Barack Obama and Mitt Romney squared off for their final debate last night in a town hall format that favored Obama's swing-and-run approach sanctioned by liberal moderator Candy Crowley. Obama and Crowley behaved like a tag team in this contest, as if trying to outgun the comatose Barry-and-Lehrer duo from the first debate, which all but proved the President to be an empty suit whom not even the left-leaning news media could save.
As most journalistic reviews of the debate have attested, including that of the Los Angeles Times' Jon Healey: "The whole thing was fantastic theater, but not decisive politics." Kind of like Barry's last four years in office--sans the "fantastic" part.
During the brief moments when this newfound Obama-nator wasn't running rhetorical circles around himself to keep from explaining his failed policies, deferring to Crowley to save him from responding to a direct question, trying to persuade the American people that he, not Mitt Romney, is the expert on Romney's tax plan, and even calling a man in the audience "Karen", Obama once again referred to his favorite ready-made catchphrases, such as "wind, solar and biofuels" and smashing the glass ceiling in America. Yes, that same glass ceiling that somehow allowed a community organizer to get elected to the state Senate and oval office. He even attempted to offer his own "five-point plan" (that he five-fingered from Romney) while responding to the first question he was asked, which was certainly not apropos of the question itself and was probably offered so that he didn't forget about it later on.
What economic plan could be gleaned from Obama's remarks and four years in office, you may have the audacity of hope to ask? Well, besides giving the middle class $3,600 in government pittance in tax deductions and income credits over three years, (only to see them pay at least the same amount on the back-end through reduced wages or worse, losing their jobs), taxing the bejeezus out of the rich and business employers, putting 46 million Americans on food stamps, letting millions of non-tax paying illegal immigrants enjoy the benefits of American life, and some nonsense about teachers, not too damn much.
As of the August job numbers, there are still 261,000 fewer Americans employed than when Obama became president. Almost a million fewer Americans have permanent jobs. And all of this comes with a rising population swell of 8.4 million more working-age Americans! The middle and upper income jobs lost during the recession are being replaced by lower-wage positions. While America has lost jobs in skilled construction, real estate, and supervision, most new jobs are in retail sales and food preparation. Therefore, not only are the numbers terrible on their face, but the context makes them even more so. You may have heard Barack Obama comment last night about the importance of community college education. Well, if he gets reelected, you better get ready to aspire to such heights of mediocrity, America. You won't have much need for that college diploma, anyway, when the only available job involves flipping burgers at the local Red Robin.
With the sincerest tone he could muster last night, Obama said that he has kept promises in office: "The commitments I've made, I've kept. And those I haven't been able to keep, it's not for lack of trying." Well, let's briefly review a few of the promises of this little engine that could.
Starting with his signature domestic policy achievement - a law requiring all Americans to purchase government-defined health insurance or pay a penalty tax - in 2008, Obama said: "The main difference between my plan and Senator Clinton's plan is that she'd require the government to force you to buy health insurance and she said she'd 'go after' your wages if you don't." Then as president he signed into law precisely what he won the election opposing.
How about Obama's promise to cut the federal deficit in half? Instead he has put Americans $5.2 trillion in the red.
How about the President's tax plan? In 2008 Obama promised to eliminate capital gains taxes on investments in smaller businesses -- instead he has slated capital gains taxes for investments in all businesses to jump from 15 percent this year to 23.8 percent on January 1.
How about his oath to reduce the unemployment rate to 5.4%? See above. His 2008 campaign promise to overhaul the immigration system during his first year in office? Still waiting on that one, thanks. Hope? Nope. Change? Certainly not for the better.
While liberal pundits will no doubt allude to the president's unabashed semantic victory, pointed out ever so emphatically by Candy Crowley, (who apparently believes she may be able to get a cabinet position, or at least a cupcake, out of her performance), that Obama actually said "acts of terror" in the Rose Garden speech, that little "turning point" is also worth re-examining. The transcript of Obama's speech reveals that he used the phrase "acts of terror" in a very general way and precisely once in the tenth paragraph of the speech. That, after he essentially apologized to the fundamentalist militants for the anti-Muslim video which his administration believed caused the attack in the speech's opening. The fact that the Obama administration cluelessly believed that a carefully planned and executed attack on the U.S. embassy on the anniversary of September 11th was carried out by an unruly video-protesting mob, speaks volumes. And if that was not the case, as Barry attempted to intimate, than why else would Obama's Secretary of State go on record yesterday just hours before the debate to apologize for how she handled the situation.
It's at least refreshing to see someone take accountability for Obama's muddle-headed administration these past four years. Even if it wasn't the Commander-in Chief himself.