How to Debate a Liar

Recently, I noted that Romney, during the first presidential debate, did exactly what creationists do: lied fast and furiously. The way you combat this is not to hope the truth will out, but assail the character of the liar. There seems to be one person over at the Great Orange Satan who sort of gets this (boldface mine):

The advice to the president for future debates is simple: Mitt Romney is going to lie. Mitt Romney is going to lie a lot. He will repeat lies the president thinks he has refuted. He will ignore those refutations and continue to lie every time he has a chance to speak. It’s not just Romney’s political strategy, it’s the kind of person he is. The president needs to be prepared. He doesn’t need to be mean or nasty, but he does need to be alert to every lie, every time Romney speaks one. He needs to refute every lie, which will take up the bulk of the remaining debates, but that will become the narrative of the debates. Romney isn’t just lousy on the issues, he’s a lousy person.

…The president needs to enjoy himself. He needs to be serious and focused, but also bemused that the Republican Party has chosen as its standard-bearer someone who is so fundamentally dishonest. It’s that simple.

Most presidential aspirants prepare for debates by crunching numbers and practicing sound bites and trying to anticipate every possible question and response. Debating Mitt Romney is different. Mitt Romney is capable of saying anything about anything at any given time. And that needs to be at the forefront of the president’s consciousness going into the next debates.

Note that I wrote “sort of.” I still think there’s too much emphasis on refuting each and every lie–that’s a mug’s game. Instead, you pick a howler and club him to death with it. You need to turn the lies into an assessment of Romney’s character.

Remember: nothing in movement conservatism makes sense except in the light of creationism.

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2 Responses to How to Debate a Liar

  1. JohnV says:

    After the debates there needs to be a series of political commercials that just show romney saying something, then the refutation. i don’t know how many lies can be covered in a 30 second ad, just keep doing them and until its all covered and have them numbered sequentially or something

    Hell, have President Obama do the voice over for the part where the truth is stated. “I’m Barack Obama, and this guy’s a lying shit bucket”

  2. zinemin says:

    I find it interesting that right-wing politician’s only hope to win seems to be in lying. I observe the same thing with right-wing politicians here in Europe.They just repeat and repeat their lies, until people start to believe them, and more moderate, usually too polite politicians just don’t know yet how to react to this.
    The problem is that this tactics works really well. People just do not expect grown-up, grey-haired, respectable-looking politicians to lie that bluntly, and so some of their lies always stick.
    I think the best reaction would be if Obama just exploded: “Liar! Liar! People, did you hear that? This was a lie!” and not just continue to the next topic.

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