Over 67 million people watched the first presidential debate on Wednesday!
The debate last week surprised a lot of people, both Democrats and Republicans. They're still buzzing about it. And if you ask a 1,000 people, you'd get 1,000 different answers about what they took from it.
Most are saying that Mitt Romney was the winner of this first debate and that President Barack Obama appeared bored and at times unengaged. ABC News even went so far as to say Romney "delivered a commanding performance."
But did anyone really win?
Not 'the people,' for sure. In fact, they were the biggest losers in one of the most important elections in their lives.
Many, like me, were extremely disappointed in the President's performance, especially his reluctance to challenge Romney's lies and misinformation. We all hoped he would be strong and expose Mitt's lies with facts and figures.
But calling Mitt Romney the winner, as so many pundits did the next day, would be a misnomer and would ignore the substance of the presentations. The term 'bully' would have been more accurate.
Not only was Obama weak in the face of the charged-up losing candidate, but even moderator Jim Lehrer showed weakness to Romney's repeated interruptions and challenges to Lehrer's authority as moderator. Neither challenged Romney's abstruse points even those that were easily debatable.
Romney's abduction of the debate format reminded me of a loser who had nothing to lose by becoming aggressive and trying to overpower his opponent, reminiscent of the Cranbrook student who recruited other adolescents to help overpower an effeminate classmate he didn't like, holding him down and cutting his hair to emasculate him.
As a result of his bullying tactics, the American people were the losers.
Romney's constant, seemingly caffeine-induced intimidation, perceived as a winning strategy by many political analysts, masked his incessant lies. In fact, checked by numerous sources, his statements were mostly void of facts -- many being outright lies, fabrications and reversals of previously stated positions. His vacillation to the middle from the mania of his Tea Party positions was palpable.
That is why Obama's performance was so disturbing. He could have challenged everything Mittens said, but remained aloof and appeared unprepared. Romney gave him opportunity after opportunity to deliver knockout punches.
Some claim he didn't challenge for fear of coming off as an angry black man. But an angry black man, challenging the contentious prevarication's of a pathological liar, would have been better for the American people. A slightly angry black man would have been better for America than a lying white man.
The President's reluctance to challenge even the most obvious of Romney's distortions, inventions, fabrications, and aspersions made Mitt's dishonesty appear credible.
To the uninformed electorate in this country, this development could be extremely destructive. But even more destructive is the media's culpability in perpetuating the myth of Romney's credibility as a candidate for the highest office in the land.
To be honest, Romney flip-flopped on so many issues that he should be chastized for: claiming to care for the middle-class and poor, for stating that he wouldn't lower taxes on the wealthy, that his budget wouldn't add $5 trillion to the deficit, and for claiming that he and Ryan's plan was not a voucherization of Medicare. All are easily disproven.
To declare Romney the winner, one would have to subscribe to the premise that Romney was truthful and be willing to overlook the ambiguities, falsehoods, and untruths he told throughout the entire debate. A lie is still a lie no matter how it is presented.
Despite Obama's poor performance, these are not 'real' debates. They resemble boringly long infomercials selling something the American people should be leery of buying.
We have a choice, one that was missed in the debate. We can either move forward in a positive, albeit slow, direction working extremely hard to rebuild our economy, the middle-class, and our confidence, or embrace the old policies of a failed administration and call it change. The choice is pretty clear even though it may not have appeared that way in this first debate. But appearances can be deceiving.
It's past time to give back the debates to The League of Women Voters and stop this contractual nightmare between the parties and the phony and privately funded Commission on Presidential Debates. Anheuser-Busch is the major sponsor of the Commission and is now owned by InBev -- a foreign corporation. The people of this country deserve a 'real' debate.
If Romney's allowed to continue to lie without impunity, the President's going to remain unengaged, future moderators are willing to be bullied into submission, and the media remains so unrealistically unjournalistic and enveloped in false-equivalency then the debates are a waste of precious time and money. We would be better off to cancel them.
If Ryan is going to lie, as he did in his speech at the Republican National Convention, then there is no sane reason to hold the vice presidential debate.
For the mental health of a struggling and divided nation, I'm announcing that...
the rest of the debates have been cancelled!