Hardly a day goes by without a new Mitt Romney lie. Despite being surrounded by media, despite every quote being saved for posterity on YouTube and in cyberspace, the Romney of tomorrow may bear little, if any, resemblance to the Romney of today. In this week’s Time Magazine, contributor, Justin Frank, M.D., weighed in on Mitt Romney’s chronic lying.
Two months ago, Gulag Bound catalogued some of Romney’s lies. That was two months ago, two months in which Romney has had multiple daily appearances and multiple opportunities to lie.
Most recently, he argued that Wisconsin’s Scott Walker’s ability to keep his job was all the proof we needed that the American people wanted fewer teachers/fire fighters/police. Then when called on it, he first denied ever saying it, and then told another lie. “That’s a very strange accusation,” Romney said, “Of course, teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen. So obviously that’s completely absurd. He’s (Obama) got a new idea, though, and that is to have another stimulus and to have the federal government send money to try and bail out cities and states. It didn’t work the first time. It certainly wouldn’t work the second time.”
Just yesterday, Romney profiled a furniture company that is being forced to close. He blames “Obamacare.” The problem with that accusation is that the Affordable Healthcare Act has not yet been implemented. That’s about two years away. In fact, the company itself debunked Romney’s lie, saying the reason for the closure was lack of demand, which happens when people like government employees are laid off.
In Dr. Frank’s Time Magazine profile, he showcased another example where the source itself exposed Romney’s lie. In another attack on “Obamacare,” Romney held up a book called The Escape Artists by Noam Scheiber of the New Republic. The candidate claimed the book said that Obama knew that Obamacare would slow down the economic recovery, but didn’t care. This, of course, is just another bald faced lie. As the author himself pointed out, the book said no such thing.
Scheiber wrote on May 21, 2012, that Romney had the wrong takeaway from the book. He quoted Romney as having said, “In this book, they point out that they said the American people will forget how long this recovery took. So that means that when they went into this knowing that when they passed Obamacare, it was going to make life harder for the American people.”
That is not what Scheiber wrote, though he did write that the Obama Administration could have done more to help create jobs by pushing for a bigger stimulus package. He never said Obama knew that he was sacrificing the economy to pursue a pet project.
Frank blames Romney’s Mormonism for his compulsive lying, a religion that Frank claims is riddled with inconsistencies.
Talk show host, Thom Hartmann disagrees. Hartmann makes the point that all religions are riddled with inconsistencies and that there is a much simpler explanation for Romney’s lying – he is a sociopath.
Here’s the video:
Obviously, Hartmann is not a psychologist, but judging from this sociopath test, that diagnosis is not difficult to make.
1) Do they have problems sustaining stable relationships, personally and in business? I’m not sure about that one, but it does seem that his school mates and neighbors have nothing nice to say about him.
2) Do they frequently manipulate others to achieve selfish goals, with no consideration of the effects on those manipulated? That, in a nutshell, is the business model of Bain Capital.
3) Are they cavalier about the truth, and capable of telling lies to your face? See any day since the GOP race began.
4) Do they have an air of self-importance, regardless of their true standing in society? Pretty much.
5) Have they no apparent sense of remorse, shame or guilt? He still hasn’t apologized for Seamus the dog.
6) Is their charm superficial, and capable of being switched on to suit immediate ends? You mean Romney the Ken Doll?
7) Are they easily bored and demand constant stimulation? You’ll have to ask Ann.
8) Are their displays of human emotion unconvincing? Yes.
9) Do they enjoy taking risks, and acting on reckless impulse? Impersonating police officers to prank motorists is pretty risky.
10) Are they quick to blame others for their mistakes? Yes.
11) As teenagers, did they resent authority, play truant and/or steal? I’m not sure.
12) Do they have no qualms about sponging off others? Well, he has no qualms about not paying his share of income taxes.
13) Are they quick to lose their temper? A quick Google search will tell you yes.
14) Are they sexually promiscuous? I don’t know.
15) Do they have a belligerent, bullying manner? Need we ask?
16) Are they unrealistic about their long-term aims? Yes.
17) Do they lack any ability to empathize with others? Who let the dogs out?
18) Would you regard them as essentially irresponsible? Yes. While he is most likely responsible when it comes to paying his personal bills, etc, he takes no responsibility for the lives he has ruined or even for the words that escape his emotionless mouth.
I would go even further than Hartmann. Yes, Romney is a sociopath, a highly functioning sociopath, but in many ways, his actions wreak more havoc than your garden variety criminal. Romney hides behind the illusion of being socially acceptable, an illusion only made possible by a tremendous amount of wealth and power. While the sociopath in prison might have ruined a handful of lives, Romney has ruined thousands.
Many CEOs and businesspeople are sociopathic, as are many politicians. However, the Republican party of the 21st century is based on a platform of sociopathic policies. Republicans of today lack all empathy. As their neighbor’s life takes a downward turn, Republicans don’t see a fellow human being needing help, they see someone who might be taking something from them.
Bullying and belligerence have become de rigueur for Republicans. They think only in the short term, preferring to destroy the country rather than allowing Obama to serve a second term. Then, when their policies (or lack of policies) do the damage, they blame Obama.
Oh, but this is true with all politicians, one might argue. One might be right, if it weren’t for the fact that empathy is built into the Democratic platform. Democrats believe in helping people first and asking how it will affect me later. Empathy is not something that can be easily faked, as demonstrated by Romney on a daily basis.
These are pictures of empathy…notice the eyes, with the attention focused solely on the babies, not on the cameras or the crowd reaction.
Now notice Mitt Romney holding babies. He holds them much further from his body. His expression is virtually the same for each baby. For Romney, holding babies seems to be an obligation; for Obama, he appears to truly enjoy it, as do the babies.
Obviously, a few photos can’t diagnose a sociopath, but the differences between the two candidates are striking. Republicans have tried (and arguably succeeded) to turn Obama’s work as a community organizer into a liability, but the fact that he dedicated a portion of his life to helping people is indicative of empathy. Obama pushes for policies, like taxes on the wealthy, that would negatively impact him, but positively impact the vast majority of Americans.
As former editor of the Harvard Law Review, Obama could have been Mitt Romney wealthy, but instead, he chose public service. Yes, he is a millionaire, but largely from the books he has written, books in which he owns up to many of the mistakes he made in his younger years, something that Romney refuses to do.
Romney and his Republican brethren want to destroy all that’s left of American safety nets. They want to destroy our ability to speak in a unified voice (unions). Romney wants to do to America what Bain did for companies, break it up and sell it to the highest bidders. In a nutshell, Mitt Romney only wants to make life better for Mitt Romney (fortunately for much of the GOP party, those policies make their lives better as well). You really can’t say the same, at least with any honesty, about President Barack Obama.