While pundits were quick to jump all over President Obama for “losing” the debate last week, this poker player of a President has to be pretty happy today for one simple reason… the weekend chatter is all about more Mitt Romney lies.
Mitt keeps trying to twist himself into a moderate pretzel after spending nine months as a fire-breathing right winger. The ‘Etch-a-Sketch’ has run out of sand because it was shaken so furiously so many times by his woefully inept campaign staffers.
The first rule of debating when in the lead is: “do no harm to yourself.” The second rule comes from Napoleon Bonaparte: “never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” The third rule? When your opponent is digging himself a huge hole, toss him down a cool, refreshing drink and… an extra sharp new shovel.
Mitt Romney is nearly to China with his digging now. When even npr (National Public Radio) the mildest, least controversial of any network leads with “Romney Goes On Offense, Pays For It In First Wave Of Fact Checks,” you know you are in trouble.
Add in the Friday Jack Welch and FOX Business News led RW freakout over good September job numbers (stats the President would have seen on Monday or Tuesday before that debate) showing a huge national psychologically significant drop to Jack Welch and FOX Business News… it suddenly looks more like a shrewdly planned move by the President.
If the president attacked too ferociously in that first debate, he would be portrayed as the “angry black man” and done much harm to himself… Even by winning he would lose as the GOP propaganda arm, FOX News, would spend days calling him a bully. So he lets them crow for 36-hours then watches them all eat crow all day Friday over the jobs number freakout and then the media no longer focuses on President Obama’s debate performance, rather they look at Mitt’s lying. President Obama played them like a violin because he knows exactly how they will react. Light a match and yell FIRE! And the herd rushes to watch it burn.
Fact-checkers everywhere note that Mitt Romney uttered 29 lies in just 37-minutes. So the question is, who won the debate? Was it the wonkishly calm, nerdy sitting president or the attack dog challenger who had five full length rehearsals in three days and been preparing since July?
EVERYONE in the pundit class is now asking the simple question: “why can’t Mitt Romney tell the truth?” The 37th edition of Steve Benen’s weekly tabulation of lies: Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity was released Friday on Maddow blog.
37 weekly editions devoted to lies. There were 50 lies told last week. A typical week sees 20-35. Yet 29 were uttered during the debate alone, the rest out on the stump. The grand total number of lies uttered since the start of the campaign in late 2011?
Just let that sink in.
There is an old joke, “how can you tell a politician (lawyer, businessman, ex-wife) is lying? Their mouth is moving.” Politicians ‘stretch’ the truth all the time. They shade and use nuance quite liberally. They make bold promises they cannot possibly keep to make an audience happy.
But they cannot tell 767 bald-faced lies and survive. That number is so beyond the pale and we have four weeks and two more debates to go. He could conceivably hit 1,000 campaign trail lies!
And factor in one more nugget. Mitt has been a key leader in his church for decades. Even though his LDS Church (or perhaps despite) was originally built by a man of questionable integrity and was executed in his jail cell, their most sacred text, The Book of Mormon is completely unambiguous about lying. Lying is an offense punishable by eternal damnation.
“In Section 63, in verse 17 of the Doctrine and Covenants of the Mormon Church we find this: ‘All liars, and whosoever loveth and and maketh a lie, and the whoremonger, and the sorcerer, shall have their part in that lake which burneth with fire and brimstone which is the second death,’” Bashir said. “And from the Book of Mormon to Nephi, Chapter 2, Verse 34 we find this: ‘Woe unto the liar, for he shall be thrust down to hell.’”
Bashir said, is MSNBC’s Martin Bashir who first raised this issue on his programme months ago, “It doesn’t matter how many times he hears the truth, Mitt Romney prefers to tell lies,” Bashir said, going on to call the leading GOP candidate “Mitt the Mendacious.”
So will American voters reward lying behaviour on Election Day? My bet is no. And I am certain President Obama will not throw him any lifelines in the next two debates.
(I have chronicled Mitt’s lies and this entire election campaign in a series of e-books condensed into the paperback and e-book “Billionaire Boys Election Freak Show” available on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk)