I guess it’s okay to lie if you’re the president

I just got me a new computer, and I want to set it up, so I have only a couple of quick comments.

Obama was much better in this debate, although no less dishonest.  (More about that later.)

Romney was almost as good in this debate, although he didn’t appear as good as he did last time, simply because Obama appeared less bad than he did last time.

Candy Crowley was a disgrace.  She gave Romney around four minutes less time than Obama, which is huge in these debates.  She did so by systematically denying Romney rebuttals.

Finally, speaking of Obama being dishonest and Crowley being a disgrace, I almost threw something at the screen when Obama explicitly and repeatedly asserted that, on September 12, 2012, during his post-Benghazi Rose Garden statement, he explicitly identified what happened in Libya as a “terrorist attack” — and then Crowley backed him up.  Then, I realized that this lie was a Godsend.  If you live in the bubble as Obama and Crowley do, you think that whatever you say will be accepted as gospel.  But nowadays, that’s a stupid supposition.  Here is Obama’s entire Rose Garden statement:

I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.

The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.

Oh, last point: Obama kept making promises as if he was running for the presidency for the first time. This sounded amazingly foolish coming out of a man who owned Washington for the first two years of his presidency. Romney, although not amazingly articulate, was able to make this point.

UPDATE: In his actual Rose Garden talk, as opposed to his prepared speech, Obama used the word terror, but not in the context of terrorism:

The second presidential debate on Tuesday in New York, re-ignited the controversy over Obama’s words following the September 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya. The following day, he made this speech from the White House Rose Garden:

Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. We mourned with the families who were lost on that day. I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed. And then last night, we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi.

As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it. Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.

Mickey Kaus has the full speech (the above is just an excerpt) and he says Crowley was clearly out of line. In amy event, Obama’s administration then spent the next two weeks assiduously denying terrorism and blaming a YouTube video.

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Comments

  1. Mike Devx says

    Drudge has a link to the Frank Luntz post-debate intervieew with this captive audience, consisting mostly of “former Obama Voters”

    I haven’t viewed the video yet, but the text beneath it at that link says this:

    A Frank Luntz focus group made up mostly of former Obama voters say they now support Mitt Romney. “Forceful, compassionate, presidential,” one participant said.”Confident and realistic,” said another.”Presidential,” another told Luntz.”Enthusiastic,” another reacted.”Our next president,” one man said.”Dynamo, winner,” said one more. 

    And the headline to the video article was:
    Luntz Focus Group Of Mostly Former Obama Voters Switch To Romney

    (I got home from work after the debate had finished, so once again I am a Johnny-come-lately.
     
     

  2. says

    A fact-checking article claims that Obama did refer to the attack as a terrorist attack: “Obama is correct in saying that he referred to Benghazi as an act of terrorism on Sept. 12, the day after the attack. From the Rose Garden, he said: “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. … We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.”

    http://xfinity.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20121017/US.Presidential.Campaign.Fact.Check/?cid=hero_media
      

    So, who is correct? 

  3. jj says

    I guess I’m just doomed to be disappointed in Romney.  Had it been me, or you, or any of a number of people either of us could name, we’d have said: “you recognized what it was in the Rose Garden?  So how come at the UN, days later, you were still spouting nonsense about the dopey video nobody ever saw?  How come you had Rice on all the shows – days later – talking about the magic video?”
     
    When Obama exposes his throat for you, Mitt, you’re supposed to slit it.  Or, in the words of an old NY legal maxim (told to me by a partner at an old blue-stocking two-name firm of which you’ve heard, so it’ll stay nameless):  “if you put your d**k on the table in front of me, I’m going to cut it off for you.”  This is an instinct Romney seems not to have.  He was offered more than one opportunity to do just that tonight, and didn’t deliver on any of them.  He just doesn’t seem to have the gene.  Instead of putting Obama away with finality, he lets him continue to stay close.  He needs to stop doing this: it will come back to bite him – all of us – right in the ass if he doesn’t wise up.
     
    And the goddam Yankees stunk up the joint yet again.

  4. CollegeCon says

    To her credit, Crowley admitted post debate that Romney was right “in the main” though she waffles a bit by saying he “didn’t use quite the right word”. So I’m not inclined to blame her too much.  In fact, it might actually be helpful, since there is now video of her saying Romney was correct!

  5. JKB says

    I believe the answer is in a paraphrase of Richard Nixon.  ‘When the president does it, it is not lying’

    CollegeCon, no credit for Crowley.  She can apologize all she wants because she accomplished her task.  She threw Obama a life line in a critical moment.

    The Left seems to be giddy but really, how presidential can Obama seem when he can only survive with serious help from the moderator.   

