Friday, June 8, 2012

Don't Get Me Started: You're a Liar, Mr. Romney

by Sunnyjane

It is well known that Mitt Romney can change his position on any one issue faster than a well-oiled weather vane in a cyclone.  He has, at one time or another, claimed he created one hundred thousand jobs...tens of thousands of jobs...and then thousands of jobs while running Bain Capital.

Fighting for America -- in France
But there are a couple other spin-the-stories that haven't gotten as much voter attention as they might warrant.  A prime example is Mitt's 4-D deferment from the draft as a minister of religion or divinity student so that he could, ahem, serve his country by trying to convert the French people to Mormonism.  [It is rumored that while the citizens of the country of the Franks found this offer sorely tempting,  they were somewhat reluctant to give up their fabulous wines and strong coffees for the rest of their lives.  This is a position I personally find very reasonable.]   When the Vietnam issue arose during his 1994 run for the U.S. Senate against Ted Kennedy, Mitt told the Boston HeraldI was not planning on signing up for the military.  It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam but nor did I take any actions to remove myself from the pool of young men who were eligible for the draft.  [Well, I do believe that spending thirty-one months in France on a missionary crusade could be construed as taking yourself off the draft list.]  But, fair enough; I sincerely doubt that there were many young men who actually thought the idea of going to war was a great way to spend a couple of years.  However, when he was so anxious to be the 2008 Republican candidate, Romney made the statement that, I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and be representing our country there, and in some ways it was frustrating not to feel like I was there as part of the troops that were fighting in Vietnam.   [Oh, and just in case Sarah Palin gets her knickers in a knot about Barack Obama's not fighting in Vietnam, it shall be noted here that the President was a one-year-old when President John F. Kennedy sent troops to Vietnam, and he was twelve years old when the war ended in 1973.]   While American veterans currently favor President Obama, it will be up to those stalwart warriors of democracy to determine if Romney's record is a reason to vote against him in November.

One other example of Mitt's spin problem is the  issue of his inheritance from his father. George Romney died a wealthy man in 1995 at the age of eighty-eight, three years before his wife, Lenore.  After their mother's death, the four children inherited what must have been a very substantial estate.  Let's be clear on this: there is absolutely nothing illegal or even morally wrong with inheriting money.  So, why lie about it?   Why spin a tale that makes people narrow their eyes, purse their  lips, and say, Hmmmm?  When responding to questions about his wealth and where he got it, Mitt has given three disparate answers, the most disingenuous beingI didn't inherit money from my parents. What I have, I earned. I worked hard. The American way.   Then on another occasionI did inherit some funds from my dad. But I turned and gave that away to charity. In this case I gave it to a school which Brigham Young University established in his honor.   Will the third time be the charm?  The next way he spun this head-scratcher of a tale as, What I got from my parents when they passed away I gave away to charity and to my kids.  As Nick Baumann of Mother Jones points outa common estate-tax reduction strategy known as a dynasty trust relies on skipping generations. Did Romney pass on his inheritance to his kids for tax reasons? It's hard to know without seeing his tax returns—and that's another reason why he should release them. 

Flip-Flopping is Out, Lying and Hypocrisy are In

Perhaps it's because Romney's core convictions have proven to be as resolute as a strand of overcooked fettuccini that he's now reduced to Lying for the Lord and the White Horse he came in on -- or something like that.  It's all too wearisome to think about. But if we thought the garbage coming out of the 2008 presidential campaign had reached an all-time low, we were wrong: the Romney campaign has gone dumpster-diving in the rancid landfill of national politics.

As Rachel Maddow pointed out recently, Romney lied in the first anti-Obama ad his campaign put out in November 2011.  The Romney ad quoted President Obama as saying at a campaign rally, If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.   This was a lie, pure and simple.  The truth is from a 2008 rally where then-candidate Obama actually said  was, Senator McCain’s campaign actually said, and I quote, ‘If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.’

