5 Oct



The Merriam-Webster dictionary tells us that the word debate was originated in the 13th century. It is a Middle English word, taken from Anglo-French debatre, from de- + batre to beat, and from Latin battuere. Its first known use is in the 14th century

Today it defined as: a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides. Its obsolete definition is : fight, contend.


Understanding the definition explains why the first Presidential debate had no winners,especially not the American people for whom this battle or debate of ideas was being waged across our screens. Many would blame moderator Jim Lehrer; but, that would be blaming the victim, as is so common in human nature, for the bully-behavior of one of the contenders, Mitt Romney. Mr. Romney brazenly and brutally shouted down the moderator and set his own rules,altering them to suit his attack. His rapid-fire delivery of disconnected thought bursts made it near impossible for a reasonable person to interject control over the proceedings. From his first comments the debate was removed from the moderator’s control to  Romney’s. From that moment on Romney  was free to lie, and he did so repeatedly.


I have written so often about his lies I won’t take time to repeat them today. There are many other sources fact-checking and reporting on them, if you will take time to read or listen. Before this first debate I described what to expect, a Romney shell game meant to sell Americans a bill of goods,and intimidation of the moderator. When President Obama calmly but decidedly pointed out Mr. Romney’s game, Romney called the president a liar. I predicted this strategy in my earlier blog. We all have experienced liars in our lives. We all have been warned by our mothers to tell the truth, that if you lie once you will have to continually lie to cover up the first lie, that after the first lie lying gets easier, that once you are known as a liar, no one will ever believe you. Nevertheless,this is the Republican strategy: Call our president a liar. Lie about your own unpopular and destructive policies, then call anyone who points out your lies a liar to confuse people and reinforce your own lies as truth. It is a brilliant one for those who don’t pay close attention to politics, or only watched the debate, or only watch FOX news.


Early in the debate, Mr. Romney called President Obama a liar to his face and obliquely referenced him as “boy” by using his own sons’ lies as a reference point for President Obama’s challenge to Mr. Romney’s lie. He said this with a smile on his face, speeding up his commentary and chuckling at his own wit. President Obama had to be disgusted. I know I was. The moderator remained silent. After this point, there was no debate happening. This was no longer a formal statement of position, with rules governing the manner in which each side argued for their position. Mr. Romney stated the president’s positions as his own, and when challenged called the president a liar. I cannot call what I watched a debate. It was the obsolete definition of a debate. It was battuerre or debatre. It was a fight.


Our president is a gentleman, a statesman, a leader who does not fight with his fists, nor fist-fight with his words. He does not lie to make a point;nor make a point to lie. He does not bully. He would never cheat and call it a victory, as Mr. Romeny’s own son tells us about his Dad with great pride as a reason to elect him president: Craig Romney: My Dad Cheats & “That’s What We Need in the White House.” Once a cheater,always a cheater, on income taxes, in debates, on the campaign trail [just review statements of other Republican candidates during the primary campaign],even in the White House.


Don’t mistake my words. President Obama knows how to fight. Both Mr. Lehrer and the president are the victims of a bully. For the beating they took we must blame the bully, not the victims. However, I do fault them and those who managed them for not anticipating they had a bully who would not play by the rules, who disdains rules, who is so privileged he believes rules should not apply to him and should apply only to lesser beings, certainly to the 47%. Did they not know who Romney is? Have they not been watching him campaign? Have they not seen his ad campaign? Do they think they are immune to bullying? They walked right into the trap. For that, I do blame them. But, that, does not make Romney a winner; just a lying, cheating bully not worthy of the presidency.


Romney can say whatever he wants, change positions all he wants. None of that matters. We know what the Ryan-Romney Budget [not a typo;Ryan will control the budget effort] will do to our economy, our middle class, our poor, women, children, seniors, immigrants, minorities, LGBT community, the arts and Big Bird. It is who he is and how he behaves which will betray our finest American ideals and our leadership throughout the world. No one can be safe with a bully running the neighborhood. Wake up America. GO VOTE for every democratic candidate on your ballots. The lying, cheating bullies must be defeated. In America we battere / debatre / fight withBALLOTS.


Republicans know this which is why voter suppression and intimidation is one tactic in their strategy to take back government. Bullies don’t know how to compromise; it is always their way or the highway. They have only one measure of success: how badly did they batter the other guy? Democrats are not bullies. This does not make us weak; it makes us brave, smart, and compassionate listeners and doers. Don’t judge President Obama or Mr. Lehrer by how they looked while being bullied.I’ve been bullied and it is not a pretty sight. Judge them by what they do for America, by how they behave toward others, by the dignity and compassion they show others, by the wisdom to know when to put up their fists and when to let the bully hang by his own rope. President Obama now knows Mitt Romney. He has felt his flying verbal fists in his gut. He will defeat Mr. Romney. Mr. Romney will never know what hit him.




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