Monday, August 20, 2012

The post-truth campaign continues apace

Willard the Liar.--SS       

The post-truth campaign continues apace:

Last week, Mitt Romney pretended to be amazed. "[I]n the past, when people pointed out that something was inaccurate, why, campaigns pulled the ad," Romney said. "They were embarrassed. Today, they just blast ahead. You know, the various fact-checkers look at some of these charges in the Obama ads and they say that they're wrong, and inaccurate, and yet he just keeps on running them."

It was among the more ironic complaints ever registered by anyone.

Romney launched a ridiculous welfare lie two weeks ago. People pointed out that it's inaccurate, but instead of feeling embarrassment and pulling the ad, Romney just blasted ahead, even after the various fact-checkers proved the smear isn't true. Today, the post-truth campaign continues apace.

In this new spot, released this morning, Romney once again accuses President Obama of "gutting welfare reform," by ending the work requirement in the law. While the Romney-Ryan ticket has been talking a lot about Medicare, the advertising focus has been on welfare -- this is the third ad Team Romney has released on the subject in the last 11 days.

For those who still care about reality, Romney's lying. Two Republican governors asked the Obama administration for some flexibility on the existing welfare law. The White House said that'd be fine, so long as the work requirement isn't weakened. It's consistent with the policy endorsed by many Republican governors, including Mitt Romney himself, just six years ago.

Indeed, with reality in mind, just about everyone -- Democrats, Republicans, reporters, editors, fact-checkers, policy wonks -- is well aware of the fact that Romney's blatantly lying. It is as demonstrably dishonest as any claim ever aired by a major-party presidential candidate -- it's not spinning details; it's not hiding in gray areas; it's just making up garbage to deceive the public. Worse, the racial subtext of the disgusting smear only adds insult to injury, raising questions anew about Romney's character and just how far he'll go to acquire power.

What's more, to reiterate a point from last week, if Obama were as awful a president as Romney claims, the Republican attack machine wouldn't have to make stuff up -- the truth would be so brutal that voters would recoil and flock to the GOP candidate naturally. What does it say about Romney's strength as a candidate that he has to make up garbage and hope voters don't know the difference?

And then there's an even larger question: shouldn't this be a scandal?

I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the political world's strange standards. If a super PAC puts a video online with a dubious timeline, it's a multi-week scandal, and evidence of a campaign stuck in the gutter. If Vice President Biden uses a poorly-worded, off-the-cuff metaphor, it's a multi-week scandal, and proof that 2012 has become excessively ugly.

But if Mitt Romney gets caught repeatedly making an unambiguous, racially-charged lie, it's seen as somehow routine.

Why do gaffes and unaired web ads dominate the political world's attention, while shameless lying leads to shrugged shoulders?

Look, I realize politicians, especially those seeking national office, are known for stretching the truth, and the elasticity of our standards accommodate quite a bit of "spin." But the welfare smear is based on a clear falsehood -- Romney is saying a work requirement was removed that was not removed. When campaign officials and surrogates have been asked to defend the claim, they've come up empty.

So why does Romney keep repeating the lie? Because he thinks voters are idiots and he's certain political journalism isn't equipped to deal with a campaign predicated entirely on falsehoods.

This remains, in other words, a test. The fact that Romney feels confident in his ability to lie with impunity -- effectively taunting reality -- suggests the American political system is failing this test badly.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Missouri GOP Senate Nominee: Women Raped 'Legitimately' Don't Get Pregnant

Wingnut alert!

Missouri GOP Senate Nominee: Women Raped 'Legitimately' Don't Get Pregnant:


Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for Senate in Missouri running against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), justified his opposition to abortion rights even in case of rape with a claim that victims of "legitimate rape" have unnamed biological defenses against getting pregnant.

"First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare," Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Akin went on to explain that even if the worst happens and the supposed natural protections against unwanted pregnancy don't work, abortion should still not be a legal option for the rape victim.

"Let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something," Akin said. "I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child."

Video, clipped by the Democratic tracking outfit American Bridge (the full interview is below):

Akin is perhaps the boldest name among a crop of conservative nominees chosen by Republican voters in 2012 that could hamper GOP efforts to take back the Senate in the fall. Akin has called for an end to the school lunch program and a total ban on the morning after pill.

His point about the different types of rape is not completely foreign to the current Republican Congress however. In 2011, the House GOP was forced to drop language from an anti-abortion bill that wanted to change the exemptions under current federal abortion coverage bans to read that only "forcible rape" could lead to government-funded abortion.

Read the rest: Missouri GOP Senate Nominee: Women Raped 'Legitimately' Don't Get Pregnant

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Already in Chains

Already in Chains:

Did Joe use hyperbole? Oh, heavens my, fetch my fainting couch. 

The wingnuts, who call Obama a Kenyan/anti-colonial/food-stamp/non-work-requriing/anti-christ/witch-doctor/un-American/socialist/commie/hippie/dope-smoking/terrorist, are upset that Uncle Joe used hyperbole to describe the result of trickle-down economics, which steals the fruits of our labor? 

Exhibit A: 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

There he goes again…

Dennis G hears the dog whistles!--SS     

There he goes again…:

Romney spokesman Gabby Johnston #2

It looks like Mitt Romney is going to run a full-on race-baiting campaign. He thinks that “American Exceptionalism” is “White Male Exceptionalism” and nothing else. Today he released an ad that turned up the volume of his racist-dog-whistle campaign to eleven.

In it, he lies (of course) about the Obama Administration granting two Republican Governors the wavers they asked for to the Welfare Reform law. The point of the Romney campaign is to see if white voters will still respond to the racist memes of Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and the other neo-Confederates that took over the Republican Party when Nixon and Reagan shamelessly decided to embrace their hate as the future of the GOP and the Conservative movement.

Sure, white racists are killing people to celebrate their ignorance, but Mitt is running for President for Pete’s sake. So don’t look to him to exercise any judgement.

For the next three months, Mittens and his wingnutopia minions will be bringing the crazy: and the hate. It is only a matter of time before Mitt openly runs as the last hope of white America. His entire campaign is based on screaming that the President is a Ni-CLANG! in various modes of code-talking. Without that, he’s got nothing.

His lying welfare ad today will seem tame come October.