Guy Benson

So-called media "fact-checkers" have been in conservatives' crosshairs recently, largely thanks to their tendentious analyses that often tilt the "truth" scales in Democrats' favor.  The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler is uneven and unpredictable, but has taken a hard turn to the left as the election draws closer.  Politifact is hopeless -- it's run by Democrats for Democrats with the occasional cookie for Republicans to maintain a false veneer of objectivity.  The gold standard in the truth-seeking industry is the non-partisan FactCheck.org, which occasionally irks both sides, but generally does a solid job.  This morning they published an epic piece setting the record straight on numerous, high-profile pieces of "Democratic disinformation" spouted from the podium on Tuesday evening.  Here's their executive summary of the Dems' deceit:
 

  • The keynote speaker and others claimed the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, would raise taxes on the “middle class.” He has promised he won’t. Democrats base their claim on a study that doesn’t necessarily lead to that conclusion.
     
  • The keynote speaker, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, also said there have been 4.5 million “new jobs” under Obama. The fact is the economy has regained only 4 million of the 4.3 million jobs lost since Obama took office.
     
  • Castro also insisted Romney and Ryan would “gut” Pell Grants for lower-income college students. Actually, the Ryan budget calls only for “limiting the growth” of spending for the program, and Ryan has said the maximum grant of $5,550 would not be decreased.
     
  • A Democratic governor said Romney “left his state 47th out of 50 in job growth.” Actually, Massachusetts went from 50th in job creation during Romney’s first year to 28th in his final year.
     
  • Two advocates of equal-pay legislation said women make 77 cents for every dollar men earn. That’s true on average, but the gap for women doing the same work as men is much less, and not entirely or even mostly the result of job discrimination.
  • A union president accused Romney of seeking “a government bailout” for “his company.” Not really. In fact, Romney negotiated a favorable but routine settlement with bank regulators on behalf of a former company, the one he had left to form his own Bain Capital firm. No taxpayer funds were involved.
     
  • Multiple speakers repeated a claim that the Ryan/Romney Medicare plan would cost seniors $6,400 a year. That’s a figure that applied to Ryan’s 2011 budget plan, but his current proposal (the one Romney embraces) is far more generous. The Congressional Budget Office says it “may” lead to higher costs for beneficiaries, but it can’t estimate how much.
     
  • Rep. James Clyburn engaged in partisan myth-making when he said “Democrats created Social Security” while Republicans “cursed the darkness.” History records strong bipartisan support in both House and Senate for the measure President Roosevelt signed in 1935.


Click through for their full report, which entails a great deal of documentation.  In short, Democrats distorted, dissembled, misled and lied about Medicare, pay equality, middle class tax increases, Mitt Romney's governorship and Barack Obama's job creation record.  This analysis only focused on major assertions made from the stage, and therefore missed outrageous whoppers like Debbie Wasserman Schultz's shameful series of outright, verifiable lies about Israel and the Washington Examiner.  (Pro tip: If you're going to lie about what you said, you'd better make sure no one is recording you).  Why are Democrats so busy painting an inaccurate picture of Republicans' policy proposals?  It's an act of political misdirection.  Focus on the lies, America; pay no attention to the president's astonishing lack of a second-term agenda.  National Journal reports:
 

The easiest way to trip up a Democrat in Charlotte for the national convention is to ask him to answer this question: What is Obama’s vision for a second term? The placeholder answer, of course, is “creating an economy built to last.” But this talking point has, even to Democrats, begun to wear thin. It’s often repeated, but lacks definition. “Nobody really knows what that means,” said Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist who handled Jerry Brown’s gubernatorial campaign in 2010. So even though Obama’s reelection slogan is “Forward,” there’s not much talk—at least not yet—of what the country would move forward toward, or of the specific policies that Obama would enact to propel the nation up and out of the current low-wattage economic recovery. Would it include comprehensive immigration reform? Would it include tax reform? Would it include changes to Medicare and Medicaid beyond those in the 2010 health care law? Would it include any effort to limit greenhouse-gas emissions? Would it include any sustained effort to reduce poverty among African-Americans?

Reelection campaigns are typically defined by the incumbent’s policy achievements and what they tell voters about what is to come. Obama has spent precious little time extolling his accomplishments in that area, with the exception of laws requiring new and widespread financial regulations and ensuring pay equity for women. His signature overhaul of health care remains largely unmentioned. For a full day on national television, Obama advisers were bedeviled by the question, “Are people better off than they were four years ago?” On Monday, the campaign declared “yes,” people were better off, but knew it still had some explaining to do.  With such difficulty dealing with reelection basics—what you have done and are people better off—it might be assumed that Obama’s team would by now have fortified the “forward” part of its message. Forward in pursuit of what?


Forward!  To something!  (With a heavy dose of "flexibility").  Super.


Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography