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View Diary: Reality and the post-debate responses (263 comments)

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  •  I find these lessons learned discomforting... (2+ / 0-)
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    New Dawning, vadasz

    If our conclusion is that:

    1. Obama lost the first debate using an approach that emphasized a calm and reasoned deliberation of visions concerning preferred solutions to MSM chosen issues.

    2. Romney won the first debate in a ground altering landslide by aggressively interrupting both his opponent and the moderator, lying repeatedly even after being rebutted or corrected (though calmly).

    3. Obama and Biden decided to rehearse zingers and posture themselves more aggressively to win the rest of the debates.

    how do you think debates in future elections will look? I mean, if campaigns are looking at this, looking at the way the media reacted to this, and looking at the "public opinion shift" that (never) occurred as a result, they will advise candidates to just go up there and yell political stereotypes and epithets at one another without end. It'll make for great entertainment, but then we'll be scratching our heads wondering why policies have less and less correlation with reality (like now, but worse). Further, we'll wonder why voters remain ill informed on most substantive issues.

    First, as all of the polling data and Kos's own image shows, the race was on a tightening trajectory before the first debate even occurred, so the debate had nothing to do with the race tightening. That was bound to happen. It was probably held a little tighter at the margin for a little longer than it otherwise would have been because liberals rand around with their hair on fire like a bunch of morons instead making some (legitimate) critiques of Romney's performance of their own, and the media wanted a close race, so they kept that narrative running unopposed (remember, the only plausible opposition would have come from our now flaming-headed liberal media representatives). As I've said in diaries and other comments, the most plausible explanation is that after a long, hard-fought primary that left the conservative base unhappy with the nominee they got, in the build-up hype of the first debate, the base started coming home. The race was always going to be close in national polls, so the debate had nothing to do with that. And the debate didn't change the electoral college numbers at all.

    Now, and I've said this before too, so I'm just going to paste it here:

    I feel like what happened is here at Kos we pride ourselves on being "reality-based" and consistently mock Republican refusal to ever own up to any wrong-doing or failures. I think the unfortunate side effect is we are too quick to find "errors" on our own side, as a strange "evidence that we can recognize our screw-ups." I think an unfortunate consequence of this is that we sometimes play into conservatives own hands by acknowledging failures that aren't failures, and I think this debate was one of those times. People will point to polls to reaffirm, "See, no denying it, Obama lost," but in my mind, if we had been more forceful in our defense of what was, in all reality, a strong performance from Obama, the media coverage, and thereby the public perception of the debate, would have been dramatically different.

    Let's take Biden/Ryan as an example. Biden crushed Ryan, both in substance and style, but conservative pundits and the noise machine came to their man's aid and said Ryan looked "calm and presidential" and critiqued Biden's aggressive style. This blunted the effects of the debate. Biden won in the public's mind, but not by a landslide. A similar defense would have been even more legitimate for Obama's first debate, since he had his facts straight (Ryan [and Romney at the first debate] didn't) and laid out a clear and coherent vision for term two (again, Romney didn't in the first debate). We could have acknowledged that Romney would be perceived a winner but offered some forceful push back against the substance, tactics, and even the rude, childish style that Romney used. The acknowledged loss would still have Obama face reality and improve, but we could have stemmed the media narrative that followed all the way to this day about how amazing and tide turning Romney's performance was, thereby discouraging future use of such tactics.

    But no, we'd rather prove we are "reality-based" by leaping at the opportunity to admit defeat from an onslaught of lies and rudeness. And we wonder why our discourse and the range of policies we discuss and problems we focus on isn't better aligned with the nation's needs.....

    Blogs: Twitter: realsteveholt

    by steveholt on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:02:58 PM PST

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