‘The best part is, it’s really easy to lie’

The title here comes from The Onion. It’s satire, but it captures the past week of political news better than cable news:

Romney Proudly Explains How He’s Turned His Campaign Around

AP photo.

For weeks many Beltway insiders had written off the Romney campaign as dead, saying the candidate had dug himself into too deep a hole with too little time to recover. However, with a month to go before ballots are cast, Romney has pulled even with President Obama, and the former Massachusetts governor credits his rejuvenated campaign to one, singular tactic: lying a lot.

“I’m lying a lot more, and my lies are far more egregious than they’ve ever been,” a smiling Romney told reporters while sitting in the back of his campaign bus, adding that when faced with a choice to either lie or tell the truth, he will more than likely lie. “It’s a strategy that works because when I lie, I’m essentially telling people what they want to hear, and people really like hearing things they want to hear. Even if they sort of know that nothing I’m saying is true.”

“It’s a freeing strategy, really, because I don’t have to worry about facts or being accurate or having any concrete positions of any kind,” Romney added.

Romney said he is telling at least 80 percent more lies now than he was two months ago. Buoyed by his strong debate performance, which by his own admission included 40 or 50 instances of lying in one 90-minute period, the candidate said he will continue to “just openly lie [his] ass off” until the Nov. 6 election.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Obama will move America to force doctors to assist homosexuals in buying surrogate babies.”

“It’s not bad enough that it was raining and cold. Now there were Nazis too.” (via)

“If they can see President Obama as a lazy, stealing, unaccomplished, incompetent black man, how do those same white folks see me, a bus driver, teacher, barber, doctor, attorney, home healthcare worker, or parent?”

“This is the whole deal. Romney lied through his teeth about his tax policy, which would give huge cuts to high income earners and big increases for most middle class families.”

Call it Etch-A-Sketch, call it the Gish Gallop, call it lies — it’s all about the same.”

Romney spoke for 38 minutes of the 90-minute debate and told at least 27 myths.”

“I’m hoping a President Romney will see the House GOP as labor. Then they’re really f—ed.”

“Approximately one in ten Americans wrongly believe PBS and its parent, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, gets about a third or even half of the entire federal budget annually.”

“Romney, reading a prepared text from a teleprompter … said President Obama ‘has not signed one new free trade agreement,’ despite the fact that’s blatantly, demonstrably untrue.”

“When it comes to lies and half-truths, Romney saves his best stuff for foreign policy.”

Mitt Romney agrees with you.”

Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XXXVII

A History of Dishonest Fox Charts

 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Your claim to be free of allegiance is as silly as the Big Bird flap.  I
    would gladly vote for a Democrat who favored a free-market system,
    parental rights, minimal government interference, repeal and replacement
    of the PPACA, strong support for Israel, and recognition that the role
    of government does not include rewarding losers and punishing winners.*

    - as spake by aunursa.

    You know, you keep recycling this crap where you blather blatantly untrue assertions about what the Dems (aka “liberals”) want to do down to some kind of bizarre crap about them literally yanking the McDonald’s out of your daughter’s mouth, or a close equivalent thereof.

    (“OMG THE BIG BAD EBIL GUMMINT WANTS TO NANNY THE FOOD I FEED MY KIDS” – Jesus baldhaired Christ, how do you not see that this is just blatant trolling by your favorite Republican politician?)

    Also? “Repeal and replacement of the PPACA”?

    WITH WHAT, YOU BLINKERED, OUT OF TOUCH…………. ARGH I HAVE NO WORDS FOR YOU.

    There is a person here on Slacktivist patheos who has told you that in the most literal sense her future life depends on being able to access legally mandated treatment the insurance companies will no longer be able to dodge or duck or get out of providing.

    Your high-flown ideological yadda yadda has pragmatic, immediate, vital results on the ground and the fact that in your straight white privileged out of touch little bubble you cannot see this, is why I still hate you. Among other things.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Still, it’s reasonable to expect the maker of an assertion to have the onus of backing it up.

    Hm.

    I would agree that how much confidence I have in an assertion ought to depend on how much evidence there is for that assertion.

    I would agree that if someone I don’t trust makes an assertion for which I lack significant evidence, and for which they don’t present significant evidence, I am justified in not expending significant effort on verifying that assertion, and justified in not significantly increasing my confidence in that assertion.

    I can see where that might be roughly equivalent to what you meant, in which case we agree, but I can also see where it might be very different from what you meant.

    If I’ve missed your point and you’re inclined to clarify further, I’d appreciate it.

  • Gotchaye

    What?

    First, what Lori said*.

    Second, what?  The Romney camp says that they can cut rates (costing about $5T over ten years relative to baseline) and pay for it by ending deductions and by achieving higher growth.  The core dispute here is whether or not it’s possible for Romney to make that math work out.  It’s absolutely bizarre to say that the burden is on Obama to prove that Romney is incorrect about a factual claim that Romney has made no effort to prove.  Are you resting all of this on the idea that Obama has to prove that Romney is willfully incorrect?

    *Seriously, even economists on Romney’s side say he’s full of shit on this.  Even the friendliest studies have to assume that he’s lying about some parts of the plan, and even then they can only make the numbers work out with ridiculously high (like 2+%) additional economic growth due to the plan.  Romney’s plan is only revenue neutral (long-term) if it nearly doubles historical average GDP growth. It’s only revenue neutral in the short-term if it basically ends the down economy overnight.

  • Lori

    Jesus H.Christ on a pogo stick*. The fact that you think those 3 quotes represent some proof of the “political spectrum” is just painfully idiotic.

    In terms of quality of commentary, they’re all fairly dumb, but the Chris Matthews quote is especially stupid. Pretty much par for the course for him.

    *My early training left me disinclined to take the Lord’s name in vain in this way, but damn.

  • Carstonio

    Are you resting all of this on the idea that Obama has to prove that Romney is willfully incorrect?

    That may be why the “533 lies in 30 weeks” post still gets comments – too many people of all political persuasions wrongly assume that a lie by definition has to involve intent. How convenient. It absolves public figures of any sort of the responsibility to make sure they have their facts straight before opening their mouths. Anyone who says “I didn’t mean to lie” is worried only about his or her own skin and not the consequences of the lie for otherrs.

  • AnonaMiss

    free-market system, parental rights, minimal government interference, repeal and replacement of the PPACA, strong support for Israel, and recognition that the role of government does not include rewarding losers and punishing winners.

    With the exception of the ACA, that describes Obama and the centrist majority of the Democratic party to a T. Also with the possible exception of parental rights, because I’m not entirely sure what you’re referring to there. Unless you mean the right of fathers to not be discriminated against in divorce settlements – an issue I’m sympathetic on, by the way – the only parental right I can think of that isn’t granted in this country is the right to deny life-saving treatment to their children. Which I’m going to be kind and assume you’re also against.

    May I also ask what kind of plan you suggest the ACA be replaced with? Since it’s a Republican concept with many concessions to Republicans in the implementation, and is mostly identical to the plan a Republican introduced to Massachusetts, which was based on the plan the Republicans offered as a counter to Hilary Clinton’s health care proposal during Bill’s first term. Not that you should inherently be OK with any plan that’s Republican, but I honestly don’t see how any replacement for the ACA could be more conservative than the ACA already is. Unless you mean doing away with the anti-discrimination portions of the bill?

    I’m going to assume you don’t think something more liberal than the ACA should replace it, since voting Republican would work against your interests there.

    Anyway, from what I’ve heard him say, Romney mainly wants to get rid of the individual mandate, not actually cut any of the benefits. As in, he wants to get rid of the part of the ACA that pays for the ACA. While simultaneously cutting taxes by 20% from the lowest they’ve been within most of our lifetimes. Honestly I think he’d be more likely to repeal it altogether, but I’ll take him at his word, as good fact-checkers should.

    That anyone can think the Republican party is fiscally conservative anymore is beyond comprehension.

    Point of interest: I identify as libertarian. I just recognize that there must come a point at which you can’t responsibly cut taxes anymore. Libertarianism is supposed to be in favor of minarchy, not anarchy; and in favor of fiscal responsibility, not of cutting taxes to the point where anarchy is the only thing you can even fund.

  • P J Evans

     What part of this are you unclear on?
    The fact that Romney can say one thing in the morning and its exact opposite in the evening ought to have clued you in long ago. So should his ‘I didn’t say that’ when there are recordings – video included – of him saying exactly that.

    You might want to get your political meter recalibrated; it seems to be way the heck out of whack.

