Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
 — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Here’s the full transcript of the debate if you want to see the entire thing.  Let me start off with this:  The President spanked Mitt into next week.  Now to the details.

  • Right wings hacks at The Blaze, The Daily Caller, Fox pundits  and all the usual suspects are actually fact checking the “Bayonets and Horses statement”.  The President didn’t say we don’t have any Bayonets and Horses, just less of them.  The military still does use them but mostly for ceremonial purposes.  So don’t get distracted by the desperate attempts by Faux News and others to cover for Romney’s stupidity.  Do get distracted, briefly, with some funnies…..For your viewing enjoyment, http://horsesandbayonets.tumblr.com/  BTW, I loved the this is “not a game of Battleship” comment too.
  • The President listed, very precisely, the various ways that Mitt has changed his foreign policy plans just within the last few weeks. Mitt even contradicted himself during the debate.
    • A few months ago, Romney was saying that Russia was the biggest geopolitical threat and in the debate at one point Romney said it was Al Qaeda and another time said it was a nuclear Iran.  Which is it?
    • First Romney said he was against having a timeline in Afghanistan and now he says he is for the timeline and then during the debate, he said it depends.  Wavering on the timeline is not what the American people want.  We want the troops out of there.
    • Romney initially said we were right to go into Iraq, even if there weren’t any WMD’s.  A few weeks ago he said that there should be more troops in Iraq right now but then during the debate, Romney said he’s not interested in duplicating what we did in Iraq.   And if you don’t want to duplicate Iraq, why are 17 out of 24 of your foreign policy advisers neocons, the ones who advised GWB into Iraq?!
    • A few years ago Romney said he would never endorse applying diplomatic pressure and bilateral talks with Iran.  During the debate he said he did support it.
  • In regards to Al Qaeda, Romney praised the President for killing Osama Bin Laden then followed it up with ” But we can’t kill our way out of this mess.”   Then later said, the drones are effective at killing Al Qaeda leaders.  Sounds like you’re advocating killing our way out of the situation since it seems to be working so well.  Mitt haz a confused.
  • Romney said, we can partner with China, we don’t have to be an adversary but also said, day one he would label them a currency manipulator….you can’t have it both ways here.  Putting a crimp into our trade relations with China right now would be plain stupid.
  • President countered the accusation that he had been too lenient on China that his administration has filed more legal cases against China for trade violations than GWB did in two terms.  And they’ve won most of them with good effect on our economy (e.g., U.S. steel plants can now sell steel to China).
  • Romney started harping on about the repeatedly debunked by factcheckers “Apology Tour”.  As evidence he pointed out that during that Middle East trip the President didn’t go to Israel.  The President responded with, what I felt, was one of the best moments of the night:

    ….when I was a candidate for office, first trip I took was to visit our troops.   And when I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn’t take donors, I didn’t attend fundraisers, I went to Yad Vashem, the — the Holocaust museum there, to remind myself the — the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel will be unbreakable.  And then I went down to the border towns of Sderot, which had experienced missiles raining down from Hamas. And I saw families there who showed me where missiles had come down near their children’s bedrooms, and I was reminded of — of what that would mean if those were my kids, which is why, as president, we funded an Iron Dome program to stop those missiles.  So that’s how I’ve used my travels when I travel to Israel and when I travel to the region.

    The President is correct about Romney’s trip to Israel…it was a sop to his wealthy donors and there was lots of schmoozing and visiting holy sites, but none of that means a hill of beans if you don’t understand on a very visceral level the threat that Israel faces and how real people (both Israelis and Palestinians) suffer daily as a result of that conflict. The President’s tone was perfect…similar to his “I am offended” rejoinder regarding Libya in the second debate.

