No one is such a liar as the indignant man.No one is more indignant than that paragon of inevitability, Mitt Romney. It's his turn, for Pete's sake! Why must he continue to subject himself to interactions with the great unwashed masses? Being forced to sit at a splintery picnic table and eat food of suspicious provenance? Having witless talking heads question his humanity? Having to pal around with terrorist Ted Nugent to prove his redneck street cred?
--Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 1885-6.
Indignant doesn't begin to scratch the surface of what passes for emotion in this cyborg. Seething, spluttering resentment is more like it. The shortness of breath, the beads of perspiration, the awkward body language, the petulant and petty school-yard taunt comments. This is clearly a man who has little patience for retail politics and process. In his world, he's accustomed to making a decision, delegating actions to others, taking credit for the results, or firing those hapless minions who screwed it up.
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Whatever the outcome, Mitt has no hesitation in lying about it and recasting it in a more positive light to advancing his reputation. To hear his accounts, he has never taken a risk that didn't pay off, never suffered a setback, never failed in any endeavor. Best of all, he did it all alone, without the help of those who came before, those who collaborated, or those who simply followed orders.
He shamelessly threw his own father and grandfather under the bus as well-intentioned but ultimately failed individuals. In his truth-challenged mind, there was no Romney legend until he emerged as someone worthy of veneration.
Some of us honor our parents and feel and express gratitude for the sacrifices they made to provide us with a good start in life. Mitt, like Athena, sprang fully formed into the world, no thanks or credit to his pitifully inadequate ancestors. We, in our unforgivable ignorance, failed to care, but by gosh, we are going to have to care now, because this insufferable narcissist is on the march to the presidency, and there's nothing that he will not do or say or lie about now that the prize is in sight.
Perhaps his penchant for reinvention of the truth parallels the practice of baptizing the dead of other faiths (or no faith at all) into the Mormon faith. After all, the dead are unlikely to speak up in protest. They're a pretty easy population to lie about. It's not as though they or their relatives can do much about this egregious act.
In the corporate world, Mitt was the CEO, and nobody would likely challenge his lies unless they were willing to lose their job over it. Thus unchecked, he could lie with impunity.
He who permits himself to tell a lie once finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.It Gets Easier. For Mitt, lying is now the baseline condition. I've known people like this. They could probably pass a polygraph test, because to them, the boundaries between lies and truth are highly permeable.
--Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr, 1795.
Sadly, we expect some lies from politicians. Promises made with no intent of follow-through. Repudiation of prior positions. Exaggerations. But we are now in truly uncharted territory with the Romney campaign. Lacking a moral compass, unabashed in his lies, and now convinced that, with Santorum out of the way, he has a clear path to the nomination and the White House, It Gets Worse. Much worse.
Convinced that he has the power to recast events to his own benefit, Mitt has been emboldened to get out of his discomfort zone, shake the Etch-a-Sketch, and double down on the efforts to pander to voters.
By negotiating for an endorsement from self-proclaimed would-be assassin, pedophile, draft dodger, and third-rate musician Ted Nugent, Mitt is essentially giving the finger to those of us who value truth and decency.
Mitt himself is not about to be tainted by issuing right-wing dog-whistle remarks, so he's outsourced that vile task to Nugent, who can be counted upon to rally the troops, literally as well as metaphorically. There are plenty of would-be troops out there, just waiting for the call to battle.
Violence does not and cannot exist by itself; it is invariably intertwined with the lie.The beauty of this arrangement, in Mitt's twisted mind, is that Ted's responsible for his own utterances. If some nut-job with a gun decides that this is the call to violent action he's been waiting for, that's not Mitt's problem. It's just some crazed lone gunman. But even if Nugent is the gasoline, Mitt's still the arsonist. He may think that he can outsource the dirty work, but you can be sure that in the privacy of his dark thoughts, he'll wish he could take the credit.
-- Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Nobel Lecture, 1972.
It's a vicious cycle for Mitt: the more he's despised by his party, the press, and the voters, the more desperate he becomes, and the more the truth becomes a casualty of his no-holds-barred campaign. Tone deaf and socially clueless, he tells us that those who purportedly hate him are simply envious of his wealth. Funny, we don't hold that against overpaid athletes, models, actors and actresses, and successful entrepreneurs.
What we hate in you, Mitt, is your utter inauthenticity. Your words mean nothing. You may be your party's nominee, but you're damaged goods.
Time will tell whether voters will hold their noses in sufficient numbers (or whether Mitt can run a viable campaign solely based on inciting hatred of President Obama). On the apocalyptic chance that he does prevail, will anyone even bother to administer the oath of office knowing that this miscreant would swear to anything in the interests of expedience?
Oaths are but words, and words but wind.
--Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part 1, 1663.