Monday, July 09, 2012

The method behind Mitt's mendacious madness

A blog is a perennial work in progress. Ideally, its inevitable repetitions embody ongoing development of a working hypothesis or analysis.  I'd like to think that's the case with my close reading of Romney's methodical disinformation campaign -- that is, my attempt to spotlight the method to Mitt's mendacity. A few milestones below.

Romney deems Obama a liar ex post facto (7/7/12)
 The method is to convert hairline distinctions, usually illusory, into Manichean contrasts.
Romney rules, cont. 6/11/12
Rule #11: I may simultaneously level mutually exclusive charges against my opponent. 

Romney Rules (6/7/12)
Rule #1 : Context doesn't matter. Anything you say I may use against you, e.g., by making it sound like you said the opposite.
An upright man who lies nonstop (5/19/12)

What is unfathomable to me is the level of doublethink that will allows an extremely able, intelligent, in many ways generous man who believes that God is watching over him to go out and lie every day, in general concept and in detail,,

Proud owners of the post-truth campaign (3/21/12)
I can think of four occasions since October when Romney or his surrogates admitted more or less outright that Romney's words or deeds are either willfully misleading or purely for show.
A sonnet to Mitt (2/23/12)
When my love swears that she is made of truth
I do believe her, though I know she lies...

Romney's lullaby can't soothe Detroit (2/12/12)
Compelled in Detroit to simultaneously defend his call for a "managed bankruptcy" of GM and Chrysler in November '08, lambaste the Obama administration for essentially following his prescription six months later, and deny that he favored a federal "bailout", the contorted candidate has squeezed out a quintessence of his characteristic casuistry
Romney's lullaby (12/8/11)
Wooing GOP primary voters, he must wax as paradoxical as the most ardent lover.

The best liar in the field (10/12/11)
To pull off these sleights of hand -- that is, to promise compromise without yielding (on taxes), rescues without bailouts, and Romneycare without Obamacare, Romney has to constantly assert distinctions without differences. The largest of these faux contrasts is between himself and Obama
 "He made it worse" - compared to what? (7/1/11)
"I didn't say that things are worse. What I said was, that the economy hasn't turned around." -- That is really as clever as Clinton's "There is no sexual relationship." It's true, Romney did not say things are worse. He said that Obama made it (the recession) worse, presumably starting on Jan. 19, 2009, and made it "last longer."
This election is a test case. Obama needs to slay four monsters to win, each of which is a sign of an endangered democracy: 1) a stagnant -- and sabotaged -- economy; 2) a new campaign of voter suppression; 3) an unparalleled flood of corporate and billionaire bucks; and 4) a post-truth campaign. Nos. 3 and 4 are particularly hand-in-glove, as an uninhibited disinformation campaign has unprecedented "free speech" resources at its disposal.

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