Your heart sank when Mitt Romney suggested that the too-big-to-fail banks should have been broken up, and you realized your bank-friendly President doesn't have a leg to stand on. You collapsed in a heap when Barry bragged that his great insurance company giveaway of a health plan was not only copied and pasted from a conservative think tank, but that his severely conservative opponent beat him to the punch on it. You had to have shaken your head in wonder as these two Wall Street flacks argued about who likes Simpson-Bowles better, and how the whole discussion revolved around how both of them want to make us suffer. Mitt will do it fast and Obama will do it slow -- but do us they both will, with a vengeance. And the president was the one who uttered the word "deficit" first. He was probably proclaiming victory in his own head on that coup alone. It's what passes for a zinger in his world. That, and "Eat your peas."
I am enjoying the shocked liberal handwringing this morning almost as much as I took a grim pleasure in last night's debate. Romney was a big bad lying bully! Lehrer is senile and let the night slip out of his control. Obama was too nice, too professorial, too tired, too aloof. Or, he was just playing rope-a-dope, 11-dimensional chess, leading from behind. He did not want to come across as an "angry black man" in the wake of that just-unearthed old video of him speaking in a really awful imitation of Angry Black Preacher. Outside of election season, we've heard the same litany of disappointment from the phony liberal class every time the president supposedly "caves" to sheer, overwhelming Republican nastiness.
I channel surfed for a few minutes after the ordeal was finally over. The deflated crew over at MSNBC were a sight to behold. Chris Matthews' hair was literally standing on end. They expressed disappointment that the president had not even been watching his own channel to discover how to blast Mitt into oblivion.
I look at it this way. Obama approached this debate the same way he apparently negotiates. He is bipartisan all the way. He is more interested in reaching a consensus than he is fighting for the people who elected him to represent their interests. He loves to agree for the sake of agreement. He is a conservative disguised as a Democrat, and he isn't much trying to pretend otherwise any more. He didn't fight for himself last night, and he certainly didn't put up a fight for the people who are needlessly suffering every single day.
There was not one word about the crisis of unemployment and what, if anything, he plans to do about it in a second term. Just a lot of more of the same.... reaching across the aisle and to be seen as caring.
I'll leave the fact-checking to others, though suffice it to say that in this particular Comedy of Errors, Mitt did the committing and Barry did the omitting. And is it me, or did both these guys look like they were on drugs? Mitt was definitely hopped up on something, barely able to contain himself behind the podium. Lots of twitching, grimacing and muted seizure-like movements. At one point near the end he actually wiped his runny nose. So my guess is a big snort of coke before taking the stage. Barry was not only a downer, he was on downers. I diagnosed a couple of Ativan washed down with some of that designer White House home brew and a too-heavy meal.
Like the old Fred Astaire song says, too many people were building up to an awful letdown last night. Obama's defeat on the stage of manufactured democracy is nothing like the defeat the rest of us are in for in this coming season of Austerity, when the rich get richer and the poor get screwed.
Poor old Humpty Dumpty,
He got the toughest break,
And yet his fall
Was nothing at all
Like the tumble I'm gonna take!
I'm building up to an awful letdown
By playing around with you.
You're breaking down my terrific buildup
By treating me as you do.
My castles in the air,
My smile so debonair,
My one big love affair,
Is just a flash;
Will it go smash
Like the nineteen twenty nine market crash?
(The transcript of the debate which the real progressives were permitted to speak is now available here.)