Yglesias Award Nominee

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"The question is, did he let the air out of the balloon here? Lose the momentum that gathered with such undeniable force over the previous two nights? I suspect he may have. If he comes out of this convention with under a three-point bounce, that will constitute a horrible missed opportunity. This thing was teed up for him to build a five-point lead. If there’s little movement in next week’s polls, then there’s also little doubt whose fault it is. Michelle did her job, and Clinton more than did his," – Tomasky.

I get what Michael is saying. By Obama's standards, this was an average speech. The thing is: I'm not sure a soaring piece of rhetoric would have been more effective, given that people want more than soaring rhetoric at this stage. What it lacked was a single dramatic shift from the first four years. Unless you count what I and Digby immediately noticed:

when Governor Romney and his allies in Congress tell us we can somehow lower our deficit by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy – well, you do the math. I refuse to go along with that. And as long as I’m President, I never will.

I refuse to ask middle class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut. I refuse to ask students to pay more for college; or kick children out of Head Start programs, or eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor, elderly, or disabled – all so those with the most can pay less.

Digby worries – and I hope – that this means that Obama is prepared to put Medicare on a much more serious path to lower costs if he can win tax revenues that do not disproportionately fall on the middle class. In other words, the sentence I was waiting for:

Now, I’m still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission. No party has a monopoly on wisdom. No democracy works without compromise. I want to get this done, and we can get it done.

And we can only get this done if Obama wins this one handily and the Democrats retain the Senate. The GOP is just not serious about the debt and not serious about the compromise needed to get it. Anyone calling for more tax cuts and more defense spending than even the Pentagon wants and rules out any new revenues is not a fiscal conservative. He's a modern, deficit-busting Republican.

(Chart from Pollster – sans Rasmussen, made as sensitive as possible.)

Yglesias Award Nominee

"I think people should start to practice the words ‘President Romney.’ To assume that the other side are just a bunch of ignoramuses who are supported by people who believe that Adam and Eve rode on dinosaurs 6,000 years ago is to completely misjudge the opposition. And they not only are smart. They are dedicated. They are disciplined. They have the courage of their convictions," – Michael Moore.

Yglesias Award Nominee

"Even though the party's latest platform acknowledges that Medicare is the largest single driver of the debt, and even as the party has inched toward making reform of the seniors health program a priority, it has also declared its intention to protect and defend the program at all costs. The GOP would have us believe that Medicare is both the biggest problem and the biggest success in American government, wrecking our public finances but also in need of saving from the current administration's cuts … [Ryan] has helped join his party to the cause of mindlessly protecting the program he says he wants to reform," – Peter Suderman.

Yglesias Award Nominee

"If someone had said the main speech would be an out-of-place exercise in autobiography and self-adulation that couldn’t have had more I’s in it if every other word had been Mississippi, you’d have figured we must be talking about the other guys’ convention, right? Was the GOP’s goal to add self-absorption to Big Government, the Arab Spring, and suppression of conservatives on the list of things they can do just as well as Democrats? If so, they’re off to a flying start," – Andy McCarthy, NRO.

I don't think Christie helped Romney or himself much last night.

Yglesias Award Nominee

"This country has a long history of discrimination against certain groups. Eventually we wind up getting it right. Right? Against women, against blacks, the civil rights movement and so on. And in justifying that discrimination when it was in place, some folks turn to the Bible and turn to their religious beliefs and said we have to have slavery because it’s in the Bible. Women have to be second-class citizens because that’s in the Bible. Blacks and whites can’t get married because that’s in the Bible. That wound up in a case. A judge wrote that in an opinion, which the Supreme Court ultimately struck that down, saying that’s not right, judge—the Equal Protection clause says you can't do that. Why is gay marriage any different?" – Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly.

Yglesias Award Nominee

"Both Colbert and Stewart make fun of some of my own political views. I was thinking of saying that I like them in spite of this; it might be more accurate to say that I like them, at least in part, not in spite of this but because of it — because I don’t want to live in a country where people can’t laugh at themselves, and where everybody takes himself and his own opinions as seriously as the Baffler guy seems to," – the always interesting Michael Potemra.

Yglesias Award Nominee

"Am I someone that thinks that I have the right to sit back and judge someone that I don’t know, will never meet, on how they should live their life or what rights they can have to live their life the way they want to? I don’t think I deserve that responsibility," – John Rocker, the controversial former MLB pitcher and new columnist at WorldNetDaily, giving his stance on gay marriage.

Yglesias Award Nominee

"The unusually uncertain political environment may be retarding employment. The reason is not that this is a presidential election year, but that the two political parties seem so far apart regarding policy. The Republicans in Congress will for understandable political reasons do everything they can to prevent the economy from improving before, and possibly after, the election, because they are committed to the position that Obama is responsible for the high unemployment rate," – Richard Posner.

Further thoughts on his conservative intellectual honesty here.

Yglesias Award Nominee

"We live in a time where the sheep must lead the lost shepherds. But my hope is that when those confused old shepherds have passed away, a new generation of Catholic priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes will include openly gay, straight, single and married men and women—people who will not be interested in sticking their noses in Catholic bedrooms but will instead be focused on amplifying the unconditional love of Jesus. I hope I live to see that day. I would not mind receiving the blessing from such a pope and being asked again to step up to that pulpit on the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica to proclaim the truth of Jesus with the voice he gave me for exactly that purpose," – Father Tony Adams.

(Hat tip: JoeMyGod)