If Mitt Romney's first ad is any indication of the level of truth and honesty we can look forward to in the 2012 election, it's going to be a looooooooooong 12 months, and I advise everyone to simply turn off their TVs and do other things for the next year - especially if you live in a swing state.
Here's Mitt's ad:
Did you catch it?
The ad above quotes Obama saying, “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” There's just one small problem - those weren’t Obama’s words. When he said those words, Obama was quoting a John McCain strategist back in 2008.
The Romney campaign answered cries of foul play by claiming that their blatantly dishonest ad tactic is "not out of bounds."
In response, ThinkProgress came up with the following ad featuring Mitt Romney saying things he obviously must believe, since they came out of his mouth:
* Completely and truthfully accurate, according to the Romney standard of accuracy.
That’s right - from Romney's mouth to God's ears:
- “We should just raise everybody’s taxes!”
- “There’s nothing unique about the United States.”
- “Government knows better than a free people how to guide an economy.”
- “Fiscal responsibility is heartless and immoral.”
- “Let us just raise your taxes some more. We just need a little bit more.”
- “America’s just another nation with a flag.”
Mitt's ad is yet another example of stupidity in the American political discourse, which I've discussed before on this blog. To quote myself:
"Why is the U.S. political discourse so stupid?
"One of the reasons is a freedom that we hold most dear - free speech. People are free to say dumb, distorted, inaccurate things, and that's fine. My problem is that we have equated money with free speech and corporations with people, which is a perversion of the First Amendment. I should be free to say whatever I want to say - but ABC or CBS or NBC or Fox should not have the same right to say dumb, distorted, and inaccurate things as I do, because they are news organizations, not people. It also seems that many of the people that these organizations employ as pundits just aren't that intelligent. Furthermore, corporations should not have the same rights to free speech as individuals, because they are not individuals, and money is not free speech. These problems will require a constitutional amendment to fix, as the Supreme Court has for years been hellbent on giving soulless, lifeless, immortal corporations the same rights as living, flesh-and-blood people and on equating money with free speech.
"The other main reason that U.S. political discourse is so stupid is economic efficiency - if I am trying to get elected, it is far easier and cheaper for me to demonize the other guy and convince you to vote against him than for me to make a convincing, nuanced argument of the superiority of my policy positions. Or better yet, some anonymous third-party group can make completely false accusations against you, so I can keep my hands clean while my allies tarnish your reputation with lies. Unfortunately, a constitutional amendment is also the only way to solve this problem - something along the lines of 100% public funding for political campaigns, only candidates are allowed to run campaign ads, and candidates are only allowed to talk about their own positions, not their opponents' - the only time the candidates can attack their opponents' positions is face-to-face, in debates. I don't expect for these things to happen, as they would entail a substantial redefinition of the understanding of free speech and the political process in this country, but it would make U.S. political discourse far less stupid."
Unfortunately, it looks like we're in for a whole lot of stupid in 2012.