  • EllieMurasaki

    For most purposes, the earth is a sphere. The difference between the distance from the earth’s center to the Arctic ocean floor and the distance from the earth’s center to the peak of the tallest mountain on the equatorial bulge is only about twenty-one miles, which is not hella significant considering that both distances are a little shy of four thousand miles. Shrink the earth to the size of a billiard ball, keeping all its proportions intact, and the billiard ball might just be the less smooth and spherical of the two.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Are you seriously trying to say that your proof that Obama is lying is that what he says contradicts what Romney says?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Yeah.  For who it really matters to, there are ways to express Earth’s shape as a linear series of spherical harmonics, but “oblate spheroid” covers it for most things. :)

  • phantomreader42

     Romney claims he can make massive tax cuts and simultaneously increase military spending without any loss of revenue or increase in the deficit (a claim which is absurd to any sane person).  The burden of proof is on HIM to show that this is possible, and explain how he plans to accomplish it.  He has not done so.  Despite being asked repeatedly, he has not even TRIED.  Unless and until Romney backs up his ridiculous assertions (which, again, he has not even attempted to do), it is entirely reasonable to assume that those assertions are not true, that Romney KNOWS that they are not true, and that Romney continues to make such false assertions in order to deceive voters.  That means Romney is lying, by definition.  Are you really too willfully stupid to comprehend this concept, or are you just pretending to be so dense? 

  • EllieMurasaki

    Romney’s plan is only revenue neutral if it nearly doubles historical average GDP growth.

    Huh. I wonder if they’re banking on the tax cuts driving that growth rate, like, uh, never in our history.

  • EllieMurasaki

    too many people of all political persuasions wrongly assume that a lie by definition has to involve intent. How convenient. It absolves public figures of any sort of the responsibility to make sure they have their facts straight before opening their mouths.

    Um, it kind of does. Which does not absolve anybody of anything, because the appropriate thing for a political figure to do when one knows one is unaware of facts is to not run one’s mouth on the subject, and the appropriate thing for a political figure to do when one finds out one made a false statement is to apologize, issue a correction, and not repeat the false statement. Actually these are appropriate things for anyone to do, but political figures are, or should be, held to a higher standard, because the things they say and do have more impact.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I don’t have the link on me, but McCain’s research on Romney for 2008 has hit the Internet. All two hundred pages. (I think Buzzfeed has it? If not, search Scribd.) It’s entertaining and edifying reading and no wonder McCain went for Palin. I’m not sure Romney would have hurt McCain’s chances worse than Palin did, but at least Palin did not have a record of saying six mutually contradictory things before breakfast.

  • EllieMurasaki

    It is really not all that oblate, either. ‘Sphere’ is a vastly more accurate approximation than ‘flat’.

  • Carstonio

    I looked up the definition of lie and you’re right. No disagreement with the rest of your point. My point is about the deflection tactic of contesting the charge of intent, instead of addressing the factual inaccuracy of what the political figure said. It may be similar to a statement or action being bigoted and that being the important point instead of whether the person was motivated by bigotry.

  • aunursa

    The terms “winners” and “losers” need to be banished from this debate.

    Cool.  You get to choose which words you will ban from this debate, and I get to choose which words I would ban from this debate.  I have a feeling that you would find my list at least as — if not much more – unacceptable than I would find yours.

    what do you mean by “parental rights”?

    With the obvious exception of abuse cases, the government should have minimal involvement in the everyday decisions and practices of parents regarding their children. 

  • aunursa

    There is a person here on Slacktivist patheos who has told you that in the most literal sense her future life depends on being able to access legally mandated treatment

    I do want her to get that treatment.  But not at the expense of a health care system that cannot be sustained.  Not at the expense of millions of Americans losing their current health insurance and millions of other Americans seeing huge increases in their rates.  Not at the expense of thousands of companies shifting full-time employees to part-time status in order to avoid the new law.   Not at the expense of an infringement on Americans’ constitutional rights.

    You are suggesting a dilemma that does not exist in the real world.  It is not the case that the PPACA is the only way that Lliira and others in similar positions can get the treatment that they need.  There are better, sustainable, financially sound ways to improve the system that will provide health care for Lliira and all Americans — ways that will not cause the system to collapse upon itself.  President Obama could have chosen to work with Republicans and Democrats to craft such a system.   He chose otherwise.  We’ll find out in 26 days whether the American voters support his decision.  (Both candidates have made it quite clear that a vote for President Obama and congressional Democrats is a vote to fully implement the PPACA.  A vote for Governor Romney and congressional Republicans is a vote to repeal and replace the PPACA with solutions that are sustainable.)

     [Blah, Blah, Blah ... I still hate you

    [Yawn]

    You say that as if it should mean anything to me.

  • aunursa

    Are you seriously trying to say that your proof that Obama is lying is that what he says contradicts what Romney says?

