The tongue is quicker than the eye

Romney was for laying off teachers before he was against it.

Pay close attention, class. The one moves fast

1.  Mitt Romney criticizes Barack Obama for saying we need more police, firefighters, and teachers.

2. Mitt Romney gets roasted for saying that.

3. Romney surrogate John Sununu says remark wasn’t a gaffe, and defends it.

4. Obama campaign is all over Romney about wanting fewer police, firefighters, and teachers.

5.  Romney goes on TV and says it’s “completely absurd” to charge that he doesn’t want more police, firefighters, and teachers.

This is part of a pattern. Mitt Romney is a chronic, pathological, utterly shameless, pants-on-fire (thirteen times so far), four-Pinocchios liar.

Kevin Drum thinks that the rules have changed – that even Presidential candidates can now get away with constant fibbing – and that Romney is simply smart enough to have noticed.

I’m not so sure. It’s possible that the press will start to report Romney’s lies as lies. That’s unconventional, but he’s asking for it.

Or perhaps some super-PAC will come along and run some spots on Romney’s mendacity. I doubt even low-information swing voters really like being lied to.





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:

22 thoughts on “The tongue is quicker than the eye”

  1. Yeah, if the low-information voters ever figure out Rmoney [sic] is lying to them, Mark.

    They seem to be buying the idea that PPACA is hurting small businesses and slowing the recovery. As Major Kong said, “I’ve been one world fair, a church picnic and a rodeo and that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard come over a set of earphones. You sure you got today’s codes?”

  2. Because I like to repeat myself – and because it bears repeating – yes, Mittens is a liar, far beyond the 40% ‘didn’t follow through on campaign promises’ exaggerations of times past (so 2010, ya know). Here’s the money:

    “Conservatives will put your safety, security, health, and well being at risk. They have stated this in no uncertain terms.”

    End message. Liar, liar? Meh. “Conservatives will intentionally put your safety, security, health, and well being at risk.” Now you’ve got my attention. Mitt Romney has stated clearly that he will put your safety, security, health, and well being at risk. He wants to do this. He will do this. His political party is doing this RIGHT NOW. Republicans will throw your safety, security, health, and well being under the bus, they will throw the safety, security, health, and well being of your children under the bus in order to guarantee the unrestricted raping, looting, and pillaging of our once great society by the obscenely rich.

  3. Severely disappointing. I guess they found that having a position you can defend in a dozen words is pointless if the media cut your quotes off after the first six. Still disappointing.

    Probably be more disappointing if I ever thought Romney was a good candidate, rather than just likely to be a less disastrous President than Obama. Who thought Romney was principled in the first place? Not conservatives, that’s for sure.

  4. Bizarre and depressing as it is, Kevin Drum is on to something with his comment that lies no longer matter in American politics.

    Positions no longer matter. Principles no longer matter. Strong policies, logic, or a belief in science no longer matter.

    All that matters are optics: do you look and sound and act presidential? And central casting could not have crafted a robot or mannequin who looks more presidential than Mitt Romney. Grey hair at the temples, a sculpted coif, a stern jaw, kind eyes, permanent tan, sycophantic smile.

    He was born–or engineered–to be president of this giant reality TV show we call America.

    1. Citizens United is the only thing that matters, and our big thanks should be laid right where it belongs – at the feet of John Roberts and his four other court cohorts!

  5. Brett: Thanks for the “No TRUE Scotsman …” argument, but no one’s buying. Your party got exactly what it wanted in its candidate.

    StevenB, I second your emotion, and would add: Evidence = sociopath!

    1. Betsy,
      Brett said “conservative,” not “Republican.” You are correct on Republicans; he is correct on conservatives. The Republican party loves them some Mitt; the conservative movement within the Republican party loves nobody except the ghost of Ronald Reagan.

      I thought you were a libertarian, rather than a conservative. A distinction without a difference, I suppose.

      1. You mean they love the fictitious Ronald Reagan, who they’ve invented as some strange hybrid of Jesus, John Wayne, Mister Rogers, Fabio, and Ted Nugent’s soul patch.

        The real Ronald Reagan has nothing to do with the velvet-painting/romance-novel-cover version emblazoned on the inside wall of every Tea Partier’s skull.

  6. Thanks for the “Everybody who finds it convenient to call themselves a Scotsman is one.” nonsense.

    1. As usual, anytime Brett shows up there is a large contingent who shout “Whoopee, Brett’s here; let’s jump on him.” Doesn’t matter what he writes, just attack him.

      I went back and rered his original words in this thread. He is disappointed that “they” discovered it doesn’t matter what you say; if you can state your position succinctly in a dozen words, the media will decide that’s too many words and cut off the last six to make a shorter sound bite. Yes, that’s disappointing to “them,” which includes BOTH parties’ candidates, speech writers, and ad writers. They go to a lot of trouble to craft their message, then see it hacked up by hacks in the media. Sure it’s disappointing. Whether you agree with any particular message of any particular party or candidate, it’s still disappointing.

