21 July 2012

Anatomy of a lie

In a recent speech in Virginia, President Obama said the following:

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

He was making a fairly mundane point that individual success doesn't happen in a vacuum, but depends on the infrastructure created by government and the broader society.  For the purposes of this post, the salient point is that in the sentence "If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that", the word "that" refers to the infrastructure mentioned in the preceding sentences -- the "American system", the roads and bridges.  There's no ambiguity about this.  The point is clarified further by Obama's mention of the internet, one of the most critical parts of the infrastructure supporting the success of business in the modern age.

The Romney campaign has now produced a TV ad titled "These Hands" which quotes the sentence "If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that" in isolation, making it sound as though Obama meant that if you've got a business, you didn't build that business.  Obama's words are immediately followed by a citizen (or an actor playing one) saying indignantly "My father's hands didn't build this company?  My hands didn't build this company?"  That is, the ad is not merely putting the edited quote out there and allowing the viewer to misinterpret it, though that would be bad enough.  It's flat-out saying that by "you didn't build that" Obama meant "you didn't build your business" as opposed to "you didn't build the supporting social infrastructure", which he clearly did, in fact, mean.

Remember, this is not some individual right-wing blogger or TV viewer who heard a partial quote and misconstrued it.  This is the Romney campaign, and of course the ad ends with the standard voice-over by Romney himself -- "I'm Mitt Romney and I approve this message."  There's no possibility that the campaign which produced the ad did not know what the actual quote was.  In other words, this is deliberate fraud.

I've over-belabored a simple point here for a reason -- to show that there's no ambiguity about what the ad is doing, no grey area.  I repeat, this is deliberate fraud.  Based on this, it's clear that anything coming from Mitt Romney, from his campaign, or from the Republican party should be assumed to be a deliberate, pre-meditated lie until proven otherwise.

You can see the ad here.  I notice that in 11 comments by conservative readers, not one person even mentions the fact that the ad is a blatant lie.


Blogger One Fly said...

It is all what you say and more!

That's why the other side holds a full house King/ten over our two pair 7/4.

We are not winning but losing and no one can get that.

21 July, 2012 08:35  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

Not surprising. It isn't the first time Romney's done this.

21 July, 2012 10:28  
Blogger One Fly said...

And that is the point with the video.

These people are allowed to for the most part endlessly use this tactic.

The issue is the same media who allows this does not "endlessly" call it out for what it is and many times it is a blatant lie.

The debate cannot be won at national level given such lopsided parameters.

If the dims weren't so whored out themselves and actually fought back it would be a bit different possibly.

The right is winning because they lie cheat and steal. If that don't work they'll fucking kill you.

21 July, 2012 11:07  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

SK: Can't say I'm surprised at the video. No less than Andrew Sullivan has repeatedly said that, while most politicians lie to some extent, Romney is unique in how casually and blatantly he does it.

1F: Well, some are pointing it out, among them Sullivan and TPM (to whom I linked in the post). The MSM are useless, but I find it hard to believe many people still get their news exclusively from them. And this case is so blatant that it's likely to backfire, at least with some of the more self-aware voters. The right-wing LIVs are unreachable, but elections are won among the swingable few percent in the center.

Angry cynicism which declares we can never win just leads to passivity and inertia and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

21 July, 2012 13:14  
Blogger One Fly said...

I disagree. I do believe more people than not continue to get their insights from the MSM. Of course there are other venues but they are not players.

Is that last sentence actually directed at me??

21 July, 2012 15:16  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Well, you did say "The debate cannot be won at national level".....

22 July, 2012 09:27  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

1F: Besides all the swearing and personal insults in your last two (rejected) comments, you're attributing things to me that I never remotely said. I have no idea where all this infantile frothing came from -- you sound drunk, frankly -- but you're permanently banned here. If you want to pick fights, go do it with the real enemy.

23 July, 2012 07:26  

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