When George W. Bush was president, comic genius Harry Shearer wrote and recorded Songs of the Bushmen that included "Who Is Yoo? (He's The Torture Memo Man)" and "Turd Blossom Special" about Karl Rove. Also on the album was "935 Lies," which chronicled the number of times Bush & Friends lied about the Iraq war.
Ever since January, Steve Benen has been keeping track of Romney's lies on a weekly basis, first at Washington Monthly and then at Maddowblog. Although Benen does not keep a running count, my colleague Denis Campbell – editor of UK Progressive Magazine – added them up. As of Saturday morning, when Romney lied about what he'd said the previous day about the Blount Amendment that would allow employers to refuse coverage of contraception to women based on the personal beliefs of a boss, the candidate hit 856.
There's no word out of New Orleans as to whether Shearer plans a sequel to "935 Lies," but he could because Mitt Romney is giving Bush a run for the money. With more than two weeks remaining before the election, the Romney count is likely to soar past Dubya, hitting 1,000 untruths, fabrications, falsehoods and bald-faced lies.
Romney may be the most dishonest man ever to seek the presidency as he tries to prove anyone can be elected with enough dark money and a total disregard for the truth.
According to Benen, Romney's first lie set the tone. On Jan. 6, 2012, he cited a campaign appearance in Iowa where Romney said, “[W]hen the president went around at the beginning of his term and apologized for America around the world, it made us just heartsick.”
Benen noted, "He’s lying; the president never apologized for America. Romney knows this, but he keeps making the claim anyway."
Thanks to the debate last week Benen added 49 more complete falsehoods to Romney's record on Friday.
In between the first reported lie and the most recent, Romney has lied about everything. He lied about his tax returns and his tax plans for the middle class, Obamacare, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
He has lied about his military spending plans, Iran and Israel, the Iraq war and ending the Afghan war, student loans and Pell Grants, helping the needy, pay equity and women's issues generally including pregnancy termination.
He's lied about his budget proposals, the federal debt and deficits. Romney lied about his role in the Salt Lake City Olympics and how long he was at Bain Capital. He lied about why poor Shamus was lashed to the roof of the family car.
Worse than merely suffering a case of Romnesia, as Pres. Obama called it in a campaign appearance last week, Mitt Romney simply does not know how to tell the truth.
The nonsense Romney spouts as factual would be breathtaking if it was not so scary and he weren't running for president.
Romney said his version of Obamacare would cover people with pre-existing conditions. This is a lie. Romney's plan only covers pre-existing conditions if someone has had continuous insurance coverage. This excludes tens of millions of Americans who have had gaps in coverage. They would not be covered by Romney.
Romney said his tax schemes have been analyzed and prove his claims. This is a lie. The exact opposite is true, even the analyses written by the campaign's own so-called "experts," some of whom publicly called out Romney for distorting their conclusions.
Romney said the middle class has seen an income reduction of $4,300 during President Obama's tenure. This is a lie. Government data doesn't go beyond 2010, and doesn't show anything near that number.
Romney pledged that his tax schemes will be revenue neutral, and in February 2012 insisted that he would not take away the mortgage interest and charitable contribution deductions from the middle class. This is a lie. At the last debate, he told a questioner that his plan would provide a basket of up to $25,000 in deductions and taxpayers could use them as they want. In other words, use it for mortgage interest but if you pay more than that – say, if you have a new mortgage where almost all of your monthly payment goes for interest – then forget about deducting what you donate to a food bank, your kid's school or even your church.
The hit parade of lies seems to be a never ending story.
Punch Me, 'Tagg'
Romney's eldest son 'Tagg' made headlines last week by telling a right wing talk radio show in North Carolina that he wanted to "punch" Pres. Obama for calling his dad a liar. While ABC and USAToday used the word "joke" to describe the Romney offspring's comment, it is actually typical of how the entire family has treated anyone calls out Mitt's Mouth for its mendacity.
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell O'Donnell challenged Tagg to take a swing at him, reminding the 42-year old that O'Donnell grew up in a tough part of Boston and has thrown – and taken – a few punches in his life.
Unlike O'Donnell, I grew up in cushy neighborhoods of the midwest, and have never thrown or taken a punch in my life. But Tagg, even though you have a few years on me, if you want to start taking swings I'll be in line right behind O'Donnell.
Because, Tagg Romney, your father is a liar. Plain and simple and you need to learn to live with it. His lies have been documented, week by week. Your father wouldn't know the truth if it bit in him the ankle.
Please follow me on Twitter @SuddenlyHomeles.
When my book on family and middle class homelessness is published, I've pledged a portion of any royalties to The National Center On Family Homelessness.