Sine Qua Non

If you need an example of the pot-calling-the-kettle-African-American strategy of the R party, and of their Rominee in particular, look no further than this video. This, from the man who lies constantly, who's barely uttered a word about Barack Obama that's not demonstrably false. And, as more information comes out, even the above ad turns falser and falser, like the Marshall family's chests. Over time. It's Rovomcconnellboehnerhannitianism par excellence: accuse Ds of doing what you've been doing since day one, while expressing Louisrenaultian outrage.

If Obama fudges, Rominee packs fudge...

As I've said many times, even though it appears to be effective, I don't much like the line of attack on Bain. To me, the point is that what Mitt did there has nothing, zero, to do with how a president might manage the economy. (As the President just said.) And the more important point is what the budget that The Rominee loves will do to the economy.

As response to the above ad, I think the Obama campaign needs to make ads listing the lies of Romney, and throwing the line back at him: America expects more from a president.

Only problem is, it'd take way more than thirty seconds. Maybe a series, lasting from now till November. That'd cover about half of 'em. (Turns out, there is such an ad, but since it lasts longer than thirty seconds, it'll never be on TV.)

Related, here's an opinion piece by a conservative writer which exemplifies the sort of false equivalency that people apply to Obama and Romney:

Mitt Romney's unusually frequent flip-flops, shameless misrepresentations of the truth, and brazen pandering has caused some pundits to marvel at how dishonorable he is. "How did this happen?" Scott Galupo asks. "How did we come to this pass, where a man like Mitt Romney -- whose candidacy represents a breathtakingly cynical, borderline nihilistic pursuit of power on behalf of a tiny sliver of the population -- sits within striking distance of the highest office in the land?"

I won't defend the Republican nominee. But I am a bit confused by all the folks who aren't as disgusted by President Obama's performance on these metrics. This is, after all, a man who misrepresented his core to the electorate in 2008, constantly asserting that systemic reform would be his first priority in Washington, D.C., only to arrive in the White House and work within the system.

Admitting that Romney's lies are shameless and brazen and dishonorable (he links to another conservative who calls Rominee "loathsome"), he moves on fast -- nothing to see here -- and comes up with a list of Obama's transgressions which he suggests are equivalent. (Wow! "... worked within the system." The monster!!) They're not. Apples and... really small apples. Obama made some unfulfilled promises, all right, but he was thwarted at every turn when he tried to carry them out. Closing Gitmo is frequently cited, for example, as an Obama lie. But it was Congress -- Rs, mostly, of course -- that refused to allow it; which hardly makes it a lie, or in any way comparable to deliberately lying about what is already known. And so it goes.

I'm not saying Obama doesn't play footsie with the truth; and I agree with Friedersdorf that we've gotten pretty blasé about what we accept from politicians in terms of honesty. But I see enormous orders of magnitude of difference between the things that Obama has done or not done, said or not said, and what The Rominee says daily: if the former sometimes stretches the truth, or has failed to pull off what he said he would, the latter takes the truth and smothers it, boils it, turns it into something unrecognizable, and feeds it back as its opposite, to be gobbled up by Foxified R voters like chocolate pudding, with which it shares certain features, from a distance, and absent the senses of taste or smell.

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