1) Fire John Kerry
2) Hire Bill Clinton
3) Fight To Win
This isn’t a sparring match. This isn’t a warm-up fight. This is the championship bout. If you’re going to lay-up against the ropes, you still have to come-off the ropes. And put your opponent away.
I don’t want to explain your strategy to my mom, who was pacing from room-to-room during the debate, wondering what was going on. I don’t want to reply to Vince, who sent me a text message saying, “A silent win. Not sexy or great on TV.” I don’t want to listen to David Plouffe explain your strategy with dry spit collecting in the corner of his lips, which is the surest sign even he doesn’t believe what he’s saying.
After the debate, I wanted to celebrate. After the debate, I didn’t want to worry about you, Barack.
Your performance lacked any awareness of theater. Or should I say theatre? It was naïve. You looked like George Bush Senior, as if you wanted to check your watch to see how long it was before you could go back to The White House, where everyone stands-up when you walk in the room.
Listen, Barack. On stage, during the debates, you’re not the president. You’re the democratic candidate who’s running to be president.
Strategically, I get it. You treated Mitt Romney like a slow child who was yelling a litany of insanity into your face. Instead of further humiliating this mentally challenged emotional invalid, with infinite patience and grace, you kept your composure, waiting for his surrogate mommy, Ann, to lead Mitt away from the stage he had no business being on in the first place, where he could safely put back on his helmet. And board the slow bus.
Strategically, I get it. But here’s the truth: you were confronting a bully who was representing absolutely every other bully who’s disrespected you for 4-years, and by proxy, disrespected all of us who root for you, vote for you and love you.
We needed you to stand-up. We needed you to fight back. We needed you to kick the living shit out of Mitt Fucking Romney and his Professional Hate Machine.
When Mitt Romney said you get to have your own house and plane, but not your own facts, how about replying he gets to have a mansion since birth, an elevator in his garage, a plane with his name on it and a wife with a million dollar horise, but he doesn’t get to pretend the whole Birther Thing was anything other than a strategy, set in motion, a long-long-long time ago, of race baiting, by creeps like Lee Atwater.
For those of you who don’t know, here’s a little story I like to call, “Lee Atwater: American Scumbag.” Lee was a republican operative. He worshipped at the alter of “The Daisy Girl Ad,” which aired only once, and destroyed the candidacy of Barry Goldwater. Lee penned “The Willie Horton Ad,” which destroyed the candidacy of Michael Dukakis.
Here’s Lee, speaking from the heart, or whatever it was Lee had, instead of a heart: “You start out in 1954 by saying Nigger, Nigger, Nigger. By 1968, you can’t say Nigger. That hurts you. It backfires. So you say stuff like Forced Busing. You say stuff like State’s Rights. But you’re getting abstract. Now you’re talking about Cutting Taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things; and a byproduct of them is blacks get hurt worse than whites. Subconsciously, maybe that’s part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying if it’s getting abstract, and coded, we’re doing away with The Racial Problem one way or the other. You follow me? Because obviously, sitting around saying We Want To Cut This is much more abstract than even The Busing Thing. And a hell of a lot more abstract than Nigger, Nigger, Nigger.”
This is the foundation of Birtherism.
Incidentally, just before he died, Lee Atwater publicly apologized for his behavior. I know in my heart I speak on behalf of everyone with a conscience when I say this, “Fuck you, Lee. Fuck your apology. While you’re in Hell, say hi to Osama bin Laden and Jerry Falwell.”
This is what you’re up against. This is who you’re up against. The time for negotiating is over. The time for schmoozing is past. You extended your hand. They returned the favor by swinging with a fist. Swing back. Swing back hard. Swing back so hard, you knock Mitt Romney off the stage he had no business being on in the first place.
Win, Barack. Damn It, Win.