on and on.  

    However, Obama didn't fight back.  He looked like a deer in the headlights as the saying goes.  

    Romney scored some substantive points with me also.  For example, when he focused on the elimination of the Healthcare Advantage program which I will be enrolled in as my Plus C program gets closed off next year.  It costs a little more but has some advantages over regular medicare.   I didn't realize under the cuts that next year that program will be eliminated under "Obama Care" according to Mittboy.  Now I don't know if that is true because Obama didn't bother to refute that statement or any other of the more demonstrable lies told by the Mittster  

    If it is true HealthCare Advantage wlll be eliminated then it will affect me and my wife negatively.  I paid attention to that.

    Also, Romney was able to use his RomneyCare program as a positive as he was able to use the fact the Mass. is No. 1 in education.  He used many of his negatives in a positive way.  Besides being a bully he was simply a better debater if you are not a complete fanboy of Obama.

    It was a complete Rope-a-dope strategy by Romney that worked.  He did a much better job than Obama.  Period.  

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