October 9th, 2012
By Bifford Caulfield -- I find myself somewhat underwhelmed by all the hand-wringing over the debate since last Wednesday. I don't know what the Obama campaign
had in mind for a strategy that night -- but I found myself, as I am sure a lot of people did, throwing shadow boxing blows and cat-calling Romney as Obama's surrogate when he did nail him instantly every time he lied, blustered, or just plain B.S.'d the public and bullied the moderator.
It's true too, that people lean toward the underdog and they like a punch-drunk boxer down on his luck -- and whether or not Romney wins the
election -- that's what I think they will be getting if Romney wins -- a punch drunk megalomaniac thread-bear on ideas and long on bluster. And it was a little disconcerting to see a Romney campaign team that had run a great campaign in 2008 whiff on what appeared to many to be a long, slow pitch right down the middle of the plate.
Obama appeared to be playing small ball and giving Romney plenty of rope to hang himself with -- which he did if you care about facts and
political consistency -- but Romney, his campaign, and the right wing pundits have nothing really to run on except posturing, blustering, lying, distorting and -- oh, yes -- a whole lot of Obama hating.
Romney's primary strategy is to present a moving target -- Romney saying things, his campaign countering them, clarifying, or
disavowing them as Romney goes. The basic premise seems to be that people just listen for things that they want to hear from political candidates and as soon as they here something that fits, makes sense to them, or something they want or believe in -- they lock in and that's their guy -- and that may be in fact what happens -- and that may in fact work with the American electorate. They only thing in American culture that seems to be able to counter that is tickling the American voters' sense of humor -- with Obama painting Romney as kind of hapless and sort of clutsy -- and uncool -- and nobody really wants to be for the "uncool" guy because uncool guys are "losers" -- and in the final analysis Americans are pretty unforgiving toward losers. That's why Obama came out on Thursday morning after the debate ridiculing Romney for proposing we solve the budget deficit problem of the United States by killing off Big Bird. And it was a little absurd. If the federal budget was a $1000 -- eliminating PBS would save about a penny and a half of the budget -- not exactly the the "magilla gorilla" of all budget balancing strategies.
To Obama's detriment -- a lot of times when a someone calls you out with untrue crap -- and you don't counter -- what matters is not whether what they say is true of not -- but whether or not you call them on it -- or pop them in the nose -- and if you don't, then the crap-calling liar wins -- even though what he says is all lies.
Win or lose -- Obama's my guy all day long -- every day. And if Romney should win -- four years from now I think the American people will look back with fondness and longing for the comparative sanity of the Bush/Cheney years. Pretty scary idea, when you think about it.