“Papa Doug’s” UT San Diego Editorial Board pens a fantastical version of existence with no connection to the world we live in.“Papa” Doug Manchester – owner of the U-T San Diego.
In politics, just like in life, we have choices to make. Some of us choose to make those choices based on the facts as they exist, some of us make choices based on the facts as we wish them to be. For the better part of three decades now, the Republican Party has based their decision making process on the latter.
From their near maniacal belief in supply side economics (or “trickle down” economics, or my favorite “voodoo economics” as then candidate George H. W. Bush called it) to their insistence that they’re party represents a “higher morality,” there seems to be little connection with the reality the rest of us live in.
Last weekend San Diego’s esteemed daily fishwrap ran an editorial entitled “Romney in a Landslide.” It reads more like a religious proclamation than a bold prediction; a fantasy conjured up in the halls of the Mission Valley fortress newly rededicated to Republican virtue.
“The U-T believes there will be a landslide win for Romney, largely due to the failure of the Obama economic policies and repudiation of his attempt to move the country toward European socialism,” the missive reads. They go on to inform us that “then, last week, the tea party rose up in Texas and seized the state and its Senate race. Texas not only said Republican, it said tea party Republican. And finally, also last week, Chick-fil-A had thousands of Americans provide its biggest sales day in history. Through it, the lines said, Americans want their country back.”
All this in support of a candidate that even the Republican voters can’t stand. Republican primary voters largely held their noses while they pulled the proverbial lever in choosing Mitt Romney as their presidential nominee. All this for a candidate that has based his entire campaign on hiding who he is and what he stands for; a candidate who would like us all to forget that he served as Governor of Massachusetts for four very forgettable years, and indeed decided not to run for a second term because as even the ultra-right wing blog RedState.com acknowledges, “he would have lost. And not just lost by a little. He would have been creamed.” So he never even mentions his time as governor. It never happened.
Let’s look at the facts: Mitt Romney has promised, pinky swear and all, that his plan to lower taxes on everybody; that he will do so in a way that’s “revenue neutral,” meaning that he won’t have to raise taxes on anybody, and that he won’t increase the national debt in doing so. He also promises, pinky swear and all, that in doing so he will also bring down the budget deficit that Republicans have been crying in their beer about for the last three years (more on that in a minute). But in the fact based world, Mitt’s assertions were deemed “mathematically impossible.” The non-partisan Tax Policy Center released a report last week that revealed that Romney’s plan would indeed cut taxes…..on the ultra rich. But according to the TPC, Romney’s plan would ultimately result in tax hike on middle income families earning less than $200,000 per year of over $2,000 per year.
In compiling their report, the TPC made assumptions that were as favorable as possible to the Romney campaign, since Team Mittens refused to provide any detail whatsoever as to what specific loopholes would be closed and how revenue would be maintained. The Romney campaign’s response to the report? “This is just another biased study by a former Obama Staffer that ignores critical parts of Governor Romney’s tax reform program,” and calling the TPC, a joint venture of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, a “liberal” group. The only problem is that the Romney campaign referred to a report on Rick Perry’s tax plan during the Republican primary as an “objective, third party analysis.”
The UT San Diego’s delusional complaints continue: “Obama’s European socialism and his high taxes, high unemployment, high gasoline prices and huge debt are being rejected at each turn. Americans are mad as hell and they are not going to take it anymore!” This is what the paranoid ramblings of the politics of fear looks like. What they’ve done here is employ a technique commonly referred to as “lying.”
Marginal tax rates are at their lowest in over half a century. “Historic low” was the descriptor of the conservative Orange County Register. And faulting Obama for high gasoline prices is ludicrous on its face. Just four years ago even Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly took to the airwaves to defend that ‘W’ guy when gas prices reached a national average of $4.25 per gallon. “The next time you hear a politician say that he or she will bring down oil prices, understand it’s complete BS,” he admonished his audience.
