Friday, September 28

The Joke Is That "Mitt Romney: Fact Checker" Isn't The Funny Part

Kevin Robillard, "Romney to 'fact-check' Obama in debate". September 27

Karl Rove, "Obama's Biggest Opponent Is the Truth: Voters expect Mitt Romney to blow the whistle in the debates". September 25

NO. As you might've figured out from the above, the real joke is "Because Karl Rove is urging him to".

I mean, I know, I know, it's Politico, but don't any of you aspire to sound kinda like journalists?
Mitt Romney plans to turn himself into a one-man truth squad during the first presidential debate next week, casting President Barack Obama as someone who can’t be trusted to stick to the facts or keep his promises.

Top Republicans are telegraphing Romney’s hard-line strategy for his faceoff with Obama, according to Mike Allen’s Playbook in POLITICO on Thursday. The debate plan comes during a presidential cycle where media fact-checkers have held a high profile and where an earlier effort by Democrats to cast GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan as untrustworthy got results.
Okay, just a couple things here: first, Ryan did that to himself, by being a congenital liar, and the designated Republican base-fellator, which now requires blurting stupid shit out in public, instead of just in private. Second, if "fact-checking" was such a big deal, Ryan never would have been Romney's selection, because it's the same shit he's been saying for the duration of the Obama administration. He would have been a national disgrace, not a "nationally recognized budget expert". Finally, are you not allowed to fact-check your own stories as you type? I'm not really sure how anyone could say "Mitt Romney plans to turn himself into a one-man truth squad" and not bust out a line of LOLs immediately after. "Snooki plans to attend med school."
Romney himself was the first to signal the strategy.

“I think he’s going to say a lot of things that aren’t accurate,” Romney said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” earlier this month, adding he would have to choose between correcting Obama and delivering his own message.

“I’d be tempted to go back to that wonderful line by Ronald Reagan, ‘There you go again,’” Romney said.
Oh, please do.
And in another sign of the Republican strategy heading into the debate on Wednesday in Denver, Karl Rove used his Wall Street Journal column Thursday to advise Romney to call out Obama’s misstatements, without actually calling the president a liar.

“While Mr. Romney must point out the president’s misrepresentations, he can’t take on the role of fact-checker-in-chief,” wrote Rove, who runs a constellation of outside groups spending millions on ads attacking Obama and backing Romney. “He should deal comprehensively with several of Mr. Obama’s untruths and, having done so, dismiss the rest as more of the same. By carefully calling into question the president’s veracity, Mr. Romney will have the opportunity to provide context: Mr. Obama doesn’t shoot straight because he can’t defend his record and has no agenda for the future except the status quo, stay the course.”
Leave us note that the best Bush's Brain could do in that department was characterize a couple of Obama ads.
One Obama spot says, "To pay for huge, new tax breaks for millionaires like him, Romney would have to raise taxes on the middle class: $2,000 for a family with children."

That claim has been thoroughly discredited, including by PolitiFact Virginia and editorials in this newspaper. Mr. Romney, unlike the president, is committed to cutting taxes for everyone, including the middle class.
Go ahead, read the Politifact Virginia piece. Somebody involved in all this should. The "debunking" of the ad's claim amounts to "but Romney says he'll lower everyones taxes!" while being forced to admit that a) Romney hasn't actually gotten around to mentioning any specifics of his tax plan other than, y'know, letting Jobs Creators keep all the money, and b) well:
An August study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center concluded that, under the broad parameters Romney has set forth, the bottom-line tax bill for middle-class families would rise by about $2,000 in 2015. That’s because the loss of deductions for middle-class families would outweigh the gain of paying a lower tax rate, according to the research.

In contrast, the study concluded that wealthy families would see their tax bills go down because the benefit of paying lower rates would outweigh their loss of deductions.

Romney has disputed the findings, saying the Tax Policy Center made invalid assumptions about how he will fashion his tax plan.

Isn't fact-checking supposed to, oh, check facts? Isn't "disputing findings" more in the way of "disputing"?
Another ad says, "As a corporate raider, [Mr. Romney] shipped jobs to China and Mexico." In response, the Washington Post editorialized, "On just about every level, this ad is misleading, unfair and untrue."

Can't find the editorial right quick (thanks for the link, Karl), but the Fact Checker column that took the ad on relied on the "Mitt wasn't even in town for two or three of those deals, as he was busy saving the Olympics" argument, which is perhaps something less than an open-and-shut case. Particularly since it came out a few minutes ahead of the Washington Post story about Bain's investment in companies that specialized in jobs shipping.

But, again: go ahead. Please.
There is more. An Obama ad aimed at northern Virginia women intones, "Mitt Romney opposes requiring coverage for contraception." In fact, Mr. Romney opposes the president's unprecedented assault on religious liberties—in this case, the federal government forcing religious institutions (like church-sponsored hospitals, schools and charities) to provide insurance coverage for contraception in violation of their fundamental moral values and, incidentally, the First Amendment.

So to recap: the President a) refuses to acknowledge that insurance-paid contraception is actually abortion; b) refuses to admit that for-profit operations which receive federal funds but are owned by a particular cult are, in fact, churches, because 1) Karl Rove and 2) the Constitution clearly say so. And that c) this qualifies as "unprecedented", despite the fact that the identical thing has occurred in American history, and occurs today with some of those same institutions under state law, and has actually been topped, unquestionably, by other restrictions on religious expression (notably the anti-Mormon laws that preceded Utah statehood).

But yes, again, Mitt. Please listen to Karl Rove. The man's a genius.


Anonymous said...

I remember reading a WAPO article about one of Karl Rove's neighbors who was creeped out when Rove bringing him his newspaper spurted out a bunch of personal facts about the guy. That would creep me out too. On the other hand, maybe in his research he'd conclude something that would make him go away?!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The Big Con is to claim that Obama is President Marxist (from Kenya, probabaly).

The thing that must never be mentioned is that our choices are limited to the right-wing corporatist and the far right-wing corporatist.

"You have no choice, you have OWNERS. They own you. They own everything."

- Georege Carlin

synykyl said...

... Mitt Romney plans to turn himself into a one-man truth squad ...

Baby steps Mitt. First turn yourself into a man.

satch said...

But don't we already know how this will go? Romney will completely mis-state or mis-characterize as many of Obama's positions as he can, "fact check" those straw men, and be down the road to the next campaign stop before the actual positions are explained and the lies are exposed... assuming the media decides to put in the effort in the first place.

synykyl said...


The way Mitt is going, his next campaign step will be a concession speech.

Kathy said...

What a world!

...where destroying the economy = Dashing Entrepreneur...
...where believing & saying Ayn Rand's twisted psychopathic notions are a "philosophy" for the whole world to follow...
...where a sly, sneaky, vicious criminal is lauded as a "brilliant" politician...
...where people who stockpile firearms can claim to be "pro life.
Meh.It goes on and on.

Anonymous said...

"Romney hasn't actually gotten around to mentioning any specifics of his tax plan other than, y'know, letting Jobs Creators keep all the money" ... Obama should steal Stephanie Miller's line that Romney "hasn't run the numbers" on his budget plan 1