Jim Lehrer: Thanks to the so-called Commission on Presidential Debates, an Anheuser Busch-run front to foster pretend-debates, the candidates will be presenting their best focus group-tested word salads.
We will limit the salad composition to US-related stuff delivered in what are supposed to be two minute segments which will become Clint Eastwood style ramblings thanks to my incapacity as a moderator. After segments supposedly about the economy, healthcare, and government, but instead dealing with whatever the candidates want to talk about, there will be two minutes or whatever the candidates decide for closing statements or whatever.
If an audience member makes any noise, he or she will be on the next plane to Guantanamo. However, you are required to express your approval that these two corporate-approved candidates will deign to pretend to represent you.
What are the major differences between the two of you about how you would go about creating new jobs?
Obama: I want you to know that I love my wife and am skipping out on our 20th anniversary to prove to her and all Americans that I’m willing to suffer too.
Back before me, someone really screwed things up. I’d say it was the Republicans, but that might sound partisan. Thank God the American people are desperate enough to keep running the hamster wheel rather than rioting in the streets like the Greeks.
The auto industry has recovered even if wages are way down and 5 million low-wage jobs have been created to employ teachers and firefighters laid off to satisfy the Austerian god. Mitt says that if we give money to the richies and let corporations run the joint, all will be well.
I have a different view. I want to adopt Mitt’s basic platform, but be nicer to small businesses and spend a little money on education. Also, we really could save some money if we stopped spending it all on blowing things up and killing people.
So, do you want to vote for George W. Bush II or the man who continued his policies?
Romney: I’m glad to hear you love me more than Michelle, Barry. This is obviously a very tender topic.
People keep coming up to me and my wife and asking if we can help, and of course the answer is no because we have to protect our hundreds of millions, but elect us and something good will happen someday.
My plan has five basic parts. North American energy independence, which will create four million jobs in Canada and leave us in thrall to Ottawa instead of Mecca. Second, do something to make Mexicans buy our stuff. Maybe send gunboats to Tampico or something. Third, do something to China when they cheat, like call them harsh names or threaten to close Wal-Mart. Next, eliminate government. Fifth, more money to billion-dollar a year businesses, which are technically called “small,” in the same sense that someone with herpes technically doesn’t have a sexually transmitted disease because you could get it by French kissing.
Small businesses create all the jobs. I know because I spent my entire career snuffing them out.
Barry believes that government is necessary, whereas we all know that corporations run things like schools and hospitals and jails better.
Lehrer: So, are you a big government tax-and-spend liberal, Mr. President?
Obama: I’m not going to respond because I want to talk about education. We’ve adopted Republican ideas on testing and merit pay and union-busting in what I call Race to the Top and 46 states have bought into it. Now I want to hire a hundred thousand teachers except the Republicans have already cut about three times that number, which means I only want to cut 200,000 teachers.
I’m also willing to adopt Mitt’s plan for corporate tax rates but I want to preserve loopholes for manufacturing and also bribe companies to stay here instead of to go overseas.
And I’ll adopt Mitt’s plan to drill baby drill, but I’d like to spend a few billion on solar and wind.
Also austerity and/or tax cuts. Now, I want austerity and some tax cuts, while Mitt wants austerity and tax cuts measured only in oodles
[This is as far as I got. It really was remarkable for its evasions by the candidates and ineffectual noises by the moderator.]