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Nation Shrugs at Romney-Ryan Lies; What’s One More, Anyway?

Which one is Dip? I say it’s the blond. (Meghan Sinclair for TBS)


The New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow wrote a hand-wringing column today, “The GOP Fact Vacuum,” trying to point out in just a thousand words that vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, like Burger King, is the Home of the Whopper.

(Not that way, you nasty boy.)

I like Blow’s work, though I miss Bob Herbert and Frank Rich, former Times columnists. But today’s article bothered me a little, because of what it didn’t say, not what it did.

So I left a reply, which has received 129 “likes” so far, one of my more successful efforts of late. (Perspective: other commenters got hundreds more.)

I wrote:

I respect this column, but my frustration rose when Mr. Blow began his series of questions, e.g., “What does this portend for the republic? I worry deeply about this…”

The columnist’s job here is to answer the questions, not just ask them. But since he didn’t, I will. What this “portends” is that the truth no longer matters; a politician’s lies go through the same entertainment filter as a starlet’s latest arrest. It’s all showbiz; why not have Rush Limbaugh blaming Obama for Hurricane Isaac or Clint Eastwood talking to a chair? “Can you believe what that Akin guy said?” is the same as “Can you believe what the Kardashians are up to now?” There’s a reason HuffPo puts politicians right next to celebs and cute cat pictures. It’s all about clicks.

Truth doesn’t matter anymore. Some people will vote GOP just to see pix of Romney’s handsome sons for the next four years. Jon Stewart can’t get over how “cute” Paul Ryan is; so was Sarah Palin, and when that went south Levi Johnston took off his clothes.

Apathy combines with powerlessness to hand the billionaires a golden opportunity. Democracy is dying and plutocracy will replace it. Sure, we’ll still have elections and wave flags, but the masses gave up their power the day they traded commercials for free entertainment. Someone’s already Photoshopped Chip, Bip, Grip, Whip & Dip Romney onto some naked guys; Arianna’s already got a slideshow in the hard drive.

I am guessing that the precipitants to today’s era of “truthiness” are first, the mic’ed-up, little-challenged “birthers,” and second, George W. Bush’s claims that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction, which was an article of faith to the corporate media (including The Times) after 9/11.

But there are so many other lies one could cite that I’m not betting a nickel. You could just as easily refer to ex-Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho): “I’m not gay, and I don’t cruise, and I don’t hit on men. […] I don’t go around anywhere hitting on men, and by God, if I did, I wouldn’t do it in Boise, Idaho! Jiminy!”

I wouldn’t do it in Boise, either, so that part might have been the truth, except when he was cruising guys in sporting goods stores.

He was arrested on June 11, 2007. Despite his guilty plea he was allowed by his Senate colleagues and the people of Idaho to serve out the remainder of his term and didn’t leave office until January 3, 2009.

I would rather not sound like a prophet of doom; people vilified Cassandra even after they found out she was right.

But I do think this election is America’s last chance to save its democracy – that if Chip, Bip and Dip’s dad wins, we tip over into Rule by the Rich, if not psuedo-Christian fascism – and that the best way to prevent that and preserve the rule of law is to do to the greedy, selfish, sinful ideology of Ayn Rand, Ron Paul, Rand Paul and Paul Ryan what Lyndon Johnson did to Barry Goldwater: bury him in a landslide.

But here I sit this Labor Day weekend, and supposedly the polls are tied. No wonder Charles Blow is wringing his hands, asking questions and afraid of the answers.++

LBJ giving Sen. Richard Russell, his mentor, The Treatment: “Whaddayou mean you ain’t doin’ it, boy? Don’t you know I’m the Pres’dent of these United States?”

7 Responses

  1. 63 or 62 days to the election. I’m waiting for the post-convention bounces to settle. That”ll be in about 2 weeks. So far, every electoral college prediction I’ve seen, from the NYT to the WP to HuffPost to even WSJ, gives the EC vote to Obama relatively handily. So I’m actually not too worried. Much can happen in 62 days, of course, and we can’t control what Israel or Syria or Iran are going to do, but at this point it looks good.

    To your broader point: there have been several articles I’ve posted on FB, that discuss the “death of truth.” I think you are essentially right. Even the GOP admitted it: “We aren’t going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” I am beginning to think that even overturning Citizens United withe a constitutional amendment might not solve the problem. But, we are resilient. I understand that the campaigns of 1800 and 1804 were just as vicious. And we survived.

  2. Robert, for some reason I’m not getting your FB posts anymore. I’ll go and check to see if I’ve somehow clicked a wrong button. I’ve missed you and wondered where you were!

    As for the election of 1800 (Thomas Jefferson): I have read, ever since I was nine years old, the obligatory quadrennial column, “If You Think This Campaign Is Bad, Lemme Tell Ya.” And it’s popped up again this year, by Kathleen Parker among others. I hope they all pay royalties to some dead guy, because these columns are all the same and completely irrelevant to what’s going on now. We’ve never had a wannabe veep lie through his teeth on national TV, or “we aren’t going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers [or the facts].” Jefferson did have babies by Sally Hemmings and really didn’t mean “all men (or anyone else) are created equal.” He meant “all planters,” “all landowners,” “our kind of White guys.” So the lesson of 1800 isn’t “how dirty it got” but “how right his critics were.”

    I do take your comment about resilience, and I’d like to think that is a reason for optimism. But we have never before faced these conditions, where the entire culture is besotted by fame and TV, and Lindsay Lohan’s father makes a million bucks a year staging phony fights, scandals and reconciliations with Hispanic maids while the “Entertainment 2Nite” cameras roll.

    We’ve never been this cynical, so we don’t even care what the truth is anymore, when Jesus was once “the way, the truth and the life.” The truth is we’re in danger of losing everything to a bunch of rich guys’ propaganda. The moving pictures are mesmerizing, and the 99% are looking at a billion dollars of seduction.

  3. Josh, you’re still listed as a FB friend, so not sure what the issue is there. And I take your point about the 1800 election; I haven’t seen the recent columns on that, and admittedly it isn’t a specialty of mine. so I guess we’ll see. I’m still not gonna worry until at least 2 weeks from Thursday though…..

  4. Of course we will survive. I think the deflator is wooshing out energy a litte and we were/are getting all giddy with real progress and real hope (and a little of our own hot air). The answers will come, maybe not now, but they keep coming and sometimes we expect/demand them instead of simply wanting them…I know, I know, I feel almost exhausted with the equality quest…I may not be part of a big international thrust but I do my best…and that I need to remind myself ¨we will see, what we will see¨ as my Mother always said to the pushy child me.

  5. On the handsome Romney sons topic: Not on your life do I think five men that look steralized and pasturized are hot…not for a million bucks (even if their cheap, selfish and lookalike Daddy offered it to me). I´m not for sale (more than I can say for any of them) and they make me want to jump into bed with the real man who is lives in the next room (and has for over five years).

  6. Aw, for a gazillion dollars you wouldn’t do Bip? I convict you of love, buddyboy, so enjoy it.

  7. Nope, but if I were as easy (as some seem to be), I just took another look to be sure and Matt looks a little less Mormonie…the blond queen needs work…but, alas, who am I to critique? I´ve enlarged recently and I´m back on Vegan and zipping along after a new birthday (don´t ask, but the next one scares the Hell out of me).

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