Debate Night: You sank my battleship

Image by John-Morgan via Creative Commons

In the third and final presidential debate, the round goes to the quip heard ’round the world (from President Barrack Obama):

I think Gov. Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You mentioned our Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we had in 1916. Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military has changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have ships that go under water.

And with that, people scurried to the internets to look up how to spell “bayonets” and be the first to start the next meme of jokes about the motion in the ocean. Funny how life comes full-circle, with Mitt Romney getting heckled with a Battleship remark after the former governor was accused of plagiarizing phrases from Peter Berg’s show Friday Night Lights. (Berg also wrote the movie Battleship.)

For me, another moment was Romney’s campaign rhetoric: “Iran is four years closer to a nuclear weapon.”

Cue @SadyDoyle on twitter:

Things we are four years closer to: Nuclear Iran, sentient robots, whenever it is “Star Trek” happens, death.

And so it went, at least on my twitter feed. Most of the questions from moderator Bob Schieffer were stale, boring, and softballs. He seemed to do little more than time-keeping and laying out another question that could easily be pivoted from by either candidate. And when candidates strayed from the questions at hand, Schieffer did little to reign them back. Indeed, Mitt more often veered off-topic to talk about rose-colored glasses, peace on earth, the Olympics, and how much he loved cars and teachers (but which one more?). And then there was the “Obama bin Laden” gaffe by Schieffer, perhaps this debate’s “binders full of women” moment.

But, like in each debate, the real losers were women, who were only given cursory attention from Obama and none from Romney. With the health, safety, and rights in peril of so many women around the world, it would have been nice to see the candidates address something about women’s equality and autonomy in some form other than a back-and-forth about abortion. Girls risk acid attacks just to go to school in Afghanistan. And that’s just one of dozens of human rights issues effecting women and girls in places around the world.

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