Skip to main content

When Republican and Republican-leaning respondents in a new ABC/Washington Post poll were asked, "How much do you feel you can rely on [candidate x] to say what he really believes—a great deal, a good amount, just some, or hardly at all?"—just a smidge over half agreed that Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich can be relied on. Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake chalk that up to an invention from the 2008 election cycle, "the authenticity gap."

In case you're wondering, that is known as a euphemism. One duty assigned to a euphemism is softening or obscuring meanings about someone who cannot be relied upon to say what s/he really believes. We already had a perfectly good euphemism in this case, the "credibiility gap." That one was invented 46 years ago to describe Lyndon Baines Johnson's public statements regarding what he was doing in Vietnam. Sen. William J. Fulbright, who became an outspoken critic of the escalating war in Southeast Asia, can be credited for making "credibility gap" go viral.

What are we really talking about here? These guys lie through their teeth. Do that often enough, get caught at it enough times, and at least some people on your side of the political spectrum will begin to doubt the truth of anything that comes out of your mouth. It's called trust. And nearly half the people expected to vote for the two candidates most likely to win the Republican presidential nomination don't trust them.

More respondents in the poll, two-thirds, give a higher mark to a candidate who doesn't have a chance of getting the nomination: Ron Paul. He, they say, can be relied on to say what he means. Saying what you mean clearly and consistently can, of course, get you into trouble at the ballot box. For Romney and Gingrich and way too many other politicians, risking a credibility or authenticity gap appears safer than telling the truth. Such is the state of the nation.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Tue Dec 20, 2011 at 10:52 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site