Last week Mitt Romney delivered possibly the most dishonest presidential campaign speech in American history. It contains lie after lie, distortion after distortion, and trick after trick. The fact that a person capable of giving such a speech has reached this level suggests that it may be too late to salvage the country. Our institutions may be corrupted beyond repair.
In the Friday post, The Romney Close: No Lie Left Behind, my colleague Bill Scher examined just some of the specific lies in Romney’s “closing argument” speech. Romney said Obama promised that the stimulus would create 9 million jobs. Obama did no such thing. Romney said Medicare has been slashed to pay for Obamacare. Of course it has not. Romney said stand up to China’s trade practices. Of course he did. Etc., Etc.
In the speech Romney also repeated a flat-out lie he had used multiple times in the debates. He said that President Obama has “doubled the deficit.” In the post, What Was Romney’s Biggest, Flatest-Outest Debate Lie? “Obama Doubled The Deficit” I explained,
The US budget fiscal year goes from October 1 to September 30 of the following year. On the day that President Obama took office the 2009 budget year — Bush’s last budget year — was in its 5th month. The projected deficit for that budget year — again, Bush’s last budget year — was already $1.2 trillion. Click that link, and look at the date that article was published. Check the date on this one. Or this one from a conservative news outlet with the slogan: “The Right News. Right Now.” It is dated January 7, 2009, two weeks before Barack Obama took office, and the title is Congressional Budget Office Projects $1.2 Trillion Deficit for 2009,
The federal budget deficit will hit an unparalleled $1.2 trillion for the 2009 budget year, according to a Capitol Hill aide briefed on new Congressional Budget office figures.
That was two weeks before Obama took office. That is the first of “four straight trillion-dollar deficits” upon which Romney is basing much of his campaign rhetoric. Except it was Bush’s last budget year, not Obama’s first.
Overwhelming The Truth
This is picking apart just one lie, showing how it is just a flat-out, blatant lie, intended to confuse and deceive voters. The Romney strategy has been to swamp us with so many flat-out lies that refuting them all would take a lifetime. And so they remain out there unrefuted. And if someone did spend that lifetime refuting each lie, there would of course be a dozen lifetimes worth more lies waiting.
Media Response To Lies Is To Not Respond
The “mainstream” media appears to have decided to the best way to deal with this level of deceit is to just gloss over it. They have largely responded to Romney’s flat-out lies with silence, choosing instead to provide “both sides do it” nonsense, “he said-she said” excuses and “horse-race” coverage of who is winning and losing, calling the lies “strategies” and “attacks” to avoid calling it what it is. The lack of shocked and outraged response from all corners of the country shows that our institutions are corrupted to the point that they are not capable of
The Romney campaign is betting on voter ignorance — that the “base” voters are going to stay with him out of FOX- and Limbaugh-induced belief in the lies, or by outright hatred for Obama. They are betting that the remaining undecided voters won’t know better and can be scared into going Romney’s way.
Then, if they do win the office, what will they do with it? Who can say? What did ‘W’ Bush do with it? War, debt, corruption — and year after year denying global warming, allowing the problem to get worse and worse.
Lying is a form of abuse. It is a form of battering. It shows incredible disrespect to the people you expect to believe your lies. People who are lied to repeatedly lose their sense of what truth is, their grounding and their faith. They can become cynical, and no longer even able to trust those they should trust.
Lying to a country harms the country. Policies based on lies lead to disasters. A population that has been primed to believe things that are not true is a population that can be herded into outrageous actions. Look at the damage done when the country discovered that Nixon was dishonest — to this day people cannot believe in their government. Look at the damage done when people realized that Bush lied us into the Iraq war. If Romney is elected based on a campaign of lies, what will be left of us? What is left us us already, that he could rise so far?
What does Romney’s campaign of lies say about our country — and US? This is a question we all need to discuss honestly. Can we?
PS, Typically, Romney’s “closing argument” speech was delivered at Kinzler Construction Services, a company that the Obama stimulus helped to save. The company benefited from more than $650,000 in stimulus funding.