The Washington Post

Romney ignores facts completely

Facts are usually stubborn things, but that's less and less true in politics. There is a miasma of claims and counter-claims,  experts and counter-experts. No wonder the umpires in the media often look like the replacement refs, struggling to catch up and sort through the next pile-up. Facts in politics, more than anywhere and especially two weeks before an election, are in the eyes of many beholders. Those eyes belong to an electorate that is bitterly divided. One side sees their facts; the other theirs. 

For my part, I know all candidates manipulate facts for their own advantage. Like our system of justice, our politics is adversarial.  The candidates' job is to win and the "whole truth and nothing but" is often a casualty. But it won't surprise you that I disagree with Ed that Barack Obama's version of the truth is somehow more suspect. I think the Obama campaign engages in standard political fact-selection; highlighting those that are favorable; ignoring or shading those that are not. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, continues a Republican trend of ignoring the facts completely. As a Bush advisor once said, deriding the media's obsession with the facts, "We create our own reality."

Romney has repeatedly created a new political persona when the old one had outlived its usefulness. He has done this on abortion, climate change, and gay rights to cite three examples. And Romney has tried to create a new reality with his tax and jobs plans which are much closer to fantasy than policy.

I believe that Romney is closing his campaign strongly.  He has a lot of money, some momentum and a renewed focus on his best wedge: the economy. But his trickiness has hurt him; he has created a lot of doubt with that narrow, but decisive slice of the jury for whom facts are still stubborn. 


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