I’m hearing from pollsters and pundits, friends and family, that the President lost the presidency at the first debate. “Women are fleeing in droves, Romney’s like-ability is up, and the President can’t recover.”
So lying is the fashion now, and telling the truth in an understated manner is losing. I listened to, and watched, the debate. I saw an aggressive presidential candidate set his agenda; directly contradict his own campaign staff and materials; call the President of the United States a child and a liar; and get rewarded for his behavior by scores of media personalities who called his performance a “win”.
I also saw the President of the United States a little off his game. But the “weeping, and [the] moaning, and [the] gnashing of teeth” is a bridge too far. I just can’t. I can’t buy the horse-race narrative that is being constructed, that says somehow, in this instant, by establishing his political philosophy and explaining how that vision has crafted his successful policies over the last three years, he has lost because he didn’t raise his voice? That says the good he is doing (and has done) seniors and college students, women and the nation, will be lost because he didn’t chant “liar, liar, pants on fire” while on stage with the other guy?
I started a family conversation weeks ago about travel arrangements to Washington, D.C. in January, so that my children can participate in Barack Obama’s second inauguration, and I haven’t seen anything on the national stage in the last week which has convinced me that those plans are futile.
Both before and after the debate, Barack Obama is the President of the United States whose leadership:
- granted woman equal pay;
- ended Don’t ask, Don’t tell;
- advocated for marriage equality;
- required health insurance coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions;
- saved the American auto industry;
- ended the war in Iraq;
- insured that all Americans have access to health care;
- refused to relegate women’s health care and issues to second-class status;
- ordered the assassination of the mass murderer, Osama bin Laden;
- saved the US economy from the second Great Depression;
- insured that unemployment benefits were extended to all who needed them;
- stopped the deportation of thousands of youth who deserve their place at the table
- made prescription drugs affordable for those who most need them;
- kept college tuition affordable for all those who want it;
- created private-sector jobs while scaling 600,000 jobs from the federal government;
- and a whole lot more.
Standing on stage with a yelling liar doesn’t change that.