He was told “You can’t win!” He was told it was a hopeless cause by the critics. And yet, he went out there and after pounding away it became obvious to millions of viewers — he could win. Are we talking about Rocky Balboa or Mitt Romney? Answer: Both.

If Mitt Romney goes on to win the 2012 presidential election, Wednesday night’s debate will go down in history as the moment in time he gave conservatives across the United States their “Rocky IV” realization. Up against a statist opponent, Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa was told he didn’t have a chance. He should pack it in. He should retire. Instead, he ignored the critics. When the bell rang he came out swinging. Then, the unthinkable happened: He drew blood.

Rocky’s trainer said it best: “You got him hurt bad. Now he’s worried. You cut him. You hurt him. You see! You see! He’s not a machine! He’s a man! You want it more than he does. … Take it to him.”

Moments after round one of the presidential contest, even Mr. Romney’s far-left critics conceded that President Obama was damaged, with one Obama super PAC donor even going so far as to state that he needed a teleprompter. MSNBC’s panel of analysts, like the worried Soviet suits who fretted over Ivan Drago’s performance, were equally disturbed. Mr. Obama was up against the ropes all night, looking down at his notes, throwing out non sequiters, and rambling in ways that prompted Mr. Romney to say, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Check out the rest over at Times247.com

About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

32 comments

  1. Rocky is indeed a great film franchise… even though I haven’t seen the most recent movie, “Rocky Balboa.” But yeah, I heard that Romney won the debate last night. Didn’t watch it, though, because I forgot it was on and I was watching a few show that I’d recorded on the DVR.

    1. Rocky Balboa is actually a pretty good movie. I was really worried, but Stallone handled it appropriately. I wish we had a time machine to knock out Rocky V … but that’s another story.

    2. I’ll have to watch it sometime, then… and yeah, I agree with you on Rocky V. Not a memorable movie by any stretch of the imagination.

    1. You sound like a defeated man. You sound like someone who has given up hope. Regardless, if you think that Washington is filled with a bunch of unprincipled actors, why would you want to expand their reach by abdicating more power to the federal government?

      When liberals stop paying big bucks to Hollywood actors to peddle “Hope and Change” (e.g., Samuel L. Jackson’s “Wake the F**k Up” campaign spot) … this blog will cease to exist as a fusion of politics and pop culture.

    2. that is nothing new, Doug. I lost hope when Obama loaded his economic team with reheated Clinton neoliberals.

      you, on the other hand, sound like a man who doesn’t care how much dishonest, flip-flopping tripe is shoveled by your candidate as long as the “performance” indicates “winning.”

      do you lie in your personal life to get ahead? because Mittens does, and you seem really excited about it.

    3. Can you name one politician who can’t be accused of “flip-flopping” or “lying”? Not sure what lies you’re talking about, but it’s pretty clear to me that Mitt is a good man. I have my issues with him, but for now they will generally be muted because the most important thing is getting him elected. Conservatives can hold him accountable afterward.

      The perfect candidate doesn’t exist. I’d much rather have Romney in office than a guy who goes on Letterman and says $16 trillion in debt is a “long term problem.” No, Barry, it’s a “right now” problem.

      Have you ever lied? You might want to stop building that moral pedestal before you fall. You can hurt yourself if it gets too high.

      “It has been well said that anyone who is willing to do the arduous things necessary to become president probably is too unbalanced to be trusted with the office,” (George Will).

      And so, this is why I vote for the person most likely to limit the size of government. The same rule generally applies to the vast majority of modern-day politicians.

  2. here’s one: his “health care” plan would cover pre-existing conditions. nope. but you see, it takes paying attention to what’s actually being said to catch that kind of stuff. and flip-flopping was made one of the central issues by Republicans against Kerry, so I would think the fact Mitt has flip-flopped on almost every issue imaginable in his say-anything-to-get-elected political career would matter, but I guess not because everyone does it, right?

    also, if you were paying attention, you would realize there is much less of a difference between these two candidates, especially after the debates, where Mitt suddenly shed his primary persona that required him to pander to the wingnuts, and like the etch-a-sketchy candidate he is, he emerged from his wingnut cocoon as a moderate. well, we’ll see how long that lasts, because the tea party is rabid for ideological purity.

    but you just want to get him elected, then maybe your side will wonder where those trillions of cuts will come from, right? what deductions is Romney going to eliminate? elect him, then he’ll tell us. what a joke.

    1. I see that you’re trying the ol’ Jonathan Alter attack on Romney’s health care plan.
      http://douglasernstblog.com/2012/08/10/alter-obamacare-gave-us-immortality-romney-wants-to-take-it-away/

      Eh. Like I said before, our debt problem is really a simple math problem. At least Romney is willing to talk about it. Obama? Not so much. Whenever conservatives (like Paul Ryan) try and have a serious conversation about the financial mess we’re in they get commercials made about them that show their likeness literally pushing a grandma off a cliff. And then you wonder why the debates end up like they do.

