Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XXXII:
Jon Chait noted the other day that Mitt Romney "has built his entire campaign on, well, lies." Jon made the observation in passing, but it struck me as significant, especially as the Republican National Convention unfolded -- Romney isn't the first national politician to try to deceive the public, but he's arguably the first to build his entire campaign around the deceptions.
Kevin Drum was thinking along the same lines responding to Romney's lie on welfare policy, which the candidate has vowed to continue repeating, even after it's been proven false.
In the past, you felt that maybe campaigns were at least a little bit embarrassed about this kind of thing. They'd blame it on someone else. They'd try to produce some lame defense. They'd haul out some fake white paper to give themselves cover. They'd do something. The Romney campaign just doesn't seem to care. If it works, they use it. It's like the campaign is being run by cyborgs.Thomas Mann, a longtime political scholar at the center-left Brookings Institution and a respected Beltway voice, added, "The Romney campaign has, as is strikingly evident at the Tampa convention, broken new ground in its brazen and cynical disregard for the truth."
Love Romney or hate him, it's an experiment of sorts -- we're seeing the first real-world test of a post-truth campaign. Team Romney lies, without shame, because it's certain the line between fact and fiction has been blurred out of existence, and if lies will give Romney vast power, the ends justify the means.
But for those who still like to think reality has some meaning, I hope they'll take some time to consider the 32nd installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt's mendacity. (For the record, this week, I'm only including falsehoods from Romney himself. Including every lie told at the convention would have caused a mendacity overdose.)
1. In Romney's acceptance speech last night, he said, "Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt a fresh excitement about the possibilities of a new president. That president was not the choice of our party but Americans always come together after elections."
Actually, congressional Republicans decided early on that they would refuse to come together and work with President Obama, no matter what he offered in terms of policies. This began before Inauguration Day, when GOP leaders decided they simply would not cooperate or compromise with Democrats.
2. Romney added that Obama "took office without the basic qualification that most Americans have and one that was essential to his task. He had almost no experience working in a business."
First, the president has experience working in business. Second, lots of successful presidents didn't come from the private sector (and lots of lousy presidents were businessmen). And third, it's obvious that Romney doesn't believe his own rhetoric, because if he did, he wouldn't have picked Paul Ryan as his running mate -- Ryan has far less private-sector experience than Obama.
3. Romney went on to say, "[T]he centerpiece of the President's entire re-election campaign is attacking success."
For one thing, Romney has never been able to point to a single instance in which Obama has attacked success. For another, we're having a hell of a lot more success now than we were four years ago.
4. Romney added, "[T]his president cannot tell us that you are better off today than when he took office."
Of course he can. I'm not sure who Romney is referring to you with "you," but for Americans, economic growth, job creation, the stock market, the auto industry, the deficit, and the manufacturing sector are all better off now than in January 2009.
5. Romney complained, "[G]asoline prices have doubled."
To call this comically misleading would be an understatement.
6. Romney went on to claim, "Today more Americans wake up in poverty than ever before."
That's insane. The percentage of Americans in poverty is high, but it's been much higher many times.
7. Referencing Obama, Romney said, "His policies have not helped create jobs."
It's not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of fact: Obama has helped create more jobs -- over 4.4 million of them in the private sector. Independent economists agree that the Recovery Act was crucial to improving U.S. job creation.
8. Again in reference to the president, Romney argued, "His plan to raise taxes on small business won't add jobs, it will eliminate them."
Obama has repeatedly cut taxes on small businesses -- by some counts, 18 times -- and if given a second term, his tax plan would have no effect on 97% of small businesses.
9. Romney added, "His trillion dollar cuts to our military will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs, and also put our security at greater risk;"
Romney's not only lying, he's also condemning defense cuts crafted by his own party and endorsed by his own running mate.
10. Romney went on to argue, "His $716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will both hurt today's seniors, and depress innovation -- and jobs -- in medicine."
Go read the rest!