Big Lie, little lie, everywhere a lie, lie!
While catching up with my reading, I noticed a mention in TIME magazine about a web-only TIME.COM article titled “The Root of Mitt Romney’s Comfort with Lying”. Intrigued, I followed the link (behind a paywall, I believe) to a column by Justin Frank, M.D.
His conclusion was that Romney doesn’t believe he’s lying, even when confronted with irrefutable facts to the contrary. Provocatively, he concludes it is rooted in Mitt’s Mormon upbringing:
And one doesn’t have to be a Mormon to lie – just look at John Edwards or former Nevada Senator John Ensign. But in the Mormon Church, there was a decision to accept authority as true – whether or not evidence supported it. Hence Joseph Smith, the founder of the faith in 1820, claimed he was illiterate and received the Book of Mormon directly from God. But he could read, and read very well.
This unwavering faith is central to Romney’s comfort in deflecting any examples that the press might bring up of his lying. Further, it allows him to repeat lies again and again – both personally and in political advertising – because to him they are not lies at all.
Following the links further, led me to another article by New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn When It’s OK to Lie with the formula Romney is following to lie his way to the White House.
In short the rules are:
In related news, Andrew Sprung, whose excellent blogging on health care policy I haven’t given nearly enough attention, developed a list of twelve rules that Romney seems to think should govern campaigning. For starters:
1. Context doesn’t matter. Anything you say I may use against you, e.g., by making it sound like you said the opposite.
2. My record shall be judged by different standards from that of my opponent. For example, job losses in my first year in office don’t count; in his, they shall define his entire record.
3. What I said 18, 10, 4, or 3 years ago doesn’t matter. Erase it from your mind. I’ve been as consistent as human beings (all three of me) can be.
4. When confronted directly with past positions that seem to contradict current ones, I may so thoroughly bend the positions back against each other that none shall be able to penetrate my paradoxes.
The whole list is worth reading.
Finally, you can keep track of Romney’s complete and up-to-date sordid list of lies here: Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XXI
Campaigning in St. Louis yesterday, Mitt Romney, reading from his teleprompter, told supporters he would never be a “president of doubt and deception.”
You could almost hear irony weeping. After all, as Kevin Drum explained, “I expect political candidates to bend the truth a fair amount…. But Romney’s willingness to flat-out lie is singular.”
Or as Rachel explained just last night, “Mr. Romney gets caught saying things that are factually wrong, and the thing that is different about him is that he does not mind; he doesn’t fix it; he doesn’t even try to worm out of it. He doesn’t appear to feel any shame about it at all — and he’s happy to keep telling the lie once he knows it is a lie.”
And I can hear the Republican apologists with their replies now: But Democrats are a thousand, million, billion times worse (which makes it ok for us)!
Can it get any worse?