Tag: debate

Going Nuclear in the Senate

Nearly everyone in America believes in majority rule, but that comes in different forms. Majority rule doesn’t always mean a simple majority—anything above 50%—but can also be set up as a type of super-majority. That’s why the Founders said that amendments to the Constitution would require 3/4 of the states voting in favor, not just one more than half. They also said that presidential vetoes could be overridden by a 2/3 vote in each chamber of Congress. Similarly, no president… Read more »

Judging Truthfulness

I made a point in yesterday’s post that’s worth reemphasizing—truth should be the basis for judging who wins a debate. Not who is loudest, or who can interrupt most often, or who can best drip with derision, or who can hold an icy stare longer. Truth is what we should be seeking, and on one side Monday night, it was sorely lacking: Remember when the new kid on the block burst upon the scene just a little over four years… Read more »

Battle of the Strategies

It was a battle of strategies last night in the final presidential debate. The Obama strategy was clear from the start: get in Romney’s face, get under his skin, push him into making a mistake by appearing to be a warmonger, and “win” by being the aggressor. The Romney strategy took longer to decipher, but it gradually came into focus: avoid getting into the tangles of details about who knew what when on Libya, appear knowledgeable about foreign affairs, stay… Read more »

The Latest Triviality & Frivolity

We seem to be in a theater of the absurd. First, it was Romney’s dog on the top of his car. A couple of weeks ago the cry was “Save Big Bird.” Now Romney is condescending to women because he talked about seeking out women to fill some of his cabinet posts when he was governor of Massachusetts and as he collected resumès, he said he had a binder full of women. How awful! How insensitive! Actually, how surreal that… Read more »

A Meditation on Disinformation, Taking Responsibility, & Apologies

Polling since the second debate has been fascinating. While every “snap” poll gave the overall debate to Obama by small margins, those same polls show that Romney won in basically every category, from how to handle the economy to taxes to security. In some cases, the numbers weren’t even close. How then did Obama gain a “victory” when the particulars show differently? It all comes down to perceptions. Since he was aggressive, he won points for that, but it seems… Read more »

The Second Debate

I’m writing this just a few minutes after the end of the second presidential debate. The spinners are at work, doing their job, saying the things they already planned to say regardless of the outcome. It’s such a useless exercise to bring any representatives of the candidates to the interview table after debates because they are scripted ahead of time. It doesn’t matter what actually happened in the debate; they will say what they were going to say anyway. There… Read more »

Fact-Challenged

Tonight is presidential debate #2, townhall style this time. After his drubbing in the first debate, President Obama will probably come out more aggressively than he would have ordinarily. The real question is whether he will pull a Joe Biden or be more calm in his aggressiveness. The biggest problem he faces, though, is his tendency to come across as arrogant. I can see how an aggressive Obama might trigger his inner arrogance for all to see. What’s particularly fascinating… Read more »