Do supporters of ‘Liar’ debate strategy really believe Obama is free of sin?
posted at 11:06 am on October 16, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
After his rocky performance in Debate 1, President Obama is getting all sorts of conflicting advice from his base. Johnny, get angry, Johnny, get mad, many are telling him, as though a second coming of Joe Biden will resurrect his flagging poll numbers. Others are importuning him to use the “Liar! Liar!” strategy on Romney, who in the imagination of liberals—including the president himself—spun a web of untruths that took Obama by surprise.
Appearing on the Michael YO! Show, Obama said, presumably with a straight face (the show is on radio, so it’s hard to be sure): “I was being too restrained when Mr. Romney was telling his tall tales. But the truth is, when you read the transcript, everything I said was true and a lot of what he said was not.”
So Obama believes that when he said, for example, that his administration has cut taxes for small businesses 18 times, he was telling the unvarnished truth rather than repeating a “tall tale” of his own.
One proponent of the “Liar! Liar!” strategy is The American Prospect’s Paul Waldman, who self-effacingly wrote on Monday, “I realize there’s at least some chance that the President is too busy to be reading this blog today. But just in case, let me offer a suggestion.” He goes on to recommend a tag line that Obama can utter every time Romney strays from the truth—“something slogan-y, like ‘That’s another Romney Reinvention,’ or could be something simple, like ‘Once again, Governor Romney thinks he can fool you and get away with it.’”
Never mind that the litany of Romney lies Waldman recycles via link to an anti-Romney video (e.g., The Tax Policy Center’s “study” proving that Romney sponsors a $5 trillion tax cut for the rich, the nutty Rex Nutting claim that Obama’s spending binge never happened) have all been debunked. The more salient point is Waldman’s naïve belief in Obama’s truthometric purity. In the fantasy world Waldman inhabits, Obama never crossed his fingers behind his back when spoke on the topics of energy, soaring gas prices, jobs, or the $862 billion stimulus package. On the numerous occasions when the president explained that the $716 billion that his health care reform law “borrowed” from Medicare was somehow simultaneously being added to the Medicare pool, did Waldman simply nod and tell himself the numbers check?
Interestingly, Waldman’s words of advice came just as evidence of one of the most pernicious cover-ups of the Obama presidency is mounting. That is the stubborn insistence that the story about the cause of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was one that his administration had been told by the State Department.
If Obama is going to fall back on the “Liar! Liar!” strategy in tonight’s debate, he had better come prepared to some explaining of his own.
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