President Obama tore Mitt Romney apart in the debate in Boca Raton. He repeatedly attacked his Republican opponent for being “all over the map” on one issue after another, underlining the point that Romney would not send a consistent signal to allies and foes alike.

Romney had no answer to that charge.

Obama also got off the best lines of the night.

"Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy you seem to want the policies of the 1980s, just like you want to import the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies in the 1920s," Obama said.

When Romney criticized Obama for presiding over a Navy with fewer ships than in 1916, Obama struck back:

“Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because of the nature of our military spending. We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them. Ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. The question is not a game of Battleship where we’re counting ships.”

And on China, Obama slammed Romney twice, first accusing him of doing business with a Chinese company that had ties with the Iranians, and then accusing him of investing “in companies that were shipping jobs overseas.”

For his part, Romney was content to try to take foreign affairs off the table by agreeing with the Obama Administration on policy after policy and differing with him only on rhetoric. “I agree with the President” was Romney’s coda. He agreed with Obama on Iraq, on Afghanistan, on Libya, on Syria, on China, on Iran, on drones. In fact, there was not much daylight between the two on any foreign policy substance.

On Iran, for instance, the belligerence was high on both sides, with Obama threatening war in a “mature” way, after getting allies on board because “the clock is ticking.” He was implying that Romney would attack Iran prematurely, but either way, it looks bad for Iranian civilians.

As Jeremy Scahill tweeted, it was a boring debate because we have a Democratic President with a Republican foreign policy. Actually, a bipartisan imperial foreign policy, as when Obama said America is still the “indispensable nation”—repeating a horrid quote from former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

And Obama also used the awful George W. Bush rhetoric about “bringing to justice” those who attacked us, and by that, they both meant rubbing people out.

The strategy of the Romney camp seemed to be to encourage voters to make their decision solely on the economy.

Twice Romney mentioned food stamps in the foreign policy debate! (Calling all racists.)

But he offered no different perspectives and no alternative agendas than the ones President Obama has been pursuing.

“Me, too” made for a dull debate, and a blunder on Romney’s part that he may later regret.

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Romney in Denial about Lethal Lack of Health Insurance."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter

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It's finally setting in: Trump is Trump and he’s not going to change because of winning the nomination.

The new head of the Environmental Protection has a history of suing the agency for trying to do its job.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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