    No.  Non-partisan fact-checkers are saying that Obama, based on a set of his own assumptions, is fasely accusing Romney of lying.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    Both candidates have made it quite clear that a vote for President Obama and congressional Democrats is a vote to fully implement the PPACA.  A vote for Governor Romney and congressional Republicans is a vote to repeal and replace the PPACA with solutions that are sustainable. 

    I agree that both candidates have made it clear that a second Obama administration supports this bill.

    Are you also saying that Governor Romney has made it clear that he supports a solution (sustainable or otherwise) to the problem this bill solves? (Your wording suggests this, but doesn’t quite say it.)

    If so, can you summarize what you see as the problem this bill solves, and what solution to it Governor Romney has made clear he supports?

  • Carstonio

     

    You get to choose which words you will ban from this debate, and I get to choose which words I would ban from this debate.

    Valid point about words themselves. The issue is that the idea of life having winners and losers is simply a falsehood, and a cruel one at that. The universe is not inherently just no matter how much anyone wishes it to be. One’s situation in life has far more to do with circumstances beyond one’s control than those in one’s control, and those circumstances are not deserved rewards or punishments. The winners-and-losers idea is the one peddled by many wealthy people as rationalizations for perpetuating their privilege. Not only does the idea treat people born on third base as though they won a triple, it also treats them as though they deserved to be on third base.

    With the obvious exception of abuse cases, the government should have
    very minimal involvement in the everyday decisions and practices of
    parents regarding their children.

    That’s so broad that no reasonable person would disagree with it. Similar to how people who want to legally force women to carry pregnancies to term call themselves “pro-life.” Can you be more specific?

  • AnonaMiss

    With the obvious exception of abuse cases, the government should have very minimal involvement in the everyday decisions and practices of parents regarding their children.
    And… they don’t already?

    Seriously, homeschooling is a thing. I don’t think it even requires any kind of accreditation. You can keep your kid at home and teach them whatever the fuck you want, and the government won’t interfere unless one of your neighbors thinks you’re abusing them.

    Oh shit, unless this is code for vaccinations?

  • AnonaMiss

    That’s so broad that no reasonable person would disagree with it.
    Actually I find it somewhat problematic though I haven’t found a reasonable alternative yet. I feel that kids’ rights are ignored and that in many cases they’re treated as the property, rather than the wards, of their families: 

    Why do we consider the right of parents to choose to home school more important than the right of the child to get a decent education? 

    Why do we allow parents to choose to have their children get cosmetic surgery (pierced ears, circumcision) when we wouldn’t allow a guardian to make those decisions for, say, an adult in a coma? 

    Why do we consider the right of the parents to practice their religion to override the right of the child to not have someone else’s religion forced on it, e.g. for infant baptisms, when we would be rightly horrified if a church was baptising adults-in-a-coma with only a guardian’s consent?

  • Carstonio

    If the phrase “parental rights” had come from someone else, it could have been code for any number of things. Such as sex education that covers contraception. Such as teaching kids that everyone is deserving of humanity and dignity regardless of orientation, or as opponents describe it, recruiting kids into homosexuality. Such as forbidding teachers and administrators from requiring kids to participate in sectarian prayers, or as opponents describing it, teachers pushing atheism on kids.

  • Carstonio

    While I would have reservations about trying to legally ban baptisms or piercings or circumcisions on infants, I do believe that as a matter of moral principle, those should be performed on children on strictly a voluntary basis when they’re old enough to decide for themselves.

  • Lori

     

    Oh shit, unless this is code for vaccinations?   

    Good lord, I hope not. That’s stupid on a totally different scale than the stupid we’ve already been discussing. Also, sad to say, anti-vaccination stupid seems to be more common on the Left than the Right. There’s something really depressing about the idea that  aunursa could be “crossing the streams” that way.

  • EllieMurasaki

    My point is about the deflection tactic of contesting the charge of intent, instead of addressing the factual inaccuracy of what the political figure said. It may be similar to a statement or action being bigoted and that being the important point instead of whether the person was motivated by bigotry.

    Yes. This. Though I do note that repeating a false statement when one has been told it is false and one has had time to do one’s own fact-checking (or, for politicians, to pay someone else to fact-check and then to read their report), that is a lie by any definition.

  • AnonaMiss

    If the phrase “parental rights” had come from someone else, it could have been code for any number of things. Such as sex education that covers contraception. Such as teaching kids that everyone is deserving of humanity and dignity regardless of orientation, or as opponents describe it, recruiting kids into homosexuality. Such as forbidding teachers and administrators from requiring kids to participate in sectarian prayers, or as opponents describe it, teachers pushing atheism on kids.

