Tonight’s the night. We have officially reached the first debate and the last leg of the 2012 election. Opinions on what Mitt Romney ought to do range from one extreme to the next. Should he play up on the Mr. Nice Guy thing? Or should he come out swinging? Will he look like a “birther” if he hit’s too hard? How will he make himself look warm and approachable? For my part, I think we’re over-thinking this a bit. When it comes to how he approaches Barack Obama tonight, Mitt Romney has the upper-hand. He doesn’t need to play a role or come up with snappy insults. If he is willing to just speak the truth plainly, he can land serious blows to the President’s credibility and come off looking like the only adult in the room.
I believe that Barack Obama is vulnerable to attack on many fronts, his unpopular healthcare bill chief among them. But I think RomneyCare might cause that issue to come out as a draw in the eyes of the viewers. So, excluding ObamaCare, I came up with a list of the top four areas that I would like to see Mitt Romney attack tonight. They are in no particular order.
1. Foreign Policy
Yes this is a domestic policy debate, but they always at least touch on foreign policy. And this should be an easy place for Mitt Romney to gain the upper-hand. And yes, I know, Obama got Osama. But, let’s face it, it’s not as though that was a difficult decision to make. I’m not aware of any pro-Osama wing of American politics and I’m certainly not aware of anyone who held or ran for the office of President that would have made a different decision. It was the right thing to do, but in terms of a judgement call it’s right up there with being anti-cancer. Nevertheless, let’s grant the President that one victory. And only that one, because on every other issue, where he has been forced to take a side, he has taken the wrong one. He has slighted our allies in the UK and Poland. He has snubbed, ignored, bad-mouthed, and been a down-right lousy host to the Prime Minister of our only real ally in the Middle East, Israel. But, boy is he a charmer when talking to Hugo Chavez. He keeps warning Netanyahu not to go to war with Iran, but has refused to draw a line in the sand with Ahmadinejad. War in Iraq, not worth it. But in Afghanistan, where no has been successful, ever, he thinks we should stick around for a while. The pro-American/Western protesters in Iran, who wanted to overthrow an evil regime dedicated to wiping out Western society and all of Israel, weren’t worthy of our support, but we went all-in for the Muslim Brotherhood backed “Arab Spring.” Stopping the worst people in the world from building nuclear weapons is important to him in speeches, but never in actions. Tearing down our missile defense system, on the other hand, is something he doesn’t want to talk openly about, but something he may be willing to do “after the election,” when he has “more flexibility.” He doesn’t want to engage in the trade war we’re already in with China by taxing their goods, but he’ll punish American business with higher taxes. He doesn’t want to build a pipeline to our ally Canada, but gave Brazil $2 billion dollars to develop their oil fields. His administration warns that tea-party members could be potential terrorists, but he calls the Fort Hood shooting “workplace violence.” It’s all upside-down. He has taken the position opposite to that of common sense on every issue. Romney doesn’t need to make the case that Barack Obama has bad motives or that harbors some sort of anti-Western sentiment. He just needs to show that, whatever the reason, Barack Obama’s instincts are off when it comes to foreign policy. Maybe it’s intentional, maybe he’s just naive. It doesn’t matter. Mitt Romney’s only concern should be conveying to the American people that President Obama can’t be trusted to protect our interests against foreign bodies. Mitt Romney may lack experience, but he at least knows our friends from our enemies. Barack Obama’s only “experience” is in making bad decisions.
