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The W-Word

I’m going to be honest here, I watch the Presidential Debates for pure amusement. And as Erin Gloria Ryan said over at Jezebel, last night’s debate may go down in history as the most boring 90 minutes ever aired on national television. This may be true but it wasn’t a complete waste of time. I enjoyed watching the President’s smirk when Romney spoke; I loved watching Romney’s bizarre, plastered on smile when the President spoke but my mind is already made up. I know who I’m voting for and no 90 minute debate is going to change my mind. I didn’t go to a debate party and I didn’t print out any of those drinking games. Instead I hunkered down in front of the television armed with my computer and a beer.

Before I went to bed, I flipped over to MSNBC to watch the anchors duke it out, complaining that the President was too weak and declaring Romney the victor in last night’s toe-to-toe battle. But let’s be real-there was no battle. My personal opinion is that the President wasn’t allowing himself to be baited by Romney who seemed more like a petulant child trying to screaming louder (over Poor Jim Lehrer) to have his point heard-but that’s just me. They both said a lot without saying much of anything and for those voters in the middle, there are more debates in our future-hopefully both sides will give us a better look at the issues at hand.

While I didn’t need to watch the debates to help with my decision in November, I did want to see how each candidate answered specific questions. Most importantly issues of women’s rights, the rights of undocumented citizens and the rights of LGBTQ Americans. These issues along with the 47% debacle (I mean, comment) and women’s reproductive/health rights were all absent from last night’s debate. How do you talk about health care and leave out women? It was, in my opinion, a giant glaring hole that begged to be filled — yet it was left completely empty.

In fact, as Bryce Covert points out on The Nation, neither candidate actually uttered the W-Word for the entire night. Were women’s issues purposefully left out of last night’s sword fight, even though the outcome of the election in November depends on how we vote? Was the issue of women’s health and reproductive rights on the agenda that was so lost by the debate’s lack of control? Will the candidates acknowledge us next time around? Let’s hope so.

There is still time to register to vote. Be sure to have your voice heard-no matter which way you vote.

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