  6. Wolf Howling says

    1.  It is worth noting the actual question posed to Obama on Libya, because it really highlights how deceptive Obama’s answer was on the issue:

    Q: This question actually comes from a brain trust of my friends at Global Telecom Supply in Mineola yesterday. We were sitting around talking about Libya, and we were reading and became aware of reports that the State Department refused extra security for our embassy in Benghazi, Libya, prior to the attacks that killed four Americans. Who was it that denied enhanced security and why?

     Obama did everything but answer that simple question, and it is one of the critical points.  Someone made the decision to “normalize” our security posture in Benghazi, and that is why repeated requests for more security were denied, wholly irrespective of the increasingly dangerous reality on the ground.  The people who were denying these requests were acting pursuant to a policy decision made above their pay grades.  That policy decision almost had to be at the Clinton or Obama level.

    2.  We will now hear about nothing but Benghazi for the next several days.  You are right, its a Godsend.  Given the record, I don’t think Romney could have asked for anything more.  He fell into that gift basket tail end first, with the help of Crowley, God bless her.

    3.  Romney crushed Obama on the economy.  I am ready to call the race now.

     

  7. SADIE says

    I watched the entire four plus hours of the Congressional Oversight Committee on Benghazi. Anyone with more than a couple of brain cells understood the depth of depravity from Libya to the State Department. How lovely that Hillary has taken responsibility after she and Obama made a PSA for Pakistan TV, lied through her pants suit for five weeks and her partner in this crime dazzled the ladies on The View and he lied again at the UN.

    Hillary can now make the cover of True Confessions. Unfortunately, the magazine is no longer published and she is in Peru this week, coincidentally. 

    jj – I agree, Romney should have gone for the jugular and left the bastard bleeding. Crowley turned the debate into MMA and they tag teamed Romney. Yes, he should have been prepared, but even Navy Seals lose their lives when out numbered.    
        

  8. BobK says

    DQ,

    It’s clear to me, and I think to anyone who realistically looks at the context of the Rose Garden message, that President Obama was trying to maintain plausible deniability on the nature of the attack.  The administration had to know how bad it would look if the ghost of Osama bin Laden’s supposedly dead Al Qaeda rose to strike down the Great Satan’s ambassador.  Soooo… why not portray it as a response to a reprehensible attack on The Religion Of Peace, but still provide cover if the real facts should come out.

    Early on in the brief message, the President stated:

    “Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.  We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.  None.  The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.” 

    This was before any mention of “acts of terror”, and to me is the clear referent of the President’s “values we stand for” portion of the remarks.  Riots are senseless.  Acts of terror are never senseless – they are both as deliberate and purposeful as they are evil.  Also, the President made an attempt to differentiate the assassination of our (not HIS!) ambassador (what a narcissist!) from terrorism by making it seem a tragic coincidence that it occurred on the anniversary of 9/11.

    Even Candy Crowley (speaking of reprehensible…) has admitted the essential truth of Governor Romney’s statement.  While I think there was no clear winner tonight, I believe President Obama needed more than a moderator-assisted draw.  I find myself cautiously optimistic, in stark contrast to the quiet despair I was feeling at this time in 2008.

  9. Charles Martel says

    I cannot stand looking at Obama, so for all these four years I have chosen to listen to him rather than watch him. I find that because of my visceral distaste for him I’m less likely to dismiss everything he says if I simply listen.
     
    So I listened. I think that Romney won tonight, not because I’m in his corner or was willing to give him the benefit in every instance, but simply from the tone and substance of what he said. Obama has very few talking points, and he repeats them ad nauseum. Those points may resonate with the Kool-Aid drinkers, but not so much with most others. Romney was able to make his own version of the point Ronald Reagan made in 1980: “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”
     
    Obama’s rhetoric just doesn’t make it anymore. It’s the plaint of the guy who swore he’d be true forever, and when he’s caught screwing another girl, says, “I was thinking of you the whole time!”
     
    Well, fine. Go think of me as much as you’d like from your retirement house in Hawaii.

  10. merighen says

    Do some of you find that since you have been paying attention to all these issues for a very long time that even the high stakes of these debates can’t prevent a bit of tedium when you hear the same pat answers over and over?

    But even after hearing the same phrases a dozen times, sometimes one hits me and I just want to scream, “Whiskey tango foxtrot” out the window.  Tonight it was: POTUS, “We’ve reduced taxes on small businesses 18 times”.  Would someone please give me dates, tax code changes, and summarize what kind of small businesses benefit?  I know, I could Google, but it would be nice if one of those mainstream media fact checkers would do it for me.  They seem to be so anxious to jump on any new factoid Romney cites – they scurry to get that done before they go off air.

    I do think that there are some people watching these debates and post-debate smackdowns who are starting to better recognize the media bias.  Candy Crowley sure gave them a massive dose.  It didn’t matter what format and rules of engagement the two candidates (who, by the way, are running for the most powerful job in the free world) and the Commission on Presidential Debates had agreed to, Candy wasn’t going to be Vanna White with a stopwatch.  Well, Candy, congratulations on giving us the narcissism of Iron Man, and stealing away all the opportunities for real people to engage with the candidates.

