Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Romney sounded like he was taking history at one of those Jesus-on-a-dinosaur middle schools that 'Bobby' Jindal has opened in Louisiana."

Last evening I was watching the baseball game whilst idly perusing Twitter to observe reactions to the presidential debate. It occurred to me that while Barack Obama thoroughly trouncing Mitt Romney in a foreign policy exchange was the entirely expected outcome, numerous topics of genuine importance to the planet were being excluded from the discussion.

About the time in San Francisco that the propaganda exercise known as "let's forever sully the seventh inning stretch with nonsensical renditions of 'Nonexistent God Bless America' rather than Woody Guthrie's far more sensible 'This Land Is Your Land'" commenced, two thoughts surfaced.

1. When the Romney voters stop buying cheap Chinese crap at Wal-Mart, maybe I'll take them seriously.

2. American exceptionalism is bullshit. It always has been, and it always will be. A god that doesn't exist chose us to lead the world, and so now we're absolved of thinking about much of anything short of pounding on our chests and being boorish.

Here is more on Romney's debacle, courtesy of Charlie Pierce and John Nichols.

Nothing Is Foreign to the Liar Willard Romney Anymore: A Report from the Flippy-Floppy Final Debate of 2012, by Charles P. Pierce ("The Politics Blog" at Esquire)

... That is what history always has told us about the career of Willard Romney: sooner or later, he will sell your ass out to the highest bidder and walk away whistling in the general direction of anything to which he feels entitled. In this case, that would be the leadership of the Free World.

... Romney sounded like he was taking history at one of those Jesus-on-a-dinosaur middle schools that "Bobby" Jindal has opened in Louisiana. And yet, this abysmal ignorance may not come to matter a damn.

A discussion of foreign policy that did not mention climate change. (Four debates and nary a mention. Somebody else is going to have to tell the polar bears.) A discussion of foreign policy that mentioned teacher's unions exactly as many times — once — as it mentioned the Palestinians, and I am not making that statistic up. A discussion of foreign policy that did not mention hunger, or thirst, or epidemic disease, but spent better than ten minutes on The Fking Deficit. (Here Romney cited in defense of his position that noted political economist, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.) A discussion of foreign policy that was all about threats, real and imagined, and wars, real or speculative, and weapons, and how many of them we should build in order to feel safe in this dangerous world. (Romney actually argued that we should go back to the "two-war" strategy that we followed throughout the Cold War. Against whom in god's name does he think we'll be fighting the second war?)

At The Nation, Nichols echoes Pierce's annoyance as to what was omitted. The plan fact is that precious few Americans are sufficiently informed about the world, and do not possess the means to consider it even if there was a reality television show devoted to foreign policy.

Foreign Policy Really Is Foreign to Mitt Romney, by John Nichols (The Nation)

... Undecided voters surveyed by CBS agreed, indicating in a snap poll that Obama had won the commander-in-chief test by a staggering 53-23 margin. That was a wider margin than Romney got after the first debate that was broadly seen as his big win.

All of this was good news for Obama, if not necessarily for the national discourse. In too many senses, Monday night’s debate was a confirmation of the bipartisan consensus on foreign policy that so frustrates Americans who want a broader debate on fundamental questions of war and peace, globalization and human rights. And it was a reminder that alternative candidates, such as Green party presidential nominee Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson, should have been included in these debates.

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