Barack Obama and John Boehner met two days ago and their aides are remaining mum, other than rumors that Obama made a proposal Sunday and Boehner just made a counter proposal today. I can’t imagine much of a real deal taking place at this time, though perhaps a small agreement can come about while kicking the rest of the cans down the road months into 2013, per usual. We can only wait and see.
In the meantime, anyone like to watch prize fighting? I love a great fight and the Pacquiao-Marquez one Saturday night was great, a battle between two skilled warriors dramatically ended by one Marquez punch in the 6th round (*1). Great fights are rare, but so is real political debate these days. Mostly we have two sides flailing their talking points about, often with feckless moderators allowing lies and lesser truth misdemeanors to score hits below the belt.
An exception would be the Jon Stewart interview of Governor Chris Christie a few days ago. Stewart has been called the Walter Chronkite of our time, which I think is fitting in that our political scene has literally become a joke over the past 30 years or so, and parody is the best way to illuminate its phoniness. Christie, on the other hand, has been called a rarity by newsman Bob Sheaffer: “A politician who actually answers questions.” In short, two men worth listening to when they tangle.
While no knock out punches were thrown, there was lots of sparring in what was a real debate. Some of that debate was edited to fit the show, but you can see it in its entirety at the link shown at the bottom of this post.
There were three segments, like rounds, totaling about 26 minutes, but you can watch each separately if you don’t have the time or inclination to watch them all at once. In the first round there were mostly love pats, two Jersey boys having some fun and building rapport, including Christi proudly telling of a hug he recently got from Bruce Springsteen.
Things got serious in the second round, though, as Stewart kept punching away at the Republican tendency to see things others need as “mooching” entitlements. He said more than once that cancer for someone who lacks health insurance is a personal example of what a hurricane is to many, a tragedy as in New Jersey, stating that Republicans can see the need of relief for a whole region in an emergency but not the calamity of an individual who can’t afford health insurance. Christie parried those blows and got in a few shots of his own in a debate that helped illuminate the issues involved.
In the third round, there was less punching and more badinage once again with the two agreeing on one thing in particular: Real political debate seldom breaks out anymore.
Well, it broke out here, which is why I recommend your taking a glance via this Huffington Post ink.
(*1) A related political tidbit: Mitt and Ann Romney had seats ringside compliments of the chair of the Nevada State Boxing commission. I didn’t know he liked boxing, but there’s a lot I don’t know about him because he has wanted it that way. I’m waiting for someone to shed light on the matter with a book possibly titled: Who was Mitt Romney?