    And the folks back at CNN couldn’t exactly express any concerns with her antics since she is one of them.  But some people noticed, I’m sure.  And if they didn’t, they’ll probably be hearing about it from one of their more observat water-cooler friends.  And since she alone chose the questions, the “compare yourself to George Bush” question was a pretty obvious ringer.  I think she should have to reveal all the questions she didn’t choose.  Since she appointed herself prosecutor, judge and jury and parliamentarian I think we have a right to know.

     

  11. Mike Devx says

    merighen, you are preaching to the choir!

    Politicians throw out those lines, and they are just hoping that people think enitely superficiaklly,

    “WOW! EIGHTEEN TIMES!  He must really care.  He must really be SERIOUS.”

    When nothing could be further from the truth. Bullshit, repeat to infinity.

     In the spirit of fairness, politicians use that trick all the time.  In the spirit of truth and reality, Mitt Romney doesn’t.

    Will people wake up?   You may perceive the truth so quickly that it prompts your post!  But for the majority of people, they see it on the TV, and they take it as truth, and then time takes its toll and they internalize it or they don’t.   And all you can do, as the enlightened fact-minded watcher, is scream at them within your enraged head, “See the Truth!”

     

  12. Danny Lemieux says

    I believe that all decided voters that saw the debate confirmed their own choices. The key is the undecided voters and whether they heard Obama’s answers as “same old, same old”. I also believe that, for many of them, they are seeing and hearing Romney for the first time and realizing that, yes, he does have ideas and he is presidential.

  13. Old Buckeye says

    That debate confirmed for me the fact that obumma is a consummate liar who is so practiced that he is glib at it.
    What I’d like to see Romney do is focus on TRUST and the fact that he has PROVEN he can turn around failing economic enterprises. Also, he understands economics and obumma does not. He could be a bit pedantic in schooling him on how numbers work in the real world. Whenever either of them starts to throw out numbers, my eyes glaze over because they are truly meaningless since they’ll be skewed whatever way they need to be for the greatest effect. 
    I was glad Romney was able to mention Fast and Furious, but I think he did it in a real ham-handed way that shows how he’s not used to playing dirty.

  14. beefrank says

    Is it not a telling trait about an individual who blatantly makes a claim regarding themselves when there is irrefutable evidence to the contrary?  Especially when speeches and events are planned and recorded as a message to a targeted audience?
    IMHO, this was more eventful as another POTUS wagging his finger denying a act upon a White House intern.
    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/09/20/State-Dept-Obama-Hillary-Pakistan-Ad
    This administration has an m.o. of playing politics with terrorist attacks against America, i.e., underwear bomber, Times Square bomber, Fort Hood and now Benghazi.

  15. jj says

    On a slightly sideways topic (the end-on instead of broad-beam view)I’m always amused by a notional attribute that gets brought up every four years.  A couple of us have brought it up in passing, and it always seems to be a feature of polls and focus groups of the average American clot citizen, outstandingly this year in Frank Luntz’s groups.  I refer of course to the evanescent quality of “looking presidential.”  I think back over the presidents of my experience, and I realize I have no clue – does anybody? – what the hell that means.  Did FDR look “presidential” trying to pack the Court to accomplish his extra-Constitutional ends?  Was dallying with Miss Lucy “presidential?”  Was refusing to integrate the armed forces when the republican congress asked him to (14 years before Truman did it) “presidential?”  Truman himself, a venal, petty, vengeful little man; was there ever an occasion when he looked other than venal, petty, and vengeful?  Was that “presidential?”  Eisenhower, who may have looked more “presidential” than either of the two before him simply by recognizing America’s postwar dominance and doing little – practically nothing – thereby not screwing it up.  (Though he did louse up several former allies, the French in Indo-China and the Brits in Suez by a refusal to be even encouraging to them, let alone helpful.  Nice job with Castro, too.)  JFK, did he ever look “presidential,” or just like a randy goat, going through life with permanent venereal disease – which may well have had the personal cost to him of one stillborn baby and one who only lived a few days?  Is it “presidential” to ambush women in the white house halls and drag them into handy coat closets?  LBJ, strolling the halls naked, spitting, farting, and scratching his balls for the edification of those who worked for him – “presidential?”  I could continue, but you all know it, so I’ll regard the point as made.  What is “looking presidential?”  Can anyone define what it means?  Who has ever “looked presidential?”  Have we ever had a president who “looked presidential?” 
     
    But here we are, and once again we have a populace for whom it seems very important to “look presidential.”  I look at the past occupiers of the office, and all I can say is: “you want somebody who looks like any of them, America?  Really?”  God, I hope not!
     

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