July 31, 2012

"'So patently false' Obama removed Churchill bust from the White House."

Politico headline for an article relying on White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer to contradict something Charles Krauthammer wrote in his WaPo column. The headline remains in that form, with no reference to the update that's now there, down at the bottom, saying:
Pfeiffer's "fact check" isn't quite right. While there is still a bust of Churchill in the White House, it's not the same one that was in the Oval when Bush was president. The bust by Sir Jacob Epstein... was lent to Bush's administration for the duration of his presidency, the British Embassy in Washington told Mediaite. When Bush left office, the loan ended and the bust was placed in the embassy. The White House collection includes its own Churchill bust by Epstein, which is the one that's now in the residence.
(All the boldface in this post is mine.)

Let's go back to Krauthammer's column. Here's the line that Pfieffer is quoted saying is "so patently false": "Obama started his presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office." Based on the update, I'd say what Krauthammer wrote was so patently true.

Krauthammer's column — which was about Romney's overseas trip — imagined Romney saying to the British:
 “We are grateful for your steadfast solidarity in awful places like Iraq and Afghanistan. The relationship truly is special.

“And one more thing. Still have that bust of Churchill?”
And in fact, Krauthammer says, on Thursday: "Romney did say he wants Winnie back in the Oval Office."

I've added boldface to stress the importance of the placement of the bust in the Oval Office (not tucked away somewhere less symbolic and high-profile) and the relationship signified by the loan from the Embassy. Those things might not seem that important to those who are pushing Obama's reelection, like Pfeiffer, but Politico should be ashamed of its shoddy work, taking what is obviously an unjustified shot at Krauthammer and leaving the accusation in the headline where it can continue its dirty work.

And here's Pfieffer's column on the official whitehouse.gov website (which should not be a campaign outlet!):

Now, normally we wouldn’t address a rumor that’s so patently false, but just this morning the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer repeated this ridiculous claim in his column.  He said President Obama “started his Presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office.”

This is 100% false. The bust still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room.
Pfieffer's overreach is apparent from the start. He says "100% false," when it's at least partly true: There's no Churchill bust in the Oval Office.
News outlets have debunked this claim time and again.... just last year the AP reported that President Obama “replaced the Oval Office fixture with a bust of one of his American heroes, President Abraham Lincoln, and moved the Churchill bust to the White House residence.”...
Hopefully this clears things up a bit and prevents folks from making this ridiculous claim again.
So all the ridiculous folks need to stop talking about this... but then Pfieffer returns with an update, confessing his own ridiculousness (or craftiness, since he got his story out on the official White House website, beating back the Krauthammer narrative, and who's looking at updates now?):
Since my post on the fact that the bust of Winston Churchill has remained on display in the White House, despite assertions to the contrary, I have received a bunch of questions -- so let me provide some additional info. The White House has had a bust of Winston Churchill since the 1960’s. At the start of the Bush administration Prime Minister Blair lent President Bush a bust that matched the one in the White House, which was being worked on at the time and was later returned to the residence.  The version lent by Prime Minister Blair was displayed by President Bush until the end of his Presidency.  On January 20, 2009 -- Inauguration Day -- all of the art lent specifically for President Bush’s Oval Office was removed by the curator’s office, as is common practice at the end of every presidency. The original Churchill bust remained on display in the residence. The idea put forward by Charles Krauthammer and others that President Obama returned the Churchill bust or refused to display the bust because of antipathy towards the British is completely false and an urban legend that continues to circulate to this day.
And your effort to smear Krauthammer used patently false material. And you used the official White House website to circulate your own urban legend.

Is it even legal to use the the official White House website this way?

IN THE COMMENTS: Matthew Sablan said:
It's a good thing he didn't make up a Dylan quote. You can get fired for that sort of shoddy journalism. Good thing he just called someone no one really likes a liar.
Yeah, well, Jonah Lehrer needs a new job, so maybe he can be a White House blogger.

77 comments:

Darrell said...

Of course the Brits would have gladly continued the loan of the original bust had Obama asked for that.

shiloh said...

Meaningless Althouse minutia, as per usual.

Mark O said...

Obama's a liar.

Keith Waters said...

The bust left the White House because it was time to return it. Obama didn't try to get rid of it as soon as possible. The community organizer has enough to answer for. Let's deal with more important matterss.

Shanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darrell said...

We had a similar flap when Hillary threw an "ashtray" at Bill--and Hillary expressed outrage that the Press were disseminating the "false story," citing sexism and stereotyping of female behavior. Woodward's book showed the GAO records of a destroyed Lalique candy dish during this period (given to Mrs. Reagan by a French diplomat). Everyone that saw that candy dish thought it was an ashtray--as did the maid who leaked the story to the Press and was subsequently fired.

Darrell said...

Meaningless Althouse minutia, as per usual.

Yet the revisionist history of the same triviality by the White House, isn't.

Leftist tool.

Carnifex said...

Yes it is minutia. It also shows the desperation, and depths that the O'bots will stoop to protecting their god. Right Shiloh?

And I believe it was Carney doing the actual lying here. I hope no one wasted the presidents time asking him where Valerie stuffed some old statue. Now if they asked him where Valerie keeps his balls at...Oh! That's why Moochie looks so buff!!! Never mind.

bagoh20 said...

"Is it even legal to use the the official White House website this way?"

I truly hope the damage this guy has done to the office does not become the new normal. In one term he's done so many firsts of bad taste, bad decorum, and low behavior regarding world leaders, relations with private citizens, and private companies as well as endless breaking of his own promises that he most resembles a third world town mayor. A lot of repair work will be needed.

Darrell said...

The bust left the White House because it was time to return it.

It was on indefinite loan.
Sorry, no cigar.

Coketown said...

Who cares?! Churchill was a British citizen, born to British subjects--not eligible to be in the Oval Office!! Right Mick?

AndyN said...

Actually, the time to return it was 2004. It was loaned to the Bush administration through his first term, then the loan was extended. According to news reports at the time, when the Brits offered to extend it yet again in 2009, the Obama administration declined.

I agree that it's not a big deal, particularly compared to all the other bad decisions Obama has made, but let's not pretend that there was some time limit here that Obama had no control over. Someone made a conscious decision that he didn't want that bust in the Oval office, and in hindsight his flacks must realize that was a tactless move or they wouldn't have found it necessary to lie about it.

Holmes said...

If it's minutia, why would the WH bother lying about it? Is it that they just lie about everything reflexively not matter how small? Or maybe they didn't realize, when in their petty return of the bust as an attempt to erase all things Bush, what a symbolic moment it would turn out to be; representing Obama's failures on all fronts of foreign policy.

Hagar said...

The story has been out there for three years with no explanation forthcoming until now, which would indicate the Obama White House has been fine with the impression left by the story.
And Mr. Pfeiffer's statement in response to Krauthammer was still false as well as published in the wrong place, and there still is no apology to the Brits for not having refudiated the story sooner.

AndyN said...

Who cares?! Churchill was a British citizen, born to British subjects--not eligible to be in the Oval Office!! Right Mick?

His mother was American, although I suppose at some point before his birth she may have renounced her citizenship. I'm pretty sure the question of whether someone with one American parent can legally become President of the United States has been argued to death already.

ElPresidenteCastro said...

Coketown,

Actually Churchill's mother was a citizen of the United States. Churchill spent substantial parts of his childhood abroad but is at least as eligible to sit in the Oval Office as Obama.

Chip Ahoy said...

Lies all lies!!!!

Look. A Winston Churchill birdbath. A blown glass Winston Churchill hummingbird feeder. A Winston Churchill commemorative plate. A Winston Churchill bobble head. A Winston Churchill walking wind-up toy. A Winston Churchill talking bass. A Mao Tse Dung Christmas tree ornament, no wait, a Winston Churchill Christmas tree ornament, look, frankly, a lot of this Winston Churchill crap has really got to go.

ElPresidenteCastro said...

AndyN,

What are you doing provoking the trolls like that?

Tom Spaulding said...

Is it even legal to use the the official White House website this way?

Is that a serious question? This administration of Slogan's Heroes does not care what is or is not "legal".

"Illegality" is in the eye of the beholder...or E. Holder, if you will.

Jay said...

The White House lies as a manner of course in their communications to the public.

chickelit said...

A cursory glance at the titles of Dan Pfeiffer's work tells me all I need to know.

I'd be tempted to call him a shilho but the name's already taken.

Calypso Facto said...

