I was at work when the third debate was on, but if I had live ’blogged it, this it roughly how it would have looked. The debate was nominally about foreign policy, and being a foreigner, I guess that means I’m qualified to comment as two Americans try to decide what’s going to happen in a dozen or so other countries. That’s a weird definition of democracy, but what can you do?
Romney: “Terrorists of some kind.” Nice specifics there, Mitt.
Romney: “We can't just kill our way out of this mess.” Good point. When are you going to tell the Republican party about this?
Obama: “Al Qaeda's core leadership has been decimated.” Decimation isn’t enough Barack, and I don’t think that’s what you meant. Decimation literally means reducing by ten percent (deci – get it?) and originates from a particularly brutal way that the Romans dealt with underperforming centuries. The word should not be used to mean devastated.
Romney: “Go after the bad guys.” It's not a movie, Mitt.
It really is about time someone cracked down on those pesky Russians. ROMNEY ’84!
Romney: “Attacking me is not an agenda.” Another very good point, rendered utterly hypocritical coming from the man who has used attacking Obama as a substitute for an agenda for his entire campaign.
How can we help the Muslim world? Excellent question!
How about treating them like adults who don't need Uncle Sam's help for everything? You’re not going to get cooperation from people by taking away their self-respect. Then there's the whole freedom thing.
Obama: “Syrians are going to have to decide their own future.” That’s the attitude Republicans want to paint as weakness. Because they love freedom, don’tcha know!
And, to the awkward moment when Mitt Romney seems to think that Iran is a landlocked nation.
There have already been dozens of memes based on this ridiculous gaffe from Romney, which is probably the worst ignorance of geography since Sarah Palin decided that Vladimir Putin must fly over Alaska while travelling from Moscow to New York. However, it might be worth having a look at a real map.
Fox news are reporting that geography has a liberal bias.
Romney: “When Ahmadinejad says our debt means we're not a great country, that's a frightening thing.” Really? Why? Are you going to have a cry because the crazy man said something mean about you? Grow up!
Right America, you’re going to have to reduce your debt because Ahmadinejad says so. Because he’s important.
Romney: “Our military is second to none.” Fine. What’s your problem then?
Shieffer: “What is America’s role in the world?” To fill the gap between Canada and Mexico?
Romney: “When there are elections, people tend to vote for peace.” Um, Mitt... check your history. The real stuff.
Obama: “He (Romney)’s praised George Bush as a good economic steward and Dick Cheney as somebody who's -- who shows great wisdom and judgment.” That’s gotta hurt.
Romney: “He (Obama) promised unemployment would be at 5.4%.” Yes, and Donald Rumsfeld said the war in Iraq would take less than six months. No-one seemed too bothered about that. Republicans suddenly have a taste for arbitrary end dates. I wonder what changed.
Romney: “On day one…” DRINK! I'm less bothered about the first day as the possibility of the next 1460.
Romney takes credit for balancing the Olympics budget. Fails to mention they got a government bailout.
Takes credit for balancing the state budget. Fails to mention state budgets are legally required to be balanced.
Romney wants to be able to fight a war on two fronts. Because that always works.
Obama: “Israel is our greatest ally in the region.” Hardly a high bar.
Expanding sanctions? No problem. With you on that one.
Words amount to genocide? No. Just... NO! What were you thinking? For a start, it cheapens the charge of actual genocide and I kind of suspect the Hague has better things to deal with than behaviour that’s comparable with that of most talk radio blowhards.
Look, nuclear weapons exist. If you have them, others are going to want them, especially if you threaten them. You can't just say “We can have them but you can't.”
“Apology tour.” Just pathetic. Yes, talking to people shows weakness. Because not talking to people always makes them do what you want. Is that all you’ve got?
So, the middle east in tumult. Well you know, there was a fair bit of “tumult” in America a couple of hundred years ago but they came out of it as the United States. Sometimes freedom isn't easily won. Nobody held America's hand as they fought for independence. See earlier comment about self-respect.
Holy crap! Shieffer stopped Romney from talking over him. How the hell did that happen?
Waaah! Mom! He’s biassssed!
Romney is right that "divorcing" Pakistan would be disastrous. Classic US mistake is cutting allies loose when they're no longer useful. See Afghanistan, Iraq, bin Laden...
Romney: “If I'm president, America will be very strong.” Um... because why?
Romney seems to think that manipulating markets is bad. Where was he in 2008 when Wall Street’s house of cards came tumbling down? Better still, where was he before it happened?
Romney: “I like American cars.” DRINK! Mitt, stop telling us everything you like. You're running for president, not speed dating.
Finally, where are these 12 million jobs coming from? Republicans like to quote Reagan saying that there are no works that spark more fear than, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Well, I’m not much more enthused by, “I’m not saying how but trust me, I know how to do that.”
I’m a teacher. Saying, “I know how to do that,” isn’t enough. You have to show that you do.