The first of the 2012 presidential “debates” occurred last night. With “debates” in scare quotes since the format used isn’t a debate—it’s a schizophrenic interview. (A real debate would be much more informative but harder to prep for and harder to package for TV, so that’s not going to happen.)
The lies and obfuscations flew fast and hard from both sides, but most shamelessly from Romney. Sadly, at this point in the long, slow grind of the process, it’s probably a great strategy: Lie like it’s going out of style.
Because why not? A voter who’s paid any attention at this point has made up her mind—has had her mind made up since it became clear Romney was the Republican candidate after that long, long slog through the Republican primaries. That unicorn in the mist, the undecided voter, has to be so information-poor or disengaged that if she by some miracle tuned in to the debate at all, she sure as hell isn’t going to read any of the myriad fact checks performed after the lights go down.
So it’s carte blanche for lying through your teeth: Partisans will laser focus on the lies told by the opposing candidate, people who care about the future of America will be sad, and the undecided voter won’t know any better.
Thus our democracy is made.
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