Friday, January 27, 2012

Shorter David Frum: Lying Is OK, As Long As There's Something In It For You

Jebus.

See, Frum doesn't like to say that Romney is a liar. He prefers to say that he has an "emotional distance from the facts." Ohhh....I get it now! 

I mean, Frum wishes Mittens would stick to the facts...but, hey, as Frum notes, Frum isn't the only GOP voter out there. So, Frum asks, waddayagonnado?

Frum is a professional liar. He sold his services as a sophist to the disastrous Bush administration, and helped them achieve their disastrous ends. Calling lies by another name doesn't change their moral status.

And, see, Dave...here's the thing: it's easy to tell the truth when its in your interest. The test is whether you'll tell the truth when you have something to gain by lying. Almost everybody is honest when it doesn't cost them anything.

Frum types:
...elections turn on more than facts, promises, and programs—especially this current campaign for the Republican nomination for president. More perhaps than most, this election turns on shared feelings. Many Republican primary voters have been sold a narrative or image of the Obama presidency in which a radical socialist alien president is seeking to wreck and overturn the American way of life and the free enterprise system. That narrative is nuts, but unless you signal that you share the nuttiness, your campaign goes the way of Jon Huntsman's.


Romney, having no interest in martyrdom, has sent his share of such signals. And it is those signals that I doubt he believes. Whatever else Mitt Romney may be, he's certainly no fool. So when he says something foolish, I assume there must be a part of his brain that knows better. What choice does he have? As he wrote to his father during his father's presidential run 45 years ago: "The rest of our [electoral] system I know pretty well—only one thing I can't understand: how can the American public like such muttonheads?"



Appropriately wary of the public's fondness for muttonheads, Romney takes appropriate precautions.

I like it best when Romney sticks to the facts and avoids impugning the president's motives. But I'm not the only voter in these primaries. Many Republicans voters are terrified by unfounded fears and are swayed by false information. The Romney campaign wooed those voters by deferring to some of their emotions. It's hard to see what other choice the campaign might have. Yet candidate Romney cannot always maintain the level of deference required. No fool and no hater, he sometimes shows his distance from the emotions of the Republican base. I think that distance is to his credit—and way more creditable than for example the racial dog-whistling on which Newt Gingrich has built his campaign.


But what I call emotional distance from the feelings of the Republican base, James Taranto calls "lying." That's a hard word and a strong accusation.
 Ah, so...Romney is acutely aware that he is representing falsehoods as truths...and he knows that's what he's doing...so....

So he's a liar.

You see, Dave, that's what lying is.

It's a "hard word" indeed, but an accurate one. Maybe it hurts your feewings, but it correctly describes what Romney does.

Frum then goes on to launch a blatant tu quoque against Taranto and the WSJ, which is actually informative. I mean, yeah, the WSJ editorial page is full of lies, too. But that doesn't make Mittens any more honest, now does it?

People like Frum have no real respect for democracy. It's merely a kind of pro forma democracy when the electorate makes decisions based on false information. If I convince a plurality of voters that everybody's going to die unless they relinquish all of their rights and give me all of their money, and they do so, they have not made autonomous decisions. Democratic decisions based on falsehoods are not really any better than non-democratic decisions. But the folks on Frum's side of the aisle care more--a lot more--about winning than they do about democracy.

You cannot defend your lies by pointing out that without lying you could not have gotten what you wanted.

C'mon, man. Surely, somewhere, deep down inside, you know you are spouting bullshit.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Natalie said...

Such a great article which Romney, having no interest in martyrdom, has sent his share of such signals. And it is those signals that It doubted he believes. Whatever else Mitt Romney may be, he's certainly no fool. So when he says something foolish, It assume there must be a part of his brain that knows better.Thanks for sharing this article.

1:23 PM  

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