Whatever, let’s talk entitlements. Obama talked about his grandmother and some other boring stuff. Romney brought up his prospective changes to Medicare by prefacing with, “If you’re 60 or older, you don’t have to listen any further.” That was weird. So Obama brought it back to the numbers and basically said insurance companies are pretty clever, and they sort of screw people over a lot. Romney countered by explaining how private plans allow people to choose their own insurance companies. It was hard not to notice people in the bar complaining about being able to afford said insurance. Mitt believed it was best to bring capitalism into the Medicare world, because as he put it, “I believe in competition.” I don’t know how chemotherapy works as a sporting event, but I’m always up for seeing something new.
The two were throwing around the term Obamacare like everybody knew what it was. I guarantee you right now that more people know about Kanye’s sextape than what Obamacare even means. Obama discussed preexisting conditions and random rules insurance companies use to capitalize off of people’s sicknesses. He also pointed out that he’d seen a model similar to Obamacare work before, in Massachusets, after a governor named Mitt Romney implemented it.
People are throwing garbage at Romney’s side of the screen.
They were. People were grumbling, “Fuck this guy,” and tossing napkins and other harmless material at a guy on TV. Romney didn’t think we needed more teachers. Someone yelled “TEACHERS!” and threw a straw into the air. Mitt somehow reacted by rejecting the idea of him not liking great teachers, following up with something about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, none of which stopped the crowd. Obama used the word “extrapolating” while Romney smiled, and no one knew why was grinning. Who told Mitt to smile non-stop? Was that part of the plan or was it a reaction? What must it have been like to be in his debate preparation classes? I couldn’t even hear what he was saying anymore, people were jeering at him too loudly.
I needed a cigarette. The girl next to me was smoking a Parliament and I asked her very candidly if she might have one she could spare. I’d heard Southern hospitality was a real thing, and she was very quick to validate that claim. We shared her last smoke as we watched Obama talk about wanting to make college affordable, an interesting topic for everybody with gnarly student loans. Romney had said students should be open to borrowing money from their parents to help pay for school, like that was just some option that hadn’t occurred to us. How many Americans are have trust funds anyway? The number might be high in Williamsburg but we were in New Orleans, where a trust fund is myth or a plot device on Girls. Trash continued to fly at Mitt even when Obama was talking. He said something about how Romney hadn’t displayed the willingness to say no the extreme wing of his party, inciting a cheer throughout the bar. Finally, it was time for their closing statements.
VICE Magazine, Mike Abu, October 4, 2012. Link.
Interesting to hear another take on Wednesday night from a debate party of sorts in New Orleans.