Round 1 of the Bully verses the Professor is over. The GOP/TEA folks are beating their chests while Democrats are divided on how the President did.
Romney promised to balance the budget by killing Big Bird and retiring PBS moderator Jim Lehrer. Lehrer is already retired from the News Hour and Romney completed his retirement by taking over as moderator of the debate. Fearing Romney might cut his hair, Lehrer acquiesced.
The Professor pointed out that economists calculate Romney’s plan to cut taxes by 20% will add $5 trillion to the deficit. The Bully countered that math has a left wing bias, then pretended to threw the TEA party wing of the GOP under the bus. Crossing his fingers, Romney promised to never raise taxes on the middle class or lower them on the rich. But Romney did promise to honor his pledge to Grover Norquist not to raise taxes the wealthy or get more revenue for the government.
Romney’s message on health care was confusing. He bragged about Romneycare in Massachusetts but promised to end its national incarnation as the Affordable Care Act or as he calls it, Obamacare. Romney was vague on what, if anything, he would replace it with. On Medicare, Romney promised people 60 and over we will get to keep what we have been promised except he will reopen the drug donut hole and return to charging us co-pays for prevent health. For those under 60 you get vouchers. And don’t plan on Medicaid paying for your nursing home care.
Like his dressing up as a police officer and arresting people, Romney impersonated someone who cared about the middle class. He cried for people who lost jobs sent overseas, an important source for his personal $100 million IRA.
To the disappointment of many Democrats and MSNBC talking heads, Professor Obama refused to play the angry black man. He did not demand to see Romney’s taxes, call him a liar, or lecture him about how to travel with a dog. Nor did the Professor mention George Bush, Romney’s attack on the 47%, Bain, or Romney hiding his money in off-shore accounts.
The bottom line is that we really didn’t learn much. The answers from both were largely the talking points from their stump speeches. Romney remained vague as to his plans asking that we trust him. President Obama defended that he had stopped the bleeding and we are recovering, but more slowly than he wants.
What was most surprising was how so many issues were never mentioned by anyone - Lehrer, Obama, or Romney. Nothing on abortion or birth control. No discussion of crime or the war on drugs. No mention of pollution or global warming. There were no questions or comments about supporting science or scientific research.
Round 2 of the Bully and Professor takes place October 16. Can Romney repeat what I think is one of his best practice jokes of all time. While a student he pretended to open a door for a blind Professor. The Professor then walked smack into the closed door while Romney and his friends got a good laugh. Can practical jokester Romney do the same to Professor Obama in the next debate?