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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Real party differences

I thought it was fascinating in the first presidential debate the way that the moderator, Jim Lehrer, kept phrasing the questions "Explain how your approach is different from your opponent's," but the candidates rarely addressed the differences, because they have to make sure they get all their catchphrases in.

In the VP debate, their answers often included the ways that the two sides agree, because they do! But the two sides differ in important ways, and I don't think the Dems do a good job of selling their positions, which the vast majority of Americans agree with. The vast majority of Americans want a safety net. The vast majority of Americans want women to have access to abortion, at least in the first trimester. The vast majority of Americans want the government to ensure that consumer products are safe, water is drinkable, food won't poison you, air is clean.  The vast majority of Americans want more money spent on education than on military hardware. The vast majority of Americans want to avoid wars with foreign countries.

I don't understand why the Democratic candidates don't make the case - it's a winning case! Why do they let the Republicans get away with empty rhetoric about "liberty" and "personal freedom" - completely meaningless phrases when it comes to explaining actual policy.

Yes, we know you all want to support "middle class families" and "grow the economy," but what does that really mean in terms of policy? Because policies are the only way the government has to accomplish anything.  So what are you going to DO? Cuz I sure as hell already know what you're going to SAY.

The only way that Romney and Ryan can make the case for their ticket is by soft pedaling and misrepresenting their positions - like Romney suddenly deciding that pre-existing conditions should be covered, or just flat out lying about what the Ryan tax plans does (e.g., it gets rid of tax deductions popular with the middle class, like mortgage interest and child care expenses). It's just not democracy when they can only get people to vote for them through obfuscation!



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