In a speech late yesterday, Mitt Romney accused President Obama of trying to use government to “create equal outcomes.” Romney argued that Obama wants to create an “entitlement society,” in which “everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort, and willingness to take risk.” He made a concerted case that under Obama’s ideal vision, everyone will “get the same rewards.”
This is a Big Lie — it has nothing whatsoever to do with anything Obama has ever said, proposed or accomplished. And many liberal writers have noted today that this is Glenn Beck-level craziness, suggesting that Romney is willing to say and do anything to win.
That’s true, but another thing it’s also important to understand about Romney’s falsehoods is that they all serve a larger story that he and his advisers have been deliberately developing over time. When you look at all the Big Lies Romney has told in recent months, you’ll see a common thread running through them all.
They’re all about conveying a sense that you should find Obama’s intentions towards America vaguely suspect; that Obama harbors a deep seated indifference or even hostility towards the fundamentals that make America what it is; and that Obama is in some basic way undermining the foundation of American life as we know it. Let’s go through them all:
* The claim above that Obama wants a society in which everyone gets the “same rewards” is obviously designed to suggest that Obama doesn’t believe in American competitiveness and ingenuity.
* In that same spirit, Romney claimed the other day that the Obama/Dem criticism of his Bain years shows that Obama intends to “put free enterprise on trial” during the general election.
* Romney’s frequent falsehood that Obama “apologized for America” is about suggesting that Obama is apologetic about America’s relative advantages over other countries; that on some basic level, he doesn’t wish the country well.
* Indeed, Romney’s book, which he has frequently described as a kind of foundation of his presidential run, is called “No Apology: The case for American Greatness,” as if Obama is apologizing for American greatness.
* Romney recently accused Obama of pursuing policies that he “knows” are bad for the country.
* Romney recently claimed that he doesn’t believe Obama “understands America.”
* The speech Romney gave when he announced his presidential run traded heavily on these themes: He claimed that we are “inches away from ceasing to be a free market economy,” adding: “We look at our country, and we know in our hearts that things aren’t right.”
* As far back as 2010 Romney revealed he would campaign on the idea that Obama “has not understood the nature of America,” and on the idea that Obama does not share American “values” such as “love of liberty, of freedom, of opportunity.”
And so on. At this point, the pattern here is obvious, and it’s clearly not an accident. And Romney and his team will remain secure in the knowledge that most of the media will politely look the other way as the Big Lies keep flowing, and will continue to treat them as just part of the game.