Tag Archives: VOTE

OUR VOTES COUNTED, BUT WE DIDN’T?By Louise Annarino,November 9,2012

9 Nov

OUR VOTES COUNTED, BUT WE DIDN’T?,By Louise Annarino,November 9,2012


If we are to believe the media-take on the re-election of President Barack Obama, we managed to have our votes counted; but, we still don’t count. Despite the fact that Barack Obama won by a greater margin than George W. Bush without the need for court intervention to seal the deal, corporate media refuses to acknowledge president Obama’s mandate. Instead it sees his presidency as one calling for accession to the demands of those whose candidate lost the election and the majority of the electorate’s support for Republican policies.


The list denying a mandate includes: CBS Evening News’ Bob Schiefer. Washington Post’s Dan Balz. Politico’s Glenn Thrush,Jim VandeHei,and Mike Allen. CNN’s David Gergen, and Gloria Berger. FOX News’ Charles Krauthammer.Time Magazine’s Joe Klein.


Even NPR’s Cokie Roberts failed to credit the value of those who voted for the President and handed him a mandate when she described his challenge to govern in this way: “It is a divide where he’s lost whites, he’s lost Southerners, he’s lost people of a certain income and age, and he’s really got to do something fast to deal with that.”


Oh, I see now whose vote REALLY counts: whites (but not those whites who voted for Obama), Southerners (but not those Southerners who voted for Obama), people of a certain income and age( but not those wealthy, older persons who voted for Obama). Interestingly, the need to address the concerns of African-Americans, Latinos, Asians, young people, women and LGBT community seems to be of no concern to Ms. Roberts. Apparently, she thinks she knows who should be driving the bus, and who should ride in the back.


It is not because she sees division as a concern which disturbs me; we are all concerned about the divisions within our country. But, because she weighs the interests of those who do not support Obama as a greater issue for his attention than the mandate the majority of voters handed him on November 6 to enact the change we need to secure America’s future for all its citizens. It is the diminished value corporate media places on an Obama victory for those who do not look like them, earn what they earn, live like they live. By diminishing his win, they diminish his right to govern and they diminish the value of our vote. That diminishes all Americans.


IT’S NOT ABOUT IRRESPONSIBLE OHIO VOTERS,By Louise Annarino, November 4, 2012

4 Nov

IT’S NOT ABOUT IRRESPONSIBLE OHIO VOTERS,By Louise Annarino, November 4, 2012

Now the counting of provisional ballots in Ohio shifts to the Republican theme that 47% of us refuse to accept responsibility for ourselves. On Friday Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted added reasons to reject a provisional ballot with incorrect or missing information as to the type of Identification used by voters casting a provisional ballot, SHIFTING RESPONSIBILITY for checking the appropriate boxes on the provisional ballot affirmation form from poll workers to voters.

Husted spokesman Matt McClellan said the provisional ballot affirmation form  (above) is the same that’s been used in this year’s spring primary and a special election in August. This is NOT the point. What matters is that it is contrary to Ohio law and violates court decree.

Ohio Rev. Code § 3505.181(B)(6) provides that, once a voter casting a provisional ballot proffers identification,  “the appropriate local election official shall record the type of identification provided, the social security number information, the fact that the affirmation was executed, or the fact that the individual declined to execute such an affirmation and include that information with the transmission of the ballot . ..”

This is an overt effort by Ohio Republicans to avoid a previously entered court decree as described by plaintiffs in Case: 2:06-cv-00896-ALM-TPK Doc #: 346 Filed: 11/01/12 Page: 1 of 11 PAGEID #: 12588. In the earlier decision and consent decree filed before US District Court Judge Algernon Marbley, it was agreed by all parties, including Republican SOS Husted, that he direct Ohio’s 88 county election boards to count certain provisional ballots WHERE POLL WORKERS MADE MISTAKES such as: 1. Allowing or directing voter to cast ballot in the wrong precinct, but correct poll location. 2. Allowing voter to cast ballot without completing or signing the ballot. 3. Failing to complete the application for the voter,as required by Ohio law.

