Ok, look: political campaigns run on lies. This is neither new nor surprising. And presidential campaigns are the lyingest of all, the Grand Imperial Wizard of falsehood machines. So we expect that campaigns are going to run some untruths. But usually they try to have a veneer of truth, or at least some miniscule sense of shame when they run an attack ad based entirely on blatantly, provably false statements. But the Romney campaign has taken a bold new step in how these things work. These visionaries spit in truth’s eye and told it never to show its ugly face again around these parts. And they aren’t even trying to hide it.
“Fact-checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs and you know what? We’re not going let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”
The specific ad that was being discussed when this bit of wisdom was spewed from the slavering lips of Romney pollster Neil Newhouse was the one where he claims that Obama changed the welfare laws, dropping the requirement to look for work while receiving federal assistance. This claim has been debunked numerous times, showing once again the truth in Stephen Colbert’s quip that “reality has a liberal bias”. If you somehow haven’t heard it yet, the truth of the matter is that the president is working with governors from around the country (several of them Republicans) to change the way welfare to work distributes funds, allowing individual states the leeway to waive the job requirement if they have a system in place that is better at getting welfare recipients back to work. It is, in point of fact, something that Romney himself pushed for while he was governor of Massachusetts. But hey, we’re not letting facts get in the way of our campaigning here.
And the grand irony of all of this is that it comes on the heels of Mittens going on a nation-wide spree of tirades against what he saw as spurious claims in attack ads leveled against him, specifically that he was in some way responsible for the death of a woman who was killed by cancer after losing her life insurance due to Bain Capital’s acquisition and liquidation of the company she worked for.
“You know, in the past, when people pointed out that something was inaccurate, why, campaigns pulled the ad. They were embarrassed. Today, they just blast ahead. You know, the various fact checkers look at some of these charges in the Obama ads and they say that they’re wrong, and inaccurate, and yet he just keeps on running them.”
Those words – those precise fucking words – came out of his mouth not three weeks ago. Oh how soon we forget what we put into the public record.
Let’s get even more nitty-gritty about the hypocrisy of all of this: the ad Romney is talking about here was not put out by the Obama campaign, but rather by Priorities USA Action, a Democratic Super-PAC. Theoretically (though we all know this is complete horseshit), the candidate and his campaign staff are not supposed to have any collusion with the Super-PACs whatsoever. Theoretically, Obama had absolutely nothing to do with this ad. But the two most recent utter lies coming from the Republicans (the welfare ad discussed above and another that claims that Obama is gutting Medicare to fund his healthcare plan – also debunked) are coming directly from the Romney campaign. They even have the little “I approve this message” tag!
So let me get this straight, Governor: when a PAC supporting your opponent makes some admittedly shaky claims about you that are in incredibly poor taste, that is a fucking travesty and the candidate himself should have to go before the people of America and shamefacedly apologize, but when your campaign runs two separate and simultaneous ads that are propagating talking points that have been repeatedly proven to be outright lies, you can’t trust fact-checkers and even if they’re right, who cares because those ads are the most effective ones we’ve run yet.
You know what? I’m not even mad. How can I be? It’s not the politicians’ fault that Americans are dumb as a bag of shit and too fucking lazy to Google “welfare work requirement” and find three dozen articles about what’s really going on. They’re just doing what politicians have evolved to do: exploit the ignorant, credulous sheep that will take whatever someone on the teevee says to them as gospel provided the person telling them is of the correct political bent. I’m sick of it, and I literally don’t know how to fix it. No matter how much you put the truth in front of people, most of them are going to just ignore it anyway because the problem with truth is that it is so often terribly inconvenient and requires you to put some thought into things you learn in the commercial breaks while you watch Honey Boo-Boo.
So you know what? I give up. I’m fucking tired of calmly and rationally pointing out the truth to people. From here on out, I’m just going to scream like a baboon and throw feces at anyone who tries to tell me about whatever idiotic morsel of misinformation they’ve blindly accepted from an attack ad they caught last night during the NASCAR. Fuck you, America. If you keep allowing them to get away with this shit, you deserve what you’re going to get.