      Then Brett wrote that he’d be more disappointed if he ever felt Romney was a good candidate, rather then a “lesser of evils” choice. No news there, folks. Brett has stated that very consistently for quite a while. Also mentioned his skepticism that Romney was ever thought to be “principled.” No news there either. Brett has also stated that quite consistently.

      Finally, he says Conservatives certainly didn’t think Romney was principled. What’s the news there? The Conservatives in the Republican Party have consistently been heard to say that Romney’s a compromise candidate; that his past is replete with too many accommodations to the Left to be considered a real Conservative, but he is their best chance to get a Republican to replace O’Bama.

      So what’s the big deal with what Brett wrote. So far as I can tell, every word is totally accurate, irrespective of my personal party preference.

      1. = = = The Conservatives in the Republican Party have consistently been heard to say that Romney’s a compromise candidate;

        Assumes facts not in evidence. Historically perhaps there were Conservatives who were distinct from Republicans, but today (1) it is not clear that there are any Conservatives left in the mold of Eisenhower (or even Goldwater) (2) those who claim to be “true Conservatives” extend and withdraw their support for whoever the Republican candidate of the day happens to be (e.g. George W. Bush); at re-election time they sorrowfully, sorrowfully vote for him again, and then once he has left office they declare that “he wasn’t a true Conservative after all” (e.g. George W. Bush, again). This has happened over and over since 1984 and it clearly a fundamental behavior of those who claim mantle of so-called “Conservative”. Mr. Bellmore deserves absolutely zero slack here as he exhibits this behavior quite predictably.


        1. Let it also be noted that Brett Bellmore has a habit of twisting the discussion to fit his pet issues and subsequently vanishing into the cyber-darkness when his “facts” disintegrate after further review. This behavior has been observed both here and at Obsidian Wings rather frequently.

          1. Look, given sufficient time, I could continue responding on a particular thread until the comment count got up into the hundreds. Once we’re not covering fresh ground, what’s the point? You’d doubtless hold THAT against me, and there’d be some justice to it.

  7. Ah, yes: the old “Teachers, cops and fire fighters will be fired if we cut government budgets” meme. First, does anyone truly believe that those are the ONLY local/state government positions? It’s simply a ploy by the left to scare people into spending yet more scarce tax money on government. Why is it never the legions of overpaid, useless bureaucrats that are laid off? Because they are part of the public employee cash cow for leftwing politicians? Second, please provide some data proving that we even NEED more TCFFs. The crime rate has been falling for years, and the incidents of house fires has fallen off a cliff. Check with any local fire station, and ask what the ratio of actual fires to medical calls is. I can walk two blocks down the street, and the sign on the fire station indicates that so far this year, there have been 220 medical calls, and only 50 fire calls. That >4:1 ratio is pretty much standard nation-wide. Fact is, we don’t need any more cops OR fire fighters.

    1. Greg,
      Don’t conflate local and state governments. Local government personnel are overwhelmingly service providers: teachers, cops, prosecutors, docs, nurses and orderlies, firemen, garbage men, etc. Yes, they have a management superstructure, but so does every organization on this planet.

      The “bureaucrats” you so dread and loathe are much more at the state level. You are entitled to your politics, but not your facts.

      1. I worked in local government for over twenty years, so I am intimately familiar with the structure. Large communities have a significant amount of waste and inefficiency entirely unrelated to the TCFFs. I’m also not seeing any evidence that we, in fact, NEED more TCFFs. Finally, though I didn’t mention it earlier, ALL thee local government employees need to forgo unions and collective bargaining, as it is ruining local government budgets.

        1. 1. “Large communities have a significant amount of waste and inefficiency entirely unrelated to the TCFFs.” I won’t argue with this. But the same is true for any other large organization. Human beings, y’know.
          2. “I’m also not seeing any evidence that we, in fact, NEED more TCFFs.” A value judgment. I like public preschool and daycare and health care. Maybe you don’t. Okay. That’s why we have a democracy.
          3. “ALL local government employees need to forgo unions and collective bargaining, as it is ruining local government budgets.” This proves a wee tad too much. Heck, local government budgets would be even less ruined if employees were drafted into their positions and fed on MREs. Or if local governments could commandeer the goods they needed. Or (shudder!) if local governments raised their taxes.

          1. Lord. Of course, we could just raise taxes to 100%, and everything would be free! Or something. Liberal “logic” fails to account for the reality that, eventually, you run out of other people’s money. And, no, I DON’T like public daycare, preschool or health care. Paying for all that extraneous crap is why Europe is broke. Why do you people think it will work here? BTW, your failure to provide evidence that we need more TCFFs (the fact that YOU want them is not evidence of need), or why public employees should have unions is telling.

          2. “Finally, though I didn’t mention it earlier, ALL thee local government employees need to forgo unions and collective bargaining, as it is ruining local government budgets.”

            As opposed to Republicans refusing to pay reasonable taxes for e.g. infrastructure, maintenance of infrastructure etc? As opposed to privatizations that are actually more expensive for the taxpayer?

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