All of this is important because it explains in no small part how those on the right lost. In no small part they lost because they created a Barack Obama who bore no resemblance to one whom anybody else recognized; by choosing to run against this illusory Obama, they lost credibility. For 40 years I’ve believed, as recently as a lunch conversation a week ago with my friend and American Prospect colleague John Powers, that conservatives are correct when they argue this is a center-right country. I still believe that for much of these four decades that’s been the case, that the underlying sensibility of the country is moderately conservative. The enormity of what happened 72 hours ago—in macro terms and micro, from Obama’s re-election to a more Democratic Senate to passage of marriage-equality and marijuana-legalization propositions to, most significantly, the shattering defeat of big money—is that this no longer is necessarily the case. This isn’t to say that the public voted for big government or even “progressivism,” whatever that is; but it did vote for a world in which numbers add up, even as Fox News’ apparatchiks frantically search for a new math by which less is more and more is less. The Obama Years have represented for the right a strategic assault on the Daniel Patrick Moynihan maxim about opinions not being facts and about not being entitled to confuse the two: Oh yeah? said the America in the Next Seat. Watch us. While “facts” perjure themselves sometimes, however, math testifies under oath. The center-right country hasn’t become a left country or even center-left; it may not even be center-center. Rather in the face of fantasists of various toxicity from Akin to Murdoch, from Joe Walsh to Allen West, the country voted for a different kind of apex: the real-real, in all its American pluralism; and for the rest of the trip, those who can’t or won’t grasp that calculus may find themselves on a different flight altogether, finally stranded in a different place.
Whether it’s a senior citizen, military family, working mother, businessman, or middle-class American, Romney said, he will lie to every single one of them as often as he can if that’s what it takes to win the presidency.
“The best part is, it’s really easy to lie,” said Romney, who added that voicing whatever untruths come into his mind at any given moment is an easy thing to do because all it requires is opening his mouth and talking. “For example, if someone accuses me of having a tax plan that makes no discernable sense, I just lie and say that I do have a tax plan that makes sense. I also say there is a study that backs up my plan. See that? Simple. None of it is remotely true, of course, but now we’re moving on to the next topic because people are usually too afraid to ask me straight up if I’m lying, because that is apparently not something you ask someone who is running for president.”
Moreover, Romney said, if anyone does accuse him of lying, he will simply say he is not lying, which he noted is just an extension of the overall strategy.
1. Do not lie to yourself.
2. Do not lie to other people unless they are exercising tyranny.
3. When you think it is your duty to inflict pain, scrutinize your reasons closely.
4. When you desire power, examine yourself closely as to why you deserve it.
5. When you have power, use it to build up people, not to constrict them.
6. Do not attempt to live without vanity, since this is impossible, but choose the right audience from which to seek admiration.
7. Do not think of yourself as a wholly self-contained unit.
8. Be reliable.
9. Be just.
10. Be good-natured.
“Today, in the digesting of the first Presidential debate, we are confronted with the collision of two nearly independent media realms: traditional broadcast, and the newly-risen social media, which have orders of magnitude more penetration, sophistication, and response speed than they did in 2008. And what we’re hearing from those two media realms is, for perhaps the first time ever, sharply divergent in relation to the same single event.
WASHINGTON—Startled sources at a GOP fundraiser confirmed Thursday that after being duped into saying his own name backwards, ancient elfin mischief-maker and Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus was cast back into the gilded puzzle box that has confined him for millennia.