Oh Ross

Obama only won because he showed up and, like, breathed in and out and shit:

Where Romney actually has a more detailed proposal, as he does on immigration, his rebuttals were crisper and more convincing, and he also won several exchanges just by turning the conversation back to the economy’s performance under Obama. (He also had to deal with what the liberal pundit Jonathan Chaitrightly described as a slate of “friendly questions from an audience that obviously leaned left.”)

Yes. The audience leaned left, by how they didn’t ask Obama why he doesn’t just go back to Kenya already.

This botch looked worse because the moderator, Candy Crowley, jumped in inappropriately to fact-check Romney’s characterization of whether the president initially characterized the Benghazi incident as a terrorist attack – inappropriately because the president’s language was actuallyopen to competing interpretations, and also because Romney’s broader point about the White House’s evasions was clearly correct and she seemed to be taking sides against him.

Romney said Obama refused to say one thing. Obama demonstrably did say that thing. By pointing out reality, Candy Crowley was unfairly and unjustifiably “fact-checking” Romney. Which is apparently what we call it now when someone has the temerity to point out that the sun is yellow in our world.

For fucking fuck’s sake. Crowley is not a personal hero of mine or anything, but all she did was say look, you are contradicted by REALITY, and I’m sorry if that made Romney look bad, but so does gravity at this point because it keeps him tethered to the earth where he can say stupid shit.

Obviously she should have left the fact-checking to the fact-checkers, who could fact-check later and thus not be noticed by anyone watching the debate. Which is where fact-checking belongs.

But Romney would have lost that exchange even without her intervention. He seemed at once underinformed and overaggressive, as he often does on foreign policy: He did a poor job of explaining what exactly the Obama White House had done wrong (he barely mentionedthe administration’s fixation on the offensive YouTube video), seemed ill prepared for the president’s obvious, dudgeon-rich, I’m-the-commander-in-chief counterpunch, and then fell back on right-wing boilerplate about Obama’s supposed “apology tour” that can’t possibly resonate with swing voters.

Then again, it’s not clear that the Libya issue in particular, or foreign policy in general, really resonates with swing voters either.

Anything Romney sucks at doesn’t matter. Dead Americans, whatever, nobody cares.

The question now is whether that kind of straightforward reassertion is all Obama needed, or whether the public’s post-Denver willingness to consider Romney anew shifted the dynamics of the race in a way that a closely fought debate can’t quite reverse. That’s something that no snap survey can tell us. The proof will be in the polls a week from now.

I don’t actually know shit about shit, but the New York Times pays me, so joke’s on you, motherfuckers!


7 thoughts on “Oh Ross

  1. Taken out of context, I did think it odd that a moderator actively entered the debate by stating that one side’s statement was factual (or not).
    In context, this was in context of Romney heckling the moderator, demanding that the rules be changed to benefit him, launching into a flurry of points not related to the question, and adding the lack of immediately crying “terrorism” as another point totally unrelated to the question; totally unrelated to what he had been saying.
    In short, she was just trying to be a moderator and get him to shut up and give the other side some time.

  2. A little Candy Crowley trivia:
    Back when I was in school in Madison, the Madison cable TV system around 1979 or 1980 or so had a channel that viewed from today was pretty amazing. It was a 24 news channel – keep in mind that this is before CNN had debuted – where the video was a single camera panning back and forth across a set of weather gauges; temperature, barometric pressure, wind speed,etc. That’s it. That is all the video was, 24 hours a day. The audio was some syndicated essentially news radio (though it wasn’t CBS, or ABC or …).
    And it seemed like the anchors on the audio all had these comically alliterative names; Heddy Hubby doing news, Keith Kazicki on sports…and Candy Crowley on news.
    30-plus years later, and in my mind it is still Heddy Hubby, Keith Kazicki and Candy Crowley.

  3. Ya gotta like Douthat’s conclusion about Money Boo Boo’s Libya fiasco: “It’s not clear that the Libya issue . . . or foreign policy . . . really resonates with swing voters.” You think if Romney hadn’t gotten knocked down on Libya by both the President of the United States AND the debate moderator that Douthat would have opined that foreign policy isn’t so important after all?
    Oh, and snap surveys are meaningless now. So quit citing them, everyone. Ross has spoken.

  4. In doctor’s office this AM. Faux News is on TV. Mark Sanford on(Ran for gov on platform including family values only to walk the Appalachian trail. Is there any contributor to Faux News who hasn’t been disgraced?)
    He was in a diatribe about how in speeches in the week following the Rose Garden speech, Obama didn’t use the word terrorism.
    Don’t they realize that whining about Romney’s gaffe after the debate and trying to rationalize it away makes them look bad? (Or maybe I answer my own question that Faux viewers create their own little insular universe where they can rationalize anything.)
    And as to not saying Terror in every sentence: Well perhaps he didn’t feel a need to play the repub game of shouting “terrah terrah terrah” to keep the people at edge. Perhaps he realized that this was under investigation. Likewise on the criticisms of not saying Al Q enough, paerhaps he didn’t say Al Q at every sentence because no all terrorist actions are Al Q and Al Q is so loose knit that it is difficult to determine if any particular person is Al Q.

  5. I’ve been bothered for days about this. I don’t see how this isn’t an apples to oranges comparison. Whether he specifically used the word ‘terrorism’ while talking about Benghazi or 9/11 is nitpicky bullshit. The fact that it may or may not have been a spontaneous protest that got violent is in fact, another issue. It is also terrorism, spontaneous or not. It doesn’t have to be a planned in advance action to be terrorism, does it? So, I don’t understand how this is even an argument. Regardless of the reason it happened, planned or not, it’s still an act of terrorism. Romneys argument was that if he said it was terrorism, then it couldn’t have been because of the video. It’s a false comparison.

  6. @iceblue2 – a tradition going back to Gingrich in congress. Passing out a republican lexicon for the words that one would use. I’m blanking on a good example, but it was basically an equivalent of “don’t say economic downturn, say Obama marxist, fascist, Kenyan nightmare”
    If the repubs can force the dems into using their terminology, then the terminology leads to the dems having to do it the repub way.
    Like Mark Twain said, the difference between the right word and a good word is the difference between lightening and lightening bug.

  7. This pisses me off as a NJ Republican and I do not think that I am alone. I feel cpmelotely disconnected from my party now.We want a real conservative running in 2012 not some flip flopping closet massachusetts liberal!Since Christie basically rules the NJGOP with an iron fist, I now see the direction the plan on taking. I will be sitting this 2011 election out for sure. Clearly none of the NJGOP supported Republicans are the types of conservatives that we should have running our government.And to think, if the Governor had just worried about staying home and working on NJ issues for the next month I would have come out and voted for the GOP in the 2011 election. Now I don’t have to waste my time.

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