Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Francisco Franco is still dead, and Mitt Romney is still a lying liar

By Richard K. Barry 

How big was it again, Mitt?
Well, we can't say that Romney didn't warn us. We can't say that he didn't tell us that he would try to lie his way to the White House. But I'm a little surprised by this one, if only by its magnitude.

The man is so desperate to secure the Republican presidential nomination that he is now engaging in Glenn Beck levels of hysterics. Exhibit A is a speech by Romney delivered in New Hampshire last night, and posted earlier today by Steve Benen at Washington Monthly. Here's what Mitt had to say:

Just a couple of weeks ago in Kansas, President Obama lectured us about Teddy Roosevelt’s philosophy of government. But he failed to mention the important difference between Teddy Roosevelt and Barack Obama. Roosevelt believed that government should level the playing field to create equal opportunities. President Obama believes that government should create equal outcomes.

In an entitlement society, everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort, and willingness to take risk. That which is earned by some is redistributed to the others. And the only people who truly enjoy any real rewards are those who do the redistributing — the government.

The truth is that everyone may get the same rewards, but virtually everyone will be worse off.

Here's Jon Chait's take on Romney's turn towards the dark side, although I suspect Romney has always had this kind of bullshit in him.

This isn't just a casual line. In eight sentences, Romney asserts over and over again that Obama wants to create "equal outcomes" and give everybody the "same rewards." This is nuts, Glenn Beck–level insane. Restoring Clinton-era taxes is not a plan to equalize outcomes, or even close. It's not even a plan to stop rising inequality. Obama's America will continue to be the most unequal society in the advanced world — only slightly less so. The alternative proposals accelerate inequality even further.

Steve Benen makes a point, though, that I would like to emphasize, which is that anyone who has even a passing interest in reality or civil discourse needs to be outraged by Romney's statement. If those who imagine themselves in leadership roles in their respective parties aren't even going to make a passing effort at integrity, where does that leave us?

We have all come to expect this kind of thing from Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, and even Palin, but from the guy who bills himself as the sober voice of Republican reason?

I know I shouldn't expect any better, but if the general election ahead ends up being full of this kind of rhetoric, this kind of lying, it will be a very dark time for democracy in America.

Hey, PolitiFact, this is what a real fucking lie looks like. And the year isn't even over, so maybe it's not too late to change your mind.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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