This Is How You Do It, Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 10 2012 @ 5:57pm

We linked to the Australian prime minister's remarkable speech in her country's parliament earlier today. But I want to post the whole video in full, even though it's 15 minutes long, because it is a model of a brutal take-down of a conservative political opponent, who shamelessly pounced on a minister's naughty text messages with an ex-staffer, forcing his resignation. What Gillard does is simply compare the current position of the opposition leader with direct quotes from his past. She rips the bark off him. Do yourself a favor and start watching. You won't stop:

Obama has trained his whole life not to be angry, so as to deflect and foil the raw racism of Hannity et al. But Gillard keeps her cool in tone while the rhetoric is brutal. Biden and Obama need to calmly but relentlessly tear into the inconsistencies, lies and cynicism behind Romney-Ryan. Expose the abortion reversal; expose the Medicare reversal; expose the pre-existing conditions lie; demand to see the math behind Romney's ludicrous budgetary plan, and if he won't provide it (because it's impossible), call him out as the principle-free, chameleon salesman he is.

Obama let Romney shape-shift without rebuttal. Never again. The idea that the same policies that brought this country to its knees by 2009 should be put on steroids for the next four years should provoke outrage, not gentle disagreement. The fact that we cannot even know if Romney would actually do any of it because he is such a shameless liar and shape-shifter should also provoke amazement and incredulity, not good manners. Bill Clinton exposed the empty center of Romney with a wide knowing grin. But however he decides to do it, Obama needs to Gillard Romney in the next debate. To his face.