As a former poll workerI can attest that it is not uncommon to overlook a missing piece of information when polls are busy; but,it is the poll worker’s duty to assure each voter’s ballot will be counted by correctly completing information requested on the ballot envelope. Poll workers,not voters, are trained to understand the language on the provisional ballot envelopes and trained to assure the form is complete. Voters do not second-guess poll workers;but, simply follow the directions to the best of their ability. They rely on the competence of poll workers. Plaintiffs’ counsel Subodh Chandra explains, “Judge Marbley’s decision ensures that legitimate voters do not  lose their right to vote when government workers make mistakes.”

SOS Husted is attempting to make sure such ballots are not counted,despite his prior consent to Judege Marbley’s decree by throwing sand in our face and making the issue VOTER IRRESPONSIBILITY, rather than poll worker error. Disrespect for the constitutional rights of voters to cast a ballot which will be counted is just the latest effort to undermine the Ohio election by confusing Ohio voters, and stealing their votes.

Our solution is simple: GET OUT THE VOTE. A huge turnout is the only way to assure a clean decision on election night, rather than an election dragged through the courts ad infinitum. BUT BE WARNED: Even if we elect President Obama on election night by overpowering Republican vote theft with an exceptionally high turnout, Republicans will use continued court involvement as a sign that President Obama is NOT REALLY the winner. Al Gore backed away from such an argument to  preserve our union and uphold the election process. I doubt Ohio Republicans will behave with such respect. They have not for the past four years;so don’t expect a sudden change of heart.

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Ohio-provisional-ballot-voting-order-criticized-4005729.php#ixzz2BGkeXgHQ

A MORE PERFECT UNION, By Louise Annarino,October 29,2012

29 Oct

A MORE PERFECT UNION,By Louise Annarino, October 29,2012


One question on two fronts: “Where are we now in the election?” and “Where are we as a move forward as a nation?” President Obama’s interview this morning on “Morning Joe” answered both questions.


First we are in the final days of Obama’s final race for elected office. From his first campaign when he sat around a his kitchen table with four people creating a flyer to be copied at KINKO to the current campaign where hundreds of thousands of supporters in every state sit around kitchen tables to phone bank, cut turf for door-to-door canvasses, plan events, organize volunteers, order and distribute buttons/bumper stickers/yard signs, and schedule GOTV activities the energy and momentum has grown with the size of the crowds who attend his rallies. President Obama has re-energized interest in campaigns, registered huge numbers of new voters,and turned our record numbers of voters by connecting with Americans in a way we had not seen before in our lifetimes. He has connected and energized both those who respect and love him, and those who disdain and hate him. But, most importantly, he has taught us what a republic requires of its citizens.


There is a bittersweet feel to these last days of the Obama campaign. It is as if we are holding our breath while running one hundred miles per hour. The final sprint may not look pretty, but all that matters now is getting over the finish line first. Those who vote early are free to help the last runners make it over the line. While some of the drama is lost, the race is thus won. We can do this! We will do this working together.


Second, President Obama offered his description of where we are now as a nation when he stated the next president will answer two questions: “How big a government do we want? How will we pay for it?”


If we want  a smarter but more affordable and smaller government, President Obama is the candidate of choice. As an example,he explained that the U.S. spends 17% of budget on health care, while other industrialized nations spend only 11% (and have better record on outcomes). That 6% is our deficit. (Obamacare has already reduced the percentage of annual increases in health insurance premiums, and when it becomes fully operational and more competitive in 2014, cost is expected to drop even lower).


The Obama strategy of cutting what does not work and redirecting dollars to programs which are more efficient and save even more dollars illustrates how cuts can be done in a balanced and effective manner while reducing budget expenses. He reiterated that the money he saved (not stole as Mr. Romeny claims) within medicare was then spent within medicare to increase free preventive care which reduces costs, and closed the donut hole so medicare recipients can get their meds, further reducing costs.


He also suggested in the interview that we could become more efficient and cost-effective by creating a Secretary of Business, a one-stop shop replacing nine current divisions which create a headache for businesses. The only thing blocking such streamlining, he suggested, is Congress protecting its jurisdiction over various pieces of government. He reminded Joe Scarborough that he has created far fewer regulations than George Bush and is conducting an on-going review of current regulations to eliminate or redesign those which simply do not work.