      Funny how “wingnuts” apparently only exist on the right. Oh well. Anyway, I have to run to work. I think I’ll read up on Gitmo still being open, perhaps Obama’s drone wars, his “Terror Tuesday” briefings and whatever else pops up.

    1. here’s a great quote from the article you link to:

      Romney has not yet spelled out the details of how he will alter the tax treatment of health insurance, but he is clear that, under his proposals, those who aren’t in employer plans today will get substantial federal assistance to help them pay premiums in the individual market.

      hmmm, sounds like big government to me, which isn’t surprising considering that’s exactly how Romney “saved” the Olympics, with tax dollar largesse.

      if debt is your main concern, please tell me how endless war and perpetuating Bush’s tax cuts are feasible as Baby Boomers are poised to drain this nation dry with their aging needs? if you think Romney has a plan to deal with all that, I’ve got some nice beach front property to sell you in Montana.

    2. Again, I never said Romney was perfect. What I do say — and it’s abundantly clear — is that he’s worlds better than Obama. And, like I said, at least Romney/Ryan are willing to have an adult conversation about the serious public policies decisions we face (as opposed to making commercials where the elderly are shoved off cliffs).

      I don’t really want to have a discussion on the difference between tax rates and tax revenue, supply side economics, etc. You’re a smart guy. I think you’re familiar with all of that. We don’t have a taxing problem; we have a spending problem. Tax the “rich” 100% and see how many days you can run the government on. Hint: It ain’t long.

      I’m also on record as saying that electing Romney will not “solve” our problems. These issues were decades in the making, and it will take a LONG time to for course correction to take hold. Unlike the common Obama voter, I don’t put all my faith in one man. Electing Romney is one of the first steps needed to get back onto the path of fiscal sanity. And if he loses? Well … you can only outrun math for so long. We can just ask Greece and Spain about that. I hear the riots are beautiful this time of year.

  3. oil pegged to the dollar and China buying our debt. how long do you think that’s going to last? 70% of GDP is consumer spending, but debt-sunk Americans are underwater, the housing market has further to go, and the Fed has shot its wad of quantitative easing to keep zombie banks standing. do you know how tight credit is for lowly citizens? that’s because big banks are sitting on tons of cash. they know the shell game is ongoing, and no one trusts each other.

    but you want to talk about Europe, Doug, so let’s talk about LIBOR. let’s talk about hundreds of trillions of dollars handcuffed to fraudulent interest rates. it’s a global shell game, and whoever gets the White House doesn’t actually matter that much. it’s just PR.

    1. Didn’t I just say that electing Romney wouldn’t solve all our problems, and that he was one step out of many that needed to be taken to help get America on the path to fiscal sanity?

      Do you know how a lot of Navy SEALs get through BUDS? Answer: “One meal at a time.” Actually, sometimes, it’s one hour at a time. That’s how they psychologically prepare for a task that is seemingly insurmountable, hopeless, etc.

      You could learn a lot from them. Or, you can continue to be hopeless (by your own admission). I have one life; I’m not going to waste it being hopeless.

    2. your response is baby steps? that’s fantastic. I love Bill Murray.

      if you want to learn something, I suggest watching The Power of Nightmares.

    3. I was saying that big problems can be broken down into manageable components that allow for the possibility of a successful endeavor. Unfortunately, like I said, you are a man without hope, and so you resort to cynical jokes about Bill Murray movies. You sit around and dish out a laundry list of problems, intellectually throwing your hands up in the air, admitting defeat.

      You can laugh and make all the jokes you want. Like I said, I choose to be optimistic. There’s a reason why book stores don’t have a “How to be more negative” section. Being a pessimist is easy.

      Nice video. You’re cut from the same cloth as the narrator, boiling down conservatism to the series “Gunsmoke.” I notice that the BBC series talks about freedom, but never mentions ‘liberty’. Oh well.

      Anyway, good luck with your approach.

  4. you clearly don’t have a solid grasp of the problems we’re facing. I’m not throwing up my hands, I’m just being realistic about the ineptitude of our national politicians to generate the political will to address the huge, systemic problems we will be forced to deal with, one way or the other.

    you think Romney is a step in the right direction. I think you’re dead wrong. Obama getting reelected is also not a step in the right direction. I’m more invested in direct work in my community, because that’s where positive things can happen.

    you can hold on to your fairytales of free markets and limited government, but the party you support doesn’t really believe in either, they just use those concepts to fool rubes like you.

    good luck with that.

    1. Yes, because you disagree with me I “clearly don’t have a solid grasp” of the issues and I’m “a rube.”

      Your snark and your nastiness further highlights my observations about you. Deep down, you’re one angry person, and now it’s showing.

      Cheers.

    2. anger is certainly one of the emotions one experiences when one realizes the scope and depth of the corruption. you can choose to remain in denial, as so many choose to do, but eventually all the little steps are going to catch up, to all of us.

      fascism is knocking on the door, Doug, and the fact you think Mitt or Barack represent any kind of actual choice when it comes to the loss of civil liberties or the increasing union between corporate interests and the state is just another sad indication of how effective the political theatrics have become.

      do you care about civil liberties? do you think Mitt cares about civil liberties? and before you try to change the focus back to Barack, let me preempt you by saying it’s clear Obama doesn’t care about civil liberties.

