About 20 minutes into the debate, I turned to my wife and said, "Obama really needs to step it up if he's going to win this thing." (the debate).
As we all know, that didn't happen. And while much has been said about the President not bringing up Romney's infamous 47 percent remark or, as Paul Krugman pointed out, not calling bullshit on Mitt's countless lies, what struck me was the fact that Wooden Indian stunt double Jim Lehrer did not ask either candidate about how their policies would affect the 51 percent -- women.
In the aftermath, I have read very little about the failure of the debates to address what I thought was one of the defining characteristics of this election: Republican's paternalistic and pusillanimous approach towards women in this country. Although Charles Pierce briefly mentioned it today, also surprised that the issue never came up, I'm appalled that what this election means to the women of this country was never raised.
No matter how much the GOP whines about being painted with the "War on Women" brush, their radical anti-woman stance cannot be denied, with that attitude taking a prominent place in not only the platform adopted at the convention but in the stances of the presidential ticket itself.
Forget the fact that Lehrer (as an entitled rich, old white guy) wouldn't give a shit about women's issue but Obama had an opening to slam the Romney/Ryan ticket on both the economy as well as health care. A golden opportunity to show 51 percent of the population how Romney and Ryan would shit in their mouths.
It's not just Romney's off-on flirtation of support for execrable "Personhood" amendments (laws that would redefine fertilized human eggs as people, assigning legal and constitutional rights to zygotes, thus outlawing not only certain types of birth control but in vitro fertilization) or his stating unequivocally that he would shitcan Planned Parenthood, saying earlier this year, "The test is pretty simple. Is the program so critical, it's worth borrowing money from china to pay for it? And on that basis of course you get rid of Obamacare, that's the easy one. Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that," there were plenty of other opportunities. The proposed cuts the Romney/Ryan plan has proposed to Head Start (over 200,000 dis-enrolled), Medicaid, education, Child Care subsidies and other safety net programs that would decimate lower-income families was a perfect way to illustrate to the 51 percent just how radical and dangerous the GOP ticket is to women (Ryan has never once voted for a pro-choice measure while serving in Congress).
And it never came up.
Unfortunately, I doubt that Candy Crowley (as an entitled rich, old white woman and partisan hack) will give the issue of women any lip service.
In fact, the fact that the 51 percent remained absent from the first debate brought to mind the old Samuel Johnson chestnut: "Sir, a woman's preaching is like a dog walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."
Indeed. With three Y chromosomes up on the stage at Wednesday night's debate, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that women got the short shrift. That's unfortunate. Not only was that a slap in the face for the 51-percenters, it was a huge error-by-omission for those of us 49-percenters who happen to care about women's issues. As the father of two young women (aged 11 and 14), I am deeply concerned with how my daughters will be treated, now and in the future.
While it was a huge mistake for Obama to ignore the fact that Romney has essentially said, "Fuck the 47 percent," it was a travesty that not one male on that debate stage appeared to care about the plight of our 51 percent.
(Damn... as soon as I was about to post this, the issue was raised in today's Midday open thread... between kid's getting a half day of school and me being lazy as hell, I got beat to the punch! As always, this was cross posted at The Firebird Suite, blah blah blah).
Fri Oct 05, 2012 at 7:08 AM PT: 7:07 A.M. PST -- Wow, I wake up Friday morning to find this in Community Spotlight, thanks for the save, ya'll!