Liar, Liar

Field Negro finds all the best stuff:
Among the attributes I most envy in a public man (or woman) is the ability to lie. If that ability is coupled with no sense of humor, you have the sort of man who can be a successful football coach, a CEO or, when you come right down to it, a presidential candidate. Such a man is Mitt Romney.

Time and time again, Romney has been called a liar during this campaign. (The various fact-checking organizations have had to work overtime on him alone.) A significant moment, sure to surface in the general election campaign, came during a debate held in New Hampshire in January. David Gregory, the host of “Meet the Press,” turned to Newt Gingrich and said, “You have agreed with the characterization that Governor Romney is a liar. Look at him now. Do you stand by that claim?”

Gingrich did not flinch. “Sure, governor,” he started off, and then accused Romney of running ads that were not true and, moreover, pretending he knew nothing about them. “It is your millionaire friends giving to the PAC. And you know some of the ads aren’t true. Just say that straightforward.”

Me, I would have confessed and begged for forgiveness. Not Romney, though — and herein is the reason he will be such a formidable general-election candidate. He concedes nothing. He had seen none of the ads, he said. They were done by others, he added. Of course, they are his supporters, but he had no control over them.All this time he was saying this rubbish, he seemed calm, sincere — matter of fact.

And then he brought up an ad he said he did see. It was about Gingrich’s heretical support for a climate-change bill. He dropped the name of the extremely evil Nancy Pelosi. He accused Gingrich of criticizing Paul Ryan’s first budget plan, an Ayn Randish document whose great virtue is a terrible honesty. (We are indeed going broke.) He added that Gingrich had been in ethics trouble in the House and ended with a promise to make sure his ads were as truthful as could be. Pow! Pow! Pow! Gingrich was on the canvas.

I watched, impressed. I admire a smooth liar, and Romney is among the best. His technique is to explain — that bit about not knowing what was in the ads — and then counterattack. He maintains the bulletproof demeanor of a man who is barely suffering fools, in this case Gingrich. His message is not so much what he says, but what he is: You cannot touch me. I have the organization and the money. Especially the money. (Even the hair.) You’re a loser.

There are those who maintain that President Obama, too, is a liar.....

But where Romney is different is that he is not honest about himself. He could, as he did just recently, stand before the National Rifle Association as if he were, in spirit as well as membership, one of them. In body language, in the blinking of the eyes, in the nonexistent pounding pulse, there was not the tiniest suggestion that here was a man who just as confidently once embodied the anti-gun ethic of Massachusetts, the distant land he once governed. Instead, he tore into Obama for the (nonexistent) threat the president posed to Second Amendment rights — a false accusation from a false champion.

A marathon of debates and an eon of campaigning have toughened and honed Romney. He commands the heights of great assurance, and he knows, as some of us learn too late in life, that the truth is not always a moral obligation but sometimes merely what works. He often cites his business background as commending him for the presidency. That’s his forgivable absurdity. Instead, what his career has given him is the businessman’s concept of self — that what he does is not who he is. This is what enables the slumlord to be a charitable man. This is what enables the corporate raider to endow his university. Business is business. It’s what you do. It is not who you are. Lying isn’t a sin. It’s a business plan. [Source]
You just gotta love the Romneys.

Comments

  1. "That's his forgivable absurdity. Instead, what his career has given him is the businessman's concept of self - that what he does is not who he is."

    Exactly, your words don't necessarily have to represent who- and what you are. "Hypocritical behavior is sanctioned and rewarded in European culture. The rhetorical ethic helps to sanction it. European culture cannot be understood in terms of the dynamics of other cultures alone. It is a culture that breeds hypocrisy-in which hypocrisy is a supportive theme a standard of behavior. Its hypocritical nature is linked to the Platonic abstraction, to objectification, to the compartmentalization of the person and the denial of the emotional self."

    Hence, lying (deception on multiple levels) is permissible if it achieves an end. It has no bearing on your moral standing; it's simply a tool to be used. I can't tell you how many white men have come to my house (based on their television advert) to do work for me, only to hear something completely different once they're in my home. Deception it would seem; has become a part of their business model.

    From the Whiteantiracist website:
    We white people have a wonderful cultural resource at our disposal: our words and our actions don't have to match up. In fact, it's better if they don't. Appearance and image is one thing; our actual behavior is another. This rich cultural resource is what allows us to "have our cake and eat it too."

    It is this ethos that fuels the political arena with unrivaled absurdity, corrupting everything it touches. It's why political ads/cartoons have worked so well through the centuries. Authors of such fare may lie, slander or misdirect with impunity; so conversely, it's up to the embattled candidate to prove it's not true. That's why the Acorn Scandal proved such a boon for political activist James O'Keefe. He knew full-well that what he was doing was neither ethical nor moral, but it achieved its purpose. He knew a lot of sincere people would lose their jobs/funding if he did his task right. Hypocrisy for some whites is not just a means to an end; it is a life-defining philosophy.

    Romeny is no different. Aspiring to be the most powerful person in the free world doesn't come without telling a few falsehoods along the way. The hope is; once your Presidency is at an end- the legacy left in your wake more than makes up for the sins you committed to get elected in the first place. It will all even out.

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  2. Leo Princess4/18/12, 1:46 AM

    Man, this election is going to be one helluva ride.

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  3. A marathon of debates and an eon of campaigning have toughened and honed Romney. He commands the heights of great assurance, and he knows, as some of us learn too late in life, that the truth is not always a moral obligation but sometimes merely what works. He often cites his business background as commending him for the presidency. That’s his forgivable absurdity. Instead, what his career has given him is the businessman’s concept of self — that what he does is not who he is. This is what enables the slumlord to be a charitable man. This is what enables the corporate raider to endow his university. Business is business. It’s what you do. It is not who you are. Lying isn’t a sin. It’s a business plan.

    And FN wins in a one-punch KO!!! This is probably the most elegant, eloquent summary of Mittens that I have read all year.

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    1. FN didn't write it, but I'm sure glad he found it.

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  4. And the fucked up part, of the final Republican presidential candidates, Romney is the "good one" of the bunch.

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    1. That has crossed my mind too many times.

      And now Condi Rice's name has been tossed into the ring to be his VP.

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  5. Wouldn't Condi's duel nature cancel themselves out politically? I mean she's black yes; moreover, she's a woman. Two voting blocks the Republican Party appears to be having trouble with at the moment.

    Now I’m sure some would view her duel status as a plus; but to me, it’s as transparent as McCain's choice for Palin to seal-up the female vote. And we all know how that turned out.

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