This ought to be a big issue in the next three debates. Actually, it ought to be a big issue everywhere. Presidents Nixon, Clinton, Kennedy, and Bush have all drawn accusations of running a corrupt administration, some justified and some not. But even Nixon’s Watergate and Clinton’s Whitewater/Lewinsky scandals pale in comparison to the dealings of our current White House resident. We’re talking about an administration where the Solyndra, GSA, Delphi, GM bondholders, Boeing, and numerous ACORN scandals are the “little stuff.” The Department of Justice has racked up a lengthy list of scandals in the past for years, the most well-known being the Fast and the Furious debacle. The body count from that one now sits at about 300. Three hundred. When was the last time a President was accused of letting hundreds of civilians die in order to pass a new regulation? Yeah, Nixon’s not so bad now is he? It’s so outrageous that many Americans flatly refuse to believe it’s true, despite the overwhelming evidence and lack of any alternative explanation from the White House. They just simply say, “Nah, it can’t be true.” This is where Romney needs to force an answer from the President. “If this wasn’t a set-up to push for gun control, what was it? If it was supposed to be a gun-monitoring operation, why was ‘monitoring the guns’ prohibited? Why would you use Executive Privilege to protect documents you claim to have never seen? And if this wasn’t done with your knowledge and approval, why haven’t you fired anyone?” He should carry that same tone into the discussion of the recent wave of foreign policy scandals. “Mr. President, if you’re Administration wasn’t behind leaking classified documents, why won’t you demand or even allow a special prosecutor to investigate? The lives of both Americans and confidential foreign informants are now at risk because of the leaks, don’t you want to know who’s making you look bad?” The recent attacks on American embassies and the death of Christopher Stevens deserve similar scrutiny. “Do you really expect Americans to believe that uncoordinated, unplanned attacks spontaneously erupted in 27 locations, on the anniversary of September 11th, in response to a video that most of the protestors have neither the computers nor the internet access to have seen? Why did your administration first claim to have had no prior warning before the attack when that has been proven to be untrue? Why were the warnings of the coming attacks and the request for more security from Ambassador Steven ignored? Why weren’t American citizens warned to flee those countries before the attack?” It might be a bit abrupt, but these circumstances demand a direct line of questioning. The implications of these scandals are so outrageous that asking about them publicly and on live TV is the only way to get people to pay attention. We don’t want to believe that a sitting president could be involved with something so reprehensible, so it’s easy to brush them off as conspiracy theories. That is, until someone forces you to think about it logically for a second. When that happens, the corruption of the Obama Administration quickly goes from a tinfoil-hat fantasy to the only plausible explanation. If Romney can force a discussion on even one of these issues, viewers will see for themselves, without the filter of the media, that the President cannot produce a credible defense of his actions. And when all of the evidence suggests that our Commander and Chief has willingly allowed people to die for some political aim, he better have one heck of an explanation. And from everything I’ve seen, he doesn’t.
Popular wisdom would lead you to believe that abortion is one issue that could really hurt Mitt Romney and he should avoid it at all costs. But here’s the thing, that isn’t possible. There is no way that he gets out of this debate without the moderator and Barack Obama attacking him as an anti-choice extremist. It’s going to happen. But instead of backpedaling this issue, like Republicans often do, he ought to hit back hard. The Democratic party has adopted the most extreme position on abortion that we’ve seen. Not only is it morally repugnant, but it is about as un-American as you can get.
The official DNC platform for 2012 includes “unequivocal” support of a “woman’s right” to have an abortion, at any stage of the pregnancy, “regardless of ability to pay.” Furthermore, it goes on to say that Democrats will “oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.” It would be easy to brush this off as a typical pro-choice position, but it isn’t. For one thing, there is a big difference between something being legal and something being a right. Saying that a woman has the right to have an abortion means she is entitled to it, that it already belongs to her, as is confirmed by the “regardless of ability to pay” line. That means that if she can’t afford it, we must provide it for her. The Democrats aren’t even denying that’s what it means anymore, they are celebrating it. This is their big push for women’s healthcare “access.” Now add that with the reference to opposition of “any and all efforts to weaken” that right. Democrats have quietly supported state efforts to eliminate minor-consent laws for some time, and have been pretty successful doing it. Currently, only 24 states still require that a parent gives consent, many of which either don’t enforce the law, or have a near 100% record for judicial bypass of parental consent. For parents who are fortunate enough to live in a state that still enforces these laws, this platform is a frightening development. The unqualified opposition to restrictions on abortion seems to signal a move toward a more aggressive nation-wide approach to removing parents from the equation, a notion that does not sit well with most voters. According to Gallup, 71% percent of Americans believe that anyone under 18 should be required by law to have parental consent before obtaining an abortion and a CNN poll found that 61% of Americans oppose using any tax money to pay for abortions. But that’s only the start. We also have the left’s renewed crusade for late-term abortions, and that’s where the numbers get really bad for the Democrats. The same Gallup poll mentioned above showed that 64% percent supported banning all abortions, except to save the mother’s life, in the last six months of pregnancy. And, in all of the polls conducted by Gallup since 2000, support for third-trimester abortions has never risen above 10%. Ten percent. Now ask yourself, of those 10%, how many of them actually know what a partial-birth abortion is? I’m guessing not many. In fact, I bet that number would be cut in half if people were actually informed about what happens in a late-term abortion (if you aren’t sure yourself, there is an excellent, but not overly graphic, description here). You would be hard-pressed to find people on the street who though taxpayer-funded, partial-birth abortions for unaccompanied minors was a grand idea, but somehow the Democrats managed to pack a three-day convention with speakers who all hold the same view. Yeah, the same group of people who booed God and Israel, stood up and cheered for speakers from organizations like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, all of whom are open supporters of the radical abortion agenda. The only person to the left of the DNC’s official platform, is the President himself who voted twice to allow doctors to kill babies after they’re born alive! The last thing Barack Obama wants is to have to clarify and defend his feelings about unborn children. Mitt Romney must be willing to turn the discussion back around. “I am pro-life and I make no apologies for it. What about you Mr. President? Care to clarify your positions on taxpayer-funded abortions, partial-birth abortions, and parental notification? Where exactly do you stand on forcing people to violate their religious beliefs and contribute financially to abortion?” This election has pulled the veil off of the “personally pro-life, but publicly pro-choice” position. It’s not possible. The Democrats are actively trying to force all taxpayers into participating, at least financially, in the killing of unborn children. They are undermining parental rights by passing out the Morning After Pill in school and allowing children to obtain a sometimes fatal procedure without their parent’s knowledge. There is nothing “enlightened” or “moderate” about a voter who overlooks abortion in November and it is naive and irresponsible to think otherwise. When the abortion issue comes up, Mitt Romney needs to make it clear that one way or the other, we are all voting on abortion this year.
