Despite the falling national unemployment numbers and increasing job security, it turns out Big Bird might be joining the unemployment line. During the presidential debate last Wednesday, Oct. 3, Republican nominee Mitt Romney said he would end the subsidy to the television station PBS and end the public funding of shows like Sesame Street.
He continued by saying, “I’m not going to keep on spending money on things and borrow money from China to pay for it.” As it turns out, Sesame Street receives $8 million a year from the government out of the $450 million allocated towards PBS. This may seem like a lot of money, but to a government with a $16 trillion debt, this sum of money is change lost in between the couch cushions.
In 2011, the United States spent $711 billion on military expenditures and nearly $1 trillion in welfare programs. So why is Romney so revved up about a giant yellow bird teaching young kids how to count? Romney knows PBS is insignificant to the federal budget. It is because of this that Romney’s victory is even more embarrassing to President Obama. You know you had a bad night when your opponent came out on top of you over a fabricated issue. This is why Obama lost the debate.
After a humiliating defeat by Romney in the first of three presidential debates, a new Pew Research poll came out finding Romney ahead of Obama among likely voters by four points. This debate was the first chance for millions of Americans to get their first look at both of the candidates toe-to-toe. Many voters don’t pay attention to presidential politics until the actual debates, and the new Pew poll makes this clear. The same study found 76 percent of respondents thought Romney had won the debate.
And no, Obama didn’t lose the debate because he couldn’t sufficiently articulate a response to Romney’s dramatization of a non-issue. He lost because he let Romney walk all over him. The extended coverage of Big Bird’s firing is an affirmation of this. It shows the president didn’t utter a single phrase more memorable than an irrelevant 0.0000005 percent of our nation’s debt. That is $8 million within $16 trillion. Are there no other expensive and wasteful programs worth cutting? Maybe not. Maybe Romney’s new campaign slogan will be, “Obama got Bin Laden, but I’ll get Big Bird.”
Then again, there is plenty of blame to be placed on the president. For all of his great oratory performances over the years, he is simply not a great debater. It had been four years since his last debate and Romney had been through ten in the past year alone. Nevertheless, it makes zero sense as to why Obama would let Romney steam roll right over him.
In an attempt to avoid seeming arrogant, he came off as being weak — a common Republican talking point which is appearing to make a lot of sense. Maybe Georgetown University Professor and civil rights advocate Michael Eric Dyson was right. Maybe President Obama didn’t want to come off as being that angry black guy conservatives are attempting to paint him as. Maybe the Denver, Co. altitude got to his head. Maybe the president is simply a giant wimp who is too afraid to call out Romney on his lies. Either way, Obama’s subpar performance has dramatically set him back.
Despite my criticisms of the president, I sympathize with his plight. People who have already decided to vote for Mitt Romney are living in an impenetrable bubble. What they don’t understand is Romney’s opinion on policy changes depending on who he is talking to. For the past year, Romney was “an extremely conservative governor,” as he claimed. Last Wednesday, he didn’t want to repeal the Affordable Care Act and no longer believes in trickle-down economics. In that respect, it makes sense Obama was so taken aback by the most recent Mitt Romney. “When I got onto the stage I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney,” said Obama.
In any event, this last debate has caused a giant headache for me. This migraine has not been caused by my inability to decide on whether I want to vote for this new Romney versus the liberal Obama. Rather, my head hurts due to the amount of times I have banged it against the wall evry time Romney attempted to feed the American people a hefty dose of lies. As it turns out, America loves their lies served with a smile.