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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Truth or dare

Politicians often lie, but they are far more adept at either stretching or ignoring facts in an effort to sell their candidacy.

Mitt Romney is in a class by himself of course, veering left, right and all over the map in his effort to close the deal. The latest myth-making of his abortion position is classic Romney. So too is the denial of his own $5 trillion tax cut.

Paul Ryan should remember that denial is a river in Egypt. His walking away from his own vote against the Simpson-Bowles budget compromise -- not to mention his misrepresentation of his own Medicare proposals are classic mendacities.

But we frequently get confronted by the omissions and embellishments, which were on vivid display in the  back-to-back debates between the vice presidential and US Senate candidates.

Ryan took a swing at Barack Obama's response to the attack on the Libyan consulate in his showdown with Joe Biden last night, accusing the administration of failing to provide adequate security.

What the House Budget Committee Chairman neglected to mention was that his own party not only refused to provide the funds sought by the Obama administration for embassy security, they cut them, and blew the CIA cover story in the process, an "inconvenient truth" that Ryan overlooked.

Which brings me to the King of Embellishment, Scott Brown.

The man who met with kings and queens, wasn't simply willing to stand on the facts of his 32-year career as a National Guard lawyer, service of which he should be rightly proud.

But Brown had to take it to the next level, talking about "when he served in Afghanistan," a significant embellishment of a two-week tour in which one analyst said involved Brown being "in the rear with the gear."

The Globe's Brian McGrory takes on Sen. Tommy Flanagan for that stretch and others, noting:
He had to stretch reality, to try to put himself on the same plane as thousands of other guardsmen and women who have been called to active duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. Problem is, he’s not.
There are enough real problems requiring real solutions to make this game of truth or dare irresponsible. What we really need is a return to the old quiz show Truth or Consequences.

Because there will indeed be consequences if the lies, half-truths and embellishments that pass for GOP talking points are swallowed whole.

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