4. The Economy
Under the leadership of the Obama Administration, the average household income has dropped to 1995 levels, while the cost of living sits firmly at 2012 levels. The we’ve-got-to-spend-money-to-save-money experiment has, shockingly, resulted in jaw-dropping debt. Stimulus I, Stimulus II, Omnibus, the “Jobs Bill,” and Quantitave Easing I,II, &III have failed to lower unemployment, but have succeeded in increasing our debts to China and drastically devaluing our currency. The President’s “green jobs” initiatives have failed to create jobs, but instead have resulted in a series of taxpayer investments in bankrupt and abandoned companies. His tougher stance on fossil fuels has not ignited innovation for “more sustainable” energy, it has, big surprise, led to higher energy costs. “Saving the auto industry” turned out to mean “ripping off investors to pay off unions.” And what did we get for our investment in Government Motors? A Chevy Volt that costs taxpayers $250,000 for every one sold. The point is, when it comes to the economy, the presidency of Barack Obama has been an abject failure. And that is the point that Mitt Romney has to make. It doesn’t matter if the viewers think the recession was all George W. Bush’s fault, President Obama has done nothing right in dealing with it. Under his care, every aspect of the economy is worse off than it was before. And there is absolutely no logical reason to think that a second term will make things better. The Democrats had complete control of both houses of Congress for two years; the President could have passed any bill he wanted. And he did. President Obama did exactly what he wanted to do and, according to him, got the results he wanted to get. He says things are looking good. Now, he wants to do more of the same. We’re not talking about a “Phase Two” where we switch things up a little bit, we’re talking about a Stimulus 4, a fifth year with no budget, and more “investments” in non-existent green jobs. The only thing that might be a little different this time is all of the new taxes we’re going to have to pay to cover the cost of ObamaCare and make up for the first four years of operating without a budget. It’s simple. If four years of Obamanomics left us with higher unemployment, lower wages, and soaring cost-of-living expenses, why would four more years be any better? Barack Obama didn’t inherit this mess. He ran for office. He applied for the job, competed for the job, and interviewed in a series of debates for the job. He failed to do the job he was hired for. Period.
I fully recognize that tonight’s debate will require a much gentler touch and sophisticated tongue than I am able to employ. I just hope that Mitt Romney won’t overthink this too much. He can’t be overly concerned with his image. The left will paint him as an out-of-touch, cold-hearted, rich guy no matter what he says. He is going to have a lot jabs thrown his way tonight and he shouldn’t be afraid to hit back. He may not be able to convince people that Barack Obama is a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist, but he doesn’t have to. He just has to show that the economy has been destroyed under his care. He doesn’t need to convince people that the corruption in the Obama Administration is part of some large shadowy conspiracy, but he does need to call the President out on his dishonesty and publicly ask for the truth. He doesn’t need to ascribe motives to Barack Obama’s foreign policy or his abortion policy. All Mitt Romney needs to do is to shine a light on the things that the media has glossed over the last four years. The viewers will draw their own conclusions from there. The facts are on his side. He doesn’t need to convince people that President Obama is the Manchurian Candidate, just that he’s a lousy President. And who wants four more years of that?