Thursday, October 4, 2012

Romney's razzle dazzle won the battle; will he win the war?

Mitt Romney roared into Denver and razzle dazzled  a subdued, listless, and irritated  President Obama…who did not have his macho on.  It is too early to see if Romney’s glitz moved the needle in any of the battleground states, but it could have happened.  The only bright note for Democrats  was when  one of the local stations interviewed a panel  of undecided voters  post debate and  asked if they had decided to support one candidate over the other.  Not one hand went up.  Maybe, just maybe, they saw through Romney's stellar  performance and recognized   Romney’s  lack of specifics and  illogic

Romney came equipped with two pre-emptive strikes designed to blunt  points they expected Obama to raise.:  One concerned  that 5 trillion dollar tax break for the wealthy, in addition to the 1 trillion extension of the Bush tax break, and the additional 2 trillion dollar unsolicited gift to the military.  How was this  supposed to be paid for, which ones,   by what,  and by how much? That's Bill  Clinton's math point...the best part of the Democratic Convention afterglow . It's the addition, stupid.  The fact checker on CNN automatically gave points to Romney for speaking  the truth  and took  the governor’s  word   for it that he would pay for it by closing unspecified, unquantified tax loopholes, making  the whole exercise revenue neutral.

Now wait a minute. That was not only what Romney neutralized.  He neutered his own economic theory.  Aside from the point Obama raised that there were not enough wealthy’s and corporate’s  loopholes that could be closed  to add up to the breaks , there was a fatal flaw to Romney’s proposal.   Romney’s argument  is that the wealthy and big business get more money to spend on creating jobs  which would trickle down to the masses, increasing revenue. If their tax breaks are given by one hand and taken away by the other hand  that cuts  out their corporate loopholes, what’s left to trickle
 down ?  
Romney's  other preemptive strike  was to continue  parts of Obamacare that were popular for the already insured.    Notice though, he did not present a plan to pay for such niceties. 
Obama did score one point: He called out   Romney’s promise to  cover  pre-existing conditions as a deception. The fatal flaw in logic was that Romney wanted to leave it up to states without making them do it or giving them the wherewithal to pay for it themselves.   Obama did score a point by noting only those who already had prior coverage  under Romney's proposal he made before the debate would qualify thanks to current laws and those who never could qualify before  would never be able to qualify for coverage.

 Neither  Romney and nor Obama  addressed making insurance affordable to those who cannot afford it .That  was one of   Obama’s   missed opportunities and it was a point that was  central to the main  purpose of Obamacare.. The material was there.  Romney before the debate had said his plan was status quo for for the currently uninsured : dump them in the ER.  

The biggest surprise of all was that Obama left his best guns holstered...Romney's dissing of the 47% who got any government assistance, including Social Security and Medicare,  and on women's issues. Why?  That was dumb, dumb, dumb.  Obama had a great  chance to put Romney on the defensive by and he did not do it.

Obama responded by stumbling into the rebuttal points.  The worst was backing into his rebuttal  to  the “death panels” charge that  a 15 member Obamacare panel would dictate coverage.  After wasting time by muddling through an answer that the panel would recommend best practices, he left   seniors unreassured and wondering if  that still meant denial of their coverage.  Obama finally hit on the answer when he  noted that the law forbad the panel from denying coverage,but it was lost in his rambling paragraph and delivered as an after thought.. At least he got Romney to admit his plan used vouchers and that could be the deciding factor that loses the GOP some votes from seniors.

Obama  never  challenged Romney on the lack of details at the time  Romney made each  assertion . Instead, Obama lumped a group of Romney's positions and challenged them by pointing out the detail deficit.  This  was made less effective because, he  delivered with no vigor and never repeated it again.   
Oh yes. Romney specified one cut :  he would  kill off  Big Bird by yanking funding from public television.

Does this mean Romney will win the war? Not if Obama uses his big guns  on women's health, the 47%, and Medicare and puts Romney on the defensive in the future.


  1. I didn't hear anything new. Romney did a good job of explaining his position. That position is 180 degrees opposite from mine so all he did was reinforce my vote for Obama. He stressed his military support, his use of vouchers to kill off the social safety net, his unbridled capitalism approach, and his "no central government" ideas. He was very clear and sounds very dangerous. He would like the 47% to be enslaved and put in chains (after all you can't really just kill them off -- can you?) All in all what I saw was a guy that does not play by the rules, especially debate rules.

  2. Romney was a leopard who wants to look like he changed his spots, but it is the same animal underneath. That's the danger.