Generally, I do not watch the debates. I am one of those who will vote for Romney and against Obama and the Democrats no matter how badly Romney might perform in any or all of the debates. Unless Romney reneges on his promise to support real marriage and begins advocating for abortion ‘rights’, my vote is his and I would willingly confront Black Panthers at the voting booth to register it.
I saw only a small segment of the first debate-just enough to confirm my belief that Obama is a psychopathic liar and Romney is a decent and mature man. I did however watch a significant portion of the VP debate last night. I was extremely disappointed with Paul Ryan’s performance. This was the first time I have seen Ryan, other than a couple of clips from his speeches shown on the Free Republic website. He has not impressed me on the clips and last night he confirmed my view that he is neither Presidential material nor an effective enough campaigner for the ruthless civil war in which we find ourselves. Certainly he is a decent man and that shows through. I am sure that he has a grasp of the financial catastrophe that confronts America’s taxpayers and workers and might well be capable of producing policies that will gradually extricate the Nation from the road to irrecoverable bankruptcy. But just as Bush was unable to effectively campaign for his correct response to 9/11, I fear that Ryan is unable to effectively articulate good policies and place tough decisions in their context.
Time and again last night Ryan failed to rise above detail mixed with vagueness. Constantly sipping water and nervously glancing about like a bird looking for worms, his strangulated voice and frightened eyes cast him as a young man out of his depth and badly prepared. I know Biden is a liar and a debating bruiser capable of using every distracting and undermining trick in the book, but a VP candidate in these civil war times has to be good enough to step up to the plate. I am always conscious that a VP candidate is one short step from the Presidency. Should Romney win and later be assassinated or become terminally ill, Ryan would be President. Last night he did not look in the same league of communication ability and gravitas as Palin or Gingrich. Biden on the other hand looked more Presidential and confident, and was more fluent than Obama.
On the issues of foreign affairs Ryan had a great hand to play and failed to play it. Biden, in contrast, had a rotten hand yet managed to bluff his way through. The Benghazi scandal, packed with gross Presidential incompetence (at best) and either shameless lying or dangerous beliefs (at worst) has saddled the Obama administration with an October surprise of its own. Ryan failed to clearly and simply lay out the context and follow with accusations and uncompromising dismissal of any Biden protests. The bare facts of context are that Libya is an Arab/Moslem country that is in turmoil with a well-armed and factional population. No-one could doubt that anti-American terrorists are present there and that 9/11 is an anniversary that invites terrorist action all around the world. The dumbest White House occupant had no need of intelligence reports to be aware that all Embassies around the world should be on high alert and those in Arab/Muslim countries needed ramped -up, heavily- armed protection.
Ryan should have confronted Biden with this and relentlessly backed him into a corner for a direct answer as to why ours were not. Any Biden response about lack of resources should have been countered with “We are the USA and even in times of financial deficits, can anyone seriously claim that we cannot adequately protect our ambassadors? Pull the other leg, Mr. Biden!” Next for demolition should have come the scandalous WH claims about the protesting mob and the movie that was never seen. The lying cover-up has been fully documented and Ryan should have had it at his fingertips.
Finally, here was a chance to ruthlessly accuse this White House of harboring pro-Muslim sentiments that are dangerously unrealistic at best and treasonous at worst-if not this, then a President who puts golf and fundraising above his Presidential responsibilities. Ryan failed to be ruthless and heavyweight. He is a light puncher in a heavyweight fight! Biden should have been (politely but clearly) called out as a liar.
I thought the moderator was surprisingly fair (I know that conservative pundits today are claiming otherwise) and frequently pressed Biden harder than did Ryan, but one question that lurked around and Ryan failed to deal with was this. “In a time of national bankruptcy and war weariness, how can a Presidential candidate justify rearmament, involvement in Syria and a military response to Iran’s nuclear program?”
Here would be my answer:
1. Looking the audience in the eye, I would say that history shows that in a dangerous world, a President has a first duty, beyond everything else, to keep the Nation fully protected. He also has a duty to ensure that those called upon to fight have the best means to do so. I would refer to the poor Polish cavalry- men who charged invading German tanks in 1939.
2. I would oppose all foreign involvements that do not threaten vital American interests. This would include Libya (where Obama dabbled without even Congressional approval) and Syria.
3. If Iran has a nuclear capability, or is approaching one, then, given the threats of its rulers, the USA and Israel need to attack without delay. World opinion and possible allies are irrelevant. If Iran’s nuclear capability is being exaggerated by Israel in order to drag America into acting on its behalf then the American public needs to be told.
Finally, we on this website repeatedly claim that contemporary politics are not the politics of the last century. We are in the midst of a civil war and the Revolutionaries are in the ascendant. Their goal is to destroy the old Christian-based culture, suppress free speech and ultimately immerse the USA into a totalitarian global New Order. This is not the time for polite lightweight generals. Rush Limbaugh and others might be right (though I doubt the great Maharashi on this one) that Ryan’s youthful politeness last night has gone down well with young voters and women, but both before and after the election we have need of heavyweight leaders.
Weather – The cold weather has reached California after an unusually hot early October and cool wet weather continues to drench South-west England. Australia has Spring snow and faces its third consecutive cool summer. The Antarctic ice is still growing. Some claim all this reinforces their claims of man-made global warming.
Music Choice – Californian Mark Murphy is a jazz singer who over the years has often explored the outer regions of songs. He can be more than a little challenging to the listener and he improvises both the tune and lyrics, sometimes too much so. He is however, a singer’s singer, has a good voice and can employ humor and drama in his songs. Bill Evans, the outstanding pianist who sadly took his own life when he still had much to offer, composed some good but challenging tunes and one of them was “Waltz For Debbie”. I think Debbie was his daughter.
In 1979, Murphy recorded this tune with a jazz group that contained some classy post-bop musicians including Richie Cole on alto, Slide Hampton on trombone, Tom Harrell on trumpet, Ronnie Cuber on baritone and Mike Renzi on piano. Highly recommended for those with a good ear!