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Confession: I did not watch the debate last night. The spouse and I are in the midst of a family crisis -- we need to find a place for his mom that will give her the level of care she needs, so we're in the midst of looking at places, emptying her current senior apartment, figuring out what she'll need and what can go into storage (most of the places we've looked at will have her in a studio, then move her to a 1-bedroom apartment when one is available), and miscellaneous other detritus. (Feels like she turned old and cranky on us overnight -- we're both trying to maintain patience with limited success.) So yesterday I was hanging out at her place waiting for someone to come pick up some equipment, then we went out for a much needed dinner.

On perusing my Twitter feed that night over soup and salad at Fresh Choice, you'd think the election had been held, and we were facing the prospect of a Romney Presidency. And it's pretty much the same thing this morning.

But really, what happened? Two guys stood up, answered some questions...one guy threatened to fire Big Bird and the rest of the Muppets, and now the world is about to come crashing around our shoulders.

But did anyone out there really change their minds? Did any Obama supporters say, "Wow, this Romney guy's pretty cool after all -- I think I'd better vote for him after all"? Or did it just give the media another chance to spin the "horse race" mentality?

Along with politics, I follow some fellow sports fans -- some are on the liberal side (a few were in a quandary whether to watch the Democratic convention or an important series involving the San Francisco Giants; fortunately Obama's speech was on an off night), some pointedly conservative (I skim past the political rants and find the gems complaining about the Giants bullpen instead). I'm not going to post the actual Tweet because I don't want to embarrass the dude, but I think this sums up many of the conservatives I've seen in my feed:

I didn't like him in 08, so voted for McCain. Now I've seen him lead. Despite flaws, he's a fine leader and a great dad who loves America
Unlike the media talking heads and the hand-wringers out there, I don't think last night was a game-changer. I don't see a bunch of states suddenly swinging into the Romney column on the basis of a single debate. To use a baseball analogy, it's a 3-game series and it looks like Romney may have taken Game 1. Maybe Obama needs to tighten up his game a little more, maybe go to the bullpen a little sooner or work on the defense to avoid costly errors (like Josh Hamilton should do for tomorrow's wild card matchup).

This isn't 1960. We're in the era where statements can be proved false with the click of a mouse or trackpad, thanks to Google and YouTube and other services. We can call Romney and Ryan out on their bullshit, and already are (even Politifact is out there with their "False" ratings of Romney's statements last night. We can expose the lies and spread the truth through Twitter and Facebook and viral e-mails. And I really don't see this debate, or any of the subsequent debates, as substantially changing the political landscape. Perhaps they'll wake up a few of us who were starting to get complacent, and remind us not to underestimate the opposition, and in that case it's a Good Thing. But let's cool off on the panic, okay folks?

Poll

Time to panic?

3%1 votes
68%22 votes
28%9 votes

| 32 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  No-panic button (16+ / 0-)

    I apologize, but this is going to be a hit-and-run diary for a few hours; spouse and I have to go take his mom to look at a potential living place this morning, then have lunch. Hope my marriage survives this.

    I'll be back to respond to comments and such this afternoon if all goes well.

    "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

    by Cali Scribe on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:38:48 AM PDT

  •  This is how I see it, too. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pinto Pony, cotterperson, Aunt Pat
    But did anyone out there really change their minds? Did any Obama supporters say, "Wow, this Romney guy's pretty cool after all -- I think I'd better vote for him after all"? Or did it just give the media another chance to spin the "horse race" mentality?

    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28 KJV

    by looking and listening on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:44:56 AM PDT

  •  boomers with aging parents is WHY romney's (6+ / 0-)

    wrong about telling those over 65 not to pay attention!!!
    medicare and esp mediCAID solvency effects those who have older parents--it's not just the elderly who would be destitute without govt help, it's the families of those elderly!
    jeebus!!!
    that's why your story is poignant:  you were too busy taking care of aging parent to watch debate where one candidate was telling granny not to watch, whilst taking away your future benefits!
    crikey!

    Give me back my democracy. 50% + 1

    by stagemom on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:45:02 AM PDT

  •  I could not agree more (4+ / 0-)

    Debates are a lot of navel-gazing for political junkies.

  •  What I saw last night... (0+ / 0-)

    was a man whose heart just didn't seem to be in it.  I know he's only human, but that worried me.

    We can't allow that narrative to take hold.

  •  I'm staring your plight in the face myself (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, cotterperson

    We're not quite there yet, but I can see it clearly coming down the pike with both parents in their 70's and basically retired (they still do odd jobs here and there to stay busy and make some pocket change), and both having personalities that I have no doubt will make taking care of them as they get older a real challenge (on top of whatever financial and health challenges they and I face). And as if this wasn't daunting enough, we lost my sister and only sibling several years ago in a particularly tragic manner (which created yet new challenges that I'd rather not get into), so it's basically just me at this point. Some pretty scary stuff.

    I find that being interested in politics is a welcome "distraction" from all of this. Perhaps too much so. But clearly, who wins and whose policies get enacted will have a very major impact on both of us and our families, as well as millions of other Americans. So it's clearly much more than a distraction.

    I wish you and your family the very best in dealing with your situation, and I wish Obama and Dems the very best in dealing with these Repubs and the country's great challenges. They are all intertwined.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 09:55:23 AM PDT

  •  We Spent a Year Doing This With My Mom A Few Yrs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat

    back and now we're nearing the exhaustion of her savings and working with attorney to get her onto the Medicaid. And scared shitless about the implications because our tiny house apart from being very small is stuffed to the gills with my self employment artisan business workstations. We physically couldn't take her even if we had to.

    There's another post-debate diary just up about a focus group that had some remedial news showing the President holding or gaining on likeability as Mitt skidded on it, which is an important factor.

    Also economy and health care which relates to your issues.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:00:04 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for this post Cali Scribe. (0+ / 0-)

    I agree with you and most of the commenters here.  As a 69 y.o. life long democrat all I can say is give me a break.  While the "news media" runs around with their hair on fire doing what they do I doubt if the debate changed anyone's mind about who they are voting for in November.  I would have preferred President Obama being more forceful, but I am not sure that wouldn't have resulted in the angry black man meme today rather than the Rmoney won meme. This election will be won by the person who has the best get out the vote ground game.  I am so hoping it is Obama's team.  VOTE.

    Sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn't.... (then it's on to Plan B or more duct tape).

    by Aunt Pat on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 12:24:45 PM PDT

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