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View Diary: Grow Up Already: You Can't "Win" A Debate By Lying (328 comments)

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  •  "Try to imagine you were a voter that hasn't (13+ / 0-)

    been keeping up with politics..."

    Why not imagine you're a bumblebee, or a plastic spork, or the element Ytterbium?  I mean, as long as you're imagining that you're something you're not, and reality is not what you perceive it to be, just go the full nine yards - criticize Barack Obama for failing to convince hexapodal species or inanimate objects that he is on their side.  Say Mitt won the debate in the eyes of fungi because he grew some magic mushrooms in the shape of a "Mitt Iz Kewl" sign.

    A debate is about two people having a discussion and presenting their arguments for their point of view.
    And we run yet again into a word that can't apply to lying - arguments.  I shouldn't have to break out the Monty Python to remind people that an argument is not a mere claim or contradiction.  There is one and only one meaning to saying someone won a debate - and that is that you were persuaded.  This is not a rhetoric class, it's a presidential election.  Were you more persuaded by Mitt Romney than Barack Obama or not?  Say you were, and I'll acknowledge it and move on.  But if your only problem is your fear about what you believe someone else thought...that's ridiculous.
    In this case you just happen to be arguing the big picture when this is a small picture event.
    I happen to think politics exhibits fractal geometry - as above, so below.  

    Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

    by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 03:34:20 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  No, I was not persuaded by Mitt Romney's (7+ / 0-)

      arguments. Romney could have told the truth and I wouldn't change my vote to his column. I'm 100% behind President Obama and I recognized Mitt Romney's lies when I heard them. It's not me you have to convince. Once again, I'm informed just like you are.

      But I have a father who suffers from Fox Geezer Syndrome, and if you were having this discussion with my father, he would call you stupid for believing anything President Obama said and not seeing what a brilliant man Mitt Romney is and there is absolutely nothing in this world you could say to my father that would convince him otherwise. My father is an educated man. He has a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering, graduated from the US Navy Test Pilot School and was chief test pilot for a major airplane manufacturer. He built his first computer, and bought the components and built his most recent computer. And yet, he thinks Mitt Romney is right about everything and Barack Obama is destroying this country.

      Arguing about whether or not Romney won the debate is a pointless exercise. My father would say that you are wasting your time on trivia and minutia. Based on the rules of debate, Mitt Romney won the debate. There are many more ways that you could be using your time more wisely. You could list every single lie Romney told, with the proof backing up what he said were lies, and it wouldn't change the fact that he won the debate because President Obama didn't hold up his end. He did not challenge Mitt Romney on each of those lies, and so under the rules of debate, Romney's unchallenged assertions (false or not) won the debate.

      I've really enjoyed engaging in this discussion with you, but I'm getting very sleepy now and need to get some sleep. Have a great day.

      “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” — Tom Perriello

      by hungrycoyote on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 03:52:22 AM PDT

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    •  I think you're confusing (7+ / 0-)

      the concept of winning the debate.

      By this, I mean you assume that each individual person will decide for themselves who won based on logic, and that collectively if everyone did that, then clearly obama won since one cannot reach a valid conclusion based on false premises.

      But that isn't winning the debate. What constitutes winning the debate is who was most effective at persuasion and presentation to the broadest number of people. Why is this the case? Because that is the entire purpose of putting the debates on television in prime time. To reach the broadest, lowest common denominator and be effective at performance. That's called a winning show. And yes, this is a show.

      So when you think winning, you think "did he win ME." Well that would be like me saying "I don't like American Idol, therefore American Idol is not a successful show."

      This is obviously ridiculous.

      •  But I find it hard to say what convinced most (5+ / 0-)

        people. I am not them.
        Nor are the pundits.
        Actually, I am still waiting for respectable, meaningful polls that could tell me more about it.
        But now I might never know, because of the new unemployment numbers. Or, more probable, I'll have to wait a little longer to be able to discern the trends.

