Willing to Watch The World Burn

Gird your loins. The 2012 presidential campaign is shaping up to be very ugly.

Watch these two clips from President Obama's chief of staff on the Sunday talk shows yesterday.

Here, he talks about Obamacare.

Here, he talks about Fast and Furious.

This is breathtaking. This is also grim. It is a signal to conservatives that Obama intends to retain power by any means necessary. I say this because in these two appearances every single coherent syntactical arrangement of words, every clause, every phrase, every fragment, every full sentence uttered by Jack Lew is a lie. Not the sort of lie when a person is just a bit ill-informed and needs some more information, perhaps another score from the Congressional Budget Office. No, I mean the sort of lie that involves a seared conscience and a complete inability to blush. Make no mistake: Jack Lew knows that everything he utters is a lie. He doesn't care.

I am reminded of a scene in The Dark Knight when Alfred, the butler, warns Bruce Wayne that he is underestimating The Joker. "Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money," he explains. "They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."

People willing to make up their own facts, willing to call white black and black white with a straight face while earnestly gazing directly into the television cameras are not good-faith opponents. They cannot be legitimately reasoned with. It is deeply saddening that this is what politics in America has come to. But come to it we have.

We had better be prepared.