The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Last night's debate

Last night, in Boca Raton, Florida, President Obama and Governor Romney had the last of the series of three debates. And while a CNN poll seems to have given the edge to the President in the debate, it was close, 48-40 (and in fact, on the question “Who did the debate make you more likely to vote for?” it favored Romney, 25-24, with half the people saying “neither”), and looking at such commentators as Charles Krauthammer and Erick Erickson, it would seem that who won depends on who you support; most people seem to have given the edge to whoever they wanted to win in the first place. There were also commentators like Toby Harnden of the British newspaper, The Daily Mail, who said that “Obama may have won the Boca debate battle but he knows he is losing the election war to Romney.”

Indeed, all of the pro-Romney commentators remarked that Romney looked more like a president and Obama like a challenger. Erickson wrote:

The whole time during the last Presidential debate, Mitt Romney looked like the incumbent and Barack Obama looked like a challenger trying to keep it together. More specifically, Barack Obama, when he made eye contact, looked like he was seeing and invisible hand writing “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin” on the wall behind Bob Schieffer. This was a man who knows the gig is almost up.

Throughout the debate, Mitt Romney smiled, agreed, and avoided fights. Barack Obama did everything he could to get into fights. That’s not what incumbents in a comfortable lead do.

And Harnden wrote:

If you had been on an extended vacation for the past four years, you would have been forgiven for watching this debate and thinking you were viewing a President Mitt Romney being challenged by a pretender called Barack Obama.

I looked at the transcript, and sometimes President Obama looked absolutely silly. He said things like:

You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.

Gee. As if Governor Romney never heard of aircraft carriers and nuclear subs. But he said this in response to a statement by Romney:

[O]ur Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917. The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We’re now at under 285. We’re headed down to the low 200s if we go through a sequestration. That’s unacceptable to me.

I'm sure that the admirals who “said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission” allowed for the existence of aircraft carriers and nuclear subs — and so President Obama's comments are pretty laughable.

When Bob Schieffer asked about Iran, President Obama responded:

[A]s long as I’m president of the United States Iran will not get a nuclear weapon. I made that clear when I came into office.…[A] nuclear Iran is a threat to our national security, and it is a threat to Israel’s national security. We cannot afford to have a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region of the world.

Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism. And for them to be able to provide nuclear technology to non-state actors, that’s unacceptable. And they have said that they want to see Israel wiped off the map.

Brave words, for someone who has done so little to deter Iran. It has gotten so bad that Prime Minister Netanyahu had pleaded at the UN for help in dealing with the Iranian threat to his country's existence, and yet the President refused even to meet with him when the two were both in New York. Obama says what we want to hear, but his actions show he is unwilling to take any steps to defuse the Iranian threat.

And Romney's point was well taken when he said:

You look at the record of the last four years and say is Iran closer to a bomb? Yes. Is the Middle East in tumult? Yes. Is — is Al Qaeda on the run, on its heels? No. Is — are Israel and the Palestinians closer to reaching a peace agreement?

No, they haven’t had talks in two years. We have not seen the progress we need to have, and I’m convinced that with strong leadership and an effort to build a strategy based upon helping these nations reject extremism, we can see the kind of peace and prosperity the world demands.

Because the record of the past nearly 4 years is the real issue in this election. As I said, it looks to me that who won depends on who you were supporting in the first place. To me, Romney had the stronger case. But all along, to me, Romney seems to be making sense, and Obama nonsense. So I admit I'm very far from being impartial in judging this debate.

No comments: