Live(ish) Blogging the Second Presidential “Debate”

From time to time, here at Hammer of Truth one of us will liveblog a debate or something. This is what it looks like.

On Tuesday October 16th 2012, Democrat President Barack Obama met with Republican nominee former Governor Mitt Romney to lay into each other in the new public blood sport democratic process of getting to know our next commander in chief. Romney is still trailing far behind Obama in projected electoral vote counts, but walked away with a national poll bounce from the Denver performance (mostly due to Obama’s apparent boredom). Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party presidential candidate was not invited to attend due to not meeting the required 15% threshold, nor was Green Party candidate Jill Stein — who apparently showed up and was arrested, yikes.

An official transcript of the debate can be found here.

All times are in Eastern Daylight Time.

[Though billed as a “live blogging” event, my time away from blogging has resulted in my complete inability to properly negotiate the back-end of this site without a time-consuming, self-taught refresher course. As a result, the comments below, while made in real time, were not posted until after the debate was over. This misstep indicates what I’ve long suspected——that “drunk-blogging” is a necessary requirement of “live-blogging”]

I can’t help but think of this “debate” as the video equivalent of the children’s game (also found in bars), in which players must discover the smallest details differing from one seemingly identical picture to the next. Yes, a President Romney would likely be a bit hostile to additional business regulations, though he wouldn’t fail to enforce the existing ones. And he may oversee the dismantling of Obamacare, but only because as a businessman, he hates people stealing his ideas.

The point is that it is merely diminutive details that separate these two men, one clamoring to become the American emperor, the other begging the masses to renew his licenses to kill, lie, and steal, and allowing him to continue his despotic reign. Sadly, these tiny differentiations will be underscored, played up, and shouted about; those who disregard them loudly styled blind, stupid, or both. The similarities, though not unlike those among identical twins, will be obtusely ignored, with those who point to them relegated to the fringe.

My synopsis of the silliness that passed for serious argument follows, replete with all the sarcasm and ridicule richly deserved by those who would pretend any legitimacy to such a charade.

9:02PM (10/16): No drum roll necessary, as there is zero suspense expected by any thinking observers. I am wondering how long before it is announced that “clear differences” are emerging, leaving the nauseated viewer to guess which similarities lack the glowing brightness requisite to qualify as obvious and unquestionable.

9:03PM (10/16): The twins are introduced, to the sheer delight of a crowd clearly composed of apple-waxing sycophants.

9:03PM (10/16): A “first time voter,” Jeremy has the first question. Romney takes it as an opportunity to thank everyone he knows, as though he just won an Oscar. The kid asked what he thinks about being constantly told how difficult it will be to find a job after graduation. Romney wants go bring the cost of college down, but keep the grant programs and easy money that makes tuition so expensive. I’ll bet he didn’t run Bain that way.

9:05PM (10/16): Barry’s turn. He’s gonna create jobs. Government always creates jobs, evidently. Romney wanted to let GM go BK. Barry said no. And like Bush before him, he is “the decider.” (Cue jingoistic sound-byte)

Barry: I said ‘we’re going to bet on American workers…” [your humble correspondent sniffles with pride].

Apparently, due to the actions of government, auto and the rest of the economy “came roaring back.”
We need more student loans. (Now he’s answering an education question with an energy policy answer. The guy’s got balls. He just mentioned solar. And now sneaked in a “raise taxes on the wealthy” clip.)

9:07PM (10/16): Moderator is already asking for more direct answers, and we’re about five minutes in.

9:09PM (10/16): Oh Mitt. If you’re going to correct government’s absurd unemployment figures, do it. Have some cojones and tell the truth.

9:10PM (10/16): Barry: “The other guy only has one idea: help the rich. Also, a lack of government got into this mess we’re in, even though we aren’t in it, because I’ve already saved us.”

9:12PM (10/16): The dance begins. Barry O was asked if he agreed with the Energy Secretary that lowering gas prices wasn’t his job. Response: Look at what I’ve done: (lists nonsense, including lies about coal production). He’s proud of dictating to the remnants of the auto industry how they must conduct business and what they must build. Also, Romney sucks.
And watch out for China. They’re doing stuff. Oh, and I haven’t forgotten that kid who asked the first question. I’m in touch, man. I’m a man of the people.

