The presidential and vice presidential debates are now all over. In the first debate, Gov. Mitt Romney was rude and aggressive, behaving like a schoolyard bully taking over the debate from moderator Jim Lehrer and, according to Think Progress, told 58 myths. Despite his behavior and lies, Romney was declared the winner.
Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, incidentally, repeated many of the same misleading statements in his debate with Vice President Joe Biden, particularly the erroneous statement that Obama was cutting $716 billion out of Medicare — a lie that is repeated by other Republican candidates nationally and locally.
In the second debate, Romney was less ebullient than during the first debate; President Obama was more assertive and was declared the winner. Moderator Candy Crowley held Romney to debate rules and prevented his attempt to a repeat takeover of the debate. According to AlterNet, this time, Romney told 31 myths in 42 minutes.
In the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University, Gov. Romney was almost complaisant, supporting many of President Obama’s foreign policies and much of his campaign agenda; in Romney’s final remarks, he sounded as if he were campaigning for President Obama until he asked for the vote! Romney still managed 24 myths in 41 minutes.
It is not just his debate persona that is like a chameleon, Gov. Romney has changed his position on many important issues from past to present, including agriculture, climate change, education, energy and the environment, equal pay for equal work, healthcare, unions (now anti-union) and women’s rights; obviously, whatever is politically expedient.
Then there is the issue of his business practices, which he whitewashes, that put into question his promises of balancing the budget and creating jobs. He used federal money to bail out the Olympics and, while with Bain, closed more businesses and moved companies overseas, than he created new jobs in the United States — quite different from the campaign trail tales he tells.
Despite his chameleon changes in behavior in the debates and positions on issues over time, it appears that there are enough voters who believe the Romney/Ryan lies (shades of Bush/Cheney) and are willing to follow them off the same fiscal cliff; 30 years of Republican trickle-down economics has done nothing for this country except get us deeper in debt!
Romney and other Republican candidates continue to claim that if we tax the rich, it will lead to a loss of jobs. They also claim that the only way to stimulate the economy and reduce unemployment is to give tax cuts to the wealthy. If their claims were true, we should be at near zero unemployment right now; the rich are even richer than four years ago while the middle class and poor are even poorer. This has been increasingly the case over the years under Republican administrations. Remember, President Obama’s four years have followed eight years of Republican policy and debacle, and he has, despite the obstructionism of the Republican House, still been able to show progress on many fronts.
Incidentally, Republican voters don’t seem to mind the millions of dollars spent (thanks to the SCOTUS Citizens United ruling) on misleading and downright false political ads. And despite the lies and failures of Gov. Romney — as well as previous Republican administrations — the polls have Gov. Romney virtually tied with President Obama! It defies logic.
The bottom line is that the only polls that really count are the ones for which voters cast their votes on Nov. 6. We can only hope that more Republican voters will finally “get it” (the fateful fallacies of Mitt the Chameleon and his GOP cohorts) and decide to vote for Barack Obama on Nov. 6. The future of our country depends on it.
Royal Palm Beach