Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 8, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 16



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 8, 2012 


HOWARD Hays As I See It

“There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity.” - “Big Daddy” in Tennessee 

Webster’s defines “mendacious” as “given to or characterized by deception or falsehood 
or divergence from absolute truth”, but it’s more than that. “Mendacity” is not 
tossing out an occasional fib and feeling somewhat queasy about it; but rather deceit 
as calculated and routine, with no guilt attached.

This Romney-Ryan campaign seems different not because of twisted truth and outright 
falsehood; it’s because after definitive debunking by PolitiFact, the Washington 
Post’s Fact Checker and most every mainstream outlet, there are no excuses of misspeaking 
or misinterpretation, but instead unapologetic repetition.

“Paul Ryan Bets on the Ignorance of America”, wrote Dan Amira for New York Magazine following 
the Wisconsin congressman’s speech in Tampa; “Most of the millions of people who watched the 
speech on television tonight do not read fact-checks . . . and will never know how much Ryan’s case 
against Obama relied on lies and deception.”

Ryan blamed President Obama for “a downgraded America”, though Standard and Poor’s cited Republicans’ 
determination to let the country default rather than consider a tax increase as the reason 
for the credit downgrade.

Ryan accused Obama of having amassed “more debt than any other president before him”. The debt 
was $10.6 trillion when Obama took office. It’s now up to $16 trillion, largely due to Republicans’ 
refusal to touch the Bush tax cuts and inclusion of expenses, such as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, 
deliberately kept off-budget under President Bush.

Ryan characterizes Obama’s stimulus money as “wasted”. As Michael Grunwald writes in Time, the 
last quarter of 2008 saw a 9% crash in the U.S. economy. 800,000 jobs were lost in January as Obama 
took office. Passage of the stimulus brought the biggest jobs turnaround in thirty years for the following 
quarter, and the biggest middle-class tax cut since Reagan. 2.5 million jobs were created or 
saved, with 2-4% added to the GDP.

(Ryan sought stimulus funds for his own district, denied he did, then conceded he had – maintaining 
he wasn’t paying attention.)

Ryan (again) blamed President Obama for the closure of the GM plant in Janesville, WI, though the 
factory closed in 2008 – under President Bush.

Ryan charged Obama with “raiding” Medicare, though the cost savings were the same under Ryan’s 
own plan. With the Affordable Care Act, savings go towards insuring more Americans. Under Ryan, 
they’d go towards funding tax cuts for millionaires. Benefits enjoyed by seniors under the Affordable 
Care Act, such as free preventive care and better prescription drug coverage, would be eliminated 
under Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity”.

Ryan attacked Obama for doing “exactly nothing” in response to the Simpson-Bowles debt commission. 
That effort was killed by Republicans who refused to accept the recommendation that revenue 
increases be combined with spending cuts. Opposition was led by commission member Rep. Paul 

Citing falsehoods on the GM plant closure and Simpson-Bowles, Matthew Dowd said on ABC This 
Week, “At some point, the truth should matter.” Dowd was chief strategist on the 2004 presidential 
campaign – for President Bush.

In Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech, it’s harder to cite specific falsehoods, since there were few specifics. 
Romney claimed to “have a plan to create 12 million new jobs.” Moody’s Analytics also predicts 
12 million new jobs by 2016 – regardless of who’s elected.

There’s the matter of perception, as when Romney promises, “Unlike President Obama, I will not raise 
taxes on the middle class.” Obama has proposed raising taxes on annual incomes above $250,000, an 
income Romney might perceive as barely squeaking by.

The Washington Post noted Romney’s claim that in traveling overseas after taking office, “President 
Obama began with an apology tour”. The Post explained, “. . . in a lengthy column last year, we 
tracked down every statement Obama uttered that partisans claim was an apology, and concluded 
that each one had been misquoted or taken out of context . . . Despite earning Four Pinocchios for 
this claim for months, Romney keeps saying it.”

In the midst of mendacity, there is truth to be gleaned, as from their question, “Are you better off than 
you were four years ago?”

(According to Labor Dept. figures, in the year leading up to July 2008 the country suffered a net loss 
of 609,000 jobs; the year leading up to July 2012 saw a net gain of 1.8 million jobs. According to the 
Federal Reserve, the year leading up to March 2008 saw household wealth fall by $5.8 trillion; leading 
up to March 2012 it grew by $610 million. The year prior to March 2008 saw nonfinancial corporate 
profits fall by $177 billion; prior to March 2012 they grew by $186 billion.)

A truth is revealed by their framing the question in terms of “you”, rather than asking us whether our 
country is better off. They insist seniors shouldn’t object to their plan to voucher-ize Medicare, since 
it won’t affect anyone 55 or over. Again, it’s revealing how it doesn’t occur to them seniors might be 
concerned for the future of their children and grandchildren.

