Mon Nov 5, 2012, 05:34 PM
Bill USA (4,297 posts)
Campaign 2012: The End of Political Truth? Will Rmoney be rewarded for extraordinary Truth twisting
....and patent, bald-faced lies.
The most significant public statement from a presidential campaign this year did not pass through the lips of a candidate. It came during the Republican convention in Tampa when Mitt Romney's pollster, Neil Newhouse, declared at a breakfast panel organized by ABC News, "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers." With these words, Romney's chief numbers guy was issuing a manifesto: This campaign is about saying whatever needs to be said to win, reality and facts be damned. It was an appropriate slogan, for the 2012 campaign has been profoundly shaped by Romney's willingness to obfuscate and dissemble far beyond the admittedly low norm of modern American politics. This election was not only about a clash of political civilizations; it was about the end of political truth.
All politicians shade the truth—or lie. Various fact-checking outfits have rapped President Barack Obama for making false statements. But Romney pushed the envelope this election cycle. He didn't merely shift shapes and flip-flop excessively—or, flip-flop-flip, considering his last-minute, dare-devilish swerve toward the middle on abortion, gay rights, and immigration. He didn't only hype his past history and qualifications (I created 100,000 jobs at Bain!) and issue grand and hollow promises about his proposed policies (my economic plan will lead to 12 million jobs). He didn't just mislead through the selective use of facts (the Benghazi raid was proof of Obama's foreign policy fecklessness). Romney engaged in foundational lying.
The Republican presidential candidate built much of his campaign on basic untruths about the president. Romney blasted Obama for breaking a "promise" to keep unemployment below 8 percent. He claimed the president was "apologizing for America abroad." He accused Obama of adding "nearly as much debt as all the previous presidents combined" and of cutting $500 million from Medicare. None of this was true. (See here, here, here, and here.)
All of these apocryphal statements have been essential parts of Romney's fundamental case against Obama: He's failed to revive the economy and he's placed the nation at risk. Rather than stick to a discourse premised on actual differences (he believes in government investments and would raise taxes on the wealthy to fund them; I want to shrink government and cut taxes)—and bend the truth within acceptable boundaries to bolster the argument—Romney has repeatedly relied on elemental falsehoods, with no regard, as Newhouse noted, for being called out on any of them. He has insisted that under Obama "government will come to control half the economy." (Not so.) That Obama told small business owners that they didn't build their own businesses. (Again, not so.) That the Obama administration appeases and sides with terrorists and enemies of the United States. (Also not so.) That Obama weakened welfare rules to win votes—wink, wink—from "his base." (Really not so.) It was objections to Romney's arguably race-tinged welfare assault—raised by mainstream media journalists—that prompted Newhouse to declare the Romney crew's disdain for fact-checking.
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Response to Bill USA (Original post)
Mon Nov 5, 2012, 10:21 PM
Flatpicker (712 posts)
2. Romney isn't the beginning of it
Newt's "Contract with America" started the mess.
Bush II: Revenge of the Shit propagated it.
KKKarl Rove wallowed in it.
Darth Cheney used it to start 2 wars.
Romney used it to try to take us back to the bad old days.
Truth and Republicans don't seem to go together.