Frank Luntz has a history of putting together focus groups that are skewed toward Republicans which he tries to pass off as fair and/or representative. So I was immediately suspicious when Luntz described tonight’s presidential debate focus group by saying, “13 of these 24 people voted for Obama in 2008, only 10 voted for McCain.” Notice that he didn’t say how many were Democrats, how many Republicans, how many independents or other. For all we know, those 13 people who voted for Obama were Republicans. And guess what? Every one of them said they were undecided about who to vote for before the debate. That’s not a representative sample of voters at all.
To be fair, I’ll agree that Romney won the debate. But would that many Democrats actually have suddenly made up their minds to vote for Romney after this one debate? And a lot of the participants’ comments about Obama sounded suspiciously like Republican talking points.
Anyway, I don’t remember this sort of divisive smearing and slurring occurring after 9/11 when the President was a Republican and everybody – Democrat, Republican and Independents – closed ranks as A-M-E-R-I-C-A-N-S. What’s changed? Oh yeah, the President, today, is a Democrat who’s half white, and it’s an election year. Who benefits (“cui prodest”) from such hasty hoop-la?
Jumping to conclusions before all the facts are in could lead us – the public – to accept the need for wrongful action. That’s what happened when the USA invaded Iraq in a campaign intended mainly to be retaliation for an attack (on the twin towers) perpetrated by a bunch of criminals made up mainly by Saudis. There was not one Iraqi in that lot but the USA decided to attack Iraq and basically invented the story on those WMDs. The truth about those WMDs emerged years later in the USA and about 20% of the viewers of FoxNews still don’t believe that Iraq no longer (if it ever) had them. The number of Americans who died in Iraq was far greater than the number who’ve died because of fast and furious (always conceding that even one death is one too many). Wouldn’t surprise me one bit were you to come back and claim that fast and furious is responsible for the whole drug war in Mexico. Do that and this conversation is finished.
I, for one, will wait for the investigation findings which I trust will provide the time-lines. And I hope those findings will not show the administration to be as prone to gang violence than the previous one.
In any case, as I do not believe that Ambassador Stevens was suicidal, the very fact that he was there under those conditions tells me that he did not feel threatened and he was there to look into a hospital or some such non-military installation. The presence of an essentially “friendly” environment would seem to be corroborated by the mass PRO-AMERICAN protests that reportedly brought down the militias allegedly responsible for the attack. Seems that those militias are rather more like street gangs in New York than an expression of widespread popular sentiment.
I see that the debate has emboldened a few lurkers. Game’s not yet over, laddies and lassies. There are still three debates to go and we remain hopeful (as should you, of course).
PS: a lot of what Romney said last night sounded like a redigested version of what Obama’s being saying consistently for years. Seems he’s decided that Obama’s ideas were hitting the mark with voters so he flipped yet again. Next step is flop as in flip-flop-flip-flop-flip-flop.
Here’s a link to a debate transcript:
Another thing I noticed is that the foxies have cropped the bit where the President says to Lehrer: “Uh, Jim, you may want to go on to the next topic … but I’d like to answer what the Governor’s just said”. The clip was aired several times without that last bit allowing listeners to conclude that Obama wanted Lehrer to get him out of a corner. Very unprofessional of the foxies.