We all know crazy people. I don’t mean the kind of crazy people who believe that cats rule the world and that Satan is living in the begonia. I mean the people with personality disorders who assiduously work to shape reality so that it matches their own warped and damaged inner world. Many of these crazy people are very high functioning because their craziness leaves them driven, so they work hard, and manipulative, so they know which buttons to push to get other people to help them achieve their goals.
One of the distinguishing characteristics of these crazy people is that they lie. Except that, as far as they’re concerned, they’re always telling the truth. You see, for certain types of crazy people, truth is a fluid concept that is defined, not by stubborn facts, but by their emotional needs at any given time. When people I know come to me griping about an unpleasant, reality-bending interaction with one of these people, I always say the same thing, “Never argue with the crazy lady.”
During the second debate, Mitt Romney tried to argue with the crazy lady. Had Obama been completely sane when Mitt tried to get Obama to acknowledge that his administration pretended that the Benghazi’s deaths were a movie review that got out of hand, Obama would have embarked upon a long, circuitous explanation about his inadvertent failure to identify clearly September 11’s events in Benghazi as a terrorist attack. Instead, Obama, who is the functional equivalent of a crazy lady, lied. And because Obama had an enabler sitting there with a microphone, the lie got reinforced. (And yes, I know that Obama used the phrase “acts of terror” in his Rose Garden presentation on September 12, but it’s very, very clear from reading the entire transcript that he was claiming that a video was what caused the events in Benghazi. Only a crazy lady or an enabler would understand the tenor of his remarks in any other way.) Obama told other lies during the first two debates (about sequestration and Israel, for example), but that’s the one that sticks in my mind because Romney got so badly winded by the Obama/Crowley sucker punch — one belied by facts:
Mitt’s no fool. He realized after the second debate that you can’t argue with the crazy lady. And because the crazy lady has enablers all over the media, even if his arguments are entirely accurate and Obama’s entirely false, Mitt won’t get the benefit of second day analysis. Were Mitt to challenge Obama directly, Obama’s crazy lady lies would live on, while Mitt’s truthful assertions would vanish. And so a strategy was born: Mitt simply ignored Obama. Yes, he let lies go by, and yes it was irritating to those of us who know the facts, but Mitt understood that, whatever he threw at Obama, Obama would counter with a falsehood. Heck, Obama’s entire debate performance was a falsehood, one that ignored years of speeches and conduct. For a sane person, entering this kind of alternate universe and trying to function in it according to rational rules can only lead to disaster.
I think Mitt did the right thing, and I think the polls will support him. He bypassed crazy-land and went directly to the American voters. To them, he showed himself to be peaceful, intelligent, knowledgeable, and possessed of a solid vision of America’s place in the world. It was a somewhat bizarre strategy, but in Bizarro World those are the only strategies that work.