Mitt Romney's unusually frequent flip-flops, shameless misrepresentations of the truth, and brazen pandering has caused some pundits to marvel at how dishonorable he is. "How did this happen?" Scott Galupo asks. "How did we come to this pass, where a man like Mitt Romney -- whose candidacy represents a breathtakingly cynical, borderline nihilistic pursuit of power on behalf of a tiny sliver of the population -- sits within striking distance of the highest office in the land?"
I won't defend the Republican nominee. But I am a bit confused by all the folks who aren't as disgusted by President Obama's performance on these metrics. This is, after all, a man who misrepresented his core to the electorate in 2008, constantly asserting that systemic reform would be his first priority in Washington, D.C., only to arrive in the White House and work within the system.
Admitting that Romney's lies are shameless and brazen and dishonorable (he links to another conservative who calls Rominee "loathsome"), he moves on fast -- nothing to see here -- and comes up with a list of Obama's transgressions which he suggests are equivalent. (Wow! "... worked within the system." The monster!!) They're not. Apples and... really small apples. Obama made some unfulfilled promises, all right, but he was thwarted at every turn when he tried to carry them out. Closing Gitmo is frequently cited, for example, as an Obama lie. But it was Congress -- Rs, mostly, of course -- that refused to allow it; which hardly makes it a lie, or in any way comparable to deliberately lying about what is already known. And so it goes.
I'm not saying Obama doesn't play footsie with the truth; and I agree with Friedersdorf that we've gotten pretty blasé about what we accept from politicians in terms of honesty. But I see enormous orders of magnitude of difference between the things that Obama has done or not done, said or not said, and what The Rominee says daily: if the former sometimes stretches the truth, or has failed to pull off what he said he would, the latter takes the truth and smothers it, boils it, turns it into something unrecognizable, and feeds it back as its opposite, to be gobbled up by Foxified R voters like chocolate pudding, with which it shares certain features, from a distance, and absent the senses of taste or smell.