Election 2012: Presidential Debate Number Two and the return of President Obama

Unlike the first Presidential debate on October 3, last night’s event was a hands-down smack-down. And unlike the world four years ago, it was wholly possible to follow the minds of friends and the press as they called each candidate out in real time. With the added bonus of fact-checking at the fingertips of savvy and skilled Google-searching and an understanding of the issues at hand, it was possible to track each assertion and cry “Foul” out loud, not just to the television or radio, but to willing listeners tuned in to Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere.

The results: Some of the fastest super-debate connections to reality, at least insofar as we can know it outside the Oval Office.

I hesitate to use the term non-partisan because everyone has an agenda, so I will present the following as a series of what I consider to be reliable sources for gaining insight into the various issues raised last night and how each candidate handled them.

There were only two candidates on view, but one other was involved in a public act of civil disobedience that should be noted here. Dr. Jill Stein and Gary Johnson have both achieved enough ballot placements that they should have been allowed into the debate process, if only to provide a clearer picture of the options available on November 6.

At some future point, I will address the question of our two-party system and what it would take to change our government to a coalition-style more similar to today’s structure in the UK and elsewhere. At the moment, I want to stick to what we saw last night.

FactCheck.org is my first best source for confirming the positions declared and how they relate to the truth. Overall, both candidates made some assertions that have been proved to be either half-truths or misstatements, but the overwhelming majority of false or misleading claims came from Gov. Romney. His often bullying behavior and condescending attitude took away a lot of what I think he hoped to accomplish last night. Several times he was called out, once by moderator Candy Crawley herself, for these misstatements.

Politifact.com calls it their Truth-o-meter, and covers both candidates’ claims with facts that check out from True to Pants on Fire.

Far more liberal-leaning ThinkProgress blogged live with fact-checking links and media through the debate.

But that’s not all. With the speed of lightning, these articles appeared in various places on the Internet, calling out Romney’s game plans (and Obama’s, where necessary).

Slate.com: Five Bad Ideas in Tonight’s Debate and Acts of Terror—or an Error? Republicans twist themselves in knots over the meaning of the word “terror”—and miss the point call out both candidates, but more notably Romney, for failing to talk about the issues raised in the questions they were asked.

NPR: How Obama Got His Groove Back, And Other Debate Takeaways takes the issues and clarifies what did (and did not) happen during last night’s debate.

Huffington Post: Mitt Romney Tax Plan Math Doesn’t Add Up addresses the numbers from several sources, for comparison.

Then there’s the question of how each candidate came off from a personal level. I can take comfort in knowing I’m not the only woman who was offended by Romney’s unbelievable claim that he was presented with “binders full of women” from whom he could choose for his cabinet. Frankly, it’s a wonder he found one he considered suitable for the job. You would think he could have found more if he’d really wanted. Even the Guardian UK noticed how this sounded. Considering Romney’s stellar performance when he visited the UK earlier this year, it’s no surprise they noticed.

In fact, this speaks volumes about the problem with electing Romney to the most visible office in the US. His claims regarding China aren’t just seated in a “say it now, take it back later” method of mendacity. He really seems to believe nobody is listening to him outside of the voters who might (or might not) put him in office. Claiming it’s the administration’s fault that we’re in so deep to China ignores his own role as a job creator in that country. Sensata Technologies is Bain-owned and is destroying an Illinois town right now with a move that is simply reprehensible in today’s awful job market.

Romney’s claim that he led a bi-partisan government in Massachusetts is also patently false. Even the few things he seems to have done right he disavowed last night (particularly with regard to coal and gun control).

Of all these things, Rachel Maddow has it right with this clip from September 26th. Check out Romney’s YouTube channel and you’ll find all the videos Maddow highlights.

I know there aren’t very many Romney supporters reading my posts. I’ve taken it for granted that for the most part I’m preaching to a choir that, also for the most part will either ignore me or forward the things I’ve posted.

I can only hope that if you are still considering voting for Romney, for whatever reason, you will see that the foundation of Romney’s claim that he will find 12,000,000 jobs is falsely based on reports that simply don’t hold up.

The payoff quote: “Greg Sargent added, “Let’s recap what Kessler has discovered here. The plan that is central to Romney’s candidacy on the most important issue of this election — jobs — is a complete sham. This is every bit as bad — or worse — than Romney’s claim to have created 100,000 jobs at Bain, or his vow to cut spending by eliminating whole agencies without saying which ones, or his refusal to say how he’ll pay for his tax cuts.””You still have a little under three weeks to do the research and see what Romney claims are the reports that back his numbers up. Listen closely to all the things he DOESN’T say when you watch the final debate, or if you’ll read the transcript from last night. There are far too many unknowns for us to live with a George W. Bush clone for four years.I have little hope that the House and Senate balance will tip enough to repair the damage of the last four years, but I can say this: Whatever obstructions the GOP have put in the way of progress are still better than anything this vulture capitalist will do to us if he gets into power.

Look up Bainport and see what I mean.

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