  • The President made a nice link between Romney’s waffling and how that affects negotiating credibility with players in the region.  In other words, waffley Romney wouldn’t be (and isn’t) perceived as being credible by countries like Iran. They won’t want to talk to him at all if they can’t believe him.
  • President did a good job transitioning from our wind down in Iraq and Afghanistan to how that allows us to do some nation building at home.  This not only took away Romney’s chance to attack on the domestic issues but it’s a crowd pleaser.  Americans have been angry for years now about the WMD lies that lead us into Iraq and the bungling by Bush and Co in Afghanistan and how that has sucked our coffers dry.  So dry, in fact, that we couldn’t do as much as was needed to recover from the Recession.  We all know it but the GOP doesn’t want to talk about it because it points out just how bad their foreign policy stance is and how it hurts us domestically.
  • The President could have really hammered home Romney’s Chinese investments while at Bain every time he brought up sanctions on China for unfair trade practices.  However the President only did so once.  Even so, it was effective (and a fact that I didn’t know–Romney didn’t counter the statement at all —here’s an article on it, it’s true)

    And when it comes to tightening sanctions, look, as I said before, we’ve put in the toughest, most crippling sanctions ever. And the fact is while we were coordinating an international coalition to make sure these sanctions were effective, you were still invested in a Chinese state oil company that was doing business with the Iranian oil sector. So I’ll let the American people decide, judge who’s going to be more effective and more credible when it comes to imposing crippling sanctions.

  • Also on the China issue, Romney accused them of stealing intellectual property.  Um, Mittens, a couple of the Chinese companies that Romney invested in have been charged and/or convicted of theft (of copyrighted material and patents).  If Romney really wants to put an end to it, maybe he should stop investing in them.  What a hypocrite!
  • Romney said, “Secondly, Syria’s an opportunity for us because Syria plays an important role in the Middle East, particularly right now. Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world. It’s their route to the sea.”  Um, my 9 year old can look at a map and see that is clearly not the case.  I expect my President to know geography, particularly in a region that is chock full of enemies and problems.

    Syria is Iran’s route to water????? (screen grab from Google Maps)

  • I watched all three debates on CNN and paid close attention to the “dialometer” (or whatever the heck you call that device).  There are definite pattern differences between the genders.  Every single time, in all three debates, when the President went into attack mode, i.e., started to point out where Romney had lied, was wrong, or discuss anything that Romney proposed even, the male line would dip down into the negative.  I’ve looked all over and can’t find out what the demographics were for the CNN undecided voters.  I am betting they were predominantly white, particularly the males.  I am inclined to think that this pattern I noticed is due to the white male dislike of “uppityness”.  However, that being said, they responded to many of the President’s positive points much higher on average than they responded to Romney on any points (positive or attacking).  In fact, I noticed a lot of “flat lining” during several of Romney’s answers.  The stuttering and staccato delivery of his answers hurt Romney.  It made him look uncomfortable with the subject matter (which we now know to be true).  Ultimately, I don’t really care what the male undecided voters think.  Women tend to vote more and if they liked the President significantly more (and it was pretty obvious they did) then it will be to the President’s benefit come election day.
  • One final point, you will notice a lot of the media saying that the race is a “dead heat”.  There’s a lot of poll data out there that says it isn’t as close as the MSM wants it to be and that the President probably has more than enough Electoral Votes in hand to project that he will be the winner.  Nate Silver has correctly predicted quite a few things and that is what he is saying.  But why would the MSM lie?  If it’s not close, then people won’t watch the news and the big new corps are fighting tooth and nail for every single viewer.  Never mind that their lies might actually affect real world events.  Never mind that there job isn’t to lie to but to report facts.  Never mind that they are so focused on entertainment that reality gets short shrift.  Never mind that without a Fourth Estate to investigate and uncover the truth the country is doomed.  The MSM wants a horse race so that’s what we’ll get until the day after the Election.  No wonder so many conservatives are confused when their candidate doesn’t win and then accuse Dems of cheating.  They get told that their candidate is ahead or at least tied…then election day the results are so one-sided that they just can’t reconcile what they were told before the election and then what happened.  They never think to question the media, which they should.  I”m not saying the President has it in the bag…we should be working our butts off until the final poll is closed.  This election is just too important for me personally and for so many other people not to give it 110% through to the end.  So ignore the Horse Race reports from the MSM and get out there and register people, help them find out where the polling places are, help them get ID’s if they need them, donate if you can, make phone calls, just do something helpful.  Let’s win this thing!
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