Thursday, August 09, 2012

Obama and the Big Lie Technique

The sleazy Obama SuperPAC steel mill closing ad, which all but accuses Mitt Romney of killing a worker’s wife by closing a steel mill, has me thinking about something again.

But first some links to provide a review for those not familiar with the ad and its lies.  It is so out of bounds that even CNN debunked it, and the Washington Post gave it 4 Pinocchios and went even further: “On just every level, this ad stretches the bounds of common sense and decency.”  Just Asking sums up the most obvious problems with the “gutter” ad:

The problem with this, is that, Mitt Romney actually left Bain Capital (1999) two years before the mill closed (2001) and Mrs. Soptic died of cancer five years (2006) after the mill closing. That’s 7 years AMR….After Mitt Romney.

But Romney is soooo powerfully eeeevil that he killed Mrs. Soptic . . . or something.  The ad is so absurd that, in spite of its slimy nature, it begs for spoofing.  And sure enough . . . .

But of course the problem is that many people have neither the time nor desire to find out what a lie this ad (and the rest of the Obama campaign) is.  And others assume that surely Obama and his men wouldn’t tell such a huge lie.

And I think the Obama campaign is betting on that that.  Further, I think Obama and his men have decided to use this Big Lie technique as a key strategy for their campaign as a whole.  And I am not the only one. 

The PJ Tattler sums up my thinking well:

. . . We’re dealing with something in the Obama campaign that we haven’t seen much at the top of American life, except in the worst moments of the Clinton era. [ed.: I do think the Tattler owes Clinton an apology here.  Clinton’s lies, though frequent, were more effective and less outrageous than Obama’s.] We’re dealing with a president who is entirely without any sense of ethics, honor or morals. He has lived a lie for most if not all of his life, hiding his true political convictions in gauzy language that makes him appear reasonable and moderate. Having lived a lie, what’s one more lie, in the service of keeping himself in power? What’s one more lie if, in Obama’s mind, it accomplishes the “good” of keeping Romney out of power?

Obama cannot win on the truth, so he’s going for the gold on lies.  But will it work?

The danger for the Obama camp is that they risk going over a tipping point. There is a point at which the negativity becomes absurd, and instead of depressing the opponent’s vote, angers the opponent’s supporters and draws the undecided over to the opponent’s side. No one can really put a finger on where that point is, but it’s real and we saw the effect of reaching that point in the Texas Senate run-off last week. The Dewhurst campaign went too far into negative territory, no one really believed their last-minute attacks, and the backlash ended up ensuring that Cruz would win running away. Obama risks the same dynamic hitting him.

The Obama campaign has gone from accusing Romney of boyhood bullying to adulthood felony, to being a murderer in all but name. What accusation is left to throw at him? There aren’t many, but rest assured that the Obama campaign and its allies will find one.

It is going to be a long 89 days people.  Lord, have mercy upon us.

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