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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Obama vs. Romney, Round 2

Fred Thompson
Obama decided to do his part in the coarsening of American culture.

For that handful of Americans who still think that a presidential debate is supposed to be a discussion about what is best for America and future generations between two proven leaders who place country over personal ambition, Tuesday’s debate had to be another disappointment. But let’s put that petty consideration aside and get on with a proper analysis of the Hunger Games.

Romney’s performance was strong in many respects, weak in some, but overall comparable to the performance he gave in his first debate, which was widely praised. Obama is the person who is of most interest here.

First, I’m still amazed at what this guy gets away with. One question was, essentially: Was our consulate in Benghazi denied additional security when requested, and if so, why? For an answer, Obama might as well have given his grandma’s recipe for corn muffins. The president never came close to even attempting an answer to the question asked. What he did say was that he appreciated all of our wonderful ambassadors around the world, which I’m sure was very heartening to everyone.

Neither Romney, nor moderator Candy Crowley, nor any of the commentators afterward was impolite enough to mention the lack of a response. It’s as if this kind of evasive gambit has come to be expected. And before I totally lose it, will someone point out in a debate that Obama’s entire economic position is based on a patently false assumption: that all we need to do is enact a few Obama spending cuts and tax the rich “a little more” and we can balance the budget and “invest” more in education, green energy, and infrastructure? And that his “millionaires and billionaires” include spouses who make $125,000 each? If Obama’s fondest tax fantasies were passed, they would cover about 5 percent of the deficit. And was anyone else surprised to learn that he is now a big supporter of coal and oil drilling on federal land?

Obama’s performance was more interesting for other reasons — reasons that say a lot about his campaign and his view of the American people. In a move that projected the exact opposite of the image he used to catapult into the presidency, Obama decided to do his part in the coarsening of American culture. Thanks to the president, Americans can now expect the two people selected by their party to vie for the most powerful position in the world to act in such a way as to cause parents to make their children leave the room. When a barrier to boorish behavior is broken, it is hard to go back. Especially when it is purposefully broken by the president of the United States.

Read the full column

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