President Obama believes his mandate for the next four years is to reduce the deficit. He also understands this cannot be done in an unbalanced manner which fails to consider how to make government more effective while maintaining necessary services. His focus is to “make things work” better and at reduced cost. When asked why he thinks he could get Congress to work with him when he has been blocked (by Republicans) the last four years he said he must “first clear away ideology by reducing the deficit”. Once that is accomplished he expects Congress to work on issues that have historically not been ideological: infrastructure – we have a lot of deferred maintenance of roads and bridges, immigration – both because neither party can ignore the fastest growing demographic AND because it is the “right thing to do.” He then asked Joe, “When did roads and bridges become ideological?”


The President has learned a lot over the past four years. despite obstruction, he has made government smaller, more efficient, work smarter and reduced costs. Every year things cost more. It is the rate of increase we must look at. The rate of increase has been subdued by President Obama. Employment has grown every year; job less rates have slowed. I cannot think of another time in history when an American president who has accomplished so much against such odds would not be re-elected by large margins. But, we have never had an African-American president before, either.


An article in yesterday’s “Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch” discussed a study which disclosed racism has increased during the Obama administration. I would reframe the findings differently. White Americans are recovering racists who must fight their way through racial stereotypes, acceptance of preference as a natural right, and subliminal need to feel superior to someone, indeed anyone, in our self-proclaimed “classless society”. Most of us do keep up the good fight against our inherent racism and prejudice. We know it is wrong, have learned to acknowledge that fact, and rejoice that we,too, have “overcome” it. But, it raises its ugly head most when we experience “congruence”.


Congruence is the coming together of two “things”.It is a powerful force. When white people see Black people as congruent it stirs up the deep need to feel superior. We justify that feeling by resorting to old stereotypes and acclaimed prejudices. It seems to me we are not increasingly racist; but, increasingly afraid of a loss of preference. When we see that an African-American man and woman can be president and first-lady, our preference as superior beings to an imagined inferior is lost. That is why we are seeing more racism. That is what we must fight; not one another, and certainly not Pressident Obama nor First-Lady Michelle Obama.


This is what we see within the Obama campaign. People of all races, ethnicities, ages,sexual orientation forcefully unconcerned about who may be superior or inferior but simply working together as equals. That is the where we are in this campaign. That is where we are in America today. That is how we are moving forward. President Obama has already made America a more perfect union (established more congruence). That is why we see more open displays of racism today; not because we are failing as a nation, but because we are succeeding. Imagine the power of congruence if republicans would see democrats,and our president, as equals instead of inferiors and worked together moving forward. That is what a second Obama term could look like. Thank you President Obama! We will move forward with you.




21 Oct


Honestly, if one more person is interviewed on camera to explain why she is still undecided about this election, I’ll….use your imagination!  The media needs to stop giving special attention to undecided voters; and instead, pay more attention to the candidates. Civic duty should be encouraged. Instead, we reward those who lack it while they act as if their decisions are more thoughtful than those who have been engaged all along. Hogwash!

Barack Obama has been president nearly 4 years and was running for the office a year before that. Mitt Romney ran for president 4 years ago and is now running a SECOND time. He appeared in numerous televised debates for the Republican Party nomination during the primary season. These two are not strangers in our news cycles.

Where have undecided persons been all this time? To think that the least attentive, least informed, and one could argue, least interested among us could decide an election is pathetic. Newscasters and pollsters, must stop coddling them and empowering their lack of civi engagement. What they think and the positions they take are not based on an accumulation of facts over time, but on last minute celebrity!

Playing to undecided voters allows newspersons to create drama and avoid hard realities. Playing to undecided voters allows candidates to wiggle out of earlier positions and pretend they don’t recall shameful past incidents. Playing to undecided voters rewrites what each candidate has, or has failed to, accomplish.

I’ll be watching the next debate. But, afterwards, I shall not be watching the focus group of undecided voters to see who they decide to vote off the island.