    3. First of all, you keep insinuating I’m sort of Republican stooge, when I’m not.
      http://douglasernstblog.com/2012/07/03/mcconnell-obamacare-like-my-jowls-will-probably-stay/

      You ask me about health care, I give you a piece I wrote that touches on a very specific aspect of it, HIPAA. You ask me how I feel about Romney, I tell you. I tell you that incremental progress is needed to undo decades worth of bad public policy, and you crack cynical jokes. In the course of our conversation, even though I vehemently disagree with you, I acknowledge you’re “a smart guy” and continue on.

      You? You say I “clearly don’t understand” the issues. You say I’m “in denial.” You say I’m “a rube.” It’s very telling. And then you say you want to work to change your local community? Is this trait, the one where you run up against someone with a strongly held differing belief and you resort to ad hominem attacks and derision, something that inspires and motivates the young men and women of Montana? I’m curious to find out. I’d start talking about the 10th Amendment, but whenever I do someone comes out of the woodwork and calls me a racist (i.e., because slavery once existed it voids the notion that states have any kind of rights).

      To answer your original question, I believe the old maxim: Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. I don’t think President Obama wakes up each morning and as he shaves wonders how to create a worse off world for his two beautiful little girls. Some of my conservative friends seem to believe otherwise, sadly. I give my fellow Americans the benefit of the doubt, but I also acknowledge the dangers of centralized power and the men who crave it. President Obama has actively sought and advocated for the coercive power of government from the very beginning of his career. He is a dangerous man. And so, he must be voted out of office. Period.

  5. you may not think of yourself as a Republican stooge, but you write posts about “human gerbils” featuring some ignorant black woman, which is nicely in line with Romney’s southern strategy applied coast to coast. do you always whistle while you work?

    luckily you’re young, so you will have many years to see how your conservative advocacy plays out in the real world, and it won’t be pretty.

    1. Ha! Classic. I even addressed guys like you, who are always itching to cry racism. Man, my wife will be really surprised when she finds out…

      I stand by Goldwater: “A man may not immediately, or ever, comprehend the harm thus done to his character. Indeed, this is one of the great evils of Welfarism — that it transforms the individual from a dignified, industrious, self-reliant spiritual being into a dependent animal creature without his knowing it.” Racist? Hardly.

      http://douglasernstblog.com/2012/10/08/big-government-hooks-human-gerbils-on-shiny-pellets/

    2. I don’t think those who exploit racial tensions for political gain are necessarily racist themselves, but I do think the GOP is not well positioned to adapt to the changing demographic landscape, so turning out the base has entailed stirring up as many angry white people as possible.

      and you play along, Doug. having non-caucasian friends and family doesn’t insulate you from the fact you put up a race-baiting post hoping someone would come along to call you a racist so you can eagerly point out your heritage, thus absolving yourself of any responsibility.

      you’re welcome for giving you that opportunity.

    3. It’s like you didn’t even read the piece:

      “As I dug into my steak, he spoke about the Republican Party’s inability to make significant inroads with certain minority groups. My response: “On some level it doesn’t matter, because if we fast forward 300 years it’s obvious that the future of the United States is not white. At some point in time these groups will be forced to embrace or shun the principles that maximize individual freedom.

      My children will not be white. My sister’s children will not be white. The U.S. demographics as they stand indicate that at some point there will simply be, for all intents and purposes, Americans. We are a nation of mutts, and in time terms like “white” and “black” will generally be rendered silly. And so, intelligent conservatives only care about a few basic questions: What will the Americans of the future believe? What will they stand for? Will Americans hold fast to the principles of our founders, or will they be citizens of a United States in name only?”

      http://douglasernstblog.com/2012/10/08/big-government-hooks-human-gerbils-on-shiny-pellets/

      Martin Luther King used to go out of his way to say that while he disagreed with Barry Goldwater, he knew he wasn’t a racist. Likewise, Kennedy and Goldwater were friends. They even wanted to go around the country having debates in the vein of Lincoln-Douglas. Back in those days you could have honest conversations that touched on issues on race. Today, there are guys like you, whose first instinct is to slime someone as a race-baiter instead of having an open dialogue about how the welfare state impacts the individual.

  6. Oh I read it, and though you appear to be savvy enough to have more nuanced conversations, you still are going to vote for Romney, who is running a campaign that absolutely exploits racial tensions. whether it’s birther crap, voter suppression, or calling Obama the foodstamp president, the shrinking white majority is being stirred up to get them out to vote for Republicans, and it will probably be a fairly effective strategy.

    the sad thing is, Obama is no better, with massive immigrant deportations, continuing the drug war, and giving preference to the moneyed interests who got him elected.

    1. More power to you.

      Not sure who you’re voting for, but I always love how libertarians think that if their guy won he’d actually be able to get Republicans and Democrats to help him out. Not likely. Third party movements need to start at the state and local level … which you seem to get.

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