When reporters who knew full well that the quote was from the 2008 campaign questioned Romney on falsely implying that it was President Obama's current quote, Mitt employed the old sauce-for-the-goose defense -- which I suppose is the sophisticate's use of the childhood taunt of na-na, na-na boo-boo, stick your head in doo-doo.   Real classy.

This GOP campaign is turning into a perversion of the Golden Rule.  Their version sounds a tad like Do it unto them before they do it unto you.

On May 31, Romney was reduced to engaging in a bit of political theater when he shanghaied a group of reporters for a super-secret bus trip to the empty headquarters of now defunct Solyndra, explaining conspiratorially that there are people who don't want to see this event occur.

Huh?  If he was intimating that his hoped-for drama would somehow incur the wrath of the Obama campaign such that they would try to shut down his visit to an empty office building, Romney was sadly disappointed; his little act was a complete fiasco.  Is there a still-drawing-breath human being over the age of fifteen in this country who doesn't know that Solyndra was a solar technology company that was given a government backed loan through the Energy Department as part of George W. Bush's stimulus package?   And then, unable to compete with more conventional solar technologies after silicon prices fell dramatically, went bankrupt in 2011?  It is true that President Obama supported the company, and that it's demise was unfortunate, both for the company and its employees and for the green technology industry.  But Romney could have phoned in that story instead of resorting to such a ridiculous performance.  According to the amusing reporters' tweets who went on this little trip with the GOP candidate, that's pretty much what it amounted to.  Makes you wonder who in the Romney campaign thought this massive fail was a good idea.  As Mitt himself likes to say, That's capitalism; some businesses succeed and some don't.

But if Mitt was aware of their disdain, he trudged on valiantly by saying to the kidnapped reporters, Two years ago President Obama was here to tout this building and this business as a symbol of the success of his stimulus. Well you can see that's it a symbol of something very different today. It's a symbol not of success but of failure.  But he's where Mitt stepped into the Big Lie:  It's also a symbol of a serious conflict of interest. An independent inspector general looked at this investment and concluded the administration had steered money to friends and family, to campaign contributors. This building, this half-billion taxpayer investment, represents a serious conflict of interest on the part of the president and his team.

And where did he get the dynamic, show-stopping piece of information that An independent inspector general looked at this investment and concluded the administration had steered money to friends and family, to campaign contributors?   When requested by Michael Grunwald of Time Magazine  to provide that information, the Romney campaign supplied him withNewsweek article asserting that Energy Department inspector general Gregory Friedman “has testified that contracts have been steered to friends and family.”  Except that the Newsweek article was an excerpt from the book “Throw Them All Out,” written by Peter Schweizer, a right-winger who has served as an adviser to Sarah Palin’s PAC, edited one of Andrew Breitbart’s websites, and written a slew of books portraying liberals as pond scum. Not exactly a disinterested source. And it turns out that the inspector general never testified that stimulus contracts were steered to friends and family

If Romney thought his hypocrisy on this issue would go unnoticed, he is more out of touch than previously believed.  As the Boston Herald reported in December 2011, when Romney was governor, the state handed out $4.5 million in loans to two firms run by his campaign donors that have since defaulted, leaving taxpayers holding the bag.

And just a couple of days after Romney's big Solyndra sham, another green technology company that received state loans while he was governor filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

So how's that Slam-Obama thingy going for ya, Mitt?

The Lyrics of a Liar

With humble apologies to the Bellamy Brothers, I believe with just a few word changes that one of their best pieces of music could become Romney's campaign theme song:

I’ll Lie To You For Your Vote

I can tell you what you wanna hear, but never truths about myself.
I can tell you I’m the best there is, there'll never be nobody else.
Yeah, I'm runnin' for president, I got money to burn.
But I’m just hoping that you never learn...

That I'll lie to you for your vote.
I'll lie to you for your vote.
Yes, I'll lie to you for your vote.
And that's the truth.

End Note

Remember, Americans: we get what we vote for, and this is what Mitt Romney wants us to vote for in 2012

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