Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mitt Romney: An Honest Guy Like Me Can Be Trusted to Keep His Tax Records Secret

In his acceptance speech last Thursday, Mitt Romney made an effort to convince us he was just like any other ordinary American who happened to have inherited millions of dollars from his Dad and who doesn’t want anyone to know about how what he has done with all that money and the taxes he was supposed to pay on it.

To an extent he succeeded.  As a number of commentators have said, this was “as good a speech as Mitt Romney can deliver.”  I think I can agree with that, though I would have to modify the meaning of “good speech,” to include those speeches that may have their desired effect even though they are chock full of lies.

I feel a bit na├»ve calling out a politician for lying since, truth be told, all politicians avoid the truth to some extent, and if they didn’t they couldn’t be successful politicians (cf. Cultureworld21c,  Sept. 4, 2010).  But there are lies, there are damn lies and there are lies of such stunning audacity that one wonders whether to condemn the one who utters them or admire him for his boldness.  Mitt’s speech – and Paul Ryan’s before him – fall into this third category.

To illustrate, I will hereby present Mitt’s speech but leave out the dishonest parts lest I be accused of lamely propagating falsehoods as the media so often does in its effort to appear unbiased.

              Mitt’s Speech (with the overt lies sanitized out)

Mr. Chairman, delegates. I accept your nomination for President of the United States of America. I do so with ________________.
Tonight I am asking you to___________________________________________.  In the days ahead, you will get to know Paul and Janna better.  __________________________________________________________________________________________. But Paul, I still like the playlist on my iPod better than yours.

Four years ago, I know that many Americans felt______________________________________
_____________________We are a nation of immigrants___________-____________________
But today, four years from the excitement of the last election ____________________________

If I am elected President of these United States, _______________________________________
________________________________________________________________together tonight.

OK, never mind.  That didn’t work out as well as I had hoped.  Let me try a different tack.  I’ll focus on some of the more egregious lies in the speech, like some of those worthy of a Four Pinnochios or Pants on Fire designation from and Politifact.

1.  “I have a plan to create 12 million jobs.”

Well, what is it, Mitt?  The only “plan” you’ve presented is a batch of boilerplate right-wing platitudes along the lines of less government, lower taxes, reducing the debt, etc.  Furthermore, a number of nonpartisan analysts have projected job growth of around 10 to 12 million jobs over the next four years no matter who is president.  What the hell, Mitt?
2. “I will begin my presidency with a jobs tour. President Obama began with an apology tour.”

It is amazing that Romney would resort to the sort of lie that portrays Obama as a cringing coward given that the latter was responsible for 
          ordering the high-risk operation that eliminated Osama bin Laden

   increasing the drone strikes on terrorist leaders to a point that has infuriated the Pakistani government, among others, 
          increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan, and 
          backing the Libyan rebels with enough air power to allow them to overthrow Gaddafi

I can’t say I approve of all of the more militant aspects of Obama’s foreign policy, but I gotta ask, doesn’t the Mormon Church teach its people anything about lying?  I mean, I’m sure making up slanderous falsehoods is not considered acceptable in Mormon theology.  Furthermore, common sense would tell you that if you’re going to make stuff up, shouldn’t it at least have some connection to the truth so that people don’t see right away that it’s patent bullshit? 

3. “Unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class.”

Come again?  Does Mitt mean that Obama will “raise taxes” (that is, terminate the “temporary” tax cuts initiated by Bush) on people who earn more than $250,000 per year?  To be fair on this one, Mitt may actually believe that multi-millionaires are the middle class. 

4. “His $716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will both hurt today’s seniors, and depress innovation — and jobs — in medicine.”

This is one big, fat, stinking pile of something other than the truth.  But, I guess there’s no need to go on.  You get the idea.

What Romney seems to be doing is telling so many lies that the Obama camp will be overwhelmed by the incoming swarm.  In a sense, the Romney strategy combines Goebbels’ belief in the effectiveness of the big lie with current military doctrine on the effectiveness of the swarming attack.  If there are enough lies out there, maybe the Obama people won’t have the wherewithal to swat them all down.

And yet, Governor Romney wants us to “trust him” on his tax returns.


                                Man vs. Swarm