Smiling, he stuck a dagger in your heart. That about sums up Mitt Romney’s performance in Wednesday night’s debate.
Of course, if you’re Big Oil or Big Capital, it’s not your heart we’re talking about.
In the debate Romney said a lot about not raising taxes, but said not a word about eliminating the continuing Bush/Republican tax cuts for the super-rich. And, claiming to defend “small regional banks,” he slammed the consumer protections in the Dodd-Frank bill. Funny, Romney’s top contributors are PACs and individuals from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Credit Suisse. (By contrast, Obama’s top contributors are listed as people/PACs associated with the University of California, Microsoft, Google, Harvard, and folks in the U.S. government. Learning, technology and the public – versus Wall Street.)
Romney twice attacked funding for green energy. That’s a dagger in the heart of our planet’s survival and jobs in a growing economy. But it’s good for Big Oil. And Big Oil is overwhelmingly backing Romney and the Republicans.
He advocated vouchers (though he stayed away from that word) that hand taxpayer money to people so they can “choose” where to send their kids to school – religious schools, for-profit schools, you name it. That’s a dagger in the heart of public education in our country.
He said if you’re receiving Social Security or Medicare, not to worry, but he’ll throw your kids and grandkids under the bus with vouchers so you can “choose” your supposed health/retirement options – in other words, privatize these highly successful programs. That’s a dagger in the heart of our families’ health and security. Yup, he stayed away from the v-word, but instead preached “individual initiative” and “free market.” How’s that been working for you so far?
Vowing to repeal “Obamacare,” Romney said “free enterprise” and “free people” are more efficient than government. Does he mean Aetna? Blue Cross? Humana? Big Pharma?
Romney said he would slash the federal government, a dagger through the heart of public services we rely on every day, thousands of jobs, and, yes, Big Bird.
Romney smiled and told a million lies. He denied his own program, but specifically presented the right-wing agenda.
President Obama presented the numbers and the case for investing in the common good. Citing Lincoln on the role of government, he said “There are some things we do better together.” The federal government’s role, he declared, is to help people do what they can’t do alone.
And in fact, that IS the American way. Contrary to Romney’s “You’re on your own” society, our country has always been about “We’re in this together,” and raising all boats. That’s what our historic struggles have always been about.
Romney smilingly stuck a dagger in working-class American hearts in the first debate. That makes him a loser in our view.
The winner will not be declared by debate pundits. It will be declared by all of us on Nov. 6. In the weeks remaining til then, pay attention to the issues at stake for ordinary Americans: workers, the jobless, immigrants, women, young people, gays and lesbians, seniors, people of color – the 99%.
Photo: Sailors watch the presidential debate, Oct. 3. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Declan Barnes.