Don’t hold back: tell us how you really feel

Denver Post on Romney Jeep lie: “shameful.”

The Denver Post on Romney’s lie-too-far:

Nothing smells like desperation more than the falsehoods and half-truths coming out of the Romney campaign about Chrysler purportedly moving Jeep manufacturing jobs to China.

The episode has been shameful.

It’s not entirely obvious to me why this lie, of all of Romney’s lies – of all of Romney’s campaign of lies – has generated such fury. “Shameful” is the right word, of course: but how often is that right word used?

But you don’t have to understand it to enjoy it.

Footnote What would really put the icing on
the cake would be for the Detroit News or the Des Moines Register, both of which endorsed Romney but denounced the Jeep bamboozlement, to withdraw the endorsement on the grounds that Romney had proven his unfitness for office. Wildly unlikely, of course. But surely there must be some second thoughts in those editorial offices: especially the News, which Romney mis-cited in his ad as supporting his false claim.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

11 thoughts on “Don’t hold back: tell us how you really feel”

  1. My guess is that this lie is not about his political opponents or his own past. Rather, it is an easily verifiable lie about a prominent innocent by-stander. Perhaps, on a subconscious level, political reporters have come to accept that lying about one’s political opponent or own history is ok, but lying about others crosses the line.

    1. Not just an innocent bystander, a large corporation. Whose decisions are a priori sacrosanct expressions of the market. It’s almost as bad (but not quite) as if Romney hd slandered Goldman Sachs or Bank of America.

      1. I think you also have to ad that the innocent bystander has forcefully pushed back against the lie, carefully explaining it’s falsity. And instead of backing (I don’t think anyone expected an apology, just for him to drop it as a line of attack), he’s doubled down with a TV spot and a radio ad centered on the lie.

        1. thus making it very clear who the target is – the one who does not read newspapers, who gets information from Faux TV and lying advertisements. There are a lot of those around. I wish there were a way to ensure that the voter suppression effort caught as many of those as they do of other voters…

  2. The lie drew ire because:

    1) It came late in the campaign in the most intense battleground state. All eyes were focused on Ohio.
    2) Because of #1, the cats of Team Blue were able to herd themselves into a coherent bawl. It was almost as if they were all on the same page of talking points for a change.
    2) There is still some remnant of decency left in American politics.

    Putting these three together in an adage: It’s okay to swiftboat your opponent in the knees but only if you do so early in the campaign cycle.
    So the art and science of swiftboating grows apace…
    And Team Rove has duly noted what I’ve written here (if they haven’t realized it themselves from their pit of quicksand) and will incorporate the knowledge into their playbook for 2016.

  3. I think the fact Chrysler has an incentive to point out Romney’s lie, and the means to do so, mattered a lot.

    Of course, the media equally has the means to point out lies. Perhaps that tells us something about their incentives.

    1. Re: Chrysler’s incentives. There are a lot of people in the midwest who might consider not buying a Chrysler vehicle if they associate Chrysler with a plan to outsource one of its key American brands. Seriously, this was really stupid on Romney’s part and I am still having difficulty believing that none of this has occurred to his campaign. The internal polling over the effect of his “let Detroit go bankrupt” op-ed must be truly devastating for him to try to put this out at the last minute.

  4. It’s shameful at least in part because it manifests complete disregard for the well-being of ordinary people. Anyone who has worked in Corporate America probably realizes how emotionally taxing and downright terrifying it is to hear rumors to the effect that their job might be eliminated, for whatever reason. Of course, if the rumors are true then there is no point in lying — but affirmatively trying to provoke dread and panic that is not justified by any reality other than your own electoral prospects is really despicable.

    Furthermore, what does it say about Romney that he has worked in Corporate America and somehow (a) does not realize this or (b) does not care?

    Ryan, of course, completely unabashed “taker” that he is, has never really worked in Corporate America.

    1. “Furthermore, what does it say about Romney that he has worked in Corporate America and somehow (a) does not realize this or (b) does not care?”

      He’s been one of the pillagers; lost jobs are money in his pocket.

      1. Even the prospect of job loss is all to the good for a vulture capitalist. People who think their next assignment might be to train their own replacements have less of a tendency to ask for raises or complain about working conditions.

  5. The Detroit News is basically a Republican paper – generally understood as a very conservative paper in Detroit. Years ago there was a joint operating agreement between it and the Free Press. I think it’s done now but ultimately I think it led to the downgraded state of newspapers in Detroit. Haven’t lived there in 20 years so someone with more recent data might shed light. However I really doubt the News will change- they are generally in the tank for conservatism.

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