The second presidential debate is done. Perhaps you’re searching for some independent analysis. You’re in the right place. But if you’re a Romney supporter looking to feel good, you’d better keep moving.
I call the shots as I see ’em. And from my perspective, Romney was on the defensive almost from the beginning. He fell quickly behind and he never recovered fully. He did all he could do, and his performance was not poor, but he was outnumbered.
Well, I’ll never be able to prove it, but my intuition tells me that there was a backroom deal struck somewhere. It may come out one day or it may never see the light of honest analysis. But somehow, in a hidden corner of the media world, a deal was struck. Who made the deal? I don’t know. What were the specifics? I don’t know that either. But tonight’s debate “moderator,” Candy Crowley, was somehow invovled.
Call me an oddball if you wish. Write me off as a conspiracy theorist if it makes you sleep better. On the other hand, you can think back to tonight’s debate. Or, if you missed it, watch rerun segments as they are played. There was no moderator. Candy Crowley was an Obama cheerleader, not a moderator. She might as well have been his speech coach.
Yes, she did fulfill some duties traditionally assigned to a moderator. She tried to keep both candidates to their time limits. But she more often showed deference to President Obama while being sharper and quicker to cut off Governor Romney.
Right now, Facebook and Twitter are dancing with Democrats and Republicans declaring “their guy” the winner. Political debates have no winner unless the voting constituency emerges better informed by way of a genuinely fair debate. That didn’t happen tonight. Candy Crowley didn’t come to the debate for the sake of fairness or information. She came to see Barack Obama win. She came to see him recuperate from his dismal meltdown in the previous debate. She came to put Mitt Romney in his place.
To demonstrate this we have only to look at the section of the debate in which the recent Libyan fiasco came to the discussion. Our ambassador was murdered and our consulate was burned. Our ambassador had requested increased security. Newspapers had suggested a terrorist attack was possible. The anniversary of 9/11 was approaching. Then all of these facts came together in a “perfect storm” of violence. The president of Libya called it terrorism. The press around the world, even before the event, referred to it as terrorism. It was plain as day.
Yet Barack Obama appeared in the Rose Garden of the White House and blamed an anti-Islamic video produced in the United States. Then the producer of the video was arrested. To me it sounds uncomfortably like the actions of a two-bit dictator.
Sure, in the Rose Garden, Obama mentioned terrorism. Of course he did. But he never linked the Libyan events with terrorism. In fact, over the course of a couple of weeks he lectured Americans about their portrayal of Islam more than he lectured Islamic extremists on their violent behavior. His administration repeatedly disavowed the video with more energy and gusto than they condemned the murder of our ambassador. What lesson do we take from this? It’s better to kill a foreign dignitary than to produce a video that some people with guns find offensive.
When Romney made this known in tonight’s debate, Ms. Crowley took the side of Obama. She intervened. She overruled. She took sides. She saw the entire thing through the lens of the Obama explanation. She attempted to make Romney look like a fool. And to all except those who are firmly in the Romney camp she succeeded.
Wait, who was debating tonight? Crowley and Romney? No, I don’t think so.
Shame on Candy Crowley. The role of moderator in a political debate is a sacred one. Everyone has biases. Everyone has opinions. No one is perfect. But the honest judge and honest moderator understands the civic duty of allowing the citizenry to hear candidates as cleanly, clearly, and directly as possible. Taking sides is a violation of a sacred duty. In the first debate Jim Lehrer assisted Obama as he struggled to complete his thoughts aloud. Their minds seemed in unison like the Vulcan Mind Meld seen on reruns of Star Trek. Tonight, however, Candy Crowley went an egregious step further. She obviously tooks sides. She offered what she believed to be a correction to one of the debaters. She lied for President Obama.
So what was Romney to do? How was he to save face as a presidential candidate? Honesty. It’s always the best policy. He should have stopped the debate and put his foot down. He should have called her on it. By refusing to do so he looked nearly as meek and chastised as Obama looked in the first debate.
Mr. Romney, is this the strong stance you’ll take to overbearing dictators? Stop worrying about how you’ll look to the meek and undecided. Be presidential. Be strong. Be the man who puts the biased members of the pro-Obama press into their place. This wish-washy “nice-guy” stuff is what scares constitutionalists away from you. If you can’t stand up to the likes of pathetic Candy Crowley, how will you stand up for the Constitution?
This, my friends, is a terrible and fearful moment. When government authority and media bias team up to instruct the citizens in “truth,” nothing good can come of it. Our only hope as a nation of free persons is to have a media that functions as an independent, critical arm of investigation. Every move by government must be analyzed and questioned, checked into, criticized with a deep and discerning eye. Candy Crowly showed us once again what we already knew. She confirmed for us that, for the most part, the United States has no such media.
Author Bruce Coville may have said it best: “Withholding information is the essence of tyranny. Control of the flow of information is the tool of the dictatorship.”
I care not what party you belong to. Every American should fear this development. We have crossed yet another Rubicon. We have inched ever so closer to totalitarianism. Is there no end to the liberties that the current administration and its media allies will tread upon?