Tuesday, October 23, 2012

An Open and Honest Way?

I want to focus on one specific sentence from last night’s debate. And no, it’s not the line about horses and bayonets or the one about fundraisers in Israel (though I liked both of those zingers). No, it’s one claim by Mitt Romney that completely encompasses the problem with his campaign and his candidacy. In Romney’s closing statement, immediately before asking those watching to vote for him, Romney said:

I’ll lead you in an open and honest way.

Just think about that claim for a moment. Mitt Romney says that if he’s elected President he will lead “in an open and honest way”. That’s what he said.

So I’m curious to know if that “open and honest” leadership would look anything like his campaign.

For example, remind me again how Romney plans to pay for his 20% across the board tax cuts (that are estimated to cost $5,000,000,000,000 — that’s $5 trillion). If he and his campaign were “open and honest” don’t you think they’d have told us how they’re going to pay for it? Oh, that’s right. They’re going to pay for it by closing loopholes. Um, remind me which loopholes those are? What? You can’t? Because “open and honest” Mitt Romney hasn’t told you which loopholes he’d close.

And what about that extra $2,000,000,000,000 that Romney wants to spend on the military, even though the military isn’t asking for that money? An “open and honest” campaign might have told us how that money is going to be spent. But Romney has been almost totally silent on that count. One thing I think we can guess is that the money won’t be spent on our veterans; after all, if Romney planned to help our veterans, you’d think he might have mentioned them, maybe … once?

Then there’s his plan to add 12,000,000 new jobs. Has Mr. “open and honest” explained that 12,000,000 jobs is the number that most economists (including conservative economists) believe that the economy will add under the current policies? For that matter, Mr. “open and honest” has also failed to mention that the studies he cites to support his jobs plan … don’t support his jobs plan. The authors of some of those studies have said as much, including an oil industry group.

I probably don’t really need to remind you that Mr. “open and honest” has been shall be say, “less than open” when it comes to his own finances. Just remember that he has only released two years of tax returns (unlike almost all candidates in the modern era who have released 12 years, following on the precedent set by Romney’s father). One reason that Romney gave for not releasing more tax returns: He didn’t want to be criticized. “Open and honest” Romney has also failed to explain why he would be the first President in history with Swiss bank accounts. Or Cayman Islands bank accounts. Or several other offshore bank accounts. What part of “open and honest” explains stashing your wealth in offshore tax havens and/or secret bank accounts?

The frightening thing is that the foregoing discussion is related only to the word “open”. I haven’t even touched on the issue of honesty. Yet.

As I’ve discussed extensively and repeatedly on this blog, the Romney campaign (including Vice President candidate Paul Ryan) have been anything but honest throughout this campaign. For some recent examples, please read my posts Mitt Romney Will Apparently Lie About Anything, Mitt Romney Will Apparently Lie About Anything (Again), or Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies. Or, if you’ve got the time for a deep (and I mean deep) dive into Romney’s lies, then take some time to read through Steve Benen’s posts in his series Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXI, XXII, XXIII, XXIV, XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX, XXX, XXXI, XXXII, XXXIII, XXXIV, XXXV, XXXVI, XXXVII, XXXVIII, and XXIX. Yes, you saw that correctly. As of last week Benen is up to 39 posts full of Mitt’s lies, obfuscations, distortions, tall tales, and so forth. Pick a link. Any one. You’ll see that each of these posts is replete with a multitude of mendacious statements. And you’ll see that Benen has provided facts and details (with links!) to help you see through Romney’s blizzard of dishonesty.

And why, pray tell, should we believe that Romney won’t flip-flop on his pledge to be “open and honest”; after all, he’s changed his mind (often more than once) on just about every other issue.

We are two weeks away from potentially electing a serial (if not pathological) liar to the White House. But I guess we shouldn’t worry about that because Romney promises that he’ll lead us in an “open and honest way”.

But, given his prior statements, all I can deduce is that when Mitt Romney said he would lead us in an “open and honest way” — he was lying.

Romney will apparently do or say anything to get elected; he wants to be President so badly that truth and facts, “open and honesty” are just words to be ignored and abused, just another position to be had as long as convenient, just another lie to tell.

Mitt Romney has disqualified himself from being President of the United States.

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