The Navy needs more ships, Mitt Romney said in last Monday’s debate. It has fewer now than in 1916.
President Barack Obama pounced. “Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed,” he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them … ”
In the spin room, some journalists laughed and applauded. Liberals imagine themselves to be intellectually and morally superior to conservatives. They love to put them down.
But “sarcasm and condescension only work if the speaker’s presumption of lofty superior knowledge is borne out by his command of actual facts,” said Pastor Donald Sensing, a retired Army colonel.
Mr. Obama was wrong on both the thrust of his argument, and on the examples he used. Aircraft carriers need smaller ships to protect them, lest they be sunk. The military has many more bayonets now than in 1916. Marines think so highly of them they’ve designed a new one, modeled on the famous KA-BAR fighting knife. Special Forces soldiers on horseback were critical to ousting the Taliban.
The facts matter little to liberals. Their assumption of intellectual superiority isn’t based on actual knowledge. Journalists declared the president the winner of the debate.
But facts and civility do matter to most Americans. A CBS panel of undecided voters in Ohio chose Mr. Romney, 6-2. A video of the dismay of CBS “This Morning” co-host Norah O’Donnell when this was reported is zipping across the Internet.
The Navy and shipbuilding are very important in southeast Virginia. With his wisecrack, the president may have kissed the state goodbye.
It isn’t just in Virginia where Mr. Obama’s fortunes are plummeting. When Missouri isn’t a swing state, but Minnesota is, Democrats are in big trouble. No challenger who’s cracked 50 percent in Gallup’s tracking poll has ever lost. Mr. Romney is polling better at this point in the campaign than did every victorious challenger from 1968 on. Read the whole piece.