Romney's EdgeBy Jerrold L. Sobel
Last week, before all the world to see, the president of the United States was subjected to one of the most embarrassing spectacles in recent political history. Never before in his brief but mercurial political career has Barack Obama faced an opponent willing to look him directly in the eye and expose the hollowness of the past four years and his bankrupt incumbency.
According to Nielsen, 67 million people watched what turned out to be more a scolding than a debate. The president, minus a teleprompter and an adoring youthful crowd chanting "yeah, yeah," "right on," "you know that too," was perplexed at the onslaught of facts thrown at him by his Republican adversary, Mitt Romney.
As several commentators -- many of them Democratic -- observed, if this had been a Little League game, the 15-run rule would have been invoked and the game ended. Instead, on and on it went. To the vexation of his most ardent supporters such as Wolf Blitzer at CNN and Chris Matthews at MSNBC, the president's performance was feeble at best. A more discerning person might wonder, why all the surprise?
After all, would it make sense for a baker to argue electrical circuitry with an electrician? Is it logical for a rabbi to tell a musical engineer how to run a recording studio? How about a social worker arguing business and finance with a professional businessman?
Isn't this exactly what happened?
Romney's Bain Capital, the object of constant Democratic denigration, invested private money in the following companies:
• AMC Entertainment
By all accounts, the main issue in this presidential race is jobs and their creation. One can only imagine the aggregate employment created by these companies. Once again, the key phrase here is "private money."
President Obama, playing businessman with your money, invested in:
All of these companies have two things in common: they were, coincidently, all contributors to Obama's campaign, and eventually all went bankrupt.
So without even referencing Romney's rescue of the 2002 Olympics, this wasn't a fair fight from the beginning. Despite the laughable comments of "internet inventor" Al Gore to blame the president's humiliation on the altitude and David Axelrod's assertion that moderator Jim Lehrer failed to enforce time limits, the defeated look on the president's face told it all. It revealed a man who quickly realized he was way over his head in this -- if you'll excuse the expression -- debate.
About halfway through this debacle, there was an interesting exchange on the economy and jobs. Romney castigated the president for misrepresenting his tax proposal as a gift to the wealthiest 3% of American small businesses. He correctly stated that 97% of small businesses are taxed at less than 35% percent, whereas the remaining 3% employ half of all people that work in small business. Those are the businesses that employ one quarter of all the workers in America. He also noted that the president's plan would take their tax rate from 35 percent to 40 percent, costing 700,000 American jobs. At which point Obama looked at Jim Lehrer and replied, "Jim, you may want to move onto another topic."
Not to worry: in less than 24 hours, Obama the resilient picked himself up from the canvas and continued doing what he does best: pontificating to crowds of left-wing youth on the campus of UW-Madison, continuing to trump style over substance.
As reported by CNN, Obama came onstage and quickly showed he had clearly gotten his "groove" back. Gone was the timid man nervously looking down and writing notes while being taken to task. He was calm, articulate, and relaxed, firing off daggers at his Republican opponent.
With the confidence of a schoolyard bully no longer having to face up to a man having just made him look so silly, the president addressed the crowd:
I just flew in from Denver, and I was telling folks when I got on the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. But I know it couldn't have been Mitt Romney, because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy, and yet the fellow on the stage who looked like Mitt Romney said he did not know anything about that.
By Sunday's talk shows, the president and his shills made it clear an even greater scorched-earth policy was now in effect: "Romney is a liar."
On CBS's "Face the Nation," a tired and disheveled David Axelrod, President Obama's senior adviser, had this to say: President Obama was "taken aback at the brazenness" of Romney. Axelrod continued, "I'm saying that he was dishonest in his answers. You can characterize that any way you want."
In an article entitled "Pinocchio for President," the New York Post characterized it this way: "Mitt Romney the extremist is out. Mitt Romney the liar is in." If ever there was a case of predicting the predictable.
How patently absurd -- Obama going down the road of honesty. On February 29, 2009, Mr. Truthfulness stated, "Today I am pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term." He never came close.
On Jerusalem: at a speech before AIPAC in June 2008, candidate Obama stated: "Any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel's identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized, and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel." Check Jay Carney's press conference on July 26, 2012 to see how that worked out. Better yet, check the brouhaha over Jerusalem having been omitted, then reinstated during the Democratic Convention.
And let's not forget the latest and greatest lie and cover-up of them all, the destruction of our consulate and murder of our ambassador, along with three other Americans, in Benghazi, Libya.
For weeks following this outrage, in contradiction to his own advisers, Obama has steadfastly refused -- and still refuses -- to forsake the narrative that this dastardly event was a result of a premeditated attack. At the U.N. he doggedly stuck to this false mantra no less than six times in his speech before the General Assembly and continued the charade that the "crude and disgusting video sparked the outrage."
To this day, Obama continues to insult the intelligence of the American people by maintaining this ridiculous narrative. It's a blatant lie, and cover-up, for which Governor Romney will surely treat him to another spanking at next week's foreign policy debate.
But what else can this president do? If he came clean and admitted to the American people that these murders and the anti-U.S. riots throughout the Muslim world were premeditated, it would be a refutation of his "outreach" to that region and an admission of the abject failure of his defunct foreign policy.
By his own record, this president stands naked before the nation. On his watch and despite all obfuscation, unemployment has hovered at a record rate of 8%. The deficit is going through the roof, and the stimulus money being wasted on a moribund economy forebodes rampant inflation down the road.
Throughout the country the price of gas has at least doubled since 2009, and in California, a state Obama will surely carry, it's $5.00 a gallon in some parts.
As to foreign policy, the Middle East is ablaze with America-hatred. In both power and prestige, the United States is in full retreat. During the past four years, we've emboldened our enemies such as North Korea, Iran, and Syria. The Muslim Brotherhood, the grandfather of Islamic extremism, now controls Egypt and is spreading its influence throughout the Middle East. Iraq is rapidly falling sway to its neighbor Iran. As a result of Obama's hasty withdrawal, Afghanistan will once become Talibanistan soon after 2014.
Next Thursday, in their second presidential debate, Obama will no doubt mount the podium and attempt to defend the indefensible by proving correct the old adage: "More times than not, the biggest liars are those who accuse others of lying."
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