Whatever, about which bust is where. Presidents get to redecorate their offices.

But the White House Communications Director, with help from a lazy and accommodating press, saying something is "patently false" when the words are patently true is more than "meaningless Althouse minutia".

But the Oval Office has assigned politically malleable interpretations to words since we started debating what the meaning of "is" is.

TosaGuy said...

It's small deal, but it is an illustrative and enlightening look at the worldview and pettiness of the crew that entered the WH in 2009.

These are the people that surround the president and guide his decision making.

AndyN said...

What are you doing provoking the trolls like that?

Isn't troll baiting the entire point of allowing blog comments?

Hagar said...

And Mr Churchill was 1/2 American and 1/16 American Indian by birth, so there is that ....

gk1 said...

Boy, the whitehouse campaign crew is either punch drunk or just so used to the press carrying its water it doesn't care what claim it makes. I can allow Pfieffer is so god damned stupid an inattentive he doesn't know what is going on at the white house, so I won't accuse him of lying his ass off. And leave it to the house organ, Politico, to continue to flack for them. SOP for the whitehouse and the MSM really.

Matthew Sablan said...

It's a good thing he didn't make up a Dylan quote. You can get fired for that sort of shoddy journalism. Good thing he just called someone no one really likes a liar.

Michael K said...

"It's small deal, but it is an illustrative and enlightening look at the worldview and pettiness of the crew that entered the WH in 2009."

Pettiness is no stranger to Democrats in the White House. How many recall the Clinton troops prying all the "W"s from keyboards in the White House after the 2000 election ?

Q said...

I agree that it's not a big deal, particularly compared to all the other bad decisions Obama has made, but let's not pretend that there was some time limit here that Obama had no control over.


The real problem here isn't even with the behavior of the Obama administration, it's with the deliberate dishonesty of the nations press. I think the Churchhill bust story was overblown, but I still expect reporters to make at least a token effort to report it correctly.

bagoh20 said...

Obama should get the Churchill corpse and prop it up at the Resolute Desk, and then ask it for advice. Anything to get that guy to stop calling me. I already told him what to do to create jobs, and he never listens. He's always just goes in to that whine about Michelle hitting him with newspaper. I blocked his number - I'm done with him.

Vote for Romney - he doesn't call me.

MayBee said...

Matthew Sablan said...

It's a good thing he didn't make up a Dylan quote. You can get fired for that sort of shoddy journalism. Good thing he just called someone no one really likes a liar.


I take your point, but are you saying nobody really like Charles Krauthammer?

Matthew Sablan said...

It's the thought-process behind why nothing will happen to the guy for writing this is patently false. If you were to ask his editors? Krauthammer is probably a step above Hitler.

edutcher said...

Agree with him or not, Kraut usually has his facts straight. Picking a fight with him over this was asking for it.

hiloh said...

Meaningless Althouse minutia, as per usual.

Except that it shows up the Failure of Commandante Zero's foreign policy and makes the Romster look that much better.

Lessee now,

Right about the Olympics

Breakfast with the Netanyahus

Endorsement from Walesa

Yeah, there's some contrast for ya.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If it's minutia, why would the WH bother lying about it?

It is a pattern of behaviour. They just can't help themselves as a group of sociopaths and people who consider themselves above the rules that govern the ordinary people.

They lie about everything. All the time and lie when it isn't even necessary.

MayBee said...

If you were to ask his editors? Krauthammer is probably a step above Hitler.

Does Dan Pfeiffer have editors?

But yes, I'm sure the fact that he was accusing a conservative of making up this story gave him reason to believe other editors and reporters wouldn't question him.

The WH blog has been used for similar things since Obama became president. I linked to it a few weeks ago, but another low point was when the official White House blog was used to call out Glenn Beck for not being supportive of Obama's Olympic bid.

Obviously they weren't called out enough for that behavior to think they should change it.

Jay said...

Oh, speaking of patently false, notice how the WMD meme dies so quietly:

BAGHDAD (AP) — Britain will help the Iraqi government dispose of what's left of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons, still stored in two bunkers in north of Baghdad, the British embassy in Baghdad announced Monday.

Matthew Sablan said...

Oh. Hah. I mixed up Pfeiffer with the Politico author. It was more a dig at Politico. Pfeiffer? That's just a political hack being a political hack. We should expect more for journalists.

