|AP Photo by Evan Vucci|
Another example: In his first week as the Vice Presidential candidate Ryan has been denouncing the stimulus as a failure, even though he himself took advantage of if for his own Congressional district, arguing that it would create much needed jobs for his constituents. When the inconsistency was pointed out to him in several press interviews, he at first denied having appealed for stimulus funds. Then he said it was not he, it was members of his staff who did it! But when confronted with copies of letters he himself had signed, he had to eat his words rather awkwardly.
Then there’s Romney's flip-flopping on the Ryan budget. If it were not so reprehensible, Romney’s awkward efforts to embrace and to distance himself at the same time from his running mate’s Medicare "plan" would be comical. Romney goes whichever way is convenient at the time.
Both Romney and Ryan want to give tax breaks to the wealthy and they want to spend more money on defense, but neither one of them tells how they will pay for it. That’s another one of their strategic principles: never be specific. Romney has avoided giving direct answers to direct questions throughout his campaign. He embodies the belief that the best defense is a good offense. So the M.O. is to just to attack your opponent. Turn every answer into an attack against the President. Attack, attack, attack! And then accuse your opponent of attacking you unfairly!
Romney continues to refuse to reveal his income tax returns. Instead he announces that he was able to review them and found that he had never paid less than 13%. “You’ll just have to trust me on that!” Why should we trust a man who has lied about everything else?
Romney would not accept the Obama campaign’s offer to cease demanding he release more returns if he would agree to release just the last five years of his returns. The Republican candidate had called the interest in his tax returns “a diversion”; now he labels those who think he should release his returns “small-minded.” That would include two-thirds of the American public, who have indicated their belief that he should do so. It is hardly a minor issue, when the returns would indicate much about Mr. Romney’s personal and business practices, as well as his moral values.
Despite all these problems, Mitt Romney is running neck and neck with the President in the national polls. That is a sad commentary on the rationality of those Americans whose partisan
loyalties blind them to the truth. The sad fact is that too many Americans buy into the lies of the Republicans, who never acknowledge the many accomplishments of President Obama, despite their adamant refusal to support his proposals, even things they once agreed with. To them the facts are irrelevant.
In the campaign's raging rhetorical war Mr. Obama has one great advantage: he doesn’t need to lie! He can stick to the facts. The Romney/Ryan team will have a much harder time keeping their story straight, because they’re always having to change it.