9:14PM (10/16): Romney: This guy is regulating too much. And I don’t like it. *I* want to be the decider. Jobs need to come back, but they can’t because of this guy. Actually, they are already coming back, even though he’s keeping them away. (seriously!)

9:17PM (10/16): Barry: This guy is the liar. And I wish he’d shut up about coal. He hates coal. I am consistent. I love coal, as long as we produce it without any dust, or getting it out of the ground, and it’s spotlessly clean.

9:20PM (10/16): Mittens said, “In the last four years you cut permits and licenses on federal land and federal waters in half—”

Barry O: “Not true, Gov. Romney.

“So how much did you cut them by?”

Barry: “Not true.”

Mitt: “By how much did you cut them by, then?”

Barry: Governor, we have actually produced more oil—

Mitt: No, no. How much did you cut licenses and permits on federal land and federal waters?

Barry: Governor Romney, here’s what we did: There were a whole bunch of oil companies—

Mitt: “I, I, I had a question. And the question was ‘how much did you cut them by?”

Barry: Do you want me to answer—I’m happy to answer the question.

Mitt:”Alright, and it is?”

Barry: Here’s what happened: You hd a whole bunch of oil companies who had leases on public lands that they weren’t using. So what we said was, ‘you can’t just sit on this for 10, 20, 30 years, decide when you want to drill, when you want to produce, when it’s most profitable for you. These are public lands. So if you want to drill on public land, you use it, or you lose it. So what we did is was take away those leases, and we are now re-letting them, so that we an actually make a profit.

[We? “so that we can make a profit?]

Romney: Production’s down.

Barry: No, it isn’t.

Me: You two are such children.

Romney: No one believes that you are a guy who wants more oil and coal. Gas is high, and it’s your fault. Forget the inflation, printing money, and endless wars we can’t afford. We need a pipeline and to drill a lot.

Moderator: Defend the price of gas since you took office.

Barry: Sure, we were on the verge of collapse. I saved the economy, yo! Wind energy is the future. Damn the science! Romney hates wind energy.

Romney: Can I respond?

Moderator: No. It doesn’t work like that.

Romney: I’m going to answer anyway.

Barry: He interrupted me!

Audience member: Hey Mitt, you said you’d lower taxes and close deductions. I like some of the credits. What are you going to do about those?

Romney: I want the middle income folks to have lower taxes. They’re bleeding because the price of everything is going up. It can’t be the inflation. You can all get a bunch of deductions.

Barry rolls his eyes, slowly.

Romney: I love the middle class, and this bozo doesn’t. I swear I won’t do anything to help the rich folks, even though I insist they create the jobs. I’ll balance the budget AND keep fighting endless wars.

Barry O: love middle class people. Romney loves the top two percent. I created seventy trillion jobs. This guy destroyed every job in his state, ever! I love the poor, he hates them. Vote Blue!

Meanwhile, Romney continues the slow, strange smirk.

Barry: Top down economics sucks. Start in the middle, man!

Romney: I know how business works and jobs are created. Barry’s been hard on the women. My Five Point Deal will fix it all. I spent my life in the private sector! (FINALLY! Mitt said “private sector!”)

Barry: This guy wants to lower taxes AND spend more on the military. That’s $8 trillion. AND he’s gonna cut taxes AND not raise the deficit. You can’t do that! What’s he going to do, stop SPENDING so much? It’s not possible!

Romney: Of course it adds up. I’m a business guy. I ran all sorts of shit, and I balance, baby. THIS guy has racked up $5 trillion. He’s talking smack. He promised to halve the deficit, and he doubled it. This dude has nerve, man.

Moderator: You’ll need to shut up now, governor. Barry gets the next question.

Audience member: I read some stuff on the ‘net that says chicks make less. That ain’t cool. Can you fix it and make people pay women more?

Barry: Awesome question. That is bullshit! And I’ve fixed it. Women kick ass, and I dig ’em. We gotta fight for them. But enough about that. Let’s rap about education, ’cause my plan is dope, and Mitt’s is wack! Enforce the law, and stuff!
Moderator: Mitt, what do you say about it?

