My baby brother, Jerry, was the most adorable boy in North Carolina. All the girls chased him. One evening during dinner, when he was just beginning to date, Jerry got a call from a girl he had zero interest in. He had unskillfully agreed to join her in a group football party. Jerry was sure the plan would fall through. It hadn't, and she was calling to claim her "prize."
Jerry recoiled. He had no desire to hurt her feeling but even less desire to be her date. Mother, Dad and I listened intently as Jerry, still more unskillfully, tried to weasel out of it. Jerry told her, "You don't understand; we can't get the tickets." And then, within less than 30 seconds, he also said, "You don't understand; we've already got the tickets."
Dad turned to Mother and said, "He's got to be the worst liar in the world." Alas, my parents didn't live to hear Barack Obama!
Advertisement - story continues below
So many lies! So little time and space! Let's just handle one lonely lie.
After the slaughter of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans at our Benghazi consulate, the president unveiled a party-line insisting this was no planned terrorist attack. We'd taken out bin Laden and smashed al-Qaida for keeps; get it? No, this was a "mob that got out of hand because of an anti-Islamic video made in America by an unstable character we had absolutely nothing to do with." That was trumpeted across five network TV shows five days later by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and amplified by six mentions of that invidious video during Obama's U.N. speech, while White House press secretary Jay Carney kept up the drumbeat at every opportunity.
As Southerners say, "You can hide the fire for a while, but what are you going to do with all that smoke?" Around Day 14 after the massacre, it became impossible to conceal the truth any longer. It was a premeditated terrorist attack by an al-Qaida-type affiliate. The president, a "Mr. Wonderful" who had somehow morphed into a "Mr. Flexible," without a trace of hesitation or discomfort said, "Of course! I called it a terrorist attack on Day One in the Rose Garden."
Obama had, indeed, declared in those Rose Garden remarks that "no terrorist attack" would ever turn America from its civilization-saving ways, which was taken as generic reassurance that America would neither shrink nor shirk in the face of terror. The president's defenders claimed that when you're the president and you're talking about the attack on our Benghazi consulate, all references to "acts of terrorism" clearly meant that act of terrorism, so don't pull any cheap tricks and try to hold the president to his word that it was all about a "video." All the vocal chords of the Obama administration and the mainstream media kept recycling the lie about the video for two full weeks.
Advertisement - story continues below
So, there we were with a president who was solidly on the record with both the "terrorism" and the "video" versions of the attack. And Obama couldn't just ignore the contradiction and, with major media assistance, let the air hiss harmlessly out of the tires. The final debate was coming up Monday, Oct. 22. And on this issue it would be Battleship Romney firing a broadside at Obama's unarmed canoe.
Maybe Obama will let us know one day all about his feelings of relief when that debate ended. A World War II movie about the Nazi occupation of Norway, "Commandos Strike at Dawn," showed a leader of the resistance caught by surprise when a group of German soldiers visited a Norwegian grandmother in her mountain home, where the underground leader was hiding out. He quickly jumped into the well and hung by his fingers from a jutting stone just below the top of the well. One of the German soldiers sauntered over to the well to get a drink of water when, at the last possible second, his superior officer barked at him to forget the water and come immediately.
Maybe my German-Jewish friend's real-life story comes even closer. He somehow got overlooked in the death-camp deportations and continued to live under his own voluntary "house arrest" in Berlin throughout the war. With Russian artillery already pounding the outskirts, he couldn't stand the confinement any more and ventured outside. One of the few German policemen still playing his Nazi role accosted him and demanded his "papers." He thought that was literally the end. He produced his papers, which clearly identified him as Jewish. The Nazi happened to have one of those typical Teutonic "fat thumbs," and when he grabbed the papers the fatness of his thumb completely obscured the word "Jewish." Either through laziness or preoccupation with the thundering Russian advance, he returned the papers and waved my friend onward.
Try to imagine Obama's relief when, for reasons uncertain, Romney ignored the whole Benghazi issue! The best answer I've excavated so far is that Romney chose to ignore Benghazi altogether and instead come across looking "presidential."
Was that smart? I'll let you know around 11:30 p. m. Eastern time on Tuesday, Nov. 6.