by Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analyses, 10/10/12
Part I – Earning a Place in the Eighth Rung of Hell
Mitt Romney might be the most brazen political liar since James Polk. Polk, who was the 11th U.S. president (1845-1849), lied through his teeth–to Congress, to his cabinet, to the newspapers– in order to get the country into a war with Mexico. Of course, other presidents have lied to this end, for instance presidents Johnson (Vietnam) and Bush Jr. (Iraq), but Polk had the same audacious, “lying is part of what I do,” disposition as does our current Republican candidate.
If one has any doubt about Mitt Romney’s mendacious temperment, the first presidential debate should have put it to rest. According to one analyst, Romney let loose with “27 myths in 38 minutes,” finishing with a big grin after most of these prevarications. He produced trumped up assertions, false statistics, and wild exaggerations about taxes, energy independence, job creation, the deficit, medicare, “Obamacare,” and military spending.
If Dante Alighieri came back to life today and produced an updated list of lost souls for the “Inferno” section of his Divine Comedy, Romney would certainly earn a spot in the 8th rung of hell. That is where Dante placed, among others, the “falsifiers, those who attempted to alter things through lies or alchemy.” Their punishment was “based on horrible…diseases such as rashes, dropsy, leprosy and consumption.” I suggest that, come the second debate, we all keep a sharp eye on Mr. Romney’s nose and fingertips for signs of leprosy. By the way, there seems to be a suspicion that Romney also cheated during the first debate. The debate rules say that the candidates can not use “prepared notes.” However, a video of the debate shows that he had put what looks like a white piece of paper down on his podium, or maybe it was just his handkerchief.
Part II – Some Specifics
The second debate, scheduled for the 16 October 2012, will be partially about foreign policy. On Monday 8 October 2012 Romney gave a speech on foreign affairs. It should be kept in mind that between the 8th and the 16th he might completely change his positions. The man has such a flip-flop record that this is quite possible. However, assuming he doesn’t do that, let’s take a look at just how truthful are his foreign policy statements.
a. As Robert Parry points out in Consortium News, Romney lied when he said Obama “has not signed one new free trade agreement in the past four years.” Obama has in fact signed three (South Korea, Panama and Colombia). He also lied when he said that Obama was “silent” during the suppression of demonstrations in Iran after the reelection of president Amadinejad. Obama spoke out on multiple occasions. By the way, one might not approve of NAFTA style trade agreements. I certainly don’t. But that does not make Romney’s lies about Obama’s actions acceptable….
continue reading at To the Point Analyses