Half-truths and partisan dissembling are regular features in American politics, and neither side is blameless in the endless spin cycle. To paraphrase the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, everyone is entitled to his own opinion -- not his own facts. Democrats seem to be working harder than usual to invent and misconstrue facts for political advantage. Let's run through today's distortions and flat-out lies: (1) An Obama spokesman claimed on CNN that the campaign did not reach out to (fleeting) Democratic apostate Cory Booker to, ahem, "encourage" him to walk back his problematic comments on Sunday's Meet the Press. Except...Booker himself has said the opposite, and NBC's Chuck Todd reported that "multiple conversations" took place:
This is a relatively inconsequential dust-up, of course, but it illustrates a larger point: Team Obama is willing to insult voters' collective intelligence and lie in order to make Booker's "change of heart" seem authentic. Everyone understands what happened here. Booker spoke his mind, violating a sacrosanct campaign talking point in doing so. He was then upbraided and pressured into "clarifying" his point, and as a loyal foot soldier, he complied. To pretend otherwise isn't credible, which is why Labolt's grimacing and awkward tale is painful to watch. Verdict: Highly-parsed lie.
(2) The Democratic National Committee tweeted this whopper today:
RT @TheDemocrats: Under President Obama, government spending is at the lowest level in nearly 60 years. http://j.mp/MDK69n
Excuse me? First of all, the tendentious piece they link to argues that the rate of spending increase under Obama is the slowest its been since the 1950s, which is a separate claim from the laughable assertion Debbie Wasserman Schultz's shop tweeted out. The column fails to take into account that Obama has made permanent, and is building off of, "emergency" spending levels that he himself has supported -- both as a Senator (TARP) and as president (the stimulus). Thus any measure of his "slow" rate of growth is highly misleading, due to the historically-inflated baseline from which he started. So in context, it's a bogus statistic, but at least it's rooted in some degree of reality. What the Democrats spun this into is the howler that "government spending is at the lowest level" in many decades under this administration. Forget the fact that Obama has presided over four straight trillion-dollar-plus annual deficits. Forget that he's added more to the national debt than the first 41 presidents (and change) combined. Forget that his reckless budgets propose to pour trillions more into America's red sea. Just look at this chart, and try to reconcile it with the statement advanced by the Democrat Party this afternoon:
Verdict: Flagrant, pants-on-fire lie. Say what you will about DWS, she certainly sets the tone over at the DNC.
(3) President Obama's SuperPAC -- which still has not returned its $1 million donation from serial misogynist and Mormon-baiter Bill Maher -- is up with a new ad slamming Mitt Romney's wicked doings at Bain Capital:
The company this woman worked for, Ampad, went under in January 2000 -- almost a year after Mitt Romney left Bain Capital to save the Winter Olympics. Yes, Romney was there when the initial investment occurred, but he was far less involved in the firm's management of Ampad than someone else who curiously escaped scrutiny in the ad (via ABC News):
Here’s what the Obama Web video doesn’t mention: A top Obama donor and fundraiser had a much more direct tie to the controversy and actually served on the board of directors at Richardson, Texas-based Ampad, which makes office paper products. Jonathan Lavine is a long-time Bain Capital executive and co-owner of the Boston Celtics. He is also one of President Obama’s most prolific fundraisers. He has already raised more than $200,000 for the Obama campaign this election, according to Federal Election Commission records. Lavine started working for Bain in 1993. He was one of three Bain executives who served on the board of directors of Ampad for several years, a post he held until 1999. Here’s a news release announcing his departure from the company in April 1999. Lavine’s placement on the board of Ampad suggests he had a more direct role than Romney in the series of events surrounding the layoffs, labor disputes and eventual bankruptcy of the Marion, Ind., factory featured in the Obama campaign video.
Well, well, well. What tangled webs they weave. In this case, the Obama backers' sin is one of omission -- harping on Bain's relatively few instances of failure, while refusing to acknowledge their own ally's outsized role in this highlighted incident. Overall, Bain Capital's record was exemplary. Don't ask me, or Cory Booker, or Steve Rattner, or Harold Ford Jr...ask Democrat Senator Mark Warner:
Boy, this Bain stuff is really unraveling, huh? No matter. They've got to keep plucking this chicken; The One has pronounced it a central issue of the campaign. Verdict: Intentionally incomplete dishonesty.
Warren's claim to be "part Indian" is correct in mythical terms. Every old-school white Oklahoman is in this regard even if this in nominally not true. But it is not a lie to want to be Indian and to imagine your ancestors were. It is to be free of Europeanism... I hope Elizabeth Warren doesn't back down on this, because wanting to be Indian, like Hawkeye, makes us in a deeper sense fully American.
What about confusing that very special desire with the truth, and exploiting it for professional advantage? Is that "mythically" correct, as well? Verdict: Ha!