February 18th, 2011

Truth, lies, and videotape

Peggy Noonan puts her finger on why Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie have been able to make recent speeches on fiscal responsibility that were so compelling:

Everyone knew they meant it. Everyone knew they’d been living it.

She quotes this absolute gem from Christie, as he tells the tale of addressing a convention of firefighters after he’d proposed curtailing some of their benefits and rolling back a 9% pay increase:

As Mr. Chrisie recounted it: “You can imagine how that was received by 7,500 firefighters. As I walked into the room and was introduced. I was booed lustily. I made my way up to the stage, they booed some more. . . . So I said, ‘Come on, you can do better than that,’ and they did!”

He crumpled up his prepared remarks and threw them on the floor. He told them, “Here’s the deal: I understand you’re angry, and I understand you’re frustrated, and I understand you feel deceived and betrayed.” And, he said, they were right: “For 20 years, governors have come into this room and lied to you, promised you benefits that they had no way of paying for, making promises they knew they couldn’t keep, and just hoping that they wouldn’t be the man or women left holding the bag. I understand why you feel angry and betrayed and deceived by those people. Here’s what I don’t understand. Why are you booing the first guy who came in here and told you the truth?”

He told them there was no political advantage in being truthful: “The way we used to think about politics and, unfortunately, the way I fear they’re thinking about politics still in Washington” involves “the old playbook [which] says, “lie, deceive, obfuscate and make it to the next election.”

That last sentence—“lie, deceive, obfuscate and make it to the next election,” is a nice summary of Obama’s fiscal strategy. Charles Krauthammer gives a good description of it here:

…[F]or all its gimmicks, this budget leaves the country at decade’s end saddled with publicly held debt triple what Obama inherited.

A more cynical budget is hard to imagine. This one ignores the looming debt crisis, shifts all responsibility for serious budget-cutting to the Republicans – for which Democrats are ready with a two-year, full-artillery demagogic assault – and sets Obama up perfectly for reelection in 2012.

Let’s hope not.

22 Responses to “Truth, lies, and videotape”

  1. Casca Says:

    Yo Neo… am I missing something, or do you lack the little facebook gui that would allow me to share specific posts with just a click of the mouse?

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Casca: Yes, unfortunately I lack it. Pretty soon I’m going to ask the person who works on the tech end of the blog now and then to add a few things like that (and my blogroll, which disappeared one day about a year ago).

  3. Artfldgr Says:

    if merit is truthful…

    its antithesis is what?

    ergo, Hegelian dialectical reasoning tells them to do what to win and so create a socialist synthesis?

  4. LAG Says:

    I love this line: “Why are you booing the first guy who came in here and told you the truth?”

    Neo, the answer is that we all like to be lied to.

    How do you answer, “Do you love me?” Or, “You’re going to stay forever, aren’t you?” Or “Does this dress make my butt look big?” Or “Was it good for you, too?” Or “You don’t mind my love handles, do you?” Or “Does this gray hair make me look distinguished?” Or “Can we really afford it?”

    Wait a minute, where’d that last one come from?

    A few of us are constitutionally disposed against lies except in those social occasions when they mean nothing, as when we answer, “How are you?” On the big things that means you’re going to hear the truth. Those last are rarely elected to office except in dire emergency. Otherwise they are too unpleasant and abrasive. Think Churchill’s warning about Nazis and your father’s response when you trespassed. When the danger’s past, you go back to mother’s comfort and Clement Attlee.

    Thank God for Chris Christie.

  5. Artfldgr Says:

    Its easy to lie to the ignorant and lazy of thought who are full of self esteem and have complete blind faith to their belief that their actual condition is otherwise…

  6. Artfldgr Says:

    Neo, the answer is that we all like to be lied to.

    and women like to be lied to more than men do…

    they would rather accept a lie that appeals to their false sense of safety, rather than the naked scary truth. [its favored by natural selection. the ones that were not like this didn’t have as many children, but i bet they were sure haughty in their self superiority and hard line morality]

    ergo, they will get drunk and walk around in a micro mini with the full knowlege that the only protection they have from reality is a dream and belief we share in how it SHOULD be, not how it is.

    [but that’s ok, ultimately whatever happens to her, will help the cause (sacrificial lambs always welcome, the more the merrier for the ladies who have self declared what they represent despite their followers excuses otherwise). and an ideology whose basis leads to birth control, eugenics, euthanasia, and pretends sanctity of life as lip service, really doesn’t want good things. good things for women would be the death of their power!]


    Fleetwood Mac – Little Lies With Lyrics

  7. DJMoore Says:

    Lots of folks are proposing Christie as the Republican Presidential candidate in 2012, despite his repeated and very firm statement that he won’t until he’s finished what he started in New Jersey.

    I hope instead that the Republican leadership learn from Christie that being truthful is what most voters desperately want, desperately need, from their politicians.

