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Thu Oct 4, 2012, 02:27 PM

The Glib Factor

Glib: (adjective) readily fluent, superficial, or insincere.


My father used to say that an honest person is often at a disadvantage in an argument with a liar: the honest person has only the truth to tell, while a liar has unlimited options. However, he noted, the honest person only needs to remember the truth, while even that liar with a strong memory rarely can recall all of lies he has told.

I thought about that last night, as I watched the presidential debate. From the opening statements on, I thought that President Obama seemed flat. He provided the only truth in the contest, but his presentation was not as energetic or forceful as I had hoped. Willard Romney, on the other hand, was lying with the gusto that resulted in many people -- and not only the anti-Obama and/or pro-Romney folks -- declaring Mitt the “winner.”

In a historical perspective, that’s not a surprise. It makes Barack Obama the 4th out of five sitting presidents to lose the opening televised debate against his challenger. And, for better or for worse, last night’s debate is now part of American political history. Yet that is not the only context in which we can and should view the debate. Indeed, in purely political terms, it is but the first of three presidential and one vice presidential debates set for this month.

More, in the larger political sense, a candidate who appears “flat” in the first debate can rebound far more easily than one who can be shown to be a pathological liar. But to more fully explain this, let me use a non-political illustration. Before retiring, as some here know, I was employed at a county mental health clinic. Much of my work was in forensic mental health, which simply means working on cases that involved the judicial system. And before that, I worked in another county, investigated incidents of family violence -- most often child abuse. No surprise that I have had the experience of encountering some of the damnedest liars our society produces.

I rarely found it productive to confront pathological liars in general, pre-trial situations. Rather, I would document, document, and document their lies. Then, I’d document some more. When the court process began, I was well-prepared to show each and every lie. The “little” lies were often as important as the “big” ones, because they show that pathology we know as “glibness.” And, oh my glibness, no judge or jury likes a glib liar. Just can’t trust them.

No matter if one thinks that President Obama did okay last night, or that he gave a sub-par performance, the fact is that the national media is focusing on two primary issues today: first, that Romney exceeded expectations, while President Obama was flat; and second, that Romney -- at very least -- stretched the truth to the point that many of his previous positions were unrecognizable.

The VP debate next week will be important. I find Joe Biden to be one the most most respectable politicians of my lifetime …..not because he is perfect -- no one is -- but because he is usually passionate about telling the truth as he sees it. On the other hand, I hold Paul Ryan beneath contempt. The fact that since being selected for the vice presidential slot, Ryan has been exposed as a petty liar is just -- because his “rep” was built upon the old “even if you disagree with him, you like him, because he is honest” baloney.

Likewise, Romney’s campaign relies upon a “clean-cut” image. And in politics, it is not just if you get tripped up: it’s how far you fall. The Democratic Party has the ammunition needed to show the general public that Mitt is yet another lying politician. But it is up to Barack Obama to expose Romney as the glib, pathological liar that he is. The President has two more debates in which to do so.

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Glib Factor (Original post)
H2O Man Oct 2012 OP
Jennicut Oct 2012 #1
H2O Man Oct 2012 #5
Politicalboi Oct 2012 #2
H2O Man Oct 2012 #7
livetohike Oct 2012 #3
H2O Man Oct 2012 #8
moondust Oct 2012 #4
H2O Man Oct 2012 #9
HangOnKids Oct 2012 #6
H2O Man Oct 2012 #10
blogslut Oct 2012 #11

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 02:32 PM

1. Romney is like a slippery fish

jumping from one side of an issue to another, throwing out lies as fast as he can. Seems hard to target them at first but people like that eventually can't keep straight what narrative or lie they have told in their heads. It is easy to eventually trip people like that up.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 05:13 PM

5. The more Mitt talks,

the more he exposes himself. I imagine he will be pretty confident going into the next debate. I am confident that President Obama will nail him.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 02:33 PM

2. In the long run

 

It was probably good to lose this. Better to lose this than the election. Team Obama needs to take advantage of all the lies Rmoney said and haunt Rmoney with TV ads. Although telling the truth is never a loss. I wish more people thought that way. They are judging by the cover, not the substance.

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 09:36 PM

7. I like to think of

Malcolm X's teaching: if you place a sparkling clean glass of water next to a filthy glass of sludge, you can trust a thirsty public to make the correct choice.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 02:44 PM

3. Agreed. Pres. Obama's excellent campaign team will be churning out the ads exposing

more of Mitt's lies and the President has time in the next two debates to get fired up . On the other hand, Mitt has peaked, imo. No one can make him look more human or humane. He used it all up last night.

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Response to livetohike (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 09:38 PM

8. In my opinion,

Romney is not fully human. He has the potential to become human .... but it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, as one carpenter said.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 02:59 PM

4. K/R

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Response to moondust (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 09:38 PM

9. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 05:57 PM

6. K & R

 

For the GLIB factor!

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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 09:38 PM

10. Thank you.

Much appreciated!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 09:44 PM

11. The pundits kept complaining about Obama looking down

What they failed to note was that he wasn't looking down due to shame or contempt.

He was taking notes.

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