Meanwhile, if you are someone who still has questions because you work 2 jobs, have kids to deliver to school/work/activities and have been just too busy to keep up, you are faced with the fact that for months Romney has refused to provide details of how he would implement his policies (which change repeatedly), cannot do the math on any of his broad proposals, and thinks if he repeats a right-wing talking-point often enough it becomes truth. His secrecy regarding his off-shore holdings and tax filings is another issue. To counter the repeated challenge to his lack of details, secrecy and bad math he has charged President Obama with those same sins. Since  undecided voters have not been paying attention, and since newspersons like a hard fight to the finish, these charges are treated as an equivalent sin for Obama. There is no equivalency.

Obama says he would take us forward, building on what he has done and is currently attempting to do, and what he plans to do in the future. Please refer to my earlier blog WHAT HAS OBAMA DONE? HERE ARE 194 ACCOMPLISHMENTS! WITH CITATIONS! From PCTC Blog https://worthingtonforobama2012.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/713/ where you can see what Forward looks like. The list provided at the link was put together months ago. SInce then, the list has grown.

While Romney plays politics with foreign affairs, Obama governs the nation, acts as a well-respected leader of the free world, improves US trade balance, challenges China at World Trade Organization (WTO), stops a terrorist attack on the NY Federal Reserve Bank, hunts down those responsible for the death of our ambassador and diplomatic staff in Ben Ghazi, Libya, continues to  bring down unemployment and increase jobs, winds down the Afghanistan War, organizes cuts to the military budget (arms purchases, operational expenses etc.) while increasing the VA budget 40% and protecting VA from ANY cuts, and continues to  reduce the deficit ( $1.7 trillion in  2011) as illustrated below:


$ 2.2 TRILLION          +         $ 1.7 TRILLION         =                  $3.8 TRILLION

Proposed Policies        Savings Enacted  2011                  (figures rounded up)

 Not Included is Additional $1.5 Trillion War Savings 

[ Sources: Fiscal Year 2013 Budget, Table S-3, and CBPP Calculations,Center on  Budget and Policy Priorities…cbpp.org]

President Obama has put us on a safe footing. It is not where he wanted us to be on the path to full recovery, nor so far along as we could have been had Republicans in Congress spent as much energy trying to help the country as they did trying to destroy Obama.

If you are still undecided, or know someone who is, or know someone who would welcome a refresher course please forward this information to them before the next debate. Maybe we can remember what we know, even if Mr. Romney cannot.


19 Oct



Contests leave a lot to be desired. “No purchase necessary.” Hah! Who believes that? Buy the wrong size drink or fries? No prize piece; no chance to win. Yet, we expect our candidate to win the presidency; “no purchase necessary.” CITIZENS UNITED shocks our sensibilities. But, it is only unique in its scale. This is not the first breath of life into corporations. That was done long ago.


Early Rome recognized a group as a single fictional person. As early as 1444, the Rolls of Parliament stated “they [the Master and Brethren of the Hospital] by that same name mowe be persones able to purchase Londez and Tenementz of all manere persones.” Blackstone defines legal persons: “Natural persons are such as the God of nature formed us; artificial are such as are created and devised by human laws for the purposes of society and government, which are called corporations or bodies politic.” Why create such a legal fiction? To allow corporations to do their business: lease, buy or sell property, hire and fire employees, enter into contracts of all sorts. As England moved from a cottage industry into guilds, and then into the industrial age entrepreneurs created new ownership groups to organize workers and manage production. They needed the legal fiction of personhood to conduct business.


Some of these management groups were benevolent bosses;many were not. Nevertheless, workers found it ever more difficult to assure safe workplaces, reasonable hours and wages, and fair treatment. Child labor was rampant, seven day/18 hour workdays were not uncommon. Tenements were built alongside work sites for ease of access and assurance of a constantly available workforce. Workers were locked in to work sites. We no longer remember this in the West, but we can see it happening even today elsewhere in developing industrial economies. We see the abuse of corporations from Shell Oil in East Africa to FoxConn (Apple supplier) in China. In the West workers united amidst bloody attacks to form labor unions, opposed at every step by corporations. Unions remain under attack in Ohio, Wisconsin, and in any state where there is a Republican governor, or Republican-controlled state legislature.


