Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Past all Dishonesty

I guess I should say, past all previous dishonesty. Bush/Cheney, as far as I can remember, never told the truth about anything. You might think that is a record that could never be broken. Romney is trying as hard as he can to break it, but as it’s technically impossible to break such a record he’s doing it in a somewhat unusual way. You will recall some of the more egregious lies of Bush/Cheney: “We know Iraq has weapons of mass destruction,” “We know where they are,” “Sadam is trying to get uranium from South Africa,” “The Iraq war will pay for itself with their oil,” and on and on in their lying attempt to start an illegal and unconstitutional war with Iraq. Although there may have been reasons to suspect these of being lies, as many of us did, they were at least hypothetically possible. They could have of at least been possibly true.

Romney’s lies are quite different in that he lies about things that are already known not to be true. Even if he knows something is untrue he lies about it anyway. For example, he repeats the lie over and over again that President Obama has taken the work requirement out of welfare.” This is demonstrably untrue, most everyone who is paying attention knows it is untrue, but Romney and his not so merry band of vulture capitalists and their supporters use it anyway. The same thing is true of the endlessly repeated claim that Obama is ruining Medicare by taking away 715 billion dollars from it. This is, of course, not true, and we already know it is not true, but this does not deter Republicans from saying it at every opportunity. As these claims are already known to be false they cannot even hypothetically be true. This would appear to be an unprecedented use of lying for political purposes, as has been already pointed out by at least a few observers. Thus it is that Romney lies constantly, just as Bush/Cheney did, but his lies are virtually unique by being widely known to be false even before he uses them and continues to use them. It would seem that for lies to be effective they must at least be possibly true, a fact that seems to have escaped Romney and his supporters (but, of course, the voters have to be paying attention as well, a condition apparently not always the case for some).

In fact, the entire Republican campaign against Obama is nothing but an elaborate web of lies, deceptions, and distortions. The worst lie of all is their endless lying refrain that President Obama has failed to produce jobs. In this case it is at least possible that might be the case, but it is not, for the simple reason that Republicans have consistently blocked any attempt by Obama to create jobs. It is not Obama that has failed in this respect, it is Republicans who have failed, even to the point of wrecking our economy in their frantic attempt to defeat Obama. There is no doubt whatsoever their strategy has been to keep Obama from succeeding at anything, especially at creating jobs, and then hypocritically blaming him for the failure. Unfortunately this seems to have worked, at least to a point.

The same thing is true of their campaign to block the votes. It is (or perhaps was) possible that there could be voter fraud, their ostensible argument for the series of onerous blocks they have attempted to put into place to keep minorities from voting, but we know now that voter fraud is virtually unheard of, has not been a problem in our elections in the past, and cannot be a legitimate justification for their attempts to keep certain voting blocks from exercising their right to vote. This was a lie so outrageous they have now had to admit they are deliberately trying to hinder the voting of Black and Latino voters, as well as some others.

Still another lie repeated over and over again by Republicans is that the stimulus didn’t work. In fact it did work, but it was not generous enough to do the job as it should have. It was not generous enough because of Republican opposition to it, and also because of their insistence that fully one third of it had to be tax cuts. It did not work only in the sense that it did not do enough to solve the massive unemployment problem bequeathed Obama by the Bush/Cheney administration. But there is no doubt that it did preserve perhaps as many as two million jobs that would otherwise have been lost, making the problem much worse.

Republicans have woven a web of falsely significant (to them) lies portraying President Obama as something he is not: an un-American, Muslim, socialist, communist, anti-Christ, Kenyan anti-colonial, illegitimate President, who faked his birth certificate and is going to take their guns away.

Sociology: The study of how the masses (proletariat) are being exploited by an elite bourgeoisie.

Max Schulman (I think)

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