Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Pre-debate night

I have to work tomorrow evening, and it's proving to be a touch frustrating. It's not the working in the evening thing that bothers me (although I'm going to lose a night at the gym because of it), but because I can't do my full geek out on the presidential debate Wednesday evening.

Seriously, I had plans for this. I had a few friends I was going to invite over, I might have splurged on some popcorn (I think the last time I had popcorn was when I saw Brave this past summer. I miss it), fire up the iPad, stalking Facebook and Twitter for reaction while watching Obama and Romney have a go at each other.

Look, I love US presidential politics. I freaked out some Americans on the cruise by stating how much I love it, that most Canadians do, because it's the best spectator sport in the world. Hockey? Please. American football. No. Regular football....not really.

For pure high stake, big money, intense drama and, literally, the fate of the world riding on the decision, it's hard to beat what the Americans put out every four years. And this hasn't even been a particularly good election cycle, what with Mitt Romney shooting himself in the foot every five minutes during the month of September. I mean, I though John McCain had a bad month in 2008, but I think Romney might have just topped it.

Like most Canadians I'm pretty much in the bag for Obama at this point. Although this is a bit unusual. I try to keep an open mind and listen to as many sides as I can in politics. I didn't make up my mind who to vote for in the last Canadian election until I walked into the voting booth. Of course, all the political party options were pretty awful, which contributed to some of the confusion.

But Christ, there really is no alternative in the United States this year. I understand the frustration some people have with Obama and the economy, but you'd think most could see that he inherited the mess, that these things don't turn around on a dime and that things are starting to get better. Oh, and that he's been dealing with absolutist lunatics in Congress.

Plus, Romney has been a disaster. You don't know what he stands for, because he doesn't know what he stands for, other than wanting to be president. I think you need to keep some flexibility in your views and be willing to admit you're wrong and shift your position in the face of a good argument or overwhelming fact. But you get the feeling that Romney shifts because he thinks it's politically expedient, even if it's a dumb idea. He's spent way too much time catering to a Republican base that are...disconcerting.

I try to avoid terms like "lunatics", but when you're:
1. Against women's rights on things like birth control. And make statements about "legitimate rape."
2. Think that cutting taxes, increasing defence spending and wanting a balanced budget are completely doable.
3. Wanting to get mixed up in another war in the middle east.
4. Think climate change is a myth.
4. Have a tendency to believe in every half-assed conspiracy theory involving Obama that's up on the internet.

Then there's something wrong with your base. Deeply wrong. I can't empathize with them at all. They're just so wrong on so many things.

So yeah, I'm hoping for Obama to do some serious ass-kicking Wednesday night. I don't think it's going to happen just because of how these debates are set-up and structured. But he needs to win. Because as I like to remind my friends who rant and foam at the mouth about Harper, any perceived damage he does over the next four years can be pretty easily altered by the next government. It's just the nature of Canadian democracy.

Four years of Romney and a Republican congress...not sure how the rest of us are going to survive that.

Last Five
1. The broad majestic Shannon - The Pogues*
2. Maybe we should just go home - Joel Plaskett Emergency
3. Box hat - Beck
4. Shenandoah - Bruce Springsteen
5. The trawlerman's song - Mark Knopfler

1 comment:

John, Perth AU said...

The US political system was designed for a pre-railroad era agrarian economy. Even the parliamentary system (after several Reform Acts) post-dates it. And even Canada's political system still uses first-past-the-post voting. Look to Australia for the best system: compulsory perferential parliamentary voting. The US is way overdue for voting reform.

Oh, and welcome back. :)