Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
It's only Thursday but we get a bonus round of fact checking the shameless shapeshifter and pathological liar, Willard "Mittens" Romney. Mittens has really been stepping up his "big lie" propaganda campaign this week.
Mark Kleiman writes at the Washington Monthly's Ten Miles Square - The Tongue Is Quicker Than the Eye:
2. Mitt Romney gets roasted for saying that.
3. Romney surrogate John Sununu says remark wasn’t a gaffe, and defends it.
4. Obama campaign is all over Romney about wanting fewer police, firefighters, and teachers.
5. Romney goes on TV and says it’s “completely absurd” to charge that he doesn’t want more police, firefighters, and teachers.
Kevin Drum thinks that the rules have changed – that even Presidential candidates can now get away with constant fibbing – and that Romney is simply smart enough to have noticed.
I’m not so sure. It’s possible that the press will start to report Romney’s lies as lies. That’s unconventional, but he’s asking for it.
The fact checkers are putting in overtime this week with the torrent of lies that eminates from the Romney campaign on a daily basis.
Mitt Romney claimed that it was “ completely absurd” of the Obama campaign to argue that he favors cutbacks in cops, firefighters and teachers. “The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen,” Romney said, adding that they were paid by states and localities.
What’s getting lost in the back and forth here is that Romney’s actual economic plan would, in fact, cut billions of dollars in federal money that goes to cops, firefighters, and teachers — perhaps more than $10 billion a year, in fact.
This is the conclusion of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which analyzed Romney’s plan through the prism of the debate over public workers at my request.
As Michael McAuliff reported yesterday, despite Romney's claim, the federal government does give billions of dollars to states and localities through programs like Title 1, the COPS program, FEMA and others — which pay for first responders and teachers.
Romney’s plan calls for huge federal spending cuts, though it isn’t specific about which programs would get cut. But a reasonable set of assumptions for analyzing it shows Romney’s plan would cut deeply into those billions.
Greg Sargent has more today on the Romney attack lines exposed as a lies in The Morning Plum - The Plum Line:
* Associated Press demolishes Romney claims about public workers: Good for the AP for directly debunking Romney’s claims about public sector job loss, including the notion that the federal government doesn’t pay them (it does) and that the stimulus only protected government jobs (it staved off economic collapse in the private sector, too).
This AP piece is important: Rarely do we see news orgs delve deeply into expert opinion about who is actually right about the policy dispute between Romney and Obama that underlies the daily back and forth.
* Romney talking point continues to implode: Yesterday I noted here that the medical furniture company at the center of Mitt Romney’s latest attack on Obama did not move from Iowa to Wisconsin because of Obamacare. Indeed, one reason for the move is that demand for the company’s product has been slowed by the uncertainty caused by the drive to repeal or modify health care reform.
It gets better. My colleage Glenn Kessler has now looked into this further, and he finds that another reason for the move was ... federal spending cuts.
The company does a good deal of business with the federal government, Kessler notes, and cutbacks have harmed its bottom line. As Kessler suggests, Romney’s business background should have indicated to him that the original idea — that a health reform law that’s not even fully implemented yet caused this consolidation — was absurd.
Bottom line: This company’s move was prompted in part by policy ideas Romney supports: cuts to federal spending; and the drive to roll back health reform, the real cause of the Obamacare “uncertainty” here. This small skirmish goes directly to the heart of the big issues that the presidential campaign is really about.
As other commentators have observed, the Romney strategy here is to lie so incessantly that fact checkers become worn out and simply give up. He is creating an alternate reality with a web of lies.
The Romney campaign is running a Big Lie propaganda campaign, and the vast majority of media villagers are allowing him to get away with it, which is a massive failure of the "watchdogs of democracy" role of the media.
I am thinking about renaming these fact check posts "Info you never see reported in The Arizona Republic or the Arizona Daily Star." Maybe you should ask them why (after all, the Republic actually has its own "fact check" column that it wastes on trivial disputes).
UPDATE: P M Carpenter tells it plainly, Romney is doing what has never been done - here:
I'm not trying to be strident or outrageous, but it has come to this. In at least the spirit of mid-20th-century totalitarian propaganda techniques, the Romney campaign is all in.
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George W. Bush reinvented Reality; now Mitt Romney will reinvent Truth--it is whatever Mitt Romney says it is, although it's even more repugnantly opportunistic than that; it is, plainly, whatever 50.1 percent of the electorate is willing to believe.
To truly be a first-rate propagandist of world-class scurrility, however, one must repeat one's naked transgressions against both reality and truth. You know, just to show the bleeding-heart bastards and media watchdogs and goo-goo types that one not only intends to play rough, but without any sign of correction or contrition or rehabilitation. Ever.
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Yet there is something qualitatively different here. No one has ever "done it" like the Romney campaign; even throughout the heretofore most vicious presidential campaigns of, say, 1800 or 1828 or 1860, there were at least some elements of truthful reality in the wildest charges of monarchism or militarism and adulterous bigamy or violently unwanted government encroachment.
But this is new. What the Romney campaign's doing is staggeringly, venomously fresh. No one has ever done it before--not in America, anyway.