Himself and The Other One seemed to really get into it for once. The Other One looked to me to be pale and sweaty and even a bit blotchy under the intensity of the teevee lights and the penetrating gaze of Himself. The Other One even seemed to be "out of his depth" as they say on the all-important topic of Foreign Policy, unable to dent the rather gory record of the President of the United States even while bringing up a string of disasters and failures of this or that importance "on his watch."
"Commander-in-Chief" was the oft-repeated phrase, and as far as I could tell, Wromley (h/t Crowley) didn't really want that bit of Presidential Prerogative. This Killing of Brown People that Obama seems to relish these days appeared to make Wromley somewhat queasy. In a sense that's a good thing I guess. Presidents -- at least the way we are expected to regard them -- should not really be into the slaughter game. It hasn't been a celebrated characteristic in White House residents since TR, and he was always careful to make it clear that he "deplored" the slaughter he was (of course) forced to engage in (particularly in the Philippines) and he loudly condemned the troops who went too far in their extermination of the Natives so as to secure that piece of American Empire.
Much of the "debate" -- which was closer to a real debate on substantive issues than previous forays -- focused on domestic issues and policies, particularly with regard to the economy, rather than foreign affairs. Good enough. There's not much to be said about America's foreign policy that isn't a factor of the rotten economy for the masses. Obama pointed out time and again that Romney would simply reinstate the same economic policies that crashed the economy under the Busheviks (true), but what he didn't say was that the Obama economic policies are almost identical. There has been very little positive change under Obama, and everybody knows it. As a rule, most of Romney's main criticisms of Obama economic policies are spot on: the economy is "sputtering," unemployment and underemployment is way -- way -- too high, ordinary people are struggling while the government lavishes money and favors on the rich, and so on. These things are not accidents, they are policy. And the Obama Administration proposes to "stay the course," essentially making no changes in the policies that are causing so much misery for the millions.
Meanwhile, Romney's prescription borders on insanity: he would return to the Bushevik Era free-for-all, crony-capitalist loot-fest, only now with the targets being Social Security and Medicare and whatever else is left of the social safety net and piddly middle class wealth, and he would call it a Good Thing.
Obama would do the same only with a few more controls on the looting and who gets first dibs.
Hm. Some choice there.
The "First Dibs" issue is basically all that the candidates are contesting. Their policies -- both foreign and domestic -- are all but identical in every important way (which is the way our political/governmental system is designed to operate in any case). The choice before the voters is not between policies, it is between personalities, styles, and who among the Highest of the Mighty has First Dibs on government and the benefits flowing therefrom.
It's not "tribal," it's inner-tribal. In other words, the political class is all the same tribe. The struggle, to the extent there is one, is between factions within the political class itself, and between factions of the Overclass that owns and controls the political class. But they are all, every single one, of the same tribe.
They are all denizens of Versailles. They all live in the bubble of a palace culture; and their realm is not that of the People.
For them, holding the keys to the Throne and the Treasury for the benefit of themselves and their friends is what it is all about; "First Dibs." The People don't factor in, or if they do, it is as an afterthought. Or sometimes, very rarely, because they are restless and throwing things.
At the on stage meet and greet after the "debate" the fact that these candidates were on the same side was made manifest what with all the Hale Fellow Well Met backslapping, hugs and handshakes. Even Tagg and the President had a good guffaw over something or other (Gee, I wonder what?) and the plethora of Romney children and grandchildren practically mobbed Obama ("Gee, can you be Our Dad?")
As for The Winner? I would give it to Obama because he didn't look like he was going to faint.
But who will win the election -- at this point -- I have no idea. The Rs have been diligently setting up their plans to steal the election outright if need be. Ds have done little or nothing about it, so even if Obama has a strong plurality at the polls, it won't necessarily lead to victory. I wouldn't be surprised if we had another Election 2000 situation, something that our Overlords seem to relish.
On the other hand, many have come to the conclusion that it will be a run-away Obama victory, that Romney will be thoroughly trounced, and that this has all been carefully planned for a very long time. What we see is just the Show; what's going on behind the scenes is what matters, and the result is to be a resounding Obama victory. He, after all, institutes Republican policies far better than Republicans ever did.
Meanwhile, an inside look at the Secret Rituals of the Mormon Temple is making the rounds. I watched the hour and twenty minute full version the the internet, embedded and linked below, because I'm into science fiction sometimes, and the whole thing seemed like it was straight out of a 1950's science fiction movie. Which makes me wonder how many science fiction authors and movie-makers were/are Mormons either current or ex. Anyway, it's an interesting -- if somewhat creepy -- diversion. Some of those who have watched it or the shorter version have claimed that "all religions" are creepy like this. Well could be, but this is on a whole nother plane.