October 19, 2011

"Mitt Romney's Lying Problem"

Matt Welch, Reason:

There are two main problems with this yawning chasm between Mitt’s flip and Romney’s flop. The first is that a president who continues to insist, despite the mounds of contrary evidence, that Romneycare is working well, is a president who will be likely to continue or exacerbate bad health care policies at the federal level. The second problem, which worries me more, is that a president who attains office by brazenly flouting the truth is even more likely than your average politician to govern in a dishonest and even illegal way.

On the face of it, running against President Barack Obama should be a no-brainer in 2012. To win, one would think, all a Republican candidate would need to do is say convincingly that “Unlike the incumbent, I won’t make the economy worse, I won’t keep spending us to the brink of fiscal catastrophe, and I won’t lie to you.” Yet even with an underhanded softball toss like that, the best that we can say for Romney is that he’s batting .333.

On spending, as Reason Associate Editor Peter Suderman keeps pointing out, Romney is running against cutting the three main engines of federal budget growth: Medicare, Social Security, and defense. As Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), the only candidate on stage in Las Vegas to propose anything like a real spending reduction plan, said last night, “I want to hear somebody up here willing to cut something. Something real.”

It is astonishing that after three full years of populist revolt against bipartisan big government, the best that the disloyal opposition can cough up is a telegenic B.S. artist who has the least credibility in the field when it comes to restraining, let alone cutting, the size of government. As tireless Tea Party obituarist David Frum nearly giggled last night, “I’m waiting for the Tea Party internal debate as to why it could not produce a credible presidential candidate.”

Typical of the GOP establishment to point to a failure they themselves are working desperately to insure — then blame those very people they are working to undermine for the fact of the undermining.

Giggle now, Frum. But the threat of a third party revolt is closer than you and your repulsive, flaccid, intellectually squishy cohort imagine.

And the offshoot won’t be a No Labels party, either.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 12:49pm

Comments (40)

  1. Occasionally, I asks myself, why does Mitt Romney want to be President? Is it his daddy? Is it an honor he feels he’s owed? Does he genuinely think he’s the difference maker?

    Anyhow, the answers I get back don’t help the dude. ‘Cause it’s the “wanting” itself that’s the problem.

  2. I’m looking forward to the internal Republican Party debate as to why it’s going the way of the Whigs.

  3. “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are filled with passionate intensity…”

  4. Even Washington wanted the job, sdferr, although decorum kept him from saying so.

  5. Was it Washington’s daddy driving him Ernst?

  6. I was OK with Romney in 2008, especially against McCain, but it seems like Romney’s spent all that time between then and now becoming a worse and worse candidate.

    He studiously avoided the Tea Party, its message, and its organizing power. He crept back on the stage earlier than the others with a message that made no sense in its context: We were screaming about the bailouts and the unsustainable debt, and he was mumbling about Iran or something.

    And worse! He consults AGW boosters John Holdren and Douglas Foy for his energy policies, both now and as governor of MA.

    That right there? That?

    Is reason enough to rescind any Conservative card he thinks he carries. Sorry Hugh, but there it is.

  7. Yes, sdferr, I think it was.

    And if the British had been smart enough to give him that commission in the Regulars he so desperately wanted in the 1750s, that daddy-infused ambition would have been channeled into a different direction.

  8. My fav part of the debate was when Romney said he would repeal Obamacare(Something that MUST be done first thing, I wholeheartedly agree), then turned right around and said the people of Massachusetts like Romneycare three to one.

    I trust him not at all.

  9. I don’t understand how Mittens has the support he does.

    Is it just that republicans are by an large non-conservative squishes, or are people deluding themselves?

  10. When you have Newt attacking Paul Ryan as an extremist, well that is just the tip of this problem. It is depressing when only Ron Paul is making any sense.

    I hope Cain will take up the cutting government position more forcefully.

  11. Entropy, Mitt’s support is pretty steady at about 24-25% of Republicans. I am going to guess that he will not do as well with Democrats. It does not give you a warm feeling does it.

  12. He seems to be stuck somewhere between one quarter and one third of the Republican primary vote Entropy, so he really doesn’t have all that much support. Hence the need to generate an air of inevitablity about him.

  13. Lower end of my range if Joe’s right.

  14. Is it just that republicans are by and large non-conservative squishes,


    That and he seemed OK last time around, and besides, it’s his turn.

  15. I won’t vote for Romney. It just won’t happen. I can easily find other things to do with my time.

  16. Mr. Makewi hi where you been I won’t vote for Romney either I just don’t have it in me

    hey Jamba Juice has pumpkin yogurt this week probably all month

  17. Hi happyfeet. I don’t have anywhere near the amount of time to be in the internet these days. My life has gotten very busy.

  18. Looking more closely at the polls you linked at RCP, Joe, I see that among ‘likely Republican primary voters,’ the AP poll has Romney 30%/Cain 26%/Perry 13%. (Rasmussen has Cain 29%/Romney 29%/Gingrich 10%.)

    I’m here to tell you that if your preferred candidate is Perry (13%) or Gingrich (7%) or Bachmann (4%) or Cain (26%), you’re going to go with whichever one of them is on the ballot before you go for Romney. Huntsman is polling at 2%, which tells me that the squishes have already bailed to their strong horse, and there’s not a heck of a lot more upside for Romney as the field thins. So we wind up with Romney 32% to (let’s say) Cain 50%, with 10% up for grabs. (The last 8% are Ronulans who’ll vote for their God Emperor regardless.)

