I waited for more than a day from the second 2012 presidential debate to write on it. That’s one way to resist the temptation to tell you who “won,” or whether it will make a difference in the race. I would be hard put to do the latter anyway because I believe that most people vote on the basis of small perceptions or of small facts that they would be hard put to identify. Some time ago, a young woman I know a little and like said she was for Obama because the President was “pro-woman.” She couldn’t say why she thought so. (“My Obamist Friends….” posted 9/7/12) There is no bragging in this observation. I think I may be only a little more analytical myself despite years of trying.
I wonder why so many people forbid themselves the full use of their intuition. Are they unaware of its existence? Or is it “unscientific” to do so? (The French have a good word for the narrow rationalism associated with a superficial interpretation of the concept of science; they call it: “scientisme.” It rhymes with “socialisme.” ) Let me help your intuition:
Does anyone really believe that a moderator, a fully grown woman, who goes by the name of “Candy” and who is not a hooker, will be impartial between a liberal and a conservative?
The President delivered himself of a fair number of untruths during the second debate. Nevertheless, I persist in not calling him a liar. His attitude toward reality is the same as that of nearly (nearly) all liberals I know: They create a narrative, a coherent narrative, and then they derive, extract imaginary pseudo-facts from it. On of the enduring traits of liberals is that they are uncomfortable with ambiguity, along with children, and elementary school teachers; with them, story coherence counts for more than adherence to empirical reality. This is not the same as consciously lying.
The reason I don’t believe Pres. Obama lies is that so many of his untruths are about simple, easily verifiable assertions. He tells fibs for which he will unavoidably get caught. Two stand in my mind from the debate, one small, the other big.
The President briefly described the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law as permitting any law enforcement officer to stop anyone based on his looks to check his immigration status.
In fact, the statute explicitly forbids them from doing so. It requires that officers check the immigration status of those they stop for other reasons.
Why would the President make that particular mistake? Because the Arizona governor is a Republican. Republicans are racist; they engage in racial profiling.Liberals’ minds create werewolves and then, they accuse conservatives of being them, the werewolves. There would be werewolves no matter what conservatives did or say.
The President asserted against Gov. Romney that the day after the murder of the US Ambassador to Libya, he had declared that the cause was terrorism. He did no such thing although he did use the word “terrorism” in the Rose Garden speech of reference. Of course, if he had meant to imply that terrorism rather than a spontaneous demonstration gone wrong was the cause, we would expect that his employees – of all people – would have understood his message. His rep. to the UN, – like me – understood that he was serious when he blamed a stupid anti-Muslim video. She said so over and over in the talk shows. And, by the way, he did not fire her for it (until now).
It’s obvious that he was going to get caught for this untruth (In spite of Candy’s “fact checking,” “fact shaking”?) He is not a stupid man. He committed this untruth because Barack’s image reigns sovereign in Barack’s mind. It’s not just personal grandiosity; it’s a common liberal conceit; “We are humane, we are generous, we are compassionate but we are tough when we need to be.” Barack is tough on terrorism in Barack’s mind. He did kill Bin Laden, after all, didn’t he?
I wouldn’t swear that Romney did not state anything contrary to fact. If you find one instance though, it will be about something fairly complicated in which anyone could get confused, especially in the heat of a debate. Complexity either is a cause of confusion or it gives moral cover to misstatements. Republicans tend to be nice but stern types. They don’t have much of a narrative from which to extract facts. They are kind of limited that way.
The debate showed that face to face with someone who has some ideas about what to do next, President Obama is voiceless. It’s not that he dos not have a “plan.” He just does not know what to do at all. The liberal narrative does not supply any project names or many Plans B for the general state of the economy. The president’s earlier intent to create a green economy failed to materialize. It put eggs on his face instead. Like a stubborn little boy, he has little to say beyond asserting that next time, he will really, really do it.
Curiously, I don’t dislike the man. I think it’s because of the little boy quality about him, precisely.
I noticed with sadness that neither candidate during his whole campaign did anything to undermine the nested myths of the golden age of American manufacturing and of the evil, cheating China. More on this later if I have the courage.
Update on Benghazi 10/20/12 : From James Rosen: “The Three Benghazi Timelines We Need Answers About,” Wall Street Journal 20-21 /10/12:
“Today, the issue is not so much the withholding of information as the denial of the obvious: The stubborn insistence by top Obama administration officials on an interpretation of events starkly at odds with the plainly correct conclusion of terrorism.”
And: “Not until his afternoon appearance on ‘The View’ on September 25 – the ‘two weeks’ of delay that Mr Romney alluded to in the debate – did the president offer Americans an explanation of Benghazi that made no reference to a protest over a video.”
I had stated myself on October 14th, three days after the assassinations:
“More silly waste of time among our hapless pundits: Was the attack in Benghazi planned? You bet! Even in Libya, people don’t go to a peaceful demonstration of protest carrying automatic rifles and grenade launchers. The day was 9/11, the right time to strike the imagination of the undecided, perhaps the right time in their reading of us to strike fear in Americans again. The indignation about the blasphemous movie trailer provided excellent cover. The terrorists got lucky this time. (They have not had much luck in the past nine years, let’s face it.)”
How could my,the guess of a little retired professor living in California be better than the guess of the president, the State Department, the whole White House all rolled in one? Beggars the imagination, don’t it?