I'm Mitt Romney, and I knowingly approved these deliberate lies
This has been a good week for blatant lies from the American right wing. And this time I'm not talking about the white supremacist nutters I normally laugh at. I'm talking about Mitt Romney, the man who imagines he;s fit to become President. Let's have a look at the two best ones.
First up, we have his campaign's lies about President Obama's "attempt to restrict voting rights for military veterans in Ohio". Which would be a bad thing, if only there were the smallest shred of truth in it. Ohio had early voting provisions for all its citizens, until in 2005 the (Republican) state legislature restricted those rights to apply to military veterans only. The President has filed a lawsuit to reverse that change, i.e. to restore the early voting rights of all Ohioans. No change whatsoever is planned or requested to the voting right of military veterans.
Now we have a new attack ad, claiming that President Obama plans to remove the work or training requirement from "welfare to Work" provisions. In fact, Republican state governors asked the President if they could have some flexibility in interpreting the existing law, and the President agreed. Mitt Romney asked for exactly the same flexibility (which George Bush didn't give him) when he was a state governor. The work requirement has not been dropped: the federal law has not been changed. States have been allowed to make more decisions for themselves about exactly what constitutes work or training. But according to the Romney campaign, "Under Obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check.... and welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare."
Once again, this isn't exaggeration. It isn't wilful misinterpretation of language. It isn't the manufacture of ambiguity like the "birther" business. It's not a question of Romney's ignorance, like Jerusalem being the "capital" of Israel. It's straight down the line lying, and Romney clearly believes that the American public is stupid enough to fall for it.
This November election will show conclusively whether the American electorate is stupid or smart; whether most U.S. voters are mindless consumers of propaganda from Fox News and the like, or are capable of thoughtful consideration; whether, in short, the American electorate is mature enough to be trusted with democracy. Because if it votes for Romney, democracy's days are surely numbered in America.