Never argue with the crazy lady; or, why Romney had a good strategy for the third debate

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.

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  • Charles Martel

    This is a good call on your part, Book.
    There’s a crazy woman in our county, Book, who sometimes shows up at a bus stop on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. She will stand under the shelter there wildly gesticulating and prancing around like a fundamentalist preacher under a revival tent, smacking one open hand with an emphatic fist, and yelling at the air as though she could make  everything around her stand still long just long enough to get her message through. 
    Sometimes when I drive past her I will wave to her and yell out the friendliest “Hello!” I can muster. Sometimes my greeting will stop her for just a split second. and we exchange smiles of recognition, one non-crazed person to another. Then her mask reappears and she returns to foaming at the mouth.
    But in those one or two seconds when she is a sane person, we make a connection and I think her better self appreciates it.
    I do not like Barack Hussein Obama, a thoroughly despicable and pathetic excuse for a man. But the better self in me wishes that at some time in his lying life he could enjoy just a few seconds when the craziness might drop from his visage and he might understand what it is to be an honest and complete person.

  • Ymarsakar

    Republicans need to understand that the ground view, influenced by Leftist propaganda, is more important in shaping election results than whatever “dialogue” or “bipartisan communication” is spread between Repubs and Demoncrats, on or off stage.

    If Republicans don’t speak past the media filter to the people, the people will end up supporting Democrats to Hell and Utopia. Of course, it’s not as if that has yet to happen.

  • JKB

    Well, good advice.  I often just decide to ignore the “Progressives” in comments since they just lie or latch on to some minor detail to cover for being revealed wrong.  

    But Mitt’s job wasn’t to win the debate.  The winner of the most debates isn’t the one who wins the Presidency.  It’s not two out of three.  Mitt had a clear line to the public and he used it to sell himself.  

    In fact that may be Obama’s problem.  After the losing the first debate, he became so focused on winning he forgot to bring anything for the voters.  Even when discussing his actual policies and actions, Obama never owned them and tried to sell them as the way “forward”.  He was arguing with Mitt while Mitt was talking to America.  

    A bit off topic but something I thought about:  When Obama was bombing Libya we heard lots about this UN Responsibility to Protect (R2P) policy or whatever.  Whatever happened to that?  We certainly didn’t see it from Obama on September 11, 2012.  Or is it some vague responsibility based on oil leases and opinion polls and doesn’t translate to Americans and direct representatives of the United States?

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  • Texan99

    I think you’re right.  Obama was obsessing over a spat with Romney, while Romney simply spoke past Obama to the voters.  The he-said-she-said acrimony of the second debate did no one any good.  In the third debate, Romney took the approach of Elinor Dashwood, who “agreed with it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition.”

    Lawyers are taught never to make objections to testimony based on relevance, because they only give opposing counsel a platform on which to make an argumentative speech in front of the jury, putting the testimony in context and emphasizing its importance.  Obama ought to have let the “apology tour” remark go by, thus ensuring that hardly anyone would notice or remember it.  Instead he gave Romney the chance to explain calmly what he meant by “apology tour” and why it was so offensive to voters.  And now Obama’s handlers are still trying to explain it away days later.


  • rrpjr

    Well-stated but I completely disagree. The crazy lady absolutely must be engaged on the public stage, and defeated. Too much is at stake. Don’t let Mitt’s failure in debate two serve as a univeral admonition. We just need to a better job than Mitt did. And we can. The systematic deconstruction of their arguments and the exposure of their enablers in the media need to take place. There can be no running away from this obligation.

  • phillips1938

    I agree with your point Book.  Simple, clear and correct.

  • Karl

    Right after the last debate, I heard a number of people fretting that Romney hadn’t gone after Obama on Benghazi.  Others stated this was actually a good tactic.
    I’m inclined to agree.  I think Libya and Benghazi may well have been Obama’s Maginot Line — an impenetrable barrier, expensively fortified, which the invading forces simply bypassed. 
    Had Romney attacked on the subject of Libya, he would have been chewed up as thoroughly as the French expected German invaders to be.  Instead, he sidestepped and attacked on fronts that had been neglected.