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Some Highlights From the Second Presidential Debate, Translated Into English:

October 19, 2012

QUESTION: “Mr. President, Governor Romney, as a 20-year-old college student, all I hear from professors, neighbors and others is that when I graduate, I will have little chance to get employment. What can you say to reassure me, but more importantly my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?”

ROMNEY: Thanks everybody who came to the debate, hosts, opponent, many many thank yous.  Tells sob story about recent graduate working three part time jobs.  Says, “we have to make sure that we make it easier for kids to afford college.  And also make sure that when they get out of college, there’s a job.”  (No shit.)  Mentions program in Massachusetts where you had to pass an exam to graduate high school, and if your score was in the top quarter, you got four years tuition free at any public college in the state.  Does not, however, propose creating a similar nationwide program.  “I want you to be able to get a job […] I know what it takes to create good jobs again.”  No plans on how to do this mentioned.

TRANSLATION: “I have no idea how to fix your problem, so first I’m going to run out the clock by saying thank you to everybody.  Then I’m going to tell a personal anecdote to show that I, like, understand.  That scholarship program in Massachusetts was pretty awesome, but I can’t actually say let’s do this because people in my party will all scream at me if I propose spending government money on anything besides bombs.”

OBAMA: Talks about how smart he was to bail out the US auto industry.  Says the government will give tax breaks to companies that create US jobs, invest in green energy, and use money gained by taxing the rich more and ending the wars to rebuild roads, bridges and schools.

TRANSLATION: “Unlike Romney, I’m not afraid to spend government money on stuff.  Here’s some useful stuff I plan to spend government money on.  There’s probably a job for you in one of those things at least.”

***

QUESTION: “Your energy secretary, Steven Chu, has now been on record three times stating it’s not policy of his department to help lower gas prices. Do you agree with Secretary Chu that this is not the job of the Energy Department?”

OBAMA & ROMNEY: Obama says, “we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars.  That means that in the middle of the next decade, any car you buy, you’re going to end up going twice as far on a gallon of gas.”  (Assuming it’s a new car.  Can you afford a new car?)  “We doubled clean energy production like wind and solar and biofuels.”  Accuses Romney of letting “oil companies write the energy policies,” and thus ceding the “jobs of the future” to China and Germany.  Romney accuses Obama of killing jobs in the oil and coal industries via excessive environmental regulation.  “I’ll get America and North America energy independent. I’ll do it by more drilling, more permits and licenses.”  Moderator Candy Crowley tries to get them to answer the actual question by rephrasing it: “Mr. President, let me just see if I can move you to the gist of this question, which is, are we looking at the new normal? I can tell you that tomorrow morning, a lot of people in Hempstead will wake up and fill up and they will find that the price of gas is over $4 a gallon.  Is it within the purview of the government to bring those prices down, or are we looking at the new normal?”

Romney and Obama get into a big argument about Obama’s record on drilling on public land.  Romney says gas was $1.86 a gallon when Obama took office and is now $4.00 a gallon.  Obama says that’s because when he took office, the economy was on the verge of collapse.  They get into another argument, this time about wind energy jobs.

TRANSLATION: “We don’t really give a shit what you pay for gas.  We care way more about attacking evil polluters/evil environmentalists/each other than about lowering the price of gas.”

***

QUESTION: After Obama points out that Romney’s budget plan is weak on specifics about how to pay for the proposed tax cuts, and highly implausible in terms of basic math, Crowley turns to Romney and says hey, what about that?

ROMNEY: “Well of course they add up. I — I was — I was someone who ran businesses for 25 years, and balanced the budget. I ran the Olympics and balanced the budget. I ran the — the state of Massachusetts as a governor, to the extent any governor does, and balanced the budget all four years.”  Says that Obama has doubled the deficit in four years as president, despite his campaign trail promises to cut it.  “I know what it takes to balance budgets. I’ve done it my entire life.”

TRANSLATION: “You can trust me!  I’m a CEO!”

***

OBAMA: [referring to health coverage for contraceptives, Planned Parenthood funding, child care tax credits] “These are not just women’s issues. These are family issues. These are economic issues.”

TRANSLATION: “Funding women’s healthcare isn’t just about making sure slutty single women can have sex.  It’s about making sure married moms can afford to buy toilet paper and groceries.” (He has to say it this way because social conservatives think single women don’t buy toilet paper and groceries.  We use the money we save via government-provided healthcare to buy cute dresses and shoes, and we only eat and go to the bathroom in fancy restaurants and cocktail bars.  Either that or we deserve to starve, as punishment for having sex.)  (I can hear you asking: what about single moms?  What do they deserve?  Answer: depends where they fall on the Single Mom Morality Continuum, from “9/11 widow” to “black”.)

***

OBAMA: “Look, when we think about immigration, we have to understand there are folks all around the world who still see America as the land of promise.”

TRANSLATION: Freudian slip.  It isn’t.

***

QUESTION: “President Obama, during the Democratic National Convention in 2008, you stated you wanted to keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. What has your administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?”

OBAMA: “we have to enforce the laws we’ve already got, make sure that we’re keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, those who are mentally ill […] part of it is also going deeper and seeing if we can get into these communities and making sure we catch violent impulses before they occur.”

TRANSLATION: “Mentally ill = criminal.  If I am president, we will lock even more people up for their thoughts than we do already.”

ROMNEY: “We need moms and dads, helping to raise kids. Wherever possible the — the benefit of having two parents in the home, and that’s not always possible. A lot of great single moms, single dads. But gosh to tell our kids that before they have babies, they ought to think about getting married to someone, that’s a great idea.” (Keep in mind, this is in answer to a question about assault weapons.)

TRANSLATION: “Social conservatives hate me because I’m from Massachusetts, and my being Mormon instead of evangelical probably doesn’t help either.  So I have to find a way to suck up to them.  When all else fails, blame the sluts!”

***

In conclusion…

…fuck you both.

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