        The future is renewable.

        by KiB on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 05:17:41 AM PDT

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      •  As an example (8+ / 0-)

        My late 80's mother, an Obama supporter but does in fact vote for the person rather than the party, listens to talk radio and does a pretty good job of identifying the BS watched the debate in its entirety and her reaction is probably typical of many in her demographic.
        Her verdict?  Obama lost the debate.  Not Romney won the debate because she felt he came across as sleazy and pretentious.  She was tremendously upset by the way Romney treated Jim Lehrer but she thought that his message was by far the more effective of the 2 candidates.
        She doesn't closely follow politics but she believed Romney when he talked about his tax cuts (or lack thereof), she came away with the impression that he decided that he could support Obamacare, she was appalled that he talked up his voucher program for medicare but is relieved that the 2 candidates agree on Social Security.  Basically she got the impression that Willard is a pretty moderate candidate.
        She told me that Obama doesn't seem to be who she thought he was, she doesn't distrust him but she thought his failure to defend or rebut Romney on the points where she knew they differed was unpresidential.  He didn't act like the man in charge.
        So yes she's still voting for Obama but she doesn't see the vast differences between the two.  The important thing is that she is convinced that Obama lost and she feels comfortable that whoever wins in November we'll be OK.
        This is an actual result from the debate.  It isn't who said what, it's who HEARD what that matters.

        •  What actually matters is her vote, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hungrycoyote, KiB, Troubadour

          which she said is still for Obama, in spite of not seeing vast differences between the candidates.

          Why hasn't she switched sides or decided to sit it out?

          Until the economy recovers, I'll settle for cheap laughs

          by Clyde the Cat on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:23:51 AM PDT

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          •  Ultimately yes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KiB

            The point of the debate though is to go in front of 60 or 70 million people and make the case for why you should be president.  Yes, my mother will vote for Obama because that was her decision prior to the debate and she'll stick with it.  Inside her circle of friends are people who hadn't decided or were kind of soft.  She's not certain what they'll do but the chit-chat between them was that Romney didn't appear to be the conservative whack-job that they had thought he was and Obama looked out of place.  I don't know how they'll vote but they were far from sold on Obama.

        •  Thank you for posting that. It is the perfect (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KiB, KathyinSC

          example of what is going on here. It's pointless to spend time arguing over who won the debate. It's the aftermath that matters. Did Romney sway any one to vote for him that was going to vote for President Obama?

          The description of your mother's reaction was exactly what Romney was probably going for when he told so many lies. He wanted people to think that he was a reasonable man.

          “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” — Tom Perriello

          by hungrycoyote on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:38:15 AM PDT

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      •  No, I assume that *I* will decide for myself (0+ / 0-)

        based on logic, and that others in this community have no excuse to do otherwise.  As a matter of fact, no one has an excuse to do otherwise, and I will not excuse ignorance let alone kowtow to it by devaluing my own judgment.

        What constitutes winning the debate is who was most effective at persuasion and presentation to the broadest number of people.
        No, that's information warfare, aka propaganda.  The whole concept of debate requires logic and evidence.
        So when you think winning, you think "did he win ME." Well that would be like me saying "I don't like American Idol, therefore American Idol is not a successful show."  This is obviously ridiculous.
        Yes, it is ridiculous to use entertainment as an analogy for politics.

        Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

        by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 05:07:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  because bumblebees don't vote. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, rivercard

      "It is my job to make government cool again" - Barack Obama

      by transilvana on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 05:32:24 AM PDT

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      •  But they sting people who vote. (0+ / 0-)

        So, you could argue, they affect the outcome of the election at least as much as any ignoramus whose thoughts and opinions are 100% dictated by pundit bullshit.

        Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

        by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 05:09:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know how to do the quote box thing but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour

      "I happen to think politics exhibits fractal geometry - as above, so below."

      Brilliant. Politics is an extension of the interaction of the psyche with physical reality. If you compromise your psyche, you lose reality.

      I will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.

      by ReverseThePolarity on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 09:37:25 AM PDT

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      •  Indeed, I've been kind of horrified (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ReverseThePolarity

        listening to the way so many people around here have basically abandoned their individuality and dissolved themselves in some abstraction of what others think - an abstraction completely controlled by the pundit agenda.  People who think this way are Owned, body and soul.

        Everything there is to know about the GOP: They're the Bad Guys.

        by Troubadour on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 05:10:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Beautifully phrased (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour

      Really, outstanding (the paragraph from "Why not imagine").

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