A few weeks ago I wrote a response to your fundraising email, to the chagrin of some folks at DailyKOS, that I was not proud of the way you performed in the first debate. I won't bother re-hashing the source of that disappointment. Your performance at the correspondence dinner indicated you got it -- as usual. You always have seemed to get it, at least from what I've seen. Below the fold I'll explain why I'm proud of you, and why I hope all Democrats should be proud of you, enthusiastic about your second term, and get out the vote for you and all the down ballot races.
In the second and third debates you gave me reason to be proud because -- unlike what Republicans have been trying to say -- you've given me a good idea of what your second term agenda will sound like. I'm proud not just because you plainly pointed out where Mitt Romney has lied, obfuscated, pandered, and misled, but because you've made it clear that the entire Republican strategy is born of rhetorical games rather than actual policy.
The "Bayonets and Horses" line wasn't good because it was some zinger, it was good because it illustrated that the GOP talking point about the navy is not predicated on a real policy initiative, but on nothing but empty rhetoric. As you pointed out, it's nice to say "we have fewer ships than in 1917" but there's no real policy behind saying we're going to have as many boats as we did back when torpedo boats constituted state of the art Naval technology.
In these second two debates you made it clear that this current crop of Republicans, Mitt Romney included, are not students of policy-based Republican Strategists from Eisenhower to Reagan, but are advocates of rhetoric-based non-governing. A system they've learned since the mid-90s where there is no real policy-making in an effort to solve problems, but an attempt at letting rhetoric shroud the problems and paint the opposition as dangerous.
And what I got from you, Mr. President, over these last two debates, was a clear indication that you won't let your opposition rest on this game any longer. I gathered that a second term will include you calling Republicans out on this tactic. Will include you illustrating that these emperors have no clothes.
It's not just a zinger that made me proud, it's a clear illustration that you have policy items designed to solve problems, and you won't let the opposition sit idly by while they do the opposite.
I saw these last two debates not as debates with Mitt Romney, but as debates with Republican orthodoxy. The orthodoxy that demands a co-equal branch of government act as an obstructionist affront to real policy.
This is what I hope and expect an Obama second term will look like. Calling out the opposition not just on lies, but on the very lies that cover up a lack of policy to solve very deep and serious problems our country faces.
So hearing and seeing your execution of that in these debates has definitely made me proud. Please accept my donation and let's get out the vote.