Thursday, June 07, 2012

Romney Rules

Weekly, Steve Benen tallies up the latest instances of Mitt's Mendacity.  At longer intervals, the Dish flags Romney's Big Lies, the core myths of his case against an imaginary Obama. I find the laser focus on lying a little narrow: the modes of Mitt's deception are manifold. As a private equity chief, Romney was a master of playing a rigged game, or of himself rigging games in his firm's favor; he has carried that skill to the political arena.  He would have the election played by Romney Rules, compiled below.

1. Context doesn't matter. Anything you say I may use against you, e.g., by making it sound like you said the opposite.

2. My record shall be judged by different standards from that of my opponent. For example, job losses in my first year in office don't count; in his, they shall define his entire record.

3. What I said 18, 10, 4, or 3 years ago doesn't matter. Erase it from your mind.  I've been as consistent as human beings (all three of me) can be.

4. When confronted directly with past positions that seem to contradict current ones, I may so thoroughly bend the positions back against each other that none shall be able to penetrate my paradoxes.

5. I may erase the memory of my record of past moderation by attacking my opponents for their imagined moderation.

6. It's not my responsibility to counter the lies, smears, paranoid delusions or bloodthirstiness of my supporters.

7. I may myself endlessly repeat wild accusations about my opponent that have no basis in fact.  Relatedly, I may draw an endless series of false contrasts (on healthcare, Detroit rescue, stimulus) between my policies and his. 

8. I may refrain from taking a stand on pending legislation that, if passed, will have a profound impact on Americans' lives.

9. I may promise enormous new tax cuts and call them "revenue neutral" without spelling out the correspondingly enormous tax loophole closures needed to offset those cuts -- or the enormous spending cuts that even a "revenue neutral" deficit reduction plan would require.

10. I may lie with impunity to the American people for months and years -- and be rewarded with the presidency.

Update, 6/11: today emergeth Romney Rule #11: I may simultaneously level mutually exclusive charges against my opponent.

Update, 6/12: Romney Rule #12 (appropriated from Newt Gingrich) I may deny that I said what I said yesterday and refuse to talk about it.

Update 8/10:  Romney Rule #13:  Any attack on me negates all rules of engagement . And Romney Rule #14: You are responsible for your side's Super PAC; I'm not for mine

Update 9/10: More revealing than the Romney Rules are the Romney positions - all 69 of them.

Update 9/23: Three new rules here. In brief: Romney Rule #15: Accessing the tax breaks allowed by the tax code is a sign of moral turpitude in poor people, and   a   sign of virtue justly rewarded in the hyperwealthy.  #16: Rules of engagement negotiated with a media outlet (or presumably, any other corporation or person)  may be abrogated at will if said outlet is spineless enough to relent. And #17: Acknowledging error or wrongdoing by any American on the international stage is dangerous weakness when the administration does it, but laudable candor when it I do it.

Update 10/17: from the Hoftstra debate, Romney Rule #18: debate rules are to inhibit my opponent's behavior, not mine.



  1. This is an excellent, accurate list. Thank you for compiling it. You appear to have limited the rules to those laid out by Willard himself.

    I suppose you're such a gentleman that you adhere to the "wives are off-limits" rule. I, however, am not & do not. Therefore, I would add a coda, courtesy of Mrs. Willard. Ann's Rule in fact, justifies all of Willard's heretofore defined rules & any he may specify in the future.

    Ann's Rule, which she confided to Diane Sawyer (see ) - is this:

    "It's our turn now."

  2. Greg Sargent at the Plum Line blog on WaPo has been doing a great job of pointing out Mitt's many lies, (Myths of Mitt?) but of course, not as great as Benen has been doing on Maddowbolg. I like your summary a lot.

  3. Ought to be required reading for every American over the age of 10...

  4. Good god. I hadn't heard that "It's our turn now" crap. In some ways, that's more offensive than the lying - what a disgusting sense of entitlement those two have.

  5. You know what I just did, after accidentally dropping in here? Just signed up for monthly contributions to Obama.

    What an awesome job! Keep it up!

  6. I want to know why it is not made a moral issue for a supposedly moral Mormon that TRUTH telling matters?

  7. That sounds like you are describing Obama. With the exception that you could have pages and pages of examples of where Obama has failed and the lies and corruption which is Obama's political career. Most of what you have about Romney is simply you being imaginative and twisting facts. In other words.......lying. Which is Obama's strategy since he cannot run on his record.

  8. The Romney fans writing in here have no clue. I live in Massachusetts it's all correct. He lies so much he can't even keep track of his own lies. Wake up America.

  9. It's incomprehensible that 'Lying' is a non-issue in this campaign. Are we in this country so preocuppied with self-interest that we can shrug this off? Apparently.