Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Small Facts

In all of the fact checking that has been done on this debate, no one seems to have checked how many times the candidate actually answered the question. I didn’t keep track, but it would be well under half the time, because questions were universally used as launching pads for speeches on whatever topic popped into the candidate’s mind.

For instance the question about who declined the requests for additional security at Benghazi and why. If that question came from an “independent undecided” voter, then I retired from the Navy as an admiral. (I didn’t retire and I was one hell of a long way from admiral.) Obama had to be careful not to laugh out loud before launching into his speech about how tough he is on national security, which was at best marginally related to the question. He never mentioned requests for funding.

He included in his mishmash of sound bites about his accomplishments in office that, “I said I would end the war In Iraq and I ended it,” which none of the fact checkers thought was worth mentioning. Reality is, of course, that he withdrew the last of the troops from Iraq on precisely the schedule set earlier by George W. Bush, after attempting to delay that withdrawal and failing to be able to do so.

He said at one point that he could do something by “spending the money saved by ending wars,” another little treasure that the fact checkers left alone. When you quit doing something which you were paying for with borrowed money you do not have surplus cash in your pocket to spend on something else, you reduce your borrowing. This statement suggests that he thinks our $1 trillion deficit is the norm and should be maintained, and the only question is where and how we spend the money that we are borrowing, but at the same time he talks about reducing the deficit.

These are relatively small things, but there are two ways in which they matter. As Judge Judy says, when you lie about one thing, no matter how small, then I am no longer willing to believe anything that you say. The other is that he is displaying such a degree of contempt for the voters as to so transparently lie about such trivial issues. Any thinking, intelligent person can see through this nonsense, so clearly he does not want that kind of support; he is appealing only to unthinking tribal loyalty.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:28 PM

    The Obama Command tried to divert attention, re the Benghazi coverup, from the fact that the US position in the Mideast is deteriorating while AQ is growing. The disoriented Romney did not seize on this because his neocon (and even more destructive) orientation has made him tilt and whirl on the Mideast dizzlingly faster than Obama's "leading from behind" neolib (neocon-lite)shuck and jive.