9:24PM (10/16):Mitt: I remember when women weren’t applying to be part of my cabinet. I was all, ‘gosh, where the women at?’ My boys were like, ‘hey, women ain’t applying.’ So I was like, ‘let’s find some women.’ and we did! I’m proud of that. In fat, women are poorer now, under this dope. If the economy was rockin’ chicks would be punchin’ that time card.
Barry: This dude hates women. In fact, he hates them so much, he may be gay. I want to make sure some people pay for other people’s rubbers and stuff. Mitt says that’s wrong. And it’s bullshit. You can;t just pull the plug on this redistribution stuff I like. Women can’t work if they have to buy condemns and stuff.

9:25PM (10/16): Audience chick (kinda butch): I don’t know who to vote for, ’cause Bush scared the shit out of me. Are you anything like that asshole, Mittens?

9:27PM (10/16):Mitt: Yeah, I got screwed on that last question.

9:29PM (10/16):Barry: Oh, no you didn’t!

9:31PM (10/16):Bush didn’t do some stuff he should have, and I will. Barry here was right about Bush’s check writing being wack, but he’s been worse! But yeah, I’m no Bush. Not at all. He liked endless wars without approval, acted like an emperor, lied during his campaigns, and stuff. I’m the same guy, but totally different.

9:36PM (10/16):I created over 5 million jobs. Dig that! 5 Million of them! This dude is down on China, but he loves them! Listen, Bush was a saint next to this nut-job! And don’t get me started on social policy!

9:39PM (10/16):Audience guy: I voted for you. But what have you done for me lately. Not sure I trust you, bro.

9:42PM (10/16):I have kicked all sorts of ass, man. If you can’t see that, I don’t know what to tell you. A lot of US are struggling, so I feel your pain. But come on, man. I have been, well, beyond awesome, and I’ve kept all my commitments. This guy is making promises and he’ll keep his too, and he’s nuts, so watch out.

9:46PM (10/16):Moderator: Mr. President, you need to—

9:50PM (10/16):Barry ignores her.

09:52PM (10/16):Listen, this guy hasn’t done anything he said. He’s wrong, he doesn’t get it. Check out his record. Gosh darn it, we’re screwed. The economy’s wrecked and this guy can’t fix it. Golly, he’s bad.

09:54PM (10/16):Listen, we’re gonna switch gears here and talk about some different stuff.

09:56PM (10/16):Audience lady: What you gonna do about the immigrants who are here, but really good?

09:58PM (10/16):I love foreigners. Some of them even cut my grass. Come here legally? Cool. If they don’t, they can get the hell out. And if you let the bad ones cut your yard, I’ll kick your ass! THis guy said he’d do something about these fuzzy foreigners and fix the mess. He didn’t do anything. Basically, he’s a big liar, whom I hate, and you should, too.

09:59PM (10/16):Barry: I did do some good stuff. The people who sneak in that we can’t catch, and obviously can;t can’t, has been greatly reduced. He hates foreigners. I love ’em, especially their family’s votes. He wants to empower the cops to demand ID if they think somebody looks foreign. That’s not right. There should be proof. I meran it’s one thing to execute people without proof, but profiling? Awful!

10:01PM (10/16):Mitt offers another list. “Number 1). Blah. Number 2) Blah, blah. Obama bad. Number 3)I’m great.

10:03PM (10/16):Barry: Candy, interrupt that man! I don’t like him!

10:04PM (10/16):Mitt: This guy has a bunch of foreign investments. Don’t talk about mine!

10:05PM (10/16):Barry: He lied before, when he said that thing, just so you know. (He then flirted, briefly, with American Exceptionalism). I can get stuff done now that I didn’t before. So there!

10:07PM (10/16): Moderator: Don;t go anywhere,, guys. We have another question.
[Where the hell are they going to go? idiot.]

10:09PM (10/16):That Libya shit should never have happened. They wanted more security, who refused it?

10:009M (10/16):Our ambassadors are awesome. I know them all personally, and I am more concerned than anyone. When I heard they were killing folks, I got on the phone and said ‘increase security.’ I made them look into that shit and figure it out. I don’t take shit from anybody. Now Romney here, said he’d do it different. And that was rude. He disagreed with me when the stuff went down. Now I know I didn’t answer the question, but anyway, whatever.

10:11PM (10/16): Five days after the attack,w e still didn’t know shit. Four dead Americans and we;re still scratching our heads. People are killing Americans and this guy goes to Vegas to campaign. His policy sucks. We should have nuked that region long ago. Oh, and Iran. Those bastards! I’ll kill ’em all. While he’s apologizing for America I want to be kicking ass!
10:14PM (10/16):Moderator: Hillary said this was her fault. What’s the deal?

