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Not a former republican...Jon Chait on Romney's continued penchant for just cold making shit up.
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Lee West's profile photoSarah Lee's profile photo
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I don't know if i want to get into this -- and maybe you don't either -- but why is Chait choosing to wrap his op-ed on how Obama should have passed a second stimulus rather than obamacare in this dramatic assertion that Romney's a big, fat, liar, liar pants-on-fire? I mean, do we need the sensational lede?
 
Does Romney need to lie?
 
Meh. It didn't seem like an outright lie. He extrapolated that Obama and Co. knew that passing O care might not be the best thing for the economy (i'd argue a second stimulus wouldn't have either but they don't pay me to make those decisions) from the guy's statement. He could have confirmed that a little more solidly I guess but I don't think it was a lie. I just wonder why the guy couldn't write his op-ed without using that anecdote as the lede. His op-ed -- while I mostly disagree -- is fine on it's own. I guess in an election year it's about bashing the other candidate. And I'm aware of the irony of that statement re: Romney. Cynical politics. You really think Romney's a liar?
 
Sarah, I could extrapolate that Romney is going to sell the United States for parts and run to the bank because that's what he did for a living before becoming a professional candidate.  Would it make it a true statement if I said that is what he intends to do because I read a book that said nothing of the sort?

Chait read the book Romney is "citing".  He explains the position of Noam Scheiber.  The author of the book.  Scheiber's position - not anyone from the White House - is that Obama should have pushed for a second stimulus.  Not that the ACA would be bad for the economy.  So it is a lie on two fronts.  It wasn't a belief from the White House.  Nor was it ever a belief put forth in the book.  You can read Scheiber's reitterated opinion that the Obama White House wanted a larger stimulus here:
http://www.tnr.com/blog/plank/103838/the-lousy-jobs-number-and-obamas-original-sin#.T8jhOU21fO8.twitter
That is not at all aligned with Romney's statement.

Romney also called this a Pro-Obama book.  Chait corrects that too.

And yes.  Liar liar pants on fire.  And no one from the Fox/Rushbo crowd will call him on his lies and when anyone else does it...it's time to fire up the MainStreamMedia whine.  Romney's latest is on Obama's super majority for 2 years.  2 years my ass.  Byrd and Kennedy (he must know this man) were on their death beds and one Scott Brown (he must know this man too) became an instant heroic darling of the GOP only to be later villified as a RINO.  He actually had seven weeks in which he could have done this.  "Ram through".  He didn't.  Also never mind that Obama spent this time trying to reach across the aisle only to be continually rebuffed.  Does "Gang of Six" ring a bell?  And if we wait just a little longer, I'm sure we'll hear another tired lie that he was "ramming through" legislation.
 
What is Rushbo a contraction of? Or is Bo a diminutive of Limbaugh? I'm just curious...
I like how you set up that false equivalency about reading a book that says nothing of the sort. The lawyers I work with would be impressed. The way I read the piece -- haven't read Scheiber but I will and maybe it will change my mind. Don't know. -- it is reasonable that Romney infers what he infers. Doesn't the conversation say something like Summer says even if O care prevented a second stimulus -- and we can presume that O and Co. thinks stimulus is the kickstarter for the economy (again, I disagree but it is part of their policy idea) -- they would have passed it anyway? So they chose pet legislation over what was arguably more important, fixing a lagging economy?  As for ramming it through -- even if you are correct that O faced opposition in reaching across the aisle (not sure I agree that he was really reaching) and that he never had a super majority -- I thought the main point of contention was that given the size of the actual legislation no one -- not one legislator -- actually had time to read and digest the bill. Hence the ram through. I don't think Romney's a liar. He's a politician and maybe they're the same thing. But I don't think he's just out there making things up.
 
Romney said these words: "A book that was written in a way thats apparently pro-President Obama, was written by a guy named Noam Scheiber and in this book he says that there was a discussion about the fact that Obamacare would slow down the economic recovery in this country and they knew that before they passed it.  But they concluded that we would all forget how long the recovery took once it had happened, so they decided to go ahead.  The idea that they knowingly slowed down our recovery in order to put in place Obamacare, which they wanted and they considered historic but the American people did not want or consider historic, is something which I think deserves a lot of explaining, because I think the President’s responsibility is to put people back to work. "

He accuses the president of knowingly and willfully sabotaging the economy.  That is the lie.  And it is built upon a foundation of lies.
 
He said it needs explaining. I think that's reasonable.
 
Then I say Romney needs to explain why he is going to strip America for parts.  Sound reasonable?

Why must Obama or anyone in the White House explain something that they didn't even believe or discuss?  Why must they explain a lie from Mitt Romney?
 
Well, I guess if Romney's posed the question then Jay Carney can just put out a statement saying exactly what you just said. I mean that's the way it works during an election. Let's say you're totally correct and Summers was talking out of his behind, it is an unfortunate truth that it would be politically advantageous for Obama to address it in whatever manner he can to get the point across that he either finds it ludicrous, a lie, etc etc. He has the disadvantage of being the incumbent and people will call for his head if they feel like he's ignoring a question they want an answer to. Romney is in no such position. He can refuse to answer in order to not justify the question much easier.
 
It's silly season here.  Look, you may believe with all your Austrian economics fly by night book-learnin'...Romney too...that the ACA impeded recovery.  You may believe that Obama and the Dems should have done something they already had done (extend tax cuts and/or spend money they didn't have).  You may believe a different kind of stimulus should have been passed.  You may believe that the focus should have been on recovery and not the ACA.

But that doesn't mean Obama and Company believed that.  That doesn't mean that Obama and Congress didn't try to stimulate the economy.  That doens't mean that Obama willfully impeded recovery.  To say as much is a lie.

And it isn't a question that the public is asking...yet.  But it will be because the mindless ditto heads are already getting behind it.  It doesn't matter that you (or anyone else) think the policies he and Congress enacted would impede economic recovery.  It wouldn't even hurt to state that position and to ask the question from that position.  But to allege that Obama believed he was hurting the economy...that he willfully pursued a policy for his own vanity that would hurt the nation...is at its impossible best, a highly partisan opinion.  At its surface it is simply a lie when tied to a book that didn't say what Romney says is within.  And at its most calculating it is propaganda that will be repeated over and over and melded to the conservative notion that Obama is an "other"..."not one of us"...or simply "un-American".  Obama didn't care about the economy.  Obama didn't care about America.  That is grandest lie of them all.
 
Oh yeah, I'm aware of it emerging as a talking point. But as you noted, this is par for the course in the silly season. But I can't say I would be at all shocked if any politician did something that didn't help the public at large for the sake of their vanity. This is maybe where I'm cynical and you're not. At least about some people.

Funny that you mentioned the Austrian school because the boys told me about this today. It's actually a pretty fair breakdown of the two schools of thought. And accessible to the kids!

"Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem
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