Corporations, like real persons, do not like ANY regulation or control of their behavior, especially while trying to make money off someone else’s labor. Their lobbyists assure politicians protect their interests and assure their unbridled freedom. In return, through campaign contributions, ALEC and SuperPacs they assure politicians re-election, a high-paying job after they leave public-service, and life-long connections to fictional persons of wealth and power. This, too, is not new.


Queen Elizabeth was a somewhat secret partner with English Seadogs, or pirates; overlooking their attacks on Spanish and French fleets, and taking a share of the loot. The difference between a pirate and a privateer depended on whom was being robbed and who helped do the looting. To the gentry of England, who along with their Queen loaned and outfitted ships hoping for a share of Spanish gold they were privateers; to the French and Spanish, pirates. Practiced in maritime attack, Elizabeth mobilized them to help defeat the Spanish armada and destroy Spanish dominance of the seas, and of the newly-discovered Americas. This opened an era of English exploration and colony development, including Jamestown, Virginia (named after the Virgin Queen Elizabeth).


So protected were these Captains of (Industry) the Seas that they were knighted by their Queen: Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir John Hawkins, Sir Humphrey Gilbert and Sir Richard Grenville were all first and foremost pirates. She bridled their freedom only to the extent she was permitted to share in their loot, enrich her coffers and assure her continued rule. Otherwise she assisted them in their piracy. Congress  limits today’s “Great Pirates”, corporations, only to the extent it is permitted to share in their loot. CITIZENS UNITED was inevitable. Any one of you have a game piece? Or only our politicians?


Labor unions, teachers unions, environmental groups, civil rights groups (African-American,Latino,GLBT,veterans,immigrants etc) don’t begin to have the power assured to corporations. There is no comparison. They are not given game pieces; they have to buy the right person to get a game piece! They have to elect a politician who will put them in the game. They have to elect a politician who will appoint judges and Supreme Court justices who will understand how the game is played and make it more fair to everyone; and, assure that everyone has an equal chance to win, assure that everyone has a piece of the game.


The person willing to do so, President Barack Obama, is the greatest threat to the Great Pirates… ever. The great pirates will do all they can to attack and defeat him; with the full support of those in Congress they control (with whom they share their loot), blocking his every move of the Ship of State. We cannot let them win. It will not be easy. We have little time left. We must support President Barack Obama for president. We must throw out those in Congress who help the great pirates. We must support labor unions, civil rights groups, environmentalists.

“We are in this game together” means nothing to the great pirates  because they hold all the game pieces. This must end if we Americans are to truly win; not just a second term for Barack Obama, but a chance for the 98% to play the game.


FREEDOM OF SPEECH SAVED BY A WALL,By Louise Annarino,October 10, 2012

10 Oct

FREEDOM OF SPEECH SAVED BY A WALL, By Louise Annarino, October 10, 2012

Teachable moments are what I live for. At my core I am still Professor Annarino,even though I retired that nomenclature when I retired from Ohio University. The Arab Spring, and the role of President Obama and the United States of America as supporters of rising democratic republics across north Africa and the Mid-east have created a teachable moment. It was a sign of success when world leaders gathered at the United Nations and openly discussed the human right of freedom of expression. President Mohammed Morsi of Egypt and President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi of Yemen affirmed a belief in the right to freedom of expression, they expressed a need to limit hate speech, including speech that insults religion and religious figures. President Asif A. Zadari of Pakistan went further, arguing that such speech should be criminalized. These leaders are struggling with the ramifications of hate speech,as we all do. However, their recommended solution to restrict speech is not the only way to deal with hate speech. The United States has been dealing with this problem since its inception. Hate groups continue to plague us,sometimes engaging in homegrown terrorism.We understand  the issue. Our cultural institutions, med1a, schools and courts address the problems such hate speech create. These new leaders have hard choices ahead; difficult decades of discord before free speech takes hold.

