I’m Not Going to Play the Semantics Game, Mitt Romney is a Liar

In his Wall Street Journal piece, (“Obama and the L-Word“), Daniel Henninger says “liar” is a “potent and ugly word with a sleazy political pedigree.” He says calling someone a “liar” crosses a line and it “suggests bad faith and conscious duplicity.” Crosses a line? Sure, if you are lying about someone lying. But calling someone a liar “suggests bad faith and conscious duplicity”? Well yeah, that is the point isn’t it?

People lie so that others will form beliefs that are not true. The more consequential the beliefs–that is, the more a person’s well-being depends upon a correct understanding of the world–the more consequential the lie. – Sam Harris, “Lying”

If someone is deliberately misleading the public with campaign promises and debate rhetoric, why do we need to hold back? Why should we refrain from calling Mitt Romney a liar? And when President Obama says something deliberately false, everyone is free to call him a liar as well.

How did it happen that an accusation once confined to the lowest, whiskey-soaked level of politics or rank propaganda campaigns is occurring daily in American politics?

No one has worked harder to revive this low-rent tactic than New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. To my knowledge, Mr. Krugman is the only columnist writing for a major publication in U.S. journalism who has so routinely and repetitively accused people of being liars.

It began with the charge that Bush lied about WMD and became almost banal in its repetition after that. In a September 2008 piece on the GOP convention, “Blizzard of Lies,” the New York Times’ heir to Reston, Wicker, Krock and Safire blew the floodgates: “they’re all out-and-out lies”; “the blizzard of lies”; “a grotesque lie” and “the McCain campaign’s lies.” The Obama campaign is saying “Romney lied,” because Paul Krugman made it the coin of their realm.

The L-word’s strength is directly proportional to the rarity and appropriateness of its use. Today in our politics it is as skuzzily routine as the F-bomb has become among 15-year-old girls on the New York City subways. This is not progress. – Obama and the L-Word

Henninger believes politics has devolved to a point where calling someone a liar has become routine. Maybe it has within opinion articles, and I think calling someone a liar in bad faith is a problem. But if a politician is indeed lying, why mince words? Frankly, I’d like to see the news media use the “L-word” more often.

So Mitt Romney hasn’t lied? — What about these? :

  • “In one year, you [President Obama] provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world — into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tesla and Ener1. – Mitt Romney” — LIE
  • Within the context of the above statement, Romney also said that half of these companies have gone out of business. No, it was actually only 12 percent of the 26 companies (according to PolitiFact) that went bankrupt. So again — LIE
  • Romney said Obama “doubled” the deficit. — LIE (the deficit has actually gone down)
  • Romney (and many Republicans) say the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a government takeover of health care and it puts a government bureaucrat between you and your doctor. — LIE (the health care system is still a market-based system with private, for-profit insurance companies)
  • Romney says “Obamacare” adds trillions to the deficit and debt. — LIE (CBO says it reduces both)

We don’t have a problem with calling prominent people liars, we have a problem with prominent people lying.


Election 2012Politics

#Affordable Care Act#Daniel Henninger#debt#deficit#liar#lying#Mitt Romney#obamacare#Paul Krugman#politician#President Obama#Wall Street Journal