Darrell said...

How many recall the Clinton troops prying all the "W"s from keyboards in the White House after the 2000 election ?

Careful you'll get one of the Lefty "thuthy" squad telling you that it didn't happen. You see W's
transition staff bought new keyboard the same day out of their own transition budget for less than $30 a unit, rather than going through official GAO channels (and having to wait six weeks or something foolish like that and spending hundreds per unit to replace the key, as per GAO estimate.

The Dems even tried to label that off-the-books replacement as a crime, because it violated GAO practice and because the old keyboards weren't officially decommissioned with the proper paperwork and accounting of inventory numbers.

Andy Johnson said...

How does a bust get broken and "in need of repair." How do you break it when you live in a museum and all moving is done by experienced pro 's-? Broken bust -? The cover -up just gets sillier.

This is what happens when people with lots of high self esteem meet the real world. They have no experience with being questioned or of being wrong.

Levi Starks said...

I would expect nothing less from the ministry of Truth.

With the Obama reelection team, (the entire administration) and The Truth is whatever they want it to be.

Nancy Pelozi insists that President Obama has been to israel "many times" I guess her reality is just different than everyone else.

Once the mainstream media decided "we will have our first black president, and he will be a success" objective reporting just became a thing of the past.

MayBee said...

It is a pattern of behaviour. They just can't help themselves as a group of sociopaths and people who consider themselves above the rules that govern the ordinary people.

They lie about everything. All the time and lie when it isn't even necessary.


Exactly.
They also want people to know that if you criticize Obama, you will be publicly called out from the very highest levels.

edutcher said...

Jay, bless you for that.

We need to keep up the fire on that lie and keep shoving the truth in the Lefties faces.

Matthew Sablan said...

I never understood why people tried to put forward there were no WMDs in Iraq. There clearly were, even before we went in. I think they were hoping to make WMDs solely mean nuclear missiles/bombs, in the hopes that would confuse people on the definition of WMDs and ignore the chem/bio weapons that clearly existed.

Dose of Sanity said...

I never understood why people tried to put forward there were no WMDs in Iraq. There clearly were, even before we went in. I think they were hoping to make WMDs solely mean nuclear missiles/bombs, in the hopes that would confuse people on the definition of WMDs and ignore the chem/bio weapons that clearly existed.

Hey Sablan - not meaning to jump in, but almost no or very little chemical or biological weapons were found in Iraq. The Iraq survey group concluded that Iraq had not produced WMDs (inc. chem and bio) since the 1991 UN sanctions. The chemical stockpiles they previously had were decayed and were inert (the biggest stockpile was sarin, which has a "shelf life" of about five years).

You are correct that WMDs include chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, despite flagrant misuse of the word (particular by domestic laws/charges) along with misuse of inciting terrorism. At the end of the day though, there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq effectively after 1998.

They were definitely trying to explore nuclear options, and reports vary as to their effectiveness.

Darrell said...

Plus with those truck convoys seen going into Syria before the invasion, why do you think the major players--including Russia--have assembled special response units to handle those now that the regime there is in trouble? Olive oil?

garage mahal said...

Pfieffer should have just said "kiss my ass".

Ken said...

shiloh,

Meaningless Althouse minutia, as per usual.

Meaningless as in this shows just how clueless the Obama administration is when it comes to, you know, actual facts.

mikee said...

Isn't anyone here familiar with G.W. Bush's "Plastic Turkey" fallacy?

You can provide proof all day long that Politico is mendacious.

The truth won't get its boots on before the lie has run around the whole world, and the lie will keep on giving of itself to its believers long after the truth gives up and goes home.

Now, if they are willing to put so much time and effort into a lie as small as this one, what might be going on with the Fast and Furious coverup?

Jay said...

garage mahal said...
Pfieffer should have just said "kiss my ass".


Right, because when you're a demonsrated liar, the best course of action is to insult.

Matthew Sablan said...

So... if there were no WMDs in Iraq... what is the British government helping the government of Iraq get rid of? What about all those mustard gas weapons found throughout the military action?

Also, the most important point is this: "Regardless of (how much material in the weapon is actually chemical agent), any remaining agent is toxic," he said. "Anything above zero (percent agent) would prove to be toxic, and if you were exposed to it long enough, lethal."

