I just reread my rant about Barack Obama’s feeble performance in his first debate with the Romneybot, and I thought whoa, Odd Man Out, what were you really angry about? Obama’s failure to aggressively challenge Romney’s lies? His looking down, like an admonished schoolboy, as Romney blamed him for the plight of the middle class?
No. I was angry because Obama stood there and insisted he and Romney didn’t differ all that much on many issues. Because Big Bird — mentioned by Romney in connection with his promise to de-fund PBS — seemed more important to these guys than big banks. Because the debate showed that the two-party system is again forcing a choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
Here’s Robert Scheer reminding us that Obama was just as reluctant as the new, upgraded Romneybot to acknowledge the 800-pound gorilla sittng between them on the stage in Denver:
Rare was the commentator who grasped, as did David Weidner in The Wall Street Journal, that the six minutes of the debate devoted to Wall Street regulation was bizarrely disproportionate to the crucial role of the financial industry in first creating and then managing the government’s response to the crisis:
“If you think six minutes out of the planned 90-minute debate is appropriate, then consider this: Since the last presidential election, we’ve endured the worst stock market, housing and economic crash since the Great Depression. And Wall Street was in the middle of it all.”
One candidate is black, the other white. One’s tie was blue, the other’s red. Neither candidate voiced a plan for putting the long-term unemployed back to work, or for effectively regulating the monster banks that caused the catastrophe that cost them their jobs.
Footnote: And please don’t mention the misleading September jobs report that says the unemployment rate has fallen below eight percent. As The New York Times noted. the share of jobless workers out of work for more than six months is 40 percent, or 4.8 million people. And, as of July, “nearly 13 million jobless workers were competing for 3.7 million job openings.”