Americans, by our nature, love winners. Our love affair with sports is second to no other country in the world. When our team loses, we take it personally; and when our team wins, we gloat and strut around. Americans also have a penchant for pointing fingers when things don’t go our way, such as a bad call made by a referee.
It’s safe to say that we view politics in a similar fashion as we do sporting events. We love a winner, especially when that winner is a part of our team. Hard verbal jabs during debates are fun to watch when the opposing party is on the receiving end and left stuttering and stammering in their wake. However, the thing we all have to be wary of are excuses, especially when those excuses are a direct result of a perceived slight or bias toward the opponent.
The second presidential debate once again pitted President Barack Obama against presidential hopeful Governor Mitt Romney. The event was a town hall setting with Candy Crowley in place as moderator. It was no secret going into the debate that Ms. Crowley worked for CNN, nor was there much speculation that she was unbiased.
Governor Romney had the question of whether Candy was biased answered for him when he went on the offensive with President Obama. Asking President Obama if he, the day after the Benghazi attack in Libya, had stood in the Rose Garden and called it what it was—an act of terrorism, President Obama lied and said “yes.” Romney quickly rebuked him, asking once again if he had called it a terrorist attack. Ms. Crowley promptly chimed in and said that the President had called the Al Qaida attack terrorist-related, rather than a spontaneous reaction to an unseen YouTube video. Romney looked momentarily confused, and Obama seemingly won that round of the debate.
Much has been made about Candy Crowley’s intercession during the exchange between Romney and Obama, and many immediately pointed the finger at her when it was announced that Governor Romney had lost the debate. No different than the left’s cries of poor moderation during the first debate, the right screamed foul after the second.
If, during a sporting event, a referee makes a poor call, which may or may not affect the outcome of a game, fans of the violated team will complain; but at the end of the day, the score remains the same. Which begs the question: if an entire game is dependent upon one poor call, could the rest of the game have been better?
Just to be clear, in the arena of politics, perception is reality. But the truth of the matter is that Governor Romney simply had to perform well to maintain his momentum going into the election. President Obama was forced to be overbearing, and in this case misleading, in an attempt to regain his base after his dismal first debate. Fact checking is getting much easier in today’s electronic environment, so it’s safe to presume that individuals needing clarification on particular issues can conduct a little research to find answers to their questions.
To summarize, Governor Romney’s supporters knew in advance that the town hall event was a more desirable debate setting for President Obama. Additionally, no one was taken unaware regarding Ms. Crowley’s perceived political allegiance. It makes no sense for the right to whine about things we already knew; on the contrary, we are better served discussing Romney’s finer debate points such as Obama’s failed economic policies, his failed green policies, his failed foreign policies, his massive spending, and the unacceptable unemployment rate after four years in office.
At the end of the day, we only remember who won, who lost, or whether our team ended in a draw with the opponent. Let’s continue to fight the good fight, remain positive, and convince those few undecided voters how they should cast their ballots in November.
Photo credit: Roger Smith (Creative Commons)
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