A Most Pathetic 'Debate'

The best word I can come up with to describe the final presidential debate is "pathetic." No matter who wins, we've had it. What you just witnessed was the bipartisan abdication of American global leadership.

Obama certainly "won" on style and personal attacks -- insofar as such things actually matter. Romney gave his worst performance of the three debates, Obama his best. But if Obama "won" anything, he won the title of America's Clement Attlee -- the British Prime Minister who defeated Winston Churchill in 1945 and transitioned Britain from the greatest world empire since Rome into a second-tier socialist welfare state.

A month after the American ambassador to Libya was murdered by Islamic terrorists he helped put into power -- via an illegal war clearly in violation of the War Powers Resolution of 1973 -- the President of the United States was talking about "roads and bridges" and "class sizes" in a foreign policy debate - and his Republican challenger talked about promoting "small businesses." (If I hear Obama say "roads and bridges" one more time, I'm going to scream).

On the crucial matter of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, both candidates gushed over "sanctions" that have proven utterly ineffective. Both candidates refused to give the mullahs a clear deadline to halt nuclear enrichment -- after which they'd get the opportunity to personally greet Allah, courtesy of a Tomahawk missile. You can bet money they're laughing their butts off in Tehran at the American paper tiger and high-fiving each other after watching the debate. Clearly, Iran is pretty much guaranteed to get nuclear weapons nuclear weapons at this point.

Sickeningly, Romney spent most of this time talking about how much he agreed with Obama. Rather than humiliating Obama for blowing off Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet with Jay-Z, Beyonce, and Letterman, Romney actually stole a line from Obama by saying he'd "have Israel's back." And rather than calling out Obama's lousy performance as commander-in-chief in Afghanistan, where our troops (that Obama professes so much ersatz concern for) are getting shot in the back by our supposed Afghan "partners," Romney genially agreed with Obama's 2014 deadline and unconvincingly professed that everything in Afghanistan was going just swell.

The whole sordid affair ended with Romney professing his love of teachers, and moderator Bob Schieffer mockingly replying "Well, I guess we all love teachers, don't we?"

This presidential campaign has devolved into a plastic, synthetic, insincere, focus-grouped attempt to pry defined constituencies -- blacks, women, autoworkers, teachers, what have you -- away from their iPhones long enough to put one party or the other into power. Nothing more, nothing less. There's no serious contemplation of the real issues here, no honesty, and no ability on either side to unify the American public to meet the crises that surely and predictably lie ahead.


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