Iâve written about or linked to a great deal here âchronicling Mittâs mendacityâ â to borrow Steven Benenâs phrase.
Mitt Romney says many, many things that are not true. He says this despite being in possession of the correct facts of the matter.
This is documented. Proven. Validated, verified, demonstrated, catalogued and quantified. Mitt Romney lies.
Here are 30 â 30! â of Benenâs weekly âchroniclingâ posts. These are all backed up and sourced. These are not assertions, interpretations or allegations. These are facts, actual instances.
Over the past 30 weeks, Mitt Romney has told lie after lie after lie: I, II, III, IV, V, VI,VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXI, XXII,XXIII, XXIV, XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX, XXX.
Click those links. Read the lists. List after list of lie after lie. Hundreds of them â 533, to be exact, although Benen does not make any claim to providing a comprehensive chronicle.
This is unprecedented. âWeâre not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,â Romneyâs pollster, Neil Newhouse, said.
This has produced what James Fallows calls the âpost-truthâ age â a relentlessly dishonest onslaught of brazen falsehoods with which the media and the political system are struggling to cope. What do you do when every article, every âfact-check,â every arbiter denounces a lie and corrects it, but then a politician just keeps repeating it?
Itâs remarkable to behold.
One of the weirder aspects of this for me is watching this unfold in the politically conservative culture of my evangelical world. The most partisan evangelical conservatives are also those most likely to rant against ârelativismâ and to trumpet their status as defenders of âabsolute truth.â Those same folks will dismiss this post â and all 30 of Benenâs posts above â as mere partisan attacks without ever bothering to examine the 533 factual instances of Mittâs mendacity, chronicled.
Thatâs the only cognitive defense they have, I guess. Jam fingers in ears and shout la-la-la-youâre-being-partisan!
Because, you see, the fact that Mitt Romney said something he knew to be false is apartisan fact. And the fact that he has done this at least 533 times in the past 30 weeks is also partisan.
I suppose the other approach for Romney defenders who cannot bear to face the fact of those 533 facts will be to angrily pore over all of Benenâs lists, reading each one with a lawyerly eye.
Have at it. Please. Cherry-pick. Spin. Split hairs. Hand-wave away whichever lies you wish as mere misdemeanors and not full-fledged felonies against honesty.
But how many of those charges do you think you can get dismissed? 10 percent? 20 percent? Maybe, if youâre that sort of person and you work really hard at it â if youâre willing to get even more pedantic and semantic and technical than even you are usually comfortable with â maybe you could half convince yourself that 50 percent of those lies somehow shouldnât really count against Romney.
That still leaves more than 260 lies. That still leaves Mitt Romney as a convicted liar, 260 times over. And at that point youâll have to join your friends with their fingers in their ears.
But youâll still know.