Thursday, October 04, 2012

Presidential Debate--2012

I’m far from a professional debater. In fact, my own last formal debate was just a tad over 20 years ago when I debated on the KU campus whether the Gulf War was a “just war”. But as a public speaker, I know what works when I hear it. And while others have given their editorials on last night’s presidential debate between Barak Obama and Mitt Romney, I have yet to hear anyone comment on what I believe to be the most poignant moment of the debate.

It was during the health care section and moderator Jim Lehrer asked Governor Romney to “tell the president directly why you think what he just said is wrong about Obamacare?”

Then Romney began thundering away:

First of all, I like the way we did it in Massachusetts. I like the fact that in my state, we had Republicans and Democrats come together and work together. What you did instead was to push through a plan without a single Republican vote. As a matter of fact, when Massachusetts did something quite extraordinary -- elected a Republican senator to stop Obamacare, you pushed it through anyway.

So entirely on a partisan basis, instead of bringing America together and having a discussion on this important topic, you pushed through something that you and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid thought was the best answer and drove it through.
What we did in a legislature 87 percent Democrat, we worked together; 200 legislators in my legislature, only two voted against the plan by the time we were finished. What were some differences? We didn’t raise taxes. You’ve raised them by $1 trillion under Obamacare. We didn’t cut Medicare. Of course, we don’t have Medicare, but we didn’t cut Medicare by $716 billion.

We didn’t put in place a board that can tell people ultimately what treatments they’re going to receive. We didn’t also do something that I think a number of people across this country recognize, which is put -- put people in a position where they’re going to lose the insurance they had and they wanted.

This, of course, is the great weakness of Obamacare. Whether you like it or not, whether you think it helps Americas or will bankrupt America, Romney was dead on with the truth. It was RAMMED through by Democrats with absolutely support.

Now, a smart debater would have directed attention away from this point. The point in the debate has now narrowed to being about bi-partisan support of a national health-care proposal. I was sure the President would redirect attention away from this losing point and begin blabbering about how this system will help Americans, save us from the evil insurance companies, etc, etc. But that is not what the President did.

Amazingly, he tried to advance another piece of Obama fiction:

Governor Romney said this has to be done on a bipartisan basis. This was a bipartisan idea. In fact, it was a Republican idea. And Governor Romney at the beginning of this debate wrote and said what we did in Massachusetts could be a model for the nation.
And I agree that the Democratic legislators in Massachusetts might have given some advice to Republicans in Congress about how to cooperate, but the fact of the matter is, we used the same advisers, and they say it’s the same plan.

The president actually had a strong debate line…about Congressional Republicans taking advice from Democratic legislators in Massachusetts. It was actually a fairly strong comeback had it been delivered as a ‘zinger’. It should have been delivered by itself. Instead, it got lost in the ludicrously laughable line that Obamacare was “a bipartisan idea”. That's right. Obamacare was bipartisan. Not a single Republican vote. Not even a RINO warming up to it. But lo, and behold, it was bipartisan! Midnight meetings. Locked doors. No Republican consultations. But bipartisan...YES! President Obama is the only American I know of that thinks Obamacare was anything close to bipartisan.

The president was clearly on the defensive, trying his semantical hocus-pocus. This exchange showed it clearly. He cannot win on merits or ideas. He can only win on his charisma. And history scarily reminds us of charismatic leaders void of good ideas who get elected.

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