10:14PM (10/16):Barry: Hillary is awesome. I’m offended. I didn’t play politics. I told you all it was an act of terror the day after it happened.

10:16PM (10/16): He called it an act of terror right away, Mitt. So you’re wrong. Shut up.

10:16PM (10/16): Mitt: He took two weeks to call it what it was.

10:18PM (10/16): Audience member: What have you done to take firearms away from American citizens?

10:16PM (10/17): Barry: Look, let’s make sure that only government has certain weapons. there is no reason for people to be able to shoot back. Let’s ban “automatic weapons that kill folks in amazing numbers.”

10:20PM (10/16): Romney: Look, the NRA has just endorsed me, so I’m not about to be honest.I don’t want to ban anything in particular, I’m just against guns in a general way, except that I’m not, and I support the second amendment. But it’s silly to talk about assault weapons when this guy allowed the Fast and Furious program to go ahead.

10:22PM (10/16): Moderator: You were anti0gun before, why’d you flip flop?

10:23PM (10/16): Romney: Well, the pro-gun folks loved our assault weapons ban in Mass. Both sides were thrilled,a nd they came together.

10:24PM (10/16): Barry: This guy flip flopped because he wanted the NRA endorsement, and he’s said so. But it’s important to make sure the crazy don’t get weapons, although that’s impossible. But since we’re discussing gun control, I want to talk about ensuring skilled workers can get jobs.

10:25PM (10/16): Moderator: We need to move along, Mr.President.

10:26PM (10/16): This is important, and I don;t like your rules, so I’m going to keep yacking about nonsense, ’cause this is important.

10:27PM (10/16): Audience: How can we keep businesses here when government keeps running them off?

10:28PM (10/16): Mitt: I want to make America attractive to business [shockingly coherent]. Also, though it’s unrelated, China cheats in trade, and if I say so, I am magically possessed of the authority to put tariffs on Chinese goods. Regulators should attract businesses [wtf?]. Oh, and did I mention China? They suck.

10:30PM (10/16): Barry: We need to lower taxes, but Romney doesn’t think we should tax citizens all over the world. If we don’t keep people in economic chains, everyone will move to China. Romney pioneered moving jobs to China. He sucks.

10:32PM (10/16): Apple makes everything in China. How can we bring that manufacturing back here?

10:33PM (10/16): Romney: Aren’t you listening? China sucks and they cheat. If we make America attractive, they will come home.

10:33PM (10/16): Barry: If we don’t train people, we can’t lead the world economy.

10:34PM (10/16): Mitt: Government doesn’t create jobs. [a kernel of truth, alas]

10:35PM (10/16): Audience guy (another Barry): What’s the biggest bullshit people believe about you?

10:35PM (10/16): Mitt: I love all Americans. This guy lies about me, but I spent my life in the private sector. I avoided Vietnam by being a missionary, I saved the Olympics, and in general, I kick ass. I can be every bit the emperor this guy is, and do it better that Barry. Also, I’ve done stuff as governor.

10:37PM (10/16): Barry: I love capitalism, there’s nothing better than the free enterprise system. I heart risk takers, and all that jazz. But I’m also an unapologetic collectivist, and think everything should be fair, and be shared. Romney thinks everyone’s a parasite. Government does awesome stuff and I want to run shit for one more term!

10:39PM (10/16): Mitt: I’m exhausted from all this lying and double-speaking. Can we be done?

10:40PM (10/16): Barry: Oddly enough, I agree. It’s tiring listening to his bullshit, and countering with my own. Let’s call it a night.

Artus Register

A self-described "objectivist-leaning libertarian deist," Artus Register became a full fledged libertarian after the 2000 elections. An unapologetic freedom-lover, enemy of the state, trouble maker, and permanent subscriber to the "ain't a dime's worth of difference" ideology, Register enjoys few things more than illustrating the hypocrisy of the so-called "left" and "right." When not bellowing from his cyber soapbox, he enjoys Cuban tobacco, good whiskey, and better debate. He lives with his wife in the American southeast where he works as a privacy consultant. You can contact him, if you must, at minarchist[at]