The Phony Campaign

2012-09-09 Update

[phony baloney]

I would have expected the Democratic National Convention to have provided President Obama with a larger phony bump. The effect was modest:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
2012-09-02
"Barack Obama" phony 6,270,000 +190,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 1,570,000 +80,000
"Gary Johnson" phony 440,000 -10,000

But:

  • In an interview with Bill O'Reilly, Senator John McCain offered some advice to the Romney campaign. Including:

    "You got to let the folks know who you are in a sincere way. It's not a phony political deal," McCain said, offering some advice on what he's learned himself as a two-time Republican presidential candidate.

    Pun Salad will offer additional advice to the Romney campaign: politely but firmly decline to take advice from John McCain.

  • The DNC inspired Lurita Doan to reminisce about Obama's acceptance speech four years ago:

    Four years ago, Barack Obama chose to use ten, grandiose, Greek columns as the backdrop for his speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. The staging was a rather clumsy effort to substitute showmanship and theatre to help disguise Mr. Obama's hostility towards American enterprise.

    What many Americans watching the Obama speech four years ago may not have realized was that Obama's fake Greek columns were a bad omen of things to come. Mr. Obama was about to put the United States on the same economic path as Greece.

    That's not a difficult point to make. Will Romney be able to make it?

  • Democrats used to bill themselves as "reality-based", but David Harsanyi saw little evidence of that at the DNC.

    Government is the only thing we all belong to--but, don't worry, you won't have to pay for any of it. That about sums up the Democratic National Convention's case to America, a place where whatever isn't handed to you is actually just being taken away.

    Or as Bastiat put it:

    "Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."

    Democrats believe Bastiat's fiction is reality, and that it can actually work.

    Some Republicans will, on the other hand, agree with Bastiat. If you get them drunk. And promise not to quote them on the record.

  • Bastiat's point is illuminated nowhere more brightly than in the mainstream discussion of Medicare. Veronique de Rugy illustrated the sobering if-this-goes-on projections for costs over the next few decades, including this chart:

    Medicare
costs doubling

    You know who's talking honestly about this? Well, there's Veronique and a bunch of cranky libertarians. Republicans and Democrats? Fuhgeddaboudit! Nick Gillespie, writing at Hit&Run:

    Sadly - and despite mutual invective to the contrary - neither the Dems or the Reps have any real plan for cutting Medicare spending down to size.

  • Phony rhetoric abounds from the two major parties on the whole issue of entitlements. For more on the issue, Nicholas Eberstadt is a must-read. His conclusion:

    The U.S. is a very wealthy society. If it so chooses, it has vast resources to squander. And internationally, the dollar is still the world's reserve currency; there remains great scope for financial abuse of that privilege.

    Such devices might well postpone the day of fiscal judgment: not so the day of reckoning for American character, which may be sacrificed long before the credibility of the U.S. economy. Some would argue that it is an asset already wasting away before our very eyes.

    And on that cheerful note, have a good week!


Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:59 PM EST