Lies, Damned Lies and Full Blown Lunacy
There has been quite a bit of chatter today in the blogosphere about just how nuts the Republicans were last night in their debate and I tend to agree with Yglesias that this is going to be a uniquely mendacious campaign:
To me, the takeaway message of watching the Republicans debate is that Democrats need to realize that in 2008 they'll be matching up against a campaign of audacious -- almost awe-inspiringly so -- lies, and they need to be prepared to aggressively swat them down.
Looking at what these bloodthirsty id ticklers are selling, I have to say that I think we ware going to look back at the swift-boaters with a sort of warm and fuzzy nostalgia. These guys are making George W. Bush look positively subtle. They aren't even trying to present themselves as sane, much less "compassionate." There are no paeans to freedom and democracy and with the exception of Brownback and Huckabee, they aren't even pushing zygote worship very much. It's pure lizard brain.
Kevin noted that Manly Mitt was blathering on last night about "null sets" and how Saddam Hussein wouldn't let the inspectors in. And Yglesias noted in his post that Giuliani was completely incoherent on Iraq policy and terrorism. But I haven't seen my favorite crazy Rudy line of the night highlighted by anyone:
The problem the Democrats make is they're in denial. That's why you hear things like you heard in the debate the other night, that, you know, Iran really isn't dangerous; it's 10 years away from nuclear weapons.
Iran is not 10 years away from nuclear weapons. And the danger to us is not just missiles. The danger to us is a state like Iran handing nuclear weapons over to terrorists.
So it has to be seen in that light. And we have to be successful in Iraq.
It wasn't just a slip of the tongue. He said it again and this time he was much more explict that Iran already has nukes:
And during the debate the other night, the Democrats seemed to be back in the 1990s. They don't seem to have gotten beyond the Cold War. Iran is a threat, a nuclear threat, not just because they can deliver a nuclear warhead with missiles. They're a nuclear threat because they are the biggest state sponsor of terrorism and they can hand nuclear materials to terrorists.
Even Bush didn't lie this blatantly about Iraq and Al Qaeda. (Cheney did, but then that's who Giuliani is apparently trying to top with his lunacy.) Bush and Rice and Rummy all used much more clever language to imply that Iraq and Al Qaeda were in cahoots on 9/11, (which was a tip-off that they knew exactly what they were doing.) I'm not sure about Rudy.
What Yglesias says is correct. The level of lies and the total disassociation from reality, reason or truth is going to be a distinguishing characteristic of this campaign. We need to start keeping close track of what they are saying --- and try to persuade our candidates to make this an issue. It's clear the press isn't going to bother. They sometimes make a half hearted effort but in the face of the shrieking GOP insanity, they back off very quickly.
Check out this unbelievable exchange after the debate:
L. KING: Have you got the nomination?
GIULIANI: I'm not running against the people on that stage. I mean we have some...
L. KING: Well, you are.
GIULIANI: Well, I'm not really. I have some disagreements with them, but largely, I hear things that I agree with. I mean, a lot of the things Senator McCain said, I agree with. Mitt Romney, at least three or four times, said, "I agree with mayor Giuliani."
I probably disagreed with him most of the time.
My disagreements with are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and John Edwards. John Edwards saying that the war on terror was just a bumper sticker, and not even amending that after this plot in New York was uncovered to attack Kennedy Airport.
It's not a bumper sticker. It is a real war. And whatever you think about Iraq, it's bigger than Iraq.
These people want to come here and kill us...
L. KING: But Iraq is...
GIULIANI: ... and we have to be on offense about it. We can't be in denial.
I think the Democrats want to put us in reverse to the 1990s. All I heard on that stage two nights ago was to go back to the 1990s. The 1990s -- when our taxes were 24, 25 percent higher. The 1990s -- when we weren't recognizing the Islamic threat against us, when they attacked the USS Cole and we didn't retaliate. We didn't do anything about it.
They attacked us in 1993. We had a criminal justice response, not a response commensurate with a terrorist threat
L. KING: But we only have a minute left.
You will agree Iraq is the gorilla in the room, though?
GIULIANI: Iraq is...
L. KING: You can't escape Iraq.
GIULIANI: Iraq is very, very important. But how you deal with it is going to say a lot about how we deal with this terrorist threat. And to give the enemy a timetable of our retreat -- when in the history of war has any army ever been required to do that? And that's why I think the Democrats are in denial.
L. KING: Can the Yankees can still win?
GIULIANI: The Yankees can still win. But I'm an optimist, Larry. That's my prescription for the country and it's my prescription (UNINTELLIGIBLE) always think hopefully.
I'm tired already.