erik lundegaard

Wednesday October 17, 2012

The Second Debate: Romney Creates a Meme

OK, I can read Andrew Sullivan again.

I missed the first debate, stuck at work, but followed it via Sullivan's blog and Twitter, and, well, barely got any work done for all the panic I felt.

I watched the VEEP debate and thought Joe stuck it and Paul Ryan was smooth and without answers to tough questions, which is the GOP way. Increase defense + cut taxes doesn't equal balanced budget, as they claim. It equals bullshit. It has for 30 years.

I watched the second presidential debate and thought Romney did a good job for someone impersonating someone running for president. He doesn't seem as inauthentic as he did during the GOP debates, when he was awful, but he began to crumble near the end. He seemed a little sweatier, his voice a little reedier. He complained too much over little things. Obama was calm when he needed to be, forceful when he needed to be. He seemed presidential.

I think Romney began to go off the rails with the answer to the question about women making 72% of what men in the same positions make:

Obama's answer: I signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in January 2009.

Romney's answer: I hired a woman once.

Not even that. He tells a story about filling cabinet positions as governor of Massachusetts in which all the applicants were men.

And I went to my staff and said, 'How come the people for all of these jobs are men? and they said, 'Well, these are the people who have the qualifications.' And I said, well, gosh, can’t we—can’t we find some—some women that are also qualified?

That's some condenscending crap. Let's break it down to see what he's saying. 

  1. He only knows men.
  2. The only qualified job applicants for his administration were men.
  3. He decided to look for qualified women, because they were not anywhere around him.
  4. Plus: He's not really answering the question.

This leads to his already infamous “binders full of women” line:

I brought us whole binders full of—of women.

That meme went viral faster than anything I've ever seen. By the time the debate was over, it was all over the Internet. It's already a tumblr site. It's already a Facebook page with a quarter of a million 'likes.' My favorite so far:

No one puts baby in a binder

But in some ways, the meme actually misses the point. The bigger problem with his answer, which doesn't even answer the question, is that it implies that he, Mitt Romney, was a business leader for two decades, helped organize the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, ran for governor of Massachusetts and won, and yet through all of these endeavors knew no women who would work well in positions of power. He had to search for them.Because apparently they're so passive, being women, and he's such a good guy, being Mitt.

It implies a very cloistered and closed-off existence.

Guess what? This horrible answer is actually a lie. A woman's group actually presented him with qualified candidates. They were proactive. He was passive.

According to Think Progress' fact-check, this was just one of 31 times that Romney lied during the debate.

We still have a long way to go. There's one more debate. Obama needs to do it again. He needs to kick ass again. We all need to help. I contributed $500 to his campaign last night, bringing me up to $2,000. Other than a car and a home, I don't think I've spent $2,000 on anything in my life.

But at least I can breathe again. I can read Andrew Sullivan again. It was good seeing my president again.

Posted at 08:20 AM on Wednesday October 17, 2012 in category Politics  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard