Monday, August 27, 2012

Like It Is

Here's a former political scientist and researcher on that latest of Romney's lying ads, the one that sent me into insensate frothing:

Now, let me be absolutely clear about something. I've been paying very, very close attention to political ads for a long time. In my former career as an academic I did a lot of research on political ads. I've watched literally every single presidential general election campaign ad ever aired since the first ones in 1952. I've seen ads that were more inflammatory than this one, and ads that were in various ways more reprehensible than this one (not many, but some). But I cannot recall a single presidential campaign ad in the history of American politics that lied more blatantly than this one.

You can get the details on those lies here or here, but it's something quite rare in politics. Usually candidates deceive voters by taking something their opponent says out of context, or giving a tendentious reading to facts, or distorting the effects of policies. But in this case, Romney and his people looked at a policy of the Obama administration to allow states to pursue alternative means of placing welfare recipients in jobs, and said, "Well, how about if we just say that they're eliminating all work requirements and just sending people checks?" I have no idea if someone in the room said, "We could say that, but it's not even remotely true," and then someone else said, "Who gives a crap?", or if nobody ever suggested in the first place that this might be problematic. But either way, they decided that they don't even have to pretend to be telling the truth anymore.

The article, titled "Lies Are The New Truth," is worth a read in full, if only for its inclusion of Newt Gingrich's defense of the ad by saying, essentially, well, yeah, it's not true, but I have no doubt it would be true if it
were true. And, as is his wont, throwing in some of his tried and false lines about "the welfare president." (Newt, tell me this: does the fact that jobs disappeared under George Bush faster than your first two wives have anything to do with increased numbers of people getting government aid?)

[I wrote this one a while back, so it's a little dated in terms of timeliness; but not in content, especially since Mitt's come out with two more ads repeating the same lie, and it's clear he plans to build his convention around it, too, despite its demonstrated falsity.]


  1. You're fairly prolific of late, so I feel only a little bit guilty for Godwinning this post so quickly.

    But seriously, what did you think? That 20th Century Germans were all from planet Bluto? Their director of propaganda wasn't wishing, hoping and praying for it, he was stating an observed fact: the bigger the lie the better.

    But seriously, what did you think? That 20th Century Germans were constructed from tree roots and mud in some Alpine redoubt? No way. They weren't anything special, despite their ambitions and self-delusions. For the most part, just ordinary run-of-the-mill folks, indistinguishable from people you see in America every day.

    The only legitimate (cough) surprise is that anyone is still capable of registering surprise at the shenannigans of the plutocrats and their poltroons.

    Sorry for "going there" but at least I didn't use the "N" word or the "A" word or the "H" word. ;)

  2. I cannot fathom it. I cannot fathom how Romney thinks it's okay to do what he does. I cannot fathom those who support his lying. I just have no idea.

    But meantime, did you see this? Charlie Crist reclaims his conscience, loud and clear. And this: Ryan on video saying that rape is just a "method of conception." Dude just lost the election, right there.

  3. I agree, Alison. It's incomprehensible. As is the ease with which so many are so easily manipulated into acting against their own interest.


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