The July 26 “Houston Chronicle”, “Debate topics, dates set” reports “the committee sponsoring this fall’s three presidential debates” has set dates, locations and topics (domestic policy and foreign policy) for all three debates.
In a fair (Forget “perfect”!) world, the 2012 Presidential debates would feature equally tough questions for both candidates about their presidential qualifications and, for Obama, specific questions about his record as president.
Realistically – given the near total abdication of 2008 mainstream media and debate “moderators” to seriously challenge then-Senator Obama about his presidential qualifications choosing instead to allow him to spout empty rhetoric – there’s no reason to believe mainstream media will not again roll over and replicate their performance in 2012, this time probably chalking it up to “deference to the office of the presidency”.
Our challenge is to develop a grass roots campaign and opinion swell to demand moderators ask each candidate equally tough and searching questions, If Obama wants Romney to provide income tax records, require Obama unseal his college and university transcripts along with other documents he has ordered sealed,
We can be assured the “usual debate moderators” are salivating over tough questions they have for Mitt. So, what is urgently needed is a successful grass roots campaign to generate a flood of communications to the debate committee providing questions for Obama to answer about his record as President in his first term rather than rhetoric about what he plans to accomplish when he “has greater flexibility”.
Readers are invited to add their questions and inundate the committee with them. Here are my suggested questions for Obama.
- Mister President, as a tax-fairness advocate, do you think fairness should also extend to presidential campaigns in the form of “truth in advertising”?
- If so, please explain why your campaign continued to accuse Mr. Romney of outsourcing jobs and illegal reporting to the SEC after at least two media fact-checkers advised your campaign staff they had falsely accused Romney.
- Was it because you had gained traction with those false charges and wanted to firmly implant the charges in the minds of potential voters?
- Mister President, you have continually blamed former President Bush for “the economic mess” you inherited. However, Democrats controlled the U.S. House and Senate during 2006 and 2007 when you were the junior Senator from Illinois.
- Since Congress handles appropriations and is responsible for oversight on tax funded government agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, how is it possible to place all the blame on Bush
- when you and other Democrats contributed by insisting: home ownership was a right for minorities and the underprivileged; lending institutions develop mortgages to make housing affordable?
- Mister President, two Constitutional questions, as a Constitutional scholar, please tell us if the preamble to that document begins with “I, the President” or “We, the people”.
- The second Constitutional question: since you took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution to the best of your ability, please state your bases for ignoring two Constitutional separation of powers provisions you usurped:
- the Supreme Court – when you and AG Holder decided DOMA is unconstitutional – and your administration would not defend it in court;
- Congress with executive orders enacting “the Dream Act” that Congress declined to enact.
- Mister President, during your 2008 campaign you said: “George W. Bush was irresponsible and unpatriotic for increasing the national debt by $4 trillion over the last eight years.” It’s now reported the national debt has increased $5 trillion on your watch. Since your administration added $5 trillion debt in less than four years, does that indicate you are more than twice as irresponsible and unpatriotic as George W?
Now, three foreign relations questions:
- Mister President, in 2008 you promised to use soft diplomacy to sit down with leaders of Iran and North Korea, without preexisting conditions, to lessen their intransigent opposition to the United States and, presumably, to thwart their goals of achieving nuclear weapons. Could you discuss how effective your approach has been particularly in regard to nuclear weapons capabilities?
- Mister President, one of your foreign relations victories followed your and Secretary of State Clinton’s famed “reset of diplomatic relations with Russia”.
That victory was a March 2010 START treaty with Russia you claimed “didn’t infringe upon U.S. missile defense development and deployment”. However, a prominent columnist, in December 2011, summarized Russian threats to: “target any Europe-based missile defenses; install offensive missiles in Kaliningrad; withdraw from the 2010 START treaty”.
Since then you have proposed further “steep nuclear arms reduction of up to 80%”. Given Iran and North Korea’s continuing efforts to join the nuclear weapons club, which is more important: U.S. national defense and security; your personal (unattainable) goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons?
- Mister President, during the Arab Spring, your administration supported regime changes in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya (where U.S. military assets were used to depose and kill Khadafy). You deposed a previously strong U.S. ally, Mubarak, in Egypt a nation that has a peace treaty with Israel.
However, in an earlier anti-regime uprising in Iran, your administration declined to intervene even as unarmed Iranians were violently repressed. Since Iran sponsors terrorism in several countries, including Syria, and is an implacable enemy of Israel – why did you not encourage an Arab Spring in Iran?