    We’re looking out the windows, and we can see for ourselves that three engines are tattered ruins, the fourth is on fire, and the terrain below is coming up fast and is nothing but Big Damn Rocks. So why is the Captain on the intercom telling us that we’re making good time with a tailwind, and that as a special promotion, the cabin attendants will now be serving drinks and a three-course meal at no charge?

    Come on, you idiot mastodons. Stop putting up the same old smooth liars, and give us candidates that are inspired by Christie’s videos and are ready to unfurl their trunks and trumpet the charge to stomp to jelly those who would oppress us.

    We want strong Republicans, damn it, and if all you can offer is weak Democrats, you will end up as umbrella stands.

    Chris Christie cannot do it alone. More: His focus on the budget is far too narrow for the Oval. We need candidates just as strong, just a truthful, on border control, national defense, self defense, and rampaging bureaucracy. We need them in city councils, state legislatures, governors’ mansions, Congress, and the Presidency.

    Leave Christie to New Jersey; it’s where he wants to be and needs to be.

    He’s a great model, but I’m beginning to see people regarding him as The Republican Messiah.

    What’s next, boy scout troops and children’s choirs singing his praises?

    Didn’t we learn how dangerous that is with Obama?

    “Oh, you rockheads, you deserve to starve!” — Wyoming Knot

  8. holmes Says:

    You mean Peggy Noonan, “Obama Voter,” wrote that?

  9. gs Says:

    1. For those who do not have a WSJ account, Noonan’s piece is here.

    2. I don’t know what to make of her. Sometimes she writes complete balderdash; sometimes she’s quite sensible. (In contrast, her fellow “conservative” David Brooks usually writes complete balderdash.) The off-putting thing is that she presents herself as a Reaganite. Maybe the constructive way to read her is as a centrist Democrat/liberal Republican.

    3. After the serious damage done by Bush and especially Obama, it’s hard to be optimistic. But I didn’t expect even the degree of plain-speaking leadership that the GOP is currently showing.

    4. One of my concerns is that some GOP faction will decide not to let a crisis go to waste and nominate candidates, especially for POTUS, that the country will find unacceptable: thereby reelecting Obama and perhaps taking Congressional losses in the process.

    5. I’ve expressed the opinion that the GOP should turn to its emerging leaders and not recycle the likes of Palin, Romney, Huckabee, Giuliani, etc. I still wouldn’t bet on it but it seems less unlikely than it once did.

    6. I keep saying that Palin and Romney lost me when they, respectively, resigned and decided not to run for a second term. Daniels’ and Christie’s speeches have added weight because they are in the arena with the problems they are describing.

    7. We are accustomed to knowing the nominee before the convention starts, but these are not normal times. I can envision Christie not running but being nominated by a divided convention.

    8. Neo, since your associate will be working on the site, let me repeat what’s been said before: a preview feature would be welcome.

  10. texexec Says:

    I keep hoping an electable true conservative will show up for the Republican ticket. Not convinced I’ve seen one yet. That scares me. We simply HAVE to get control of the Senate and elect a Republican president.

    I just discovered Herman Cain…probably not electable…YET. But wow, what a guy. Would hope he could cut into the 90% black vote for Democrats.

    I like Christie too…but looks like he won’t run.

    I’m liking what the WI governor is doing as well.

    Another Bush or Texan probably can’t get elected. In the case of no Texan being electable, that’s too bad. Texas has become a LOT of folks’ best example of how governments should work. Not perfect by any means but wayyyyyy better than CA, MI, NY, MA, IL and other liberal strongholds.

    Our CITIZEN legislators meet only 140 days every two years, balance our budgets, and create a positive environment for business.

    Haven’t people noticed that the blue states are the ones in the biggest financial trouble?

    Sorry…a bit off subject but I get wound up.

  11. Jed Skillman Says:

    In order for conservatives/libertarians to win, the election of 2012 will have to be a Team Effort.

    Who ever gets the Republican nomination will need 100% active support from all of the other contenders and all of us. Huckabee will have to rally his base. Palin will have to lead rallies. Christie will have to travel the country speaking and raising money. And we’re all going to have to work.

    Obama must be made to run against a unified American public.

  12. Ymarsakar Says:

    If the Republicans can shut down or appreciably mitigate George Soros’ stack of cash and the unions cult membership dues, this would significantly cut out the logistics of the Democrat party for 2012.

    Winning elections is meaningless if the Left’s power base is not completely crushed.

  13. physicsguy Says:

    Look at what’s happening in Wisconsin. The governor is telling the truth and the unions/leftists, and I would guess the CPUSA somewhere in there,
    is setting up for a full scale riot.

    This could spread and become ugly. The newly elected governor of Connecticut, a Democrat, just unveiled his budget with significant reductions for state workers… he’s telling the truth (though he’s also wants large tax increases, but I have to give him some props for looking at the state worker’s health/pensions/salaries). Today I just heard the local AFL-CIO leader fired a verbal shot across the governor’s bow.

    As more and more states try to reign in their budgets we are looking at full scale labor violence, with our esteemed president egging them on. Pretty much settles the ‘knave vs fool’ argument for me.