Just because the part that goes boom is broken, doesn't mean the other part that can kill you is inoperable. But I feel like we're deviating from a bustier topic.

SDN said...

Not only that, but we seem to have confirmation that the Syrian Chemical weapons stockpile were the end result of those satellite photos of truck convoys headed across the Iraq-Syria border.

Leftists lie. They cannot be trusted.

Dose of Sanity said...

Fair enough - no point arguing over how ineffective they have to be before they arent weapons of mass destruction anymore.

Bmac said...

But the Queen does still have a nice DVD of Obama's speeches on her nightside table which she listens to when particularly dispondent.

Comanche Voter said...

So one of The Bamster's press flacks is an ignoranus (that's not a typo). So what else is new?

These folks are an embarassment to the country.

Kansas City said...

"Reporter" Epstein shows her bias in an emarassing way. Pfeiffer's over the top fact check was both insulting and factually incorrect, not to mention a campaign use of the WH blog. Epstein gives Pfeiffer a pass, describing his juvenile and factually inaccurate attack as "isn't quite right." Aren't these media people smart enought to realize how obvious their bias is to an informed reader. And don't they have some pride about being played by the WH?

dreams said...

"So all the ridiculous folks need to stop talking about this... but then Pfieffer returns with an update, confessing his own ridiculousness (or craftiness, since he got his story out on the official White House website, beating back the Krauthammer narrative, and who's looking at updates now?"

Sure, I think he knew what he was doing from the beginning. People who have spent their whole lives gaming the system are very good at gaming those who only casually follow the news. Also, He knew he would have help from the Obama cheerleading corrupt liberal media.

Steven said...

Krauthammer should sue Pfeiffer for defamation. Never mind that it would be hard to prove reckless disregard; the headlines and the damage to Pfeiffer's effectiveness as White House Communications Director would be worth it.

Biff said...

It is a pattern of behaviour.

Yes, exactly. From its beginning, I've been troubled by the administration's use of various websites that end in .gov, but most especially whitehouse.gov. The sense conveyed is one of a lack of respect for the institutions of our government, as if the President was bigger than the Presidency. There shouldn't be a need for a dramatic overhaul of a site like WhiteHouse.gov when an administration changes; unfortunately, this one will need to be pulled, root and branch.

As an aside, my professional work in healthcare and life sciences occasionally brings me into contact with senior people in government who are involved with social media and web communications. Almost every such contact is marked by their explicit statements of contempt for the "sheeple," who are naive, malleable beasts to be led wherever the masters of communication deem fit. I'm really in the wrong line of work.

Ken said...

garage,

Pfieffer should have just said "kiss my ass".

You're hilarious! Look how bent out of shape you are about Romney's tax returns. If Romney's PR guys said "Kiss my ass", you'd have a seizure from outrage. But you encourage lefties to act like that.

Stay classy.

Jhn1 said...

Well, I would accept that we (the US people) don't particularly need two Churchill busts in the White House, but would think it appropriate if a President Romney thought it best to move the bust in the residence to the Oval Office. Especially as it appears that part of the reason in the first place for the loan was the first bust was being repaired, and has since successfully been repaired.

your captcha is pretty unreadable,, I had to refresh twice before I got one I could decipher.

The Grey Man said...

"And Mr Churchill was 1/2 American and 1/16 American Indian by birth, so there is that .... "

So even Winston is more Native American than Elizabeth Warren.....

The Drill SGT said...

Coketown said...
Who cares?! Churchill was a British citizen, born to British subjects--not eligible to be in the Oval Office!! Right Mick?


as others have pointed out, he was half American. He came to the US in Dec 41 and gave a speech before Congress where he said in jest:

I feel greatly honoured that you should have invited me to enter the United States Senate Chamber and address the representatives of both branches of Congress. The fact that my American forebears have for so many generations played their part in the life of the United States, and that here I am, an Englishman, welcomed in your midst, makes this experience one of the most moving and thrilling in my life, which is already long and has not been entirely uneventful. I wish indeed that my mother, whose memory I cherish across the vale of years, could have been here to see. By the way, I cannot help reflecting that if my father had been American and my mother British, instead of the other way round, I might have got here on my own. In that case, this would not have been the first time you would have heard my voice. In that case I should not have needed any invitation, but if I had, it is hardly likely it would have been unanimous. So perhaps things are better as they are. I may confess, however, that I do not feel quite like a fish out of water in a legislative assembly where English is spoken.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bah.... you've seen one bust of Churchill....you've seen 'em all.

