Michael Tomasky pounds the 'Big Lies' offensive:
[Romney-Ryan] know that the truth would crush them electorally. And so it follows that they know they must lie. They must lie about their Medicare plans. They must lie about the effects of their tax plans on average people and rich people. And they must tell a number of lies about Obama, all the better if they involve race, as the welfare lie does.
There's no debate here. Ask the rare honest GOP strategist, and he'll readily concede the point. Pour a few martinis into the more typical GOP strategist, and he'll concede the point, too. There is just no debate: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are incurable liars, whether by nature or necessity.
There is some debate, though, on how to counter the lies. Argues Tomasky:
The Democrats’ job, of course, is to expose this charade for what it is and make Romney and Ryan defend their actual positions.... Romney and Ryan are terrified of a real Big Debate. Obama and Biden need to drag them into one.
I would argue that Tomasky is sound in his intent, but a bit vulnerable in the result. There's likely no way Romney-Ryan will "defend their actual positions," nor, more importantly, is there any sure way for Democrats to "make" them do so. The GOP ticket will just defensively pile more lies on the heap of lies they've already told.
An exclusive concentration on exposing the lies, though, might erode what little credibility Romney-Ryan possess among the even littler class of still-persuadable voters. In 30 seconds it's impossible to explain both how Romney-Ryan are lying about Medicare, for instance, and what Democrats are doing to preserve it (I am largely assuming Tomasky's position here, which is perhaps unfair). One can, however, expose the lie in a short, direct punch.
In sum I would argue that Democrats should devote essentially all their resources to a merciless assault on the Big Lie tactic itself, rather than expending valuable resources on unfolding the more self-evident truth.
Sometime earlier this week I mentioned my yearning for the same "Big Debate" for which Tomasky yearns. It's unfortunate that we can't seem to get there. Ever. Blocking the way is either impermeable polarization, or assorted social issues--which in reality presidents rarely deal with--or just plain, steadfast Republican Lies. Yet if we can break that last barrier--the GOP's unfailing recourse to patent dishonesty--if, that is, Democratic pols can make it enormously costly for Republicans in electoral terms, then the GOP might someday have to resort to actually telling the truth. And then the "Big Debate" will effectively resolve itself, all on its own.
The greatest threat to what is broadly portrayed as the American Way of Life has, in 225 years, come externally only once; that being the mid-20th century. Otherwise it has stalked from within, from slavery to Jim Crow to communist witch-hunting to "unitary" executive power. Today's predator is an oligarchic plutocracy--re-aroused from the Gilded and Jazz Ages--which can materialize only through the Big Lie. Hence that is not only the proper target, it's the only target worth aiming at.
Sorry to get so preachy.