Excuse me if I don't join the chorus of conservatives rejoicing in Mitt Romney's "victory" in last night's debate. You know it was ugly for the President if MSNBC is calling it a "tie"--and their talking heads are blaming moderator Jim Lehrer for the President's poor performance. But in all reality, last night means nothing.
Sure, Mitt Romney scored points on unsustainable government spending and back-breaking debt--but relatively few voters take a long-view approach to economics--or anything else for that matter. How else to explain rushing to the store to buy the hot new electronic gadget at 10% savings--then putting it on their credit card to pay 24% interest for two years? And why do you think so many people tattoo half their bodies and mutilate themselves by putting holes everywhere and stretching their earlobes so they can touch their shoulders? The attitude of most Americans is "I'll worry about tomorrow next week"--so how does the message of "We can't afford all of this stuff" going to resonate with them?
And if I'm not mistaken, President Obama didn't break down on stage and "unpromise" anything to anyone. He didn't say "We need fewer people on Food Stamps". He didn't say "Americans need to take more responsibility for their health care expenses". And he certainly didn't say "Redistribution of wealth is a proven way to lessen everyone's quality of life". The 25-year old guy living with his parents, collecting unemployment for a second year and riding on Dad's health insurance plan--or the former New York teacher that quit to get his Masters degree in puppetry only to find out nobody in hiring Master Puppeteers anytime soon didn't hear anything last night that is going to change their minds on who they are voting for next month.
And then you have the incredibly discouraging results from the Marquette Law School poll that finds just 18-percent of likely voters say the debates will have any influence on how they vote. Forget extended discussions of issues, and the opportunity to expound on plans and provide actual details--the vast majority of us are fine with 60-second attack ads or cute phrases like "Hope and Change" on a free t-shirt to make up our minds in the election.
Besides, last night's debate was slanted against the President--it being about the economy. The President needed George W Bush there to attack--because we all know that it's his fault that little has changed in four years. And don't forget, the next debate will be on foreign policy--and President Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to um.....uh......transform attitudes on um......Well whatever he did in those first 100-days, it had to be great.