This is how a bogus political narrative gets built. For reasons that aren't obvious at a moment when policy disagreements on the central questions of taxing and entitlement spending are actually clear, the Democratic Party chose to make its core critique of the Republican National Convention the claim that, as Senator Al Franken once eloquently put it, Republicans are lying liars. Also, as the most-prolific of the fact-checking sites, PolitiFact has it, that their pants are on fire.Also, this:
The Democrats are hoping to do to Paul Ryan what Republicans so successfully did to Al Gore: To conflate stray real personal exaggerations; rhetorical simplifications; and actual policy differences into an unfair character attack. Ryan (and now Romney) is in fact far more honest than any Republican national figure in memory in his explicit plan to turn Medicare into a less-expensive voucher system and to cut health care spending for poor people deeply. That had been Democrats first, and obvious, point of attack, and is an utterly valid one. Also: Romney and Ryan want to repeal a vast program of expanded health coverage. Obama wants to implement it.
But the attack on his honesty was an Obama Campaign tactic last week, one reporters should be wary of echoing.
The convention's fixation on Obama's "you didn't build that" line, meanwhile, may have caricatured the president, a bit — but far less than Obama has flatly claimed. Obama invoked the phrase in his own battle with an Ayn Randian straw man — "people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart"— and he was making the case for a robust and respected government role in the private sector, a core of the electoral argument. To say he was taken out of context was to say his words were meant to be trivial and meaningless — that he was merely saying that his audience had not in fact constructed the road outside with their hands, an absurd interpretation.Moreover, as Mickey Kaus points out, the Fact-Checkosphere isn't exactly doing a bang-up job of sorting out fact from campaign spin, at least with regard to the welfare issue.