    I suppose, but that someone else would have been full of shit, because you can avoid all of that by home-schooling.

    Which is, on the flip side, a big reason I consider home-schooling problematic.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Both candidates have made it quite clear that a vote for President Obama and congressional Democrats is a vote to fully implement the PPACA. A vote for Governor Romney and congressional Republicans is a vote to repeal and replace the PPACA with solutions that are sustainable.

    Still waiting to hear, one, what the Republican plan is for health care for all (the only plan I have actually heard is Romneycare as in Massachusetts, which, in case you forgot, is Obamacare with a different name on), and two, how they plan to implement it so that no one ends up with a gap in coverage due to repealing Obamacare before passing whatever the hell the Republicans want to pass.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Why do we allow parents to choose to have their children get cosmetic surgery (pierced ears, circumcision) when we wouldn’t allow a guardian to make those decisions for, say, an adult in a coma?

    We don’t always. I’ve heard of two cases. I forget the look-up-able details of the first, but kid wanted tattoo of his dead brother’s name. Mom decided this was a reasonable request and took kid off to get tattooed. Mom and tattoo artist are in trouble. And a few days ago, http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/10/tattoo-mom-busted-for-inking-11-year-old/in which kid asked Mom for tattoo and Mom, being a tattoo artist and thinking the request reasonable, obliged, and now Mom’s in trouble.

    What distinguishes pierced ears and circumcision from tattoos, I am not at all sure. They all three seem like things an adult should be able to get done to oneself freely and a kid over (say) thirteen if the kid wants and there’s parental consent.

  • AnonaMiss

    Also, sad to say, anti-vaccination stupid seems to be more common on the Left than the Right.

    I was under the impression it was fairly evenly distributed. Remember the kerfuffle with Michelle Bachmann?

  • Hawker40

    “Also, sad to say, anti-vaccination stupid seems to be more common on the Left than the Right.I was under the impression it was fairly evenly distributed. Remember the kerfuffle with Michelle Bachmann?”The anti-vax nonsense is more common on the left than the right.  The left just doesn’t elect the anti-vaxxers.(evidence that I’m wrong will be accepted)

  • Carstonio

     True story – recently I was vaccinated for whooping cough, because these days it’s recommended for parents of young children. Thanks, Dr. Wakefield.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    For some reason I’ve found that certain left-wing folks, even more so than the right, who at least value science in a sort of “it makes money, so let it be” kind of way, really have a problem with science. I’m not sure why, but there is a certain group of people who do not seem to think that science and technology can be capable of just as much good as of evil.

    Thus, they dismiss all possible technological growth as inherently bad and insist that the virtues of a largely labor-intensive, agriculturally-dominated economy outweigh the problems that come with such – namely that that kind of backbreaking, hard work hasn’t really been done in generations and such techniques imply permanently freezing the standard of living at that level, since human labor power can only generate so much of a surplus to be drawn off for whatever you may care to do (e.g. feed an inventor to do nothing but design labor-saving devices which would end up kicking off the whole “problem” all over again).

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     The nice thing about home-schooling is that it scales poorly. However much I feel bad for the kids, I’d rather their parents keep them home and miseducate them themselves than get themselved elected to the school board and insist that all students learn from textbooks that describe evolution as “An increasingly discredited wild-ass theory”.

    (For what it’s worth, my sister was homeschooled for two years. Or as she likes to think of it “The two-year vacation I scammed them into letting me take”)

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Did they understand what you were asking for? When I went to my doctor asking for it, I had to ask for a tetanus shot because the technicians I talked to didn’t realize that Whooping Cough was a real thing that people got vaccinated for.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I have a book from the 1970s from when I was a young fellow that said that the causes for the sudden drop-off and mildness of Whooping Cough were not, at the time, understood, but it used to be very severe.

    With the benefit of hindsight what must have happened is the more severe varieties were vaccinated against, blocking their transmission, leaving only the milder strains to stay active, and even those died out as people developed immunities to those also.

  • Carstonio

    I didn’t ask for the shot. Instead, the doctor reminded me that I was due for a tetanus shot and recommend the tetanus/pertussis combo because of the age of my children.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    I’d add Monsanto to Big Pharma, too.  I don’t even have a problem with GMOs in principle, but the way Monsanto handles theirs is, well, evil.

  • guest

    I once asked a linguist if she was familiar with any gender-specific use of language in English (something seemingly much more common in many other languages), and she offered the word ‘lie’.  Women tend to use ‘lie’ as any untruth regardless of intent, and men tend to use ‘lie’ as a knowing untruth.


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