In the final presidential debate, did the former governor win simply by mimicking his opponent?
(The Root) -- The third and final presidential debate of the 2012 election cycle did one thing and one thing only: It made Mitt Romney seem not horrible to people who really want Mitt Romney not to be horrible.
When Romney delivered his foreign policy speech on Oct. 8, I wrote:
It seems like Romney just wants to be seen as at least sorta like Obama. If Romney can come off like Obama, who's competent in the foreign policy sphere, then those who do respect Obama's methods but aren't too excited about the economy can feel good about voting for the guy with no foreign policy or military experience.
He's like Obama without being Obama.
Fast-forward to the final debate last night. It seems as if there isn't much of an argument that President Barack Obama won, but obviously Romney wasn't attempting to brawl. Romney, who has attacked the president heavily throughout this campaign, seemed as if he desperately wanted Obama to stop highlighting his faults. "Attacking me is not a an agenda," Romney repeated. The GOP presidential hopeful just wanted to coast through this last hour and a half of direct face-to-face battling.
For someone actively trying to take Obama's job, Romney agreed with the president quite a bit. The former governor refused to hammer Obama on Libya, since it has been a double-edged sword, at best, for Romney, with CIA dispatches revealing that it seems the White House really didn't know anything more than it said it did. Romney walked into the final debate simply to seem presidential.
You can argue that Romney is wrong, as Obama did, but Romney seemed calm and reasonable because he could agree with the president. See? He's not just some blowhard partisan. He's leader enough to acknowledge when his opponent has done the right thing, and he'd do the same thing, except for that part where Obama is a raving idiot ruining the country. This debate didn't do much outside of allowing Democrats to say "Obama won!" and Republicans to say "Romney looked presidential." Yeah, basically mirroring Obama does make you seem presidential.
I wouldn't be surprised if Romney changed his cologne to whatever Obama wears.
The black church is a staple within the black community, but can it survive as demographics change?
(The Root) -- Whether or not you're religious, it's pretty inarguable that for many black Americans, the black church has played a major role in their lives. Whether attending services themselves or having family members who had major roles within the church, black Americans have an intimate connection with the church.
In a recent article in the Atlantic, Alessandra Ram discussed the ramifications of gentrification in relation to the black church. Now, there is much to discuss about her position on this subject, which I will attempt to tackle at another time. However, we did talk with professor Anthea Butler of the University of Pennsylvania's department of religious studies about this on TWIB Radio. You can find the whole conversation on iTunes, but check out this segment in which Butler posits a reason for some of the decline within the black church.
Some employers are trying to sway the election by scaring their employees. Is that ever OK?
(The Root) -- Wouldn't it be awesome if your boss threatened your job based on a presidential election? What if your boss told you to be prepared that if a certain candidate didn't win, your life could be irrevocably damaged?
Welcome to America 2012.
According to MSNBC's Up With Chris Hayes, Arthur Allen of ASG Software sent out this email to his employees:
Many of you have been with ASG for over 5, 10, 15, and even 20 years. As you know, together, we have been able to keep ASG an independent company while still growing our revenues and customers. But I can tell you, if the US re-elects President Obama, our chances of staying independent are slim to none. I am already heavily involved in considering options that make our independence go away, and with that all of our lives would change forever. I believe that a new President and administration would give US citizens and the world the renewed confidence and optimism we all need to get the global economies started again, and give ASG a chance to stay independent. If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th, and we lose our independence as a company, I don't want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come.
This is real life, people. This isn't even an anomaly.
Then Gawker dropped this jewel last week concerning David Siegel, the founder and CEO of Westgate Resorts:
There is no question that the economy has changed for the worse and we have not seen any improvement over the past four years. In spite of all of the challenges we have faced, the good news is this: The economy doesn't currently pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same Presidential administration. Of course, as your employer, I can't tell you whom to vote for, and I certainly wouldn't interfere with your right to vote for whomever you choose. In fact, I encourage you to vote for whomever you think will serve your interests the best.
See? He can't tell you who to vote for, but if the Negro wins, be prepared for your job to be at risk. Such a lovely boss this guy is! But wait! There's more! This one from the Koch Brothers via InTheseTimes.com:
While we are typically told before each Presidential election that it is important and historic, I believe the upcoming election will determine what kind of America future generations will inherit.
If we elect candidates who want to spend hundreds of billions in borrowed money on costly new subsidies for a few favored cronies, put unprecedented regulatory burdens on businesses, prevent or delay important new construction projects, and excessively hinder free trade, then many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences, including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills.
You know how you hear folks talking about how none of this matters? How the two candidates are the same, so we're screwed if we do, screwed if we don't? Well, apparently some folks don't believe they're the same. Some folks are actively trying to unjustly influence people who simply want to work.
In these hard economic times, there are employers who are willing to tell their workers, "Vote for Obama and suffer the consequences." These members of the 1 percent have a clear agenda and are willing to flex their might to make sure it happens.
Maybe this election is more important than a lot of folks think it is.
TWIB and The Root give postdebate analysis with Anthea Butler.
(The Root) -- Now, this was a fight.
As all of the political junkies around the country grabbed their beverage and snack of choice to watch the presidential slugfest, one thing was perfectly clear: Two weeks make a huge difference. President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney took the stage, and within the first 10 minutes, you could see something was obviously different. Check This Week in Blackness and The Root's postdebate analysis with show favorite professor Anthea Butler.
A new campaign seeks to bring truth to politics with laughter.
(The Root) -- Who cares about the truth?
This political season, the one thing that's been on trial more than any candidate or his actions has been what's actually the truth. Fact-checking websites are more popular than ever, even as their own truth-telling capabilities have been called into question. At this point -- when #SayAnything2012 is in such full swing -- what are we all supposed to do?
Mock the holy hell out of all of it.
Actually ... , a new project that just hit the Net, seeks to do the job of fact-checking while adding a healthy dose of humor. Public figures such as Rosie Perez, W. Kamau Bell, Jay Smooth and others (full disclosure: I'm one of the others) tackle some of the magical half-truths and ridiculousness that have come out of the Romney-Ryan campaign.
Check out the first release from the campaign, featuring Perez tackling Romney's desire to be Latino to help him win the election.