Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kathleen Parker Does a Little Dance

After asking a rhetorical question she answered four years ago,
Question: "How do you win an election when you are trying to distance yourself from... yourself?"

(Answer: Race baiting.)
Kathleen Parker does everything she can to avoid applying the dreaded "l" word to the false rhetoric of her party of choice:
Ryan has been called out on some of his statements that were not-quite-true, or at least not complete. These were simple, factual misrepresentations that could be easily checked — and were — or that were well known to those who know a little about recent history.
Okay, let's accept Parker's dance around the facts and shuffle around the vernacular and call them "statements that were not-quite-true" instead of "lies". If the "statements that were not-quite-true" were as transparent as Parker suggests, why did Ryan build his case against President Obama from a stack of them? Parker believes that even what she sees as Ryan's lesser "statements that were not-quite-true", his "statements that were not-quite-true" by omission about, for example, his vote against the Simpson-Bowles commission report or his own advocacy for cuts to Medicare, are harmful to the ticket.
Why not acknowledge this? Everyone knows it — unless Ryan believes that his audience isn’t really up to speed — so why not set the record straight?
It's fair to say that, according to the polls driving the Romney-Ryan rhetoric, many people do not know the facts and thus are persuaded by the falsehoods. Parker knows that - I suspect her actual concern is that the "statements that were not-quite-true" won't hold and thus make a very poor foundation for the last few months of the Romney-Ryan campaign.

Parker then channels David Brooks, lecturing us about Mitt Romney's immeasurable superiority to the rest of us:
He is a man of immaculate faith. He is a wildly successful businessman whose company outsourced jobs, as most did, not to rob Americans but to provide profits to investors and to keep prices down for U.S. consumers who, despite their moaning, still want the cheap jeans.
You see? If anybody lost a job due to Bain's actions it was your fault, because you like "the cheap jeans".
How many Americans know that Romney gave away his inheritance? Or that he has worked several jobs, including the governorship of Massachusetts, for no pay? Or that he has given to and made millions for charities? These are all on his personal résumé, but he doesn’t want you to know. Because?

It would be bragging, and men like Romney don’t brag.
I've previously addressed this, and Parker simply reinforces my point. Romney doesn't brag about his personal record because he would be called on his exaggeration. He brags by proxy about his personal life, and Kathleen Parker is his willing (if not eager) proxy. ("No pay"? Romney reportedly spent more than $50 million trying to defeat Ted Kennedy in his 1994 Senate race. Giving up a few hundred thousand in gubernatorial pay on his continuing quest for the White House is, comparatively speaking, pocket change.)

It's also fair to observe that Parker's thesis is false, at least in relation to Bain, the Olympics, his signature accomplishment as governor of Massachusetts (before RomneyCare became a liability).... Who hasn't heard of his brag that he created 100,000 jobs, mostly in his sleep following his retroactive retirement from Bain? And we're back to why Romney's better served when he brags by proxy - he can distance himself from the exaggeration and hyperbole, and doesn't have to risk being hit with follow-up questions.

If Romney wants to do something impressive, something that would give meaning to Parker's assertion that,
There’s no dishonor in giving or accepting credit (or blame) where due, but you can’t win voter confidence if you lack it in your own record.
He would stop lying. He would instruct Paul Ryan to stop lying. He would apologize for lying. And then he would run an honorable campaign. Pointing to his past charitable donations is not sufficient to overcome his present, deliberately dishonest campaign. If indeed Romney is the great person Parker would have us believe (not the more cynical liar in the name of self-advancement category into which Marc Thiessen seemingly places all politicians and which he seemingly believes excuses all "statements that are not-quite-true"), the best way to sell this notion of his greatness is not to tell us about past charitable contributions. It's to be something more than a man who will say absolutely anything to get elected - something more than the man we see before us.

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