This is from this evening’s Hardball. James Lipton of the Actor’s Studio has some great comments on last night’s debate and the character of the debaters. Very much worth watching to the end.
Those of us who lived under the barely distinguishable leadership of Willard Romney in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (God save it!) know very well that the emotional membrane separating Lofty Willard from Snippy Willard is thin indeed, and that the membrane separating Snippy Willard from Dickhead Willard is well-nigh translucent. Both of those membranes were tested fully here on Tuesday night by the president, by Candy Crowley â€” who has clearly had enough of your bullshit, thank you very much â€” and by the simple fact that certain members of The Help tested the challenger’s ideas and found them wanting and, my dear young man, that simply is not done. And both of those membranes failed like rotting levees in a storm….
…But not even I expected Romney to let his entitled, Lord-of-the-Manor freak flag fly as proudly as he did on Tuesday night. He got in the president’s face. He got in Crowley’s face. That moment when he was hectoring the president about the president’s pension made him look like someone to whom the valet has brought the wrong Mercedes.
Really, I’m sorry I missed it. Pierce finished the post —
Put all those Romneys together and that’s what they sound like, even when they’re talking to the president of the United States. It’s the voice of the bloodless job-killer, the outsourcing Moloch of the industrial midwest, and the guy who poses with his Wall Street cronies with dollar bills in his mouth. People who claim to be interested in “character” should remember that.
The best part is not just that Mittens looked bad, but that he looked bad in ways that most folks who didn’t watch the debate are going to hear about. For example, the moment when Candy Crowley corrected Mitt on what the President said after the Benghazi Consulate attack was replayed on every news show on television, network and cable, I believe. It’s all over the Web as well. You’d have to be cloistered to miss it.
The Right, of course, thinks Crowley was behaving disgracefully by not letting Mittens get away with lying. Some are still arguing that the President didn’t say the consulate attack was an act of terrorism in his Rose Garden speech. Oh, sure, he said,
No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.
… but, they are whining, he didn’t explicitly say “The attack on the Benghazi Consulate was a terrorist act.” When he said “acts of terror,” he might have been referring to the 9/11 attacks of eleven years ago. And he said “terror,” not “terrorism,” so it doesn’t count.
Seriously. That’s what they’re going with. And then they get mad when normal people make fun of them.
Reminds me of …
Update: Josh Marshall found another rightie quibble —
Now Romneyâ€™s allies are trying to recover the fumble on his behalf by saying well, sure he uttered the word â€˜terrorâ€™. But thatâ€™s just a word. Look at the context. He also mentioned the video. And videos donâ€™t have anything to do with terror! In other words, but, but, but â€¦ the video!
Through the lengthy and squalid effort of the Republican party and its press allies to exploit the attack last month in Libya, the centerpiece has been the alleged magical powers of the words â€˜terrorâ€™ and â€˜terroristâ€™. Itâ€™s reminiscent of Rudy Giulianiâ€™s endless yakking in 2008 that the biggest problem with his Democratic opponents was that they didnâ€™t say â€œ9/11â€ enough, as though one grapples most effectively with the threats to the country by the endless repetition of buzzwords. … The Romney campâ€™s angle has been that Romney is Churchill incarnate because heâ€™s saying terror, terror, terror and is too big a man to try to get a read on whether the video played any role.
Live by the buzzword, die by the buzzword. Itâ€™s been a nonsensical proposition from the start to imagine that foreign policy seriousness is defined by being the first one to hit the â€˜terrorâ€™ buzzer like youâ€™re a contestant on Jeopardy. But the Romney camp laid the trap. And tonight Mitt walked right into it.