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.
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.