Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Make no mistake: politics is dirty game. To play, and to play to win, you have to sell your soul to to the devil. You're on a 24/7 spin cycle. You disparage your opponents. You stretch the truth. And you lie. Every candidate is guilty of these tactics. And none in the history of the Republican Party have done it better or more blatantly and consistently than Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. They've taken the art of lying into a whole new stratosphere.
Romney and Gingrich are different in the sense that, while most politicians tell the truth most of the time and toss in a bit of truth-stretching, with a few lies here and there, these two lie all the time. Their entire candidacies are built on the re-writing of history. It's a waste of time for voters to listen to anything either of them have to say because it's likely every single thing they claim about themselves, and each other, is a lie.
The picture each candidate has painted of himself is utterly laughable. Romney, the 1%'er with the Swiss bank accounts and 13.8% effective tax rate, portrays himself as the economic steward most able to help the little guy. This despite a business career at Bain Capital, and myriad political positions, that exist solely to line the pockets of rich folk like him at the expense of said little guy. He's lied about his views on abortion, gay marriage, immigration, climate change, health care and practically everything else on which he's ever staked an opinion.
Gingrich, the consummate K Street Washington insider with the ethics-violations monkey on his big-spending earmark-lovin' serial-philanderin' back, has been running as the "anti-establishment" values candidate, leading a "rebellion" against the amoral "elites." But if we judge him by his political career, his academic accomplishments or his wealth, he's as elitist as they come. And while Newt whines about the "unfairness" of Romney's attacks, he's been responsible for more invective and extremist rhetoric than anyone in D.C. history, single-handedly changing the overall tenor of political discourse since he emerged in the late 1980's. Then there's the colossal hypocrisy of his personal life. Newt never met a mistress he didn't like...or married.
These two presidential hopefuls, as evidence by their many debate performances, lie so much it's virtually impossible to distinguish between their reality and fantasy. Neither can remember what commercials they've produced, what investments they have, what they've said in the past, what they currently believe or anything factual about each other. They'll literally say anything to become elected. Anything. And the debates themselves have become a spectacle that we watch just to see which one will catch the other in the biggest lie.
One thing's certain: one of these political Pinocchios will be running against President Obama later this year. So strap on your seatbelts, because the ride's gonna get a whole lot bumpier. The Mitt/Newt Traveling Lies Show is just the warm-up act...