The Vice-Presidential Debate, or “Honey, Can you Get Me the Tums?”


I don’t know how many people will know this term, but I have, what in my family is known as “agita” which is Portuguese for “stir” and basically means I’m agitated or all stirred up.

I had a tough time watching the debate last night for several reasons.

First, and least importantly, just looking at Biden and Ryan is off putting. If I had muted the debate and just watched the split screen of each of their faces I would have been almost as aggravated as I was with the sound on. I would have wondered what was so funny that Biden was LOLing every 10 seconds, and as for Ryan,  I see the type of look he was giving Biden on my teenagers’ faces on a regular basis and it’s the type of look that makes me want to slap it off whatever face I see it on. ( I control myself though!)

This is the look I see on my kids’ faces when they are thinking “How did someone as stupid as you ever manage to keep me alive this long?”

Hey Joe, can we stop the histrionics? (And BTW, you went a little too far on the tooth whitening this time.)

Second, the rhetoric, the rhetoric, the rhetoric. We are going to hear the same dozen or so catch-phrases over the next month until we run screaming from our televisions.

“The 47%”

“The Medicaid Death Panels”

“The tax studies (5 or 6 depending on the debate)”

“The $5 trillion tax cut”

And on and on it goes….and basically any non-partisan website will tell you that the facts and figures behind these catch-phrases are, at best, a stretching of the truth and at worst, out and out lies. Both sides are doing it, and it is such a perversion of what politics should be that it makes my stomach hurt.

But the thing that makes my stomach hurt even more are the folks who are gobbling up these “facts” without questioning them at all.

My FaceBook wall is a funny place. I grew up in New England and I now live in Texas. As you can imagine I have friends all over the political spectrum. So reading the posts regarding the debate was interesting to say the least.

What’s clear to me is that if someone’s mind is already made up, regardless of which side it’s made up for, nothing the other side can say is going to be given any consideration. Meanwhile, all of the BS coming out of the mouth of the candidate that person is backing is accepted without question.

It’s time for us to be more discerning voters. You may be conservative or liberal at heart, and you may back one party for the rest of your life, but that does not mean you should endorse the way the facts about the things most important to your country are distorted. Ask yourself this. If your child came home with a story that was as far off from the reality of what happened as the stories the candidates are telling us, you’d discipline them for lying.

We need to do the same thing with the men and women who mean to lead us.

Please, I beg you, check your facts….not on a website sponsored by any party, or by NBC or FOX, go to factcheck.org or politifact.com/truth-o-meter, or any other nonpartisan website. They are out there. It will probably not change your mind about who you’d like to vote for, but at least you’d be voting on fact rather than fiction.

 

6 thoughts on “The Vice-Presidential Debate, or “Honey, Can you Get Me the Tums?”

  1. I hear you–except for the 47% percent. He really did say that, there isn’t really more than one way to read it, and his figure was correct. Right? Or did you mean Romney’s own statement as it came from him was a stretching of the truth since, obviously, all those veterans and elderly people, and others, don’t consider themselves victims? Either way, it’s a horrible, unfair, incorrect, and jaded view of the world. For me, it says a lot about him.

    • Well really I meant both. As he said it, it was not an accurate representation of the facts since as you say a good portion of that 47% are elderly and military, and working poor who pay payroll taxes but not necessarily income tax. Yes, I think that statement does say a lot about Romney, however, I don’t believe he doesn’t care about that 47% or that he’s only going to work for the 53% who pay income tax. He was at a fundraiser, didn’t know he was being recorded, and was probably blowing sunshine up someone’s butt to get campaign contributions. Not that that is right either, but behind closed doors my guess is that every candidate is saying what they need to and not necessarily what they feel.

      Welcome to politics in America, where funding is king and you have to say what people want to hear to get it.

      • Yeah, I get that and I agree. I worked in politics for several years and I’m used to it. But he riffed on it for a long time and when you choose to spin in a way that discriminates and plays to people’s hate and fears, I think that’s a whole different ball game. I think he’s one of those people who if faced with an individual and his story, would care. But when he thinks in big numbers, in percentages, no–I don’t think he cares. I think he’s of a mindset that masses of people are out to use and abuse the system and just want a free lunch.

  2. I think that for the most part fiscal conservatives believe that while government assistance is useful in certain situations, it has great potential to cause people to become dependent upon it, and that is a point of view that has some validation when it has been studied. Of course there are people who take it a step further and characterize people who need assistance as lazy or moochers (too many actually), but I don’t think Romney is one of them. (This opinion is just from knowing him from MA politics, and I hope it’s true)

    So you’re right, he was probably pandering to someone who was of the moocher mentality and he shouldn’t have.

    My problem with harping on the 47% comment it that it is also pandering. (The initial reporting of the story was important for all the reasons you mentioned. Repeating it over and over is not.) Talking about something he said and not what he intends to do is clouding the issue, and my belief is that people really, REALLY need to be looking at the nuts and bolts of the Romney tax plan, and decipher what they mean when they talk about middle income and small business. How you and I would describe those things as and how they are describing those things as are VERY different.

  3. And thanks for the great debate Jessica! Love it!

  4. 🙂 Any time. I get what you’re saying–believe it or not, I can get almost as annoyed at liberal talking heads, the ones who seem to love the fight, as I do at Republican ones–and until this election, I always rolled my eyes at all the grief Romney got for swaying with every wind (as if people can’t change their minds, etc) and I was sure it was overblown. It might be, but he really seems to have very little solid substance to his moral character. I had the impression he was pretty moderate; he might be, but you wouldn’t know it now. He’s almost a caricature of someone desperate to be president. Though liberals have been plenty mad at Obama for being too centrist, Obama rarely, if ever, pretended to be more liberal than he was during the last election. At least to me, he often came across as pretty moderate and he’s been pretty moderate in office.

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