For Presidential Debate No 2, your reflection on television is dumber than you appear
If Mitt Romney’s candidacy serves one purpose, it’s to highlight what fools Americans have become. Without question, Romney shows his supporters to possess a thinking deficit virtually unfathomable. But more dispiriting, Romney’s opponents run from him like Team Scooby Doo from a masked ghoul, Saturday after Saturday never wiser. Tonight’s second presidential debate was no exception, with Romney contriving ever more spookier hogwash, to an audience and media taking it seriously. As a result tonight, people who otherwise pretend to know better were cheering for a “clean coal” fossil fuel president who’s “all about pipelines” because they’re afraid of a GOP foil who can’t prove he’d be better than Bush. If tonight’s town hall questions were vetted, can we not guess they were also ordered? Two subjects, the so-called Libya debacle and Anyone-but-Bush, seemed pedestrian enough to boost the illusion of reality television, but suited campaign camps rather equitably. Are we to believe Romney was left to improvise deficient answers? Any middle schooler could disprove Romney’s math, but that’s probably more schooling than we can attribute to the corporate media’s pretend audience. The public, polled to believe they’re as dumb as the level to which pundits condescend, think they have to chose a lesser of two color-coded evils. Most people, uncomfortably above the charade, are given to conclude that America’s foolish public could never govern itself, demand a responsive leader, or even crawl unaided from a paper bag. And that’s to confuse reality for television.
Next, illustrious talking heads pronounce the winner. NPR had this handicap prepared to suggest a Romney win: it was a tie, but a tie is a victory for the last person in the lead. Then come the fact-checkers, as if a debate is adjudicated based on facts. Are we really to expect that either candidate does not know the facts? A lie on national television used to mean immemorial disgrace.