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.

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Election 2012Politics

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

  • Krys

    “the health care system is still a market-based with private, for-profit insurance companies” that hire insurance bureaucrats to get between you and your doctor.

    • Krys

      I left out the word system when quoting you above. Sorry.

      • Yep, that is totally true. I love when Republicans say a government bureaucrat will get between you and your doctor yet conveniently ignore that suits in a board room are doing that right now, and to make a profit.

        • d55may

          Have YOU ever tried to get a government dept to do anything for you? It will take months and some time years to get approval for anything. It took my mother 9 months to get disapproval for treatment for cancer. Do you know we received the denial letter a week after she died from stomach cancer.

          • There is corruption and negligence in all circles, but one entity is for the explicit purpose of serving citizens and the other is not. If something isn’t working, we should fix it, not dismantle it. Sorry for your loss.

  • David from Ottawa, Canada

    As I am merely a Canadian bystander during this election campaign I cannot help but laugh at how easy the American population are being manipulated by Romney. I don’t have a stake in your election so I consider myself neutral. He has made such inaccurate statements about the deficit and has not provided any substantial information on how he is goin to change things. He has vowed to reduce the deficit but has committed to lowering taxes, not closing tax loopholes, increasing defense spending, building new ships and submarines for the navy, repealling Obamacare but keeping the primary components (which if I am not mistaken are same fundamental ideals as Romneycare) ….deep breath….won’t cut social security, won’t remove job training entitlements…and so on, and so on. His VP has stated on national TV that he has run the “revenue neutral” numbers in Congress but would not give an actual dollar amount for the cost of all of this…only “it is revenue neutral” followed up with “there’s not enough time to explain”. So as an outsider, someone from the “right”please help me understand how you can attack your opponent for spending too much money yet commit to maintaining the status quo on the biggest budget hits AND commit to spending more (increase military spending while decreasing taxes across the board by 20%)???? Obama from what i have seen just keeps saying that it will take longer than expected. He also pooched the debate but c’Mon…Romney just seems plain crazy. Are people really drinking his kool-aid? I just want to understand how Romney intends to pay for this “revenue neutral” position. Especially when he committed to this tax decrease which decreases government revenue at the very least.

    • This is the big problem with the Romney campaign. They promise the goodies but won’t give you the details on what pain it will involve. It’s just about the most pandering thing a politician can do to promise tax cuts. But if those tax cuts actually turn into a tax increase (because of doing away with things like the mortgage interest deduction), well, that’s something for after the election. We don’t need those details now.

      • d55may

        I think you have the campaign confused, it’s Obama who promises the goodies………And Romney never said what tax deductions he’d remove because that will be decided by congress, since they are the ones that control the purse and write law.

        • That’s a lame defense. It’s congress that will or will not pass a tax cut as well. If that’s the defense for the non-disclosed tax deductions, that means Romney shouldn’t be promising anything then.

    • Hsialin

      You have no clue how obama has screwed up this country, you really shouldnt be posing comments if you dont know the facts.

      • David from Ottawa, Canada

        I am not saying vote for Obama…but the facts are how I originally posted them. Even after the last debate Romney could not give any details on his economic plan.
        Also…I witnessed your country plunge into a financial crisis not ever seen before. Even Jesus himself would have to do what Obama did in order to save Wall Street. Today you are in a much better position than you were when Obama took over. I have also witnessed more people get healthcare. So please…tell me just how Obama screwed up your country? The more I hear from the “right” I think you are the ones who do not know the facts YET insist on commenting. As with your comment…like Romney and his campaign…you offer rhetoric with no substance. You and your replubican kind are the reason the world is laughing at you and why the US is no longer being taken seriously throughout the world. Is your situation as good as you want it to be…no….Obama did the best he could with the crap he had. Anyone who thinks your country’s financial mess can be resolved in three years (I leave out year one because it all started there) are extremely dillusional …or as per my Thesauras…diillusional = Republican.

        Now prove to me I don’t know what I am talking about….or should I just trust that you are right?

        • Amen. Rarely will you get substance from right-wing commenters. I hope I’m proven wrong this time. I’d love to hear the argument (with verifiable facts) on how Obama has screwed up the country.

          • d55may

            Has he improved it? Show me where!!!! Wait until you get your first health care bill.

          • – credit card bill of rights
            – starting in 2014 tens of millions more Americans will have health care insurance and we already have other benefits in place now like coverage up to age 26 for children on parents plan and not being denied for a pre-existing condition (just to name a few).
            – repeal of DADT
            – rescue of U.S. auto industry
            – averting another Great Depression
            – extend benefits to same-sex partners for federal workers
            – didn’t go into full on austerity mode like Europe has done (and like Republicans would do here) that has put several countries into or near recession again.
            – student loan reform (cut out unnecessary middle-man)

  • d55may

    I just want to discuss the above “misinformation”

    1.) First, in one year Obama did fund green energy and 12 (not 12%) of the 26 companies he funded DID go bankrupt within months after they received the loans.

    2.) The Department of Energy proudly touts that the 2009 stimulus authorized $90 billion “in government investments and tax incentives to lay the foundation for the
    clean energy economy of our future.”

    3.) Barack Obama in fact DID more than double the deficit.and the only reason Obama shows any decline in is because:

    Source: Economic Report of the President, February 2012

    The results for President Bush are skewed by the 10.1 percent
    deficit/GDP ratio in fiscal 2009. A large chunk of spending in that year
    went to the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. In fiscal 2009,
    TARP contributed $151 billion to the budget deficit, but in 2010 and
    2011, $147 billion of that amount was recouped and thus reduced the size
    of the deficit during President Obama’s watch. (These calculations are
    complicated and are laid out by the Office of Management and Budget. See

    p. 49.)

    Here are the ratios of deficit to GDP

    George W. Bush
    2001-08 2.0
    2002-09 3.4
    Average 2.7
    Barack Obama
    2009-12* 9.1
    2010-12 8.7
    Average 8.9

    4.) As far as the Government take over of Health Care, it is a FACT that the healthcare WAS taken over by this government. The private sector was always involved in health care privately and publicly, that is where the problem of high costs lay. People in the private sector have been picking up abut 35% of the government costs from medicare/medicaid for years. When medicaid person goes to a doctor, the doctor is paid only $60 for a $100 visit by medicare/medicaid providers(which are private companies), the difference is made up by those who pay privately(and that could be you).

    5.) Finally, IF YOU DON”T believe that the cost of anything this government will not increase over he years, YOU are crazy. I remember when stamps were a nickel, gasoline was 35/gal etc etc. CASE CLOSED.