    The “inevitability” is a lie. A really fucking dangerous lie at that, since it threatens to suck money and momentum away from the conservative who actually deserves to be nominated. I hope the guys with money and clout are paying attention, and don’t fall for this self-serving Establishment bullshit.

  19. Yes, but the Today show would like you to know that the only 2 real contenders are Romney and Perry. And Perry? I mean C’mon! The dude can’t even wait his turn during a debate. Can you imagine him at a cocktail party?

    Once again we are on track to allow the GOP insiders and the press to decide who the choice is going to be.

  20. Speaking of lying, here’s an example of how hard it is to combat the school of lies technique

    The experiment as presented by Al Gore and Bill Nye “the science guy” is a failure, and not representative of the greenhouse effect related to CO2 in our atmosphere. The video as presented, is not only faked in post production, the premise is also false and could never work with the equipment they demonstrated.

    A lie that takes 20 seconds to tell takes a month to debunk; how do you debunk them all?

  21. I just heard Charles Grassley (R-Ia) explain with pride, in answer to a question whether Herman Cain should quickly embark on organizing supporters there, that Iowa has “made” the presidency of two of our Presidents in the last 50 years: Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. That without their victories there, neither of these two fucks would have become President.

    Good argument, Chuck.

  22. Bill Nye, the lyin’ guy?
    Say it ain’t so, Mo!

  23. I hope busy is lucrative and rewarding and fun Mr. Makewi

  24. I met me on a Monday and my heart stood still.
    Da do rom rom rom. Da do rom rom…

    Eat me, hoi polloi.

  25. A lie that takes 20 seconds to tell takes a month to debunk; how do you debunk them all?

    You don’t; after the first half a dozen you start saying to anyone who asks about Bill Nye, Al Gore, Barack Obama, et al., “This guy has lied every time he’s opened his mouth on the subject; details on request. Why are you believing him now, dishonesty or stupidity?”


  26. Squid, I agree with your assessment, but the problem I see is they’ve jacked up all the precious little primaries for him. They’ll be voting in 3 months. If there’s not enough time for the party to amicably settle on 1 not-romney, and no one who’s viable just up and drops out, it goes Perry (13%), Gingrich (7%), Bachmann (4%), Cain (26%), Paul (10%), to the winner and champion, Mitt Romney (27%).

    He sweeps the early states, with only a few splitting but splitting for different candidates, the establishment turns the lights off and starts ordering convention flyers printed. The goddamn primary will just end and everyone will go home before the late states can even vote.

    And then one way or the other, we wind up like Greece.

  27. 3 months and not a single gamechanger in sight that I can see… cause of it’s not in sight. If it were in sight I would see it, cause boy am I looking. But it’s not.

  28. If you could see a gamechanger coming, it wouldn’t change the game, would it?

    Random thoughts:

    Is Romney even running in Iowa?
    Does failing to win New Hampshire by the expected margin hurt Romney?
    Is South Carolina Going to vote for Romney?
    Does the guy who replaced Crist pull a Crist on us?
    Why isn’t Bachmann running against Klobuchar?
    How many candidates in the single digits heading into Iowa even make it to New Hampshire (assuming Nevada doesn’t push New Hampshire into December)?
    And speaking of Nevada, boy, doesn’t New Hampshire leading off instead of Iowa, with all it’s hatey-hatey evangelicals and baptists eager to keep the White House professing the Nicene Creed, solve a lot of problems for Romney? Who do those Nevada Republicans think they are? Utah Republicans?

  29. You can’t poll a caucus past the first round of balloting, if that far.

  30. Tireless tea-party obituarist and D.C. establishment/ruling class escort David Frum is a Clark Clifford Republican.
    (Hat-tip to newrouter for linking the article. It’s well worth a read.)

  31. good point Mr. Ernst about the gamechanger

  32. this goes a long long way towards helping me shed my ambivalence about the Mr. Herman Cain

  33. For a guy who’s annoyed by all those pesky social issues (abortion, illegal immigration) distracting attention from the taxings and the spendings, you sure spend a lot of time worrying about a candidate’s stance on those very issues.

    You know that, right?

  34. people what think the government should be able to tell someone they can’t have an abortion are people what are not reliable stewards of freedom I don’t think

    people what would scribble their marriage bigotries into the constitution are also not reliable stewards of freedom

    we need for reals principled people – and it’s kind of exciting to think Mr. Cain might could be an example of one

  35. And people who view the freedom to fornicate with whomever, however, whenever they please, without consequence as the sine qua non of freedom are mighty, shall we say, narrow-minded about the concepts of freedom, liberty and stewardship. Personally I think you have “principled” confused with “categorical.”

  36. who said anything about fornicating the point is that Mr. Cain seems to truly for reals understand what limited government means, which is a concept both Perry and Wall Street Romney have trouble with, to say nothing of the cowardly little bitch Team R nominated last time

  37. Pingback: After Las Vegas Slugfest, Romney and Cain Come Away Bruised

  38. Pingback: After Las Vegas Slugfest, Romney and Cain Come Away Bruised » Coffee and Markets