California needs to step up and require labeling of food that gets sold. Prop 37 does not prevent GMO-based food from being sold. It requires better and more honest labeling of the food, as is done in Europe and 61 other countries. Michael Pollan supports Prop 37. The California Nurses Association, the California Democratic Party, and Consumers Union (Publisher of Consumer Reports) supports it. I support it. Don’t be intimidated by the chemical and / or agri business lobby. Yes on 37. Pass it on.
With the fallout from that now infamous Debate #1 about to be replaced by whatever’s coming with Debate #2 in a few hours, it’s now time for me to weigh in and try to set the record straight.
For starters, let’s separate Obama’s performance as President from that in the debate. In the latter, Romney pivoted hard to the center, something that the Obama campaign should have seen coming. Obama’s opportunity to call Romney on abandoning all the positions he needed to have to win the Republican Primary was unfortunately right then.
Imagine if Obama had done the research to actually identify the expenditures Romney says he’d make. What if Obama had said something like: “Governor Romney, your position paper released <date> calls for $x billion increase in y (i.e. corporate subsidies), does it not?” Romney: “Well yes it does.” Obama: “And your proposed military budget increases have us spending an additional $x billion, isn’t that true?” Romney: “That’s correct.” Obama: “And your…” etc., etc., until Obama can say: “Well that adds up to $5 billion. How does that not add up to $5 billion? Do you stand by that number or don’t you?”
The main problem with the debate was an utter lack on Obama’s part to say anything like: “You said this here and then, are you changing your position?” He lacked the basic and baseline perspicacity that, frankly, when absent, as it was, makes one scared to think of him in the role of President.
And, when Romney says that he also has a cap tied to the deficit, specifically saying, “No economist can say, ‘Mitt Romney’s tax plan adds five trillion’ if I say I will not add to the deficit with my tax plan,” if the opponent cannot simply say: “But your proposals can only generate x in revenue and can cost no less than y, therefore, they will at a minimum take us $x billion over that deficit number, so then they absolutely will have to trigger your cap, and therefore those proposals are not genuine.” I think the American people, as evidenced by Bill Clinton’s speech, are hungry for detail, and actually to be spoken to as somewhat intelligent. So, Obama, you can even whip out a pencil for effect, and say: “Excuse me while I do a little math…nope, not possible Mitt. The number I get is actually 6.2 billion. I think you’re hoodwinking us, and I’m not going to let it happen, not on my watch.”
So that’s what I am hoping for with debate #2.
Obama’s cynical strategy of playing the middle and standing for nothing finally blew up in his face last night. His performance was an insult to any of us who have supported him, because he didn’t debate. He didn’t even know his positions. He had no specifics, no facts, no interest – and sadder still – no ability, to actually respond to what his opponent was saying. And because he stands for nothing, there was nothing left. It was real garbage, and it actually made me sick to watch. If he ever had me, he lost me.
Obama’s cynical strategy of playing the middle and standing for nothing finally blew up in his face last night. His performance was an insult to any of us who’ve supported him, because not only did he clearly not prep for debate, he didn’t debate. He didn’t even know his positions. He had no specifics, no facts, no interest – and sadder still – no ability to actually respond to what his opponent was saying. And because he stands for nothing, there was nothing left.
I am not cynical for seeing Obama as cynical. I love him as a person, such as I can tell, and disparage him as a President. Why? We are in way worse trouble than he is willing to say, and his unwillingness to say it, which has been his policy, left Romney enough room to drive a truck through. Obama is not an angel, and Romney is not a slick lying bastard. This is not good vs. evil; we aren’t children. They are both politicians who have far less difference between them than the range of options that ought to be before us should ever warrant. But mainly it was just sad to see how unable the modern world is to generate a leader that can speak the truth, which is that we have to change course in a big way.
My friend George described Romney like this: “I believe that Romney is pro- whatever will transfer and consolidate wealth and power at the top. If there is substantial profit in war, then he is pro-war. If there is substantial profit in Oil/Coal -then he is pro-Oil/Coal. If only there was profit in peace, aspiration, being a big yellow bird and for each person to live their life with dignity -then he’d be pro- all that. But there’s no money there.” And now I’m sitting wondering how much difference there is between these two guys.