There’s a lot of dishonesty inherent in politics, sorry truth be told. It’s always there and especially in campaign season, every campaign season. But this time, distortions and twists of fact have ramped up to lying and accusing of lying.
Even while the first presidential debate was still underway and President Obama was clearly losing, his team got busy deciding how to recover. From the New York Times:
On the conference call convened by aides in Denver and Chicago even as the candidates were still on stage, there was no debate in the Obama campaign about the debate. None of the advisers fooled themselves into thinking it was anything but a disaster. Instead, they scrambled for ways to recover. They resolved to go after Mr. Romney with a post-debate assault on his truthfulness. Ad makers were ordered to work all night to produce an attack ad.
Then the vice-presidential debate aired and there was Vice President Biden boldly stating something that was demonstrably untrue.
With regard to the assault on the Catholic church, let me make it absolutely clear, no religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy Hospital, any hospital, none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact.
That is a fact.
No it isn’t. And it took the US bishops no time in issuing a correction.
Then the second presidential election, and President Obama’s insistence that he called the Benghazi a terrorist attack the day after the attack. Though he had not called it a terrorist attack. But got away with the claim anyway.
He also claimed that Planned Parenthood does mammograms, which was the second time during that debate that I talked back to the television. ‘No, they don’t.’ Even they admit that.
And then there was the third and final debate. CBS headlines that ‘Obama’s Rhetoric Shifts from Hope to Snark.’
If you’re President Obama, you know you pushed the sarcasm envelope at Monday night’s debate when even Rachel Maddow describes the way you spoke to Mitt Romney as being in “very, very overtly patronizing terms.”
Maddow probably meant it as a compliment, but there have been plenty of other observers who were critical of the president’s use of Seinfeldian set-ups and snarky punch lines to score points about military spending and the state of U.S.-Russia relations.
Time’s Mark Halperin described the president’s style as “belittling.” Mike Allen at Politico called it “snide derision.”
NRO’s Stanley Kurtz posted this on the president’s angry challenge to prove he’s ever undertaken an ‘apology tour.’ The key to the piece is in the second graf on the “handy list” link. Check it out.
And even comedian David Letterman expressed chagrin over the president’s performance.
Noel Sheppard picks up David Letterman’s belated realization that Barack Obama — one of his favorite guests — has misrepresented Mitt Romney’s position on GM and the auto bailout for months.
Letterman tells MSNBCs Rachel Maddow that he finds it disappointing when a challenger proves to be more honest than an incumbent President:
DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: Here’s what upset me last night, this playing fast and loose with facts. And the President Obama cites the op-ed piece that Romney wrote about Detroit, “Let them go bankrupt, let them go bankrupt,” and last night he brings it up again. “Oh, no, Governor, you said let them go bankrupt, blah blah blah, let them go bankrupt.” And Mitt said, “No, no, check the thing, check the thing, check the thing.”
Now, I don’t care whether you’re Republican or Democrat, you want your president to be telling the truth; you want the contender to be lying. And so what we found out today or soon thereafter that, in fact, the President Obama was not telling the truth about what was excerpted from that op-ed piece. I felt discouraged.
RACHEL MADDOW: Because the “Let Detroit go bankrupt” headline you feel like was inappropriate?
LETTERMAN: Well, the fact the President is invoking it and swearing that he was right and that Romney was wrong and I thought, well, he’s the president of course he’s right. Well, it turned out no, he was taking liberties with that.
Then, though Gov. Mitt Romney held back on the Libya questions of what the administration knew and when they knew it, some media didn’t. Like this Reuters revelation.
Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.
The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.
The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.
Exceot for some key members of the intelligence community.
If the scoop from Reuters last night surprised Americans with the knowledge that the intel community knew that the Benghazi attack was not a spontaneous demonstration that spun out of control, no one was more surprised than Senate Intelligence Committee vice chair Saxby Chambliss. His committee has been requesting those e-mails for weeks, and Chambliss to Fox and Friends that the information in them shows why they demanded them in the first place.
“At the very least,” Brian Kilmeade asks, “this shows a massive disconnect [between the intel community and the administration], doesn’t it?” “No question,” Chambliss answers, but he’s more concerned about how the White House handled the issue. “We got pushback, both from the White House and the intelligence community, early on. We couldn’t figure it out. I mean, that was really strange — because they never do that.” Chambliss now wants hearings in the Senate to pursue why these e-mails, and perhaps other intel, have been held back from Congress:
This points to a few possible conclusions. Either the White House and the intel community kept Congress out of the loop because they didn’t want to admit that terrorists had successfully attacked an American diplomatic mission for the first time in fourteen years, or because they didn’t know themselves what the data meant. Neither is particularly commendatory, although the latter looks a lot less dishonest. Nevertheless, despite having this detailed description of the attack and the fairly credible claim of credit for the attack from a leading terrorist network in the immediate area within two hours of the start of the attack, the White House chose to repeatedly claim that they had “no evidence” that the sacking was a planned terrorist attack for most of the next two weeks. That looks a lot more dishonest with every revelation that comes out in this issue.
And more are unraveling every day.