I have closely followed politics a few decades now. There is so much distortion and truth massaging that dishonesty is the name of the game too often. Just the fact that after debates the party flacks run off to a place called "the spin room" should be all we need to know. But something far more insidious started occurring when Fox News was assured by the courts that they have no responsibility to actually tell the truth. It created a propaganda network for the Republican Party that allows them to lie with relative impunity. Instead of presenting the American people with what they believe in, the objective is to create narratives that are grounded in falsehood but hammered home by Fox and on the stump until people start to think there is actual veracity to it.
Enter mendacious Mitt Romney. The political chameleon that makes Al Gore look like Plymouth Rock. Next week voters head to the polls armed with a meandering narrative of the Republican candidate that is simply not true. Let's remove some of them from the spin cycle and see what the truth is.
The first narrative that has been getting a lot of play lately is the notion that because Romney was Governor of a liberal state with an 87% Democratic legislature, that he had to "learn how to reach across the aisle." To hear Camp Mitt tell the tale, for four years he held camping trips with the legislature where they sat around the campfire cooking marshmallows, singing kumbya and agreeing on legislation. The fact that Romney did not even try to fight for his state in this election, which is clearly going to vote Obama, should be all you need to know about how his state feels about him. But going deeper than that the premise is simply untrue. Many Massachusetts lawmakers are on record as saying that the Romney administration was at constant odds with them. They had to override 750 vetoes from the Governor in order to get anything done. The other side of this argument is the punishing of President Obama for the gridlock in Washington, which borders on complete silliness. Upon his very election Republican leader Mitch McConnell said in an interview that the number one goal for the GOP was to assure that Obama was a one term president. Not the wars or the economy. Not the American people. The GOP kept their word too, abusing the filibuster rule to block hundreds of attempts at legislation, even things the GOP supported -- all to not give Obama a victory.
Another whopper being told out there is that because Romney was a successful businessman, he knows how to get the economy moving again. First of all, Romney did not run a small business. He ran an investment firm that practices in destroying small businesses. I always liken it to the scene from Goodfellas when the restaurant owner convinces Pauly to buy a share of his business. Pauly agrees; then runs the restaurants credit into the ground, takes loan after loan and when there is not another dime to be squeezed out of it, he puts a match to it. I saw a report that stated over 75% of the companies Bain Capital bought during the Romney rule actually went bankrupt. Not until the employees lost their pensions of course while the Bain folks walked away laughing with their millions did they put the match to it. It is bad enough this is allowed and encouraged in this country but to then sell it as "job creation" and use it to promote the idea that you are an expert on small businesses is the height of truth stretching.
The final narrative was so transparent I recognized it halfway through the final debate. Coming into the final debate Romney had lost whatever momentum he had gained after winning the first debate. Joe Biden's obvious thrashing of the young upstart Ryan set the stage for a commanding performance from President Obama in the second debate. The third one was going to be on foreign policy, a topic Mitt knows precious little about and which the President has a stellar record. Libya notwithstanding, if President Bush had the foreign policy record of Obama, the GOP would be demanding he be placed on the 20 dollar bill. Every time Romney/Ryan tried to weigh in on foreign policy they tripped over poor understanding. So coming into the third debate it was obvious what the game plan was from team narrative. The plan was to agree as much as possible and tone down the "war" rhetoric that Mitt had been drumming up for the previous year and a half. Never mind that it made Mitt appear as if he agreed with the entire Obama foreign policy. Never mind that he got schooled on simple concepts like the size of the Navy. None of it mattered except the narrative. That narrative was put forth as soon as the debate ended. It said that Romney was able to "stand with the President", that "people saw him as being Presidential" and from that point forward all anyone on the right would talk about is this "momentum" Mitt had generated since the start of the debate process. They were all lies of course. He lost his momentum after the Vice Presidential debate and further through the last two Presidential contests. He did not appear presidential at all. It matters not in the land of the mendacious narrative.
We could also speak about how Mitt was for not announcing an Afghanistan withdrawal date before he was for it, which completely disqualifies him to be Commander in Chief. In the light of Hurricane Sandy we could discuss how he said FEMA should be abolished but now wants us to believe he was just kidding. Or how he wrote an op-ed advocating that Detroit should go bankrupt but now pretends that he is a "car guy." Or how he is running an ad in Ohio blatantly lying about Jeep moving its operations to China, which they have no intention of doing and he had already been corrected on. But you see none of that matters to mendacious Mitt. All that matters is he tricks enough people into thinking he is a moderate guy who agrees with whatever you want him to agree with. He isn't a chameleon. He isn't even Jell-O as some have said. Mitt Romney is silly putty. He just absorbs what he is touching and tries to pass himself off as it. But like his etch-a-sketch, it is just written in the sand and can change with any sharp breeze that might come along.