So says another one of Obama's butt boys.

:-)

Ann Althouse said...

"If it's minutia, why would the WH bother lying about it?"

Because as Obama said in his "so" email, "Sometimes politics can seem very small."

chickelit said...

garage mahal said...

Pogue mahal

FTFY

elkh1 said...

Half a bust for half an American is enough. We already have one whole bust, we don't need two. The space vacated by the second Winnie will display the first Obie.

deborah said...

The times, they are a-changin'.

shiloh said...

"Sometimes politics can seem very small."

Which Althouse proves daily w/her meaningless blog.

ok, ok, Althouse does provide a venue for cons to whine/vent about Obama which is somewhat entertaining to liberals. :)

Again, the yin/yang of political/minutiae blogs.

chickelit said...

Althouse wrote: And here's Pfieffer's column on the official whitehouse.gov website (which should not be a campaign outlet!):

Watch for yardsigns in the WH lawn this fall saying "Obama/Biden 2012"

Think it won't happen?

FrancisChalk said...

Winston Churchill was an avid anti-communist thus; his bust was removed by Obama immediately after inauguration. You don't spend your life with nothing by Socialist/Communist mentors and role models and then display a bust of Winston Churchill in your office.

Ken said...

Shiloh,

Which Althouse proves daily w/her meaningless blog.

And yet you're here to provide us all with your wit, which can only mean that you view your own time as meaningless. That's probably a good thing. It actually is.

Darrell said...

Shiloh, when I was young, I used to call your name.

Then I grew up and could recognize a duplicitous piece of shit when I saw one.

leslyn said...

Politico should be ashamed of its shoddy work, taking what is obviously an unjustified shot at Krauthammer.

Oh bullshit. Politico reported the facts, which was what I thought you were doing, until you went into your mommy defense of Krauthammer. K was being patently misleading when he implied that President Obama chose to return the Churchill bust, when it was Dubya's job to give it back.

The whole thing is such another tempest in a teapot that I'm sure [even] the Brits will recognize it as crap if they try to pour it out with their tea scones.

Daniel--your reference was to Althouse?

BitterKlinger said...

I heard they sent the bust to the capital of Israel.

shiloh said...

Ken

I drop by occasionally to see if Althouse is still pandering to her conservative flock. Admittedly a waste of time lol ie blogs in a nutshell.

Whereas Althouse's adoring loverboy, edutcher, and many other con lemmings is/are here 24/7.

Indeed, preaching to the choir can be quite lucrative ie Althouse stuff on ebay. Hey, supply and demand. :-P

SRArugula said...

Often wrong never in doubt!!

It is definitely a big deal when a political operative (on the public payroll) blatantly LIES. If you read Pfeiffer's actual statement about Krauthammer's claim it is very aggressive: "rumor", "patently false", "100% false", "ridiculous claim" in a situation that he know,s or should have known, was 100% TRUE.

So either Dan Pfeiffer is a total idiot or he was intentionally using bluster as opposed to facts to counteract a truth in the way some rude person would say "Dp you know who I am" when called on his rudeness.

Yes, we know you you are Dan. You're wrong. We just don't know whether you are corrupt or just ignorant.. Either way you owe Krauthammer and apology and those of us who pay your salary a new oath to stop spending your time defending the indefensible

Why is Pfeiffer not working for the Obama Campaign instead of the WH Staff if this is how he wants to spend his time?

chrisgadsden said...

What does Pfeiffer’s pratfall say about the state of the whitehouse (and the campaign)? Perhaps: (1) there’s no loyal opposition on staff that is an (at least pretend) sounding board, (2) this is a 37 year-old magna cum laude from Georgetown - how sad (for him and the university), (3) they are incapable now of even extracting and reflecting upon whatever truths exist at the fulcrum of these complaints in the conservative/libertarian press, so (4) they will lose by far larger margins than the polls suggest in November, and it will be “unexpected” – as, like Christensen observes, the most disruptive competition exists where the incumbent can’t see – simply can’t conceive there may be a valid concern beyond “clinging bitterly.”