Lying as a political strategy

i drove nearly 1000 miles yesterday, traveling all thru North Carolina as part of this sales trip.  It is rare that i spend so much time alone and so much listening to the mainstream media, in this case satellite radio.    There was lots of coverage of the US presidential campaign, Todd Akin’s clever views on abortion and biology and even a fair amount on Mitt Romney’s campaign ads claiming Obama gutted the work requirement for Welfare.  The mainstream media and independent fact checker identify these claims as completely false.  Even the conservative Heritage Foundation says the ads are bogus.  And as much as i dislike him,  Newt Gingrich admits there is “no proof” of the ads claim.  Despite this, the Romney campaign continues to run the ads.

we are what we watch

Politicians lie, no one is surprised here.  But this approach seems to set the bar especially low.  The entire story is made up, what did happen on the date specified by the Romney folx in the ad was that the feds gave additional flexibility to states to run their own programs which are designed to maintain the work requirement as part of welfare.  Interestingly, republican governors were part of the group which asked for  this flexibility granted by the Obama administration in the first place. No exemptions have yet been granted, despite the fact that the Romney ad claims the work requirement is already gone.  Some conservatives “fear” this is what will happen, but there is a difference between reporting a fear and reporting an event.  Unsurprisingly, Fox News does not weigh in on whether the claims are true, only reporting that camp Obama says they are not.

Mitt Romney has certainly been challenged on the veracity of this ad and chooses to continue to run it.  This is a racist ploy.  The black president is handing out money to principally black welfare queens who are sitting around watching TV eating bon bons, while hard working white people are taxed to pay for these bon bons.

Romney knew the Obama camp would cry foul.  And they knew that the media is going to notice this lie and report on it.  And they know being caught lying is not especially good for a politicians career or electability.  And even knowing all this, they think this is an effective strategy.

Perhaps this is because they think they have so much more money than Obama that they will win the air war by flooding the desired markets with their ads.  Perhaps they are looking at the poll numbers and feeling pretty desperate and want to try something.  Perhaps they think no one cares about politicians lying anymore and they can get an easy pass on this.

My liberal optimism thinks the mainstream media will jump on Romney for this distortion.  That the calculus will be wrong and full on fabrications (which of course Romney is claiming Obama is guilty of) will be a net negative and seal the Republicans tomb.  My radical pessimism thinks this is the brave new world of unlimited campaign funding and that if you have enough money you can buy your lies into widespread belief and win elections with them.

One of the interesting things i discovered while researching for this post is that apparently Fox News bid to open its own station in Canada was blocked, because the Canadians have a law which prohibits news stations from lying.  I have not been able to verify claims that similar laws blocked Fox News in Sweden and Mexico.


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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

8 responses to “Lying as a political strategy”

  1. Jason Sharma says :

    I find it humorous that you seem to sincerely believe that Romney and Obama are not on the same team when it is patently obvious that this whole conversation is orchestrated on both sides.

  2. paxus says :

    @Jason that you cant see the unrealistic simplicity of this conspiracy theory worries me.

    • Jason Sharma says :

      Why would you worry? If anything, I think that the fact that you speak as if this group of people as though they have any more than a facade of legitimacy is counter-productive. They do not have any leadership ability at all. People should be encouraged to stop paying attention to them, stop following them, stop listening to them, and start going their own way. Obama and Romney are nothing more than white collar criminals on a friendly bribe collecting competition.

  3. Ed says :

    Obama and Romney are in very close agreement on most of the issues. For example, Obama got his health-care plan idea from Romney’s plan in Massachusetts. This is why this campaign is turning into one based on personal style and rhetoric rather than the actual issues.

    One issue I haven’t seen covered much is what effect Obamacare might have on the health care plan at Twin Oaks and similar communities. Requiring everyone to pay into a national plan could be enormously expensive for communities. Is TO examining options to opt out of the system, or to have members pay the fine for not participating?

  4. Kelpie says :

    As a woman, I see a pretty clear difference between Obama and Romney. Let’s not go back to the days of illegal and unsafe abortions. Please vote for Obama.

  5. paxus says :

    No. Obama and Romney are not close on a significant number of policies. And this “all the candidates are the same” nonsense is foolish in the extreme. Beyond being a disaster for womens reproductive rights (Obama has put only pro-choice judges on the bench and Romney will only put anti-abortionists on it). Romneys energy plan is Shale oil from Canada, Obama has blocked Keystone and Obama has funded solar arrays i can see from my window. Romeny wants to attack Iran, Obama has used several diplomatic efforts to avoid this. Romney wants to ax medicare, Obama largely has fixed it. Sure they are both lackies to corporations in general, sure big pharma and big banks love both of them. But to pretend that these other issues do not exist and they are “all the same” is simply political naivety.

    Dont claim ObamaCare is like RomneyCare without having heard Romney distance himself from his own program. Just as he does from his old abortion platform.

  6. Ed says :

    Paxus, can you comment specifically about Obamacare and communities such as TO? I’ve seen a no media references whatsoever to how the program will impact secular communities. It sounds like Obamacare and the individual mandate would be very expensive indeed for TO. How does TO insure its members now, and how might that change after the idividual mandate comes into full force?

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