A contrarian view of the debate and the election

Andrew B. writes:

I thought Romney was very aggressive and spewing his lies in the debate. The NRO types are excited because they are big into prevarication and lying in the interests of gaining power and recognize a like mind when they see one. It did not appear that Obama entirely expected this, and he seemed torn between responding to the lies (thus his grimaces) or having a chance to issue out his own lying nonsense. It seems that early on he chose to focus on pushing his own lies, but kept enough focus on Romney that Romney spent most of the debate spewing crap and failing to slice apart Obama’s record because he was so excited about being able to issue out crap without rebuttal. Did you notice much of what Romney said was arguing that he has similar positions to Obama? This produced 40 minutes of future Romney vs. Romney commercials for Obama.

That Republicans are all excited about this means they will now waste the next month pouring money and time into the hopeless Romney campaign with the thought they are going to win the White House, which they won’t because Obama has pretty much locked up over 300 electoral votes. The fact that the campaign is being fought on the turf of North Carolina, Virginia, and Colorado, and not Pennsylvania, Oregon, Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine, and New Mexico tells you where things really stand. In the mean time, this RNC money might have been much better spent on Senate and House races, but it won’t be, leaving the Dems an opportunity to make a surprise clean-up in Congress using Obama’s huge piles of cash. Republicans, it seems, have confused getting a big vote tally in the interior and deep South with actually winning the election. Obama, as near as I can tell, played a classic Art of War style feint and absorption of enemy blows to misdirect enemy resources into what will be a futile effort. He also reset expectations so low that merely showing up in the final two debates will be seen as a victory for him.

Andrew B. continues:
Funny, I went over to Daily Kos it after writing you, and came across this:

“The Debate and the Art of War.”

LA to Andrew B.:

I don’t necessarily agree with your view, but it’s a strongly argued view and worth posting.

- end of initial entry -

A reader writes:

The debate went into details that I’m not extremely knowledgeable about, but I tend to dismiss the Al Franken-esque “lying liars” analysis of Republicans, when the worst I saw from either was standard political spin. I don’t know what exactly the “big lies” Romney told were.

Also, the commenter’s remarks seem to be the standard liberal defense at this point, particularly with the silly “Obama lost to win later” angle.

Andrew B. writes:

In response to the anonymous reader, when politicians aren’t lying, they are misrepresenting. You can tell because their lips are moving. A politician who tells the truth and believes in objective truth has always been a complete rarity. I guess modern conservatives have forgotten about Diogenes, Caiaphas, and Pontius Pilate, as well as Winston Churchill’s remark on the necessity of a bodyguard of lies for the truth. People expecting truth in a televised political debate are fooling themselves.

This isn’t liberal spin. “Winning” a debate doesn’t produce victory at the ballot box. But it does produce this type of nonsense from Stanley Kurtz at NRO:

“This debate will lead to a huge catharsis for the Republican base. An utterly frustrating campaign just morphed into a royal donnybrook. And we’re winning!”

The GOP isn’t winning when the party’s candidate is five to six percent back in the polls and contesting the campaign in Republican states in what should be an easy Republican year. I’ve been a Republican activist for 20 years, and have never seen such an invisible campaign in Pennsylvania, which is just a D + 2 state. My wife and I are getting canvassed repeatedly by Obama for America by phone and in person despite our both being registered Republicans. Contact from the Romney campaign has consisted of mailers begging for money with return envelopes which do not even have a stamp! When Gov. Mitt “I started Gay Marriage” Romney decides to contest the election in Pennsylvania, I’ll believe he is winning.

October 5

A reader writes:

I am not sure what the point would be of devoting much resources to a state that hasn’t gone Republican since 1988, especially when the Romney campaign has been struggling to get ahead in a former red state like Virginia.

Also, this idea that Romney is for same-sex marriage is inaccurate. Yes, he expressed liberal views on homosexual rights in the 1990s, but people forget that back then same-sex marriage was not the focal point that it became in the 2000s, and he never said he supported it. The Massachusetts decision was obviously that of the state’s supreme court, not his.

A reader writes:

I only watched part of the debate, but I got the impression that it was almost exclusively focused on the economy. I suppose I understand why and I don’t discount the importance of that discussion. But it’s such a short-sighted view, one that is dishearteningly prevalent amongst the Romney-type Republicans, that seems to ignore the connection between social views and economics. For example, the government has, through unfettered spending, created an entire false black middle-class per the demands of multiculturalism. Or the flooding of the job marketplace by women, many of whom work in inefficient and wasteful departments such as HR, social planning, and public relations, abdicating their duties of motherhood and pursuing the Sex and the City lifestyle.

Related, it seems that multiculturalism has so enervated American cultural traditionalism that even the “conservative” party considers America a corporation writ large, a mere means by which indivuduals can pursue wealth, not an altogether spiritually edifying existence. Sure, we need to feed our families, but aren’t there just as equally important concerns outside money, money, money?

LA replies:

But before multiculturalism, American presidents spoke of America as though it were nothing but an economy. GNP and other economic measures were treated as though they were the sole thing about the country that mattered. I remember thinking that, and about how dead it made America feel, well before multiculturalism arrived as an official ideology in the late 1980s.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 04, 2012 09:26 PM | Send

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