Presidential Debate: Nice Guys Finish Last


Tonight, President Obama may have finally found for himself that the same “nice guy” attitude that had won him the presidency almost four years ago, that had failed him so miserably in dealing with the opposition party, had failed him once again in tonight’s debate.   Defending his supposed failures in the face of a man who did not even know what his real failures were, represents an undeserved defense of his campaign directors who, unfortunately, seem to know so little about governing.  Sorry Sir, while the challenger may essentially ignore his own faults and attack the incumbent president’s policies, the president, for his part is required to ignore the attacks, to thereby prove that he believes in his own policies!

Mr. Obama and his lacklustre crew need to check in with Bill Clinton, much as they should have done a few years ago before they botched the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the debt ceiling, the Bowles-Simpson recommendations, the passage of a  proposed jobs package and the war in Afghanistan.  In all instances, conciliation to the Republicans cost Mr. Obama in terms of the accountability and effectiveness of his presidency.  Bill Clinton would have let the Bush tax cuts expire before dealing with salivating Republican congressmen who were willing to sacrifice their first born offspring for the cuts.  Bill Clinton would have dealt with Nancy Pelosi and her unpopular and impractical attitude toward necessary compromise.  He would have pushed modest military cuts, modest tax increases, modest corporate tax cuts for domestic manufacturers and producers and applied all savings toward payment of the national debt.  Miserable historians that they are, Mr. Obama’s advisors did not remember the unexpected bonanza accruing to Mr. Clinton and the American people when his policies resulted in lowered interest rates on the debt to the tune of extra hundreds of billions of dollars.  Instead, through the President’s failure to implement any of these things, the ensuing interest hike alone resulted in an extra trillion dollars tacked on to the national debt.

Meanwhile, In lieu of replacing many of his advisors, perhaps our chief executive ought to learn how to better communicate with average Americans the way he did when he was candidate Obama- when all he had to do was attack the ghost of Junior Bush.  Assuming that most American voters don’t know what a Trojan condom is, let alone a “Trojan Horse,” perhaps he should have reminded his opponent about the almost two trillion dollars “stolen” by him and his party from the “47%’s” hard earned payroll tax, every last cent, to finance his tax cuts!  Perhaps he should have looked at senior, Jim Lehrer, and asked what he would do after being hospitalized, God forbid, under “Ryancare” and subsequently denied insurance coverage for any price, let alone the token eight thousand dollar voucher to be so charitably “donated” to him for purchase of private insurance.  He might have asked about the fate of the extra hundreds of thousands of dollars Mr. Lehrer had so generously chipped into the Social Security / Medicare Trust Fund over the years.  Where will that money go, to a privatized post office, privatized prisons, a privatized armed forces?  Perhaps he should have asked:  What else are you and your partners going to privatize, Mitt, at five or ten times the government’s present cost to the public?

The above advice is free, of course, and written in plain English, a language no longer spoken in Washington, D.C.   For a free translation in Sanskrit or Akkadian or whatever language it is that Mr. Obama’s campaign staff speaks, feel free to contact me.

Al Finkelstein,  10/3/12