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Romney: Horses and Bayonets

"Horses and bayonets" became the most memorable catchphrase of the third and final debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, as the Democratic president used  the past to paint the Republican candidate's worldview as outdated. Romney had criticized Obama's military policy throughout the campaign, accusing the president of spending too little on the U.S. military by pointing out that the Navy has fewer ships than in 1917. When the former Massachusetts governor made the point again during the debate, President Obama was ready with the perfect rejoinder: "Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed. "We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. We have these ships that go under water, nuclear submarines." Obama even invoked a children's board game: "The question is not a game of Battleship, where we're counting ships." 

Romney's is a "pointless" comparison, as CNN noted recently, explaining that it’s "wrong to assume that fewer ships translates to a weaker military" due to "the technological supremacy of current Navy ships." Hundreds of 1940s-era fighter planes combined can’t do what one modern Stealth bomber can do, and the same is true for Navy vessels. The Washington Post's fact checkers agreed with CNN, saying: "This is a nonsense fact." called it "a meaningless claim."

The strength of the U.S. Navy is a particularly important issue in Virginia, which is home to some of the Navy's largest shipbuilding and repair operations and is one of the politically divided "swing states" likely to decide the November 6 election. Both men have campaigned intensely in Virginia, which has the highest level of defense spending of any U.S. state per capita, providing the state with about 900,000 jobs. The Hampton Roads area in southeast Virginia has the largest concentration of military bases and facilities of any metropolitan area in the world.

Romney held fast to his stance that the Navy needs more ships: "The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We're now at under 285 ... I want to make sure that we have the ships that are required by our Navy."

Obama's "horses and bayonets" comment provided the latest debate-related phrase to become popular on social media. On Twitter, the mock user name @horsesandbayonettes quickly surfaced and the hashtag #horsesandbayonets immediately began trending in the United States, becoming the nation's top trend and third worldwide, even an hour after the debate ended. A new Tumblr website was created with entries such as a picture of Obama captioned "We also have fewer bows and arrows and catapults" and images of Romney riding a horse and carrying a gun with a bayonet. The online reaction was swift.  On Facebook, users created more than 50 pages named "Horses and Bayonets." The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also pounced, posting a meme declaring "Obama just sank Romney’s battleship" that generated more than 84,000 likes and was shared more than 16,000 times in an hour.

Shades of China, Romney Hominy Plagiarized!

"Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose."

Mitt Romney seems to be obsessed with the "clear eyes" slogan, used by the small-town high school football team depicted on the now-defunct TV series Friday Night Lights. It came up again during the third presidential debate, which took place in Boca Raton, Florida (where, ironically, Romney’s infamous "47 percent" video was recorded). When the former Mormon Bishop was taken to task by President Obama for claiming that Russia remains America’s foremost "geopolitical foe," Romney replied, "I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia or Mr. Putin ..."

Well, there he goes again. Peter Berg, the executive producer of Friday Night Lights, recently fired off an angry letter to the Romney campaign, claiming they plagiarized his show’s trademark phrase: "Your politics and campaign are clearly not aligned with the themes we portrayed in our series. The only relevant comparison that I see between your campaign and Friday Night Lights is in the character of Buddy Garrity—who turned his back on American car manufacturers [by] selling imported cars from Japan."

Buddy Garrity does sound like Bishop Romney, who famously (or infamously) wrote an article entitled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." Romney claims to love American cars, but his comments about the 47% and his liquidation of American companies and job during his tenure as CEO of Bane Kapital make it clear that he doesn't love American factory workers.

In his letter to the Romney campaign earlier this month, Berg said Romney had "plagiarized this expression" and should "come up with [his] own campaign slogan." But as is his imperious wont, ignoring Berg’s fiery missive, Romney has not only kept the phrase in his repertoire, but has even begun selling cheap plastic red, white and blue bracelets bearing the plagiarized slogan for $10. And despite Berg’s objections, Romney orchestrated a flag football game between his staff and reporters who follow his campaign. The team captains were given rubber bracelets bearing the slogan.

As one critic put it, "Clear Eyes, Zero Class: Mitt Romney’s Now Selling Plagiarized Friday Night Lights Crap."

Shades of China! Not only did Romney steal the phrase, he's now making money by selling something he doesn't own. Romney condemns China for stealing American trademarks and intellectual property, by selling cheap knock-offs, then turns around and does the same thing himself!

Romney’s obsession with Friday Night Lights seems particularly strange because Romney was a cheerleader in high school. "He was more at home on the sidelines, cheering the football team on as a member of the Pep Club, chanting such cheers into a megaphone as ‘Iron them out. Iron them out. Smooooth,’" according to The Washington Post.

Obama's Battleship reference seems doubly ironic because Peter Berg directed the movie Battleship—one of filmdom's biggest box office busts. Berg’s Friday Night Lights and Battleship both exude a dizzy, unthinking  patriotism. Romney wants to increase the military budget to 4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, even though there is widespread agreement that spending cuts must be made. According to the New York Times: "Todd Harrison, a senior fellow for defense budget studies at the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, has calculated that even if a Romney administration slowly increases the military budget to 4 percent of the G.D.P. over two presidential terms, that would still amount to spending $7.5 trillion over the next decade—or $1.8 trillion more than the Obama administration plans for the Pentagon’s base budget in the same period."

Can even Visine get the red out of Romney's blurry budget vision?

Related pages:

Mitt Romney’s $100 million Cayman Island IRA: Did he pay 13%, really, or is he a tax cheat?
Will Romney's Fascist Dreams of an "American Century" lead to more unwinnable wars in the Middle East?
Will Bishop Romney continue to Wage War on American Women and Teachers and Big Bird and China and American Workers?
Will Romney Hood rob Americans blind with his Medicare Scam, by stealing from the poor to give to the rich?
Are Romney and the Romulans trying to get rid of Martin Luther King Day?
Mitt Romney Quotes, Paul Ryan Quotes and Ann Romney Quotes
Mitt Romney Poems, Parodies, Songs, Jokes and Nicknames

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