Domestic oil production is at its highest level since 2003, and as of 2011 the United States was importing less than half of the oil needed for consumption. That’s higher production and lower foreign imports (including from the Persian Gulf), and it didn’t happen under Republican George W. Bush: It has happened under Democrat Barack Obama. These are what we call “facts,” and they are indisputable.
The desperation of Papa Doug and his UT is showing. And the picture ain’t pretty. They’re begging on behalf of a candidate whose most effective line of attack on President Obama has been to deliberately and unabashedly lie about his policies and what he’s said on the campaign trail.
There was the Mitt Romney ad that had Obama’s voice saying “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” Only that’s not what he said. The quote was edited to give the impression that he said it about his own campaign. Unfortunately for Team Mittens, we have this thing called “Google” now that can dredge up the actual quote in its entirety, context and all. Romney and his minions did that “lying” thing again, and not for the last time. The quote was taken from a 2008 campaign speech where Obama was directly quoting a close aide of John McCain who said “if we keep talking about the economy we’re going to lose.” And lose John McCain did. In a landslide.
Then there was the “you didn’t build that” quote that Team Mittens insists to this day was Obama disparaging business owners. The “that” that Obama was referring to was the roads, bridges, and other necessary infrastructure that allows private businesses to operate in the first place. Setting that aside for the moment, Romney’s apparent claim is that business owners thrive without any help from the government whatsoever. He then trots out supporter after supporter after supporter whose businesses have succeeded largely because of government contracts and loans. More of that “lying” again.
There’s Mitt Romney taking credit for the bailout of the U.S. auto industry and its resurgence. Only that’s the exact opposite of true. It was Mitt Romney who in 2008 himself penned an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” If it were up to Mittens, the auto industry would be dead. Speaking of the auto industry, Romney is up with an ad in Ohio claiming that Obama administration policies are responsible for that state losing auto industry jobs. Again, the opposite of the truth since the auto bailout, according to the Obama campaign saved 2,200 jobs in Ohio alone. It is also commonly cited that one out of every eight jobs in Ohio is tied to the auto industry. No auto industry and Ohio is completely devastated.
Making matters worse for Romney—and despite his protestations to the contrary—the economy in Ohio isn’t doing too badly. The state created the fifth most jobs in the country in 2011, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Ohio had a June, 2012 unemployment rate of 7.2%, well below the national average. Much of that is due to the resurgence of the auto industry.
And, inconveniently enough for the UT editorial board, there’s an awful lot of polling data out there that suggests that Mitt Romney just isn’t making much headway with the voters. Romney is behind in just about every major swing state. The latest polls have Obama ahead in Ohio 50%-44%; ahead in Florida 51%-45%; and ahead in Pennsylvania 53%-42%. Romney cannot win the presidency if he cannot win those states. There are just far too many electoral votes at stake there. There’s still plenty of time, but I have a hard time believing that Romney is going to be able to make any kind of significant breakthrough in the next two months if he hasn’t done so already, particularly given the strength of the economy. Romney simply doesn’t have a message to peddle, other than “We hate Barack Obama.” And that won’t be enough.
There’s the hypocrisy of the lies about “Obamacare” coming from the guy who created “Romneycare,” the Massachusetts healthcare law named after the governor who instituted it that “Obamacare” is built around; a law which has led to 98% of Massachusetts residents having health insurance. It’s a program that polls exceptionally well in the state of its birth, and has lead to exactly none of the catastrophes predicted by Republicans at the time. The lies that “Obamacare” will “explode the deficit” (it won’t) and how it cuts Medicare (it doesn’t, but Mitt Romney’s current plan does).
This is what Doug Manchester and the UT have been reduced to: Selling their souls for a candidate whose only means to win an election is to lie his way through it. So what does that tell us about Manchester and his sillier-by-the-day fishwrap?
By the way, if you want to find out more about the oh-so-many-ways that Mitt and his Mittbots lie their way through the campaign, Steve Benen of “Maddowblog” has compiled a weekly series called “Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity” that is 28 weeks strong now. He compiles the lies so that you don’t have to. And boy are there a lot of them. Is this really the guy we want as our next president?