  14. LAG Says:

    Artfldgr, I don’t agree that “women like to be lied to more than men do… ” They just prefer different kinds of lies. For example, when did you last see women mob a recruiting station?

  15. gs Says:

    physicsguy Says: As more and more states try to reign in their budgets we are looking at full scale labor violence, with our esteemed president egging them on..

    The probable downside for the Democrats is so much greater than the possible upside that I’d love to see him try. He would probably work through an “independent” federal agency or the courts, but I don’t think many people would be fooled.

    By all means, let the voters watch this condescending twit of a President with a $1.6T budget deficit impose policy on a state that’s honestly struggling with its fiscal imbalances.

    Please please please.

    The campaign ads and speeches would write themselves.

  16. texexec Says:

    I agree with what “gs” just said and this “never did anything useful, elitist, coddled, always voted present” president doesn’t seem to realize how politically dangerous to HIM support of the public unions will be.

    That kind of ignorance comes from a life of ignoring facts.

  17. Artfldgr Says:

    LAG, you don’t have to agree… but all one has to do is read neurolinguistic games like players play… the things that work, show that they would rather have the game, than the honesty

    i can quote a recent study out (like a week or so), that confirms such…

    women do not have an empirical burden on them, as men do…

    before you deny it, remember women select men for competency and men select them for other reasons… peacock tails are not what they are because female peahens hate them.

    any geek can tell you that they prefer to be gamed and played than honest and boring…

    thug culture wouldnt survive ten minutes if women walked away from them every time..

    and geeks would be heroes if they walked over loving brains, honesty, and such.

    in the past the women didn’t like the honest men because they were honest. they liked them because they were strong enough to keep the opponents honest.

    from physorg:
    Women are better at forgiving: study
    A study by the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) has carried out the first Spanish study into the emotional differences between the sexes and generations in terms of forgiveness. According to the study, parents forgive more than children, while women are better at forgiving than men.

    well, a person who wants truth, would be less forgiving, as forgiving lies, does not make for honesty. does it?

    i can also put tons of other info to back my claim..

    fro evolutionary psychology and Chinese studies (they dont have feminism forbidding results).

  18. gs Says:

    texexec Says: I keep hoping an electable true conservative will show up for the Republican ticket. Not convinced I’ve seen one yet…Another Bush or Texan probably can’t get elected.

    LBJ, Bush 41, Bush 43: I’m in the No New Texans crowd, but if your economy continues to outperform I’ll have to look seriously at Perry.

  19. Parker Says:

    The problem is that voters are busy living their everyday lives. They are busy going to work, raising kids, paying bills, and watching ‘reality TV’. Many/most people want someone else to take care of the big problems, and they don’t want to hear that the caca is about to meet the rotating blades. It makes them uncomfortable and afraid.

  20. LAG Says:

    Artfldgr quote away your study. I love studies since they’re often so poorly written and understood. And while you’re at it, please explain WTH you mean by this, “women do not have an empirical burden on them, as men do…”

    I’ve been living with women all my life, (in close proximity to one for 37 years) and some days they prefer competency and some days they don’t. I wouldn’t try to pigeonhole them any more than I would men. I humbly submit that people are not peacock

    And they day I go to “any geek” for advice is the day I give up drinking entirely.

    You might want to peek at this: http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2011/Feb-17.html

  21. ELC Says:

    Instapundit came up with a couple of videos about the Milwaukee Public School system.


    For instance, at $56,000 the average MPS teacher’s salary is about $13,000 higher than the average Milwaukee household income. And the school system’s results suck big time.

    Funny, how they don’t talk about things like that in the news reports, isn’t it?

  22. Artfldgr Says:

    “women do not have an empirical burden on them, as men do…”

    they are hypergamous…

    they are not happy with a husband they support at home… it goes against the biology of selecting a better mate over indiscriminate uncaring guilt free sex….

    women select men for competency of outcome
    men do not select women for such…

    recent study, women are more forgiving..

    if they are more forgiving what are they forgiving, the truth that the dress makes their butt larger, or the lies?

    its in our culture.. literature… etc..

    lets take it to evolutionary psychology.

    also, keep in mind that women can read faces better than men, and so they can determine lies better (but their emotions and fears socks in a wrench with hormones as a ball peen hammer).

    which group is more likely to be represented in the future..

    the woman who detects lies, and does not forgive them, and so there is much lower access to her over time

    or the woman who detects lies, forgives them, and so has more mates have access

    or the woman who cant detect lies..

    well, the first is not favored for selection as much as the second one, and the third one is dysfunctional outside of relationships if ability to know is absent.

    so the most promoted is the one where they know how to detect lies, but forgive lies from a potential mate to increase facilitation.

    if we were decendent from number 1, we would not lie as much as we do..

    and the third one would dominate lower areas of the population if there is soicalism.

    we might not like the idea of finding lies acceptable, but really… if a hypergamous woman was told a lie by a man worth 40 million, they wouldnt ignore it?

    and they dont care about truth from a gas station attendant…

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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