Thursday, October 4, 2012
Romney Won the Performance, Not the Debate
by Dee Newman
Unfortunately, a debate’s outcome is often determined by “performance art”, rather than objective facts. Logical consistency and factual accuracy are frequently eclipsed by a brazen, unashamed willingness to lie. That, it seems, is what happened in last night’s debate.
Scoring the debate, the political pundits gave Romney the win. Time and again Mr. Romney refused to be dismayed or deterred in his audacious effort to represent himself as a man of the people through a subterfuge of incredible incarnations, acute contradictions and glaring gaps in his policies. Though President Obama repeatedly pointed them out, he did so with an air of exasperation rather than determined resilience.
Romney reiterated his empty promises of more jobs, fewer regulations, and lower marginal tax rates. He refused to acknowledge any missing details in his proposals, or any inconsistency in his budget arithmetic. And, he did it with an air of audacious confidence that seemed to confuse and confound the President, not to mention the moderator, the press afterwards, as well as, millions watching “the performance”.
It is easy to fault the President for his “lethargic” performance, as many have done. But, when we allow substantive facts to be trumped by bad math, inconsistent rhetoric, and brazen lies the art of persuasion becomes more “performance art” than a debate of interactive and factual arguments, examining what is or isn't true.
If delivering (with conviction) vague, misleading policy explanations riddled with falsehoods makes Romney an acceptable candidate to the most powerful position in the world, then what does that say about us?
In short, Romney won “the performance”. The facts and the truth still remain with the Presidents.