Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity," Volume XXX

Part XXX from Steve Benen's "Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity" on http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/08/17/13338337-chronicling-mitts-mendacity-vol-xxx:

"Mitt Romney gave a speech Beallsville, Ohio, this week, and presented an unfortunate attack against President Obama. 'How can you go out there and tell people things that just aren't true?' he asked rhetorically. He added, 'This is a time for truths.'

"In context, Romney was referring to Obama's claim that 'we're adding jobs in the coal industry.' In reality, the nation really is adding jobs in the coal industry -- Romney was looking for an example of the president saying something that 'just isn't true,' and he pointed to an Obama quote that happened to be accurate, though he told his audience the opposite.

"It's hard not to appreciate the ironic circle -- the president said something true, Romney lied when he said the accurate claim is false, and then he complained about falsehoods in the campaign.

"I don't know the Republican candidate personally, but from a distance, it appears there's a part of his brain that allows him to create some kind of deliberate blind-spot. It's actually a little scary to think of a leader -- a man who'd be given enormous power and influence, literally making life and death decisions on a regular basis -- who can convince himself that his falsehoods are true, and that others' truths are falsehoods.

"But here we are. If this is, as Romney claims, a 'time for truths,' I can only hope the Republican candidate will take a few moments to consider the 30th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt's mendacity. (This is the biggest list I've ever done.)

"1. At an impromptu event in South Carolina yesterday, Romney said on Medicare policy, 'Our plan [has] no change for current seniors and those 55 and older.'

"That's plainly false. Romney's plan eliminates all new benefits for seniors under the Affordable Care Act, which necessarily means higher prescription drug costs for seniors, and more expensive preventive care.

"2. At the same event, Romney argued, 'Under the president's plan, [Medicare] goes bankrupt... Under the plan I propose, it is solvent.'

"That's the exact opposite of reality. Obama's policy strengthens Medicare's finances, and under Romney's plan, the system would be closer to insolvency faster.

"3. In Chillicothe, Ohio, Romney said that under Obama, 'We've got lower economic growth.'

"Actually, we got higher economic growth.

"4. In the same speech, Romney said that under Obama, 'We've got higher unemployment.'

"Actually, we got lower unemployment.

"5. He went on to say the annual budget deficit has hit the $1 trillion mark under Obama for the 'first time the history of our country.'

"Not true. The first time in the history of our country that the deficit hit $1 trillion was George W. Bush's last year in office, when the annual shortfall was $1.3 trillion."

Lie after lie after lie, and there is still a week to go before the Election.

Fred Clark's take on Mitt's lying, on patheos.com:

"Mitt Romney says many, many things that are not true. He says this despite being in possession of the correct facts of the matter.

"Which is to say that Mitt Romney lies. A lot. He lies more than any other national candidate for office in my lifetime. And I was born before the Nixon administration.

"This is documented. Proven. Validated, verified, demonstrated, catalogued and quantified. Mitt Romney lies."

"Over the past 30 weeks, Mitt Romney has told lie after lie after lie: I, II, III, IV, V, VI,VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXI, XXII,XXIII, XXIV, XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX, XXX.

"Click those links. Read the lists. List after list of lie after lie. Hundreds of them — 533, to be exact, although Benen does not make any claim to providing a comprehensive chronicle.

"This is unprecedented. “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,” Romney’s pollster, Neil Newhouse, said.

"This has produced what James Fallows calls the “post-truth” age — a relentlessly dishonest onslaught of brazen falsehoods with which the media and the political system are struggling to cope. What do you do when every article, every “fact-check,” every arbiter denounces a lie and corrects it, but then a politician just keeps repeating it?

"It’s remarkable to behold.

"One of the weirder aspects of this for me is watching this unfold in the politically conservative culture of my evangelical world. The most partisan evangelical conservatives are also those most likely to rant against 'relativism' and to trumpet their status as defenders of 'absolute truth.' Those same folks will dismiss this post — and all 30 of Benen’s posts above — as mere partisan attacks without ever bothering to examine the 533 factual instances of Mitt’s mendacity, chronicled.

"That’s the only cognitive defense they have, I guess. Jam fingers in ears and shout la-la-la-you’re-being-partisan!

"Because you see, the fact that Mitt Romney said something he knew to be false is apartisan fact. And the fact that he has done this at least 533 times in the past 30 weeks is also partisan.

"I suppose the other approach for Romney defenders who cannot bear to face the fact of those 533 facts will be to angrily pore over all of Benen’s lists, reading each one with a lawyerly eye.

"Have at it. Please. Cherry-pick. Spin. Split hairs. Hand-wave away whichever lies you wish as mere misdemeanors and not full-fledged felonies against honesty.

"But how many of those charges do you think you can get dismissed? 10 percent? 20 percent? Maybe, if you’re that sort of person and you work really hard at it — if you’re willing to get even more pedantic and semantic and technical than even you are usually comfortable with — maybe you could half convince yourself that 50 percent of those lies somehow shouldn’t really count against Romney.

"That still leaves more than 260 lies. That still leaves Mitt Romney as a convicted liar, 260 times over. And at that point you’ll have to join your friends with their fingers in their ears.

"But you’ll still know.

"Because everyone knows. Mitt Romney lies. A lot. That is what he does. That is whohe is. And friend or foe, he does not care if you know it."
When do the "political lies" get called what they really are - Lies Aimed To Destroy American Democracy?  When do we finally "get it," that Conservatism is anti-American, anti-democratic, and nothing more than a faux-poitical "philosophy" hiding the true agenda of the greediest and most power-hungry among us?


"Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and
wither dismally with age."

James Joyce