Steve Benen has a must-read piece highlighting Romney’s latest attack ad and the degree to which it’s a scandalous lie.
Some Republican governors this year asked the Obama administration for some new flexibility on welfare standards — the governors had some ideas about moving folks from welfare to work and needed the White House to sign off. Obama agreed — existing work requirements would stay in place, but states, if they want to, can take advantage of new flexibility when it comes to experimenting with existing law.
The Romney attack ad:
Romney’s lying. He’s not spinning the truth to his advantage; he’s not hiding in a gray area between fact and fiction; he’s just lying. The law hasn’t been “gutted”; the work requirement hasn’t been “dropped.” Stations that air this ad are disseminating an obvious, demonstrable lie.
All Obama did is agree to Republican governors’ request for flexibility. That’s it. Indeed, perhaps the most jaw-dropping aspect of this is that Romney himself, during his one gubernatorial term, asked for the same kind of flexibility on welfare law that Obama agreed to last month. Romney, in other words, is attacking the president for doing what Romney asked the executive branch to do in 2005.
The entire line of attack is simply insane.
How are we to respond to a campaign that deliberately deceives the public without shame? This lie about welfare policy comes on the heels of Romney’s lie about voting rights in Ohio, which came on the heels of Romney’s lies about the economy; which came on the heels of Romney’s lies about health care; which came on the heels of Romney’s lies about taxes.
The Republican nominee for president is working under the assumption that he can make transparently false claims, in writing and in campaign advertising, with impunity. Romney is convinced that there are no consequences for breathtaking dishonesty.
I fear that Romney might be right about there being no (or few) consequences for his crimes of dishonesty and deception. The people who believe Romney’s lies are not the type of individuals who read The Maddow Blog, ThinkProgress or the New York Times. They’re people who tune in to Fox News and faithfully listen to Limbaugh and Levin. They’re people who have been conditioned to disregard anything which comes from non-conservative media. Few of them will read or hear anything which counters the conservative message and for the few who do, they’re programmed to instantly label it as lies and liberal propaganda.
Romney’s entire presidential run has been built on the premise that he cannot defeat the real Obama in a general election. Therefore, it was necessary for Republicans to create a fictional Obama to run against – an Obama who raises their taxes, despises small business, hates the rich, wants their guns, apologizes for America, panders to Islam, kills jobs, promotes illegal immigration, and of course, an Obama who hates America.
This Obama they have a chance of beating. The real one – not a chance in hell and they know it.