Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Heading To The Exits

For all the jabs being poked at the final presidential debate on Monday night, nearly a fifth of the nation watched the show, and as we recapped in Tuesday's edition, Mr. Romney didn't exactly come off as presidential.

In fact, Romney came off as all wet - both literally and on foreign policy - during the debate. It was almost as though he was already mentally, stepping out the exit door. In the words of political pundits who really wish they were sports broadcasters, Romney was playing prevent defense Monday night.

Of course, as anyone who understands the prevent defense knows, the momentum really needs to be swinging in your team's favor for the prevent defense to work. After Mitt's performance on Monday night, there's no way the momentum is shifting in his favor - even if the corporate media execs are desperate to make it seem like it is.

The truth is, this election will likely be won by the most trustworthy individual - and that certainly isn't Mitt Romney.

In one of the key moments of the debate Monday night, Romney pulled out a fabrication he's used throughout his campaign. He insisted that what happened in Detroit, when the government bailed out General Motors and Chrysler, was actually a managed bankruptcy. As both Sam Stein and Jonathan Cohn point out, what the Government did to rescue GM and MOPAR was not a managed bankruptcy, in the way that Romney quite clearly outlined in his infamous "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" editorial.

What Mitt wanted, during late 2008 and early 2009, was for private banks to loan GM and Chrysler the money they would need to go into bankruptcy, while the government stepped in to guarantee the loans didn't go bad. In fact, Romney was clearly against the government directly lending to the auto companies. Yet, in late 2008 and early 2009 banks were barely lending to each other, let alone anyone else - and they certainly wouldn't have loaned to the car companies.

We know this, in part, because the man who handled the rescue of the auto companies, Steven Rattner, has publicly said he asked ALL the big banks - and not a single one would have helped save the auto industry.

It's this cluelessness about something so key to the presidency - understanding macroeconomics - along with the arrogance to ignore any information Romney disagrees with, that was really on display during Monday night's debate.

Romney showed this same failure of leadership when he used the 'apology tour' claim (which has long since been thoroughly debunked), when he displayed his refusal to explain how his military proposals would be paid for, and over the last week as his surogates have pushed the lie that Romney has momentum.

The truth is reflected in the data - and the numbers simply don't say that Mr Romney's campaign has the lead in momentum. If either major campaign does, after Monday's debate, it's the Obama campaign.

In short, Mitt Romney's prevent strategy has no basis on which to stand - especially when there are still thirteen days left to go.

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