The Phony Campaign

2012-09-16 Update

[phony baloney]

All candidates received modest phony bumps this week, not enough to cause significant changes:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Barack Obama" phony 6,340,000 +70,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 1,590,000 +20,000
"Gary Johnson" phony 447,000 +7,000

And although there was plenty of phoniness this week, very little of it lends itself to the usual Pun Salad detached snark. Today, Pun Salad is more than a little pissed off.

  • As is Glenn Reynolds. An uncharacteristically lengthy post titled "Why Barack Obama Should Resign". He's right. Really: read the whole thing, if you haven't done so already.

  • Let's see if I have this right: we've been living under nearly four years of a delusional foreign policy based on stabbing our friends in the back, and appeasing our implacable foes. We're rewarded with murderous violence and dead Americans. Instead of taking responsibility, the Administration (as Glenn notes) is demonstrating contempt for our Constitutional values. But the real story is something about Mitt Romney's timing.

  • Let me dredge up a six-year-old quote from Bruce Schneier:

    The surest defense against terrorism is to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to recognize that terrorism is just one of the risks we face, and not a particularly common one at that. And our job is to fight those politicians who use fear as an excuse to take away our liberties and promote security theater that wastes money and doesn't make us any safer.

    Schneier is a liberal, and wrote this back in the days of Dubya; it will be interesting if he can manage to recognize that things have not gotten better under Obama. Obama has utterly failed his "refuse to be terrorized" test.

  • And the delusion continues, with (for example) Presidential press secretary Jay Carney, saying, hey, it's nothing we did.

    We also need to understand that this is a fairly volatile situation and it is in response not to United States policy, and not to, obviously, the administration, or the American people, but it is in response to a video, a film that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting. That in no way justifies any violent reaction to it, but this is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy, this is in response to a video that is offensive to Muslims.

    It's hard to say which is worse: whether Carney believes this nonsense, or if he doesn't.

    At the link, Victor Davis Hanson comments:

    Apparently no one in charge seems to grasp that this latest video pretext is simply yet another tool, in a long line of many, for premodern Islamists to manipulate and galvanize their fury against the United States, whose success and power obsess them no end -- no matter what we do or who happens to be in the White House, soaring Cairo speech and "leading from behind" or not.

    But for the mainstream media, the real story is about what Mitt said.

  • Your tax dollars at work: California has hired a PR firm, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, (with Federal money) to promote its Obamacare "exchange". And …

    Plans are being discussed to pitch a reality television show about "the trials and tribulations of families living without medical coverage," according to the Ogilvy plan. The exchange will also seek to have prime-time television shows, like "Modern Family," "Grey's Anatomy" and Univision telenovelas, weave the health care law into their plots.

    I'd call these folks whores, but whores are more honest, and aren't dependent on taxpayer funds.

  • Tim Carney took one last look at the phoniness of the Democratic Platform. Everyone was amused at the phoniness of the now-you-see-em-now-you-don't "God" and "Jerusalem" shenanigans. But, as Carney notes, other changes went mostly unnoticed:

    Four years ago, Obama ran on a platform declaring, "We support constitutional protections and judicial oversight on any surveillance program involving Americans." That platform added, "We reject illegal wire-tapping of American citizens."

    To borrow Biden's phrasing, those platform planks are dead, and illegal wire-tapping of Americans is alive.

    Citing one of President George W. Bush's more egregious blows to the Constitution, the 2008 platform stated, "We reject sweeping claims of 'inherent' presidential power." The new platform scraps that plank and proposes no limits on presidential power. The only mentions of executive power are positive.

    "We will revisit the Patriot Act," the 2008 platform promised, "and overturn unconstitutional executive decisions issued during the past eight years."

    In May 2011, Obama signed a bill reauthorizing the Patriot Act complete with the provisions that most disturbed civil libertarians, including roving wiretaps and surveillance of people with no known ties to terrorist organizations. The 2012 platform omitted any mention of the law.

    Democrats even stripped innocuous promises from the platform, such as "We will respect the time-honored tradition of habeas corpus."

    Who were more phony: the Democrats of 2008, who pretended to care about these things? Or Democrats of 2012, who pretend that that such things never existed? Or the mainstream media, who don't find such elisions worthy of comment? In any case, Orwell's memory hole is functioning well.

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