To some calls  to limit speech may seem a disturbing turn of events. But it is not;it is chance to explore free speech more fully. Free speech protection has taken centuries to establish itself in Europe and America beginning with the fall of the “Sun-Kings” and “Holy Roman Emperors” of Europe. We continue the struggle to protect free speech today. The institution which held it back in Europe and The Americas,and continues to assault it today, is the institution whose nature is proscriptive due to its assigned task of “preaching the gospel”, the church. I would argue that one reason freedom of speech has become secured in American culture is the separation of Church and State. In America, no longer can a population be constricted from expressing beliefs contrary to what is preached from the pulpit on Sunday, the synagogue on Saturday, or the mosque on Friday. Witches are no longer being burned in Salem. Women can express themselves as they wish, without wearing Scarlet Letters. The separation of Church and State also stops the government from putting words into the mouths of those who preach, protecting all religions equally. We the People are the WALL which separates the two forces. Thus, it is inherent that we behave responsibly and fairly with one another to keep the wall strong.

Sometimes speech should be restricted. For example, to protect human life when speech threatens to kill. Verbal assault is a crime, if it places the recipient in fear of his life AND causes actual physical harm. But, we also believe “sticks and stones may break our bones but names will never harm us.” Nor are we free to shout “fire” in a crowded theatre; the outcome of panic in a confined space certain to injure or kill. We even allow reasonable restrictions on where speech can be voiced so as not to unreasonably interfere with the ordinary course of business. Nevertheless, reasonable accomodations must be made for the speech-giver.

The fact that the door is open to such discussion among world leaders is a good thing. Of course, these leaders face the same challenge early American leaders faced  taking on their ingrained cultural institutions, including their religious institutions, in order to implement and secure the unbridled right of freedom of expression. Their task is much harder than that of early American leaders, however. They do not have a thick wall separating church and state. Until they do, free speech for their people may be elusive. Imams preaching attacks on Christians, Jews and Infidels may cause fear in those groups since it may,and occasionally does, incite adherents to commit physical assaults. Also, a protester standing in Tahrir Square with a bullhorn shouting to attack the police,military or government may incite others to violence. In Somalia, opposition efforts to overthrow Siad Barre’s oppressive communist government declined to clan warfare, resulting in unspeakable violence and a Failed State. Freedom of speech can be a double-edged sword. Dealing with these issues is always difficult;but when there is no separation of Church and State, resolving them is nigh impossible. When church leaders insist governments deny freedom of expression by anyone who does not follow their religious teachings, including poets,artists, cartoonists and authors both institutions are compromised;and, no one is free. Those who give up free speech soon lose personal freedom.

Is this the cultural difference to which new leaders ask us to be sensitive? Do they want our walls between church and state removed? Most certainly they do. We cannot agree to break down our wall between church and state. Doing so means we lose the protections ingrained in our Bill of Rights.We would no longer be a free people. We must refuse to do so; not for other nations, nor for Christian fundamentalists in our own country.

However, we can be sensitive to this issue for it is one we continually fight. We have our own version of groups who dislike the Wall and insist America is a Christian nation, when in fact it is a secular nation with a majority of Christian citizens, and many non-Christians, and non-theists. The nation belongs equally to each person, and its laws are written for all, not simply for Christians. Some Christians constantly chip away at the Wall. They insist on prayer in public schools, tax-funded vouchers for religious schools, nativity sets on the public square, and faith-based “science” teaching.

We area free people with a Bill of Rights and separation of Church and State. We hold these rights sacred and believe they are human rights. We cannot, we must not abridge freedom of speech for any religion. Is this the real reason leaders of these countries justify violence against our embassies and citizens? Is it their Church or their State making such a demand upon us? Either way it is an impossible one. As Americans we define ourselves by our freedoms.

As we head into the final days of the 2012 election, consider which candidate has the sensitivity, experience, demeanor and resolute commitment to human rights, fairness, diversity and peaceful dispute resolution. Which one has the ability to pull together diverse supporters: Black-White-Latino-Native American, immigrant and DAR, Catholic-Jew-Muslim-atheist, artists-musician-scientist-environmentalist-Big Bird, Warren Buffet big businessmen-Elizabeth Lessner small businesswoman- unions, women, LGBT community, active military-veterans-Code pink-peace activists ? Which one is open to any idea so long as it is a good one, capable of solving a problem despite who brings it forward? Which embodies our American value of free speech by the diversity of his supporters? Which candidate can lead us forward in a diverse world, with new leaders, in new countries, seeking a new way to move forward? That candidate is President Barack Obama.


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.