In his keynote address to the Democratic Convention, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro offered a 
metaphor to illustrate this revealing, distinguishing interpretation of the American experience by 
describing not a marathon to see who comes in first, but a relay race – where we give it our all, then 
hand the baton over to the next generation.

Speaking of marathons – Rep. Paul Ryan claimed in a recent interview he’d run one in less than three 
hours. When called on it by Runner’s World, he later admitted the actual time was a little over four 

As I see it, this mis-recollection in itself may not rise to the level of “mendacity”. But in the context of 
a campaign marked by utter disrespect for the truth, it still carries an odor. 

 Bill Clinton summarized the entire convention 
and campaign strategy in his short exhortation 
to the Democratic faithful: If you want to 
have a “shared opportunity society, a shared 
responsibility society”, then vote for Barak 
Obama, but if you want to have a “winner take 
all, you’re on your own, society”, then vote for 
Mitt Romney. There’s no denying that this is an 
appealing proposition. It certainly plays to the 
faithful who accept it as scripture, and it may 
persuade some of those critical independents 
to vote for Obama again, but win or lose it will 
go down as one of the most craven and deceitful 
political speeches in our history.

 We’ve heard this argument before, although 
rarely is it stated with the stirring rhetorical flare 
that Clinton uses. In the course of this campaign, 
conservatives have been called, bigoted, racist, 
homophobic, xenophobic, sexist and intolerant, 
and Mitt Romney specifically has been called a 
felon, tax evader and murderer. Who wants to 
vote for a party or a man like that? The answer 
is, nobody, but those portrayals are lies. Barak 
Obama put it best in his 2008 acceptance speech. 
He said, “If you don’t have a record to run on, 
then you paint your opponent as someone people 
should run from”.

 I would ask each reader to consider from the 
depths of their heart whether they really know a 
single serious conservative thinker or politician 
who is as hate-filled and ugly as the lies above 
claim. Putting aside the insignificant crackpots – 
both parties have them – can you name a single 
conservative leader or speaker who fits this 

 Are conservatives racist or bigoted because 
they believe that racial preferences shouldn’t be 
used in hiring, that we should truly be a color-
blind society? Are they homophobic because 
they believe, as have all major religions for the 
last 2,000 years, that marriage is ordained by 
God between one man and one woman? Are 
they xenophobic because they believe we should 
control our borders, enforce our immigration 
laws and require proof of citizenship before 
someone votes? Are they sexist because they 
believe that we shouldn’t be forced to pay for 
someone else’s birth control pills? Are they 
intolerant because they believe that a fetus might 
actually be a human being entitled to at least the 
same rights to life as the woman carrying the 
child? You may disagree with how we should 
address the problems which beset this nation, 
but can you really in good conscience simply call 
us evil and hateful? If you can, then perhaps you 
should revisit your definition of intolerance.

 One of the great ironies of Clinton’s speech 
was his statement that, while disagreeing with 
Republicans on policy issues, he had never hated 
them. Recall if you will that this was the man 
who told his staff, “you have to understand, Bob 
Dole is evil, what he wants is evil”. Bob Dole 
was a decorated war hero with a reputation for 
consensus building as the Senate majority leader. 
Or recall that Democratic Congressman, John 
Lewis, called Republicans “Nazis”, as did the 
current head of the South Carolina Democratic 

 But let’s not just marvel at the stupidity of 
the Democratic slurs, let’s consider which party’s 
philosophy is more charitable, provides more 
opportunity and is more inclusive. Study after 
study has confirmed that conservatives are more 
charitable than liberals. From hard cash donated 
to time willingly invested in needy causes, 
conservatives always out rank liberals. Michelle 
Bachman is a case in point. Does anyone know 
how many foster kids she and her husband 
have taken in? The answer is 23. How many 
did Clinton take in, or 
Obama for that matter? 
The answer is 0.

 The same contrast exists 
when considering which 
philosophy provides 
greater opportunity. 
Opportunity is a great 
ideal, but it is not so 
easily achieved. Just 
saying you believe in opportunity may make 
you feel good, but it doesn’t necessarily provide 
real opportunity to those who are struggling. 
Democrats seem to believe that taxing rich people 
more will create more jobs for those who want to 
get ahead. That stands in contrast to the studies 
which clearly show that tax decreases motivate 
business owners (typically those who would be 
considered rich) to hire more people, and tax 
increases reduce employment. Another one of 
the great ironies at the Democratic convention 
is the fact that Clinton didn’t see employment 
grow during his two terms until he reduced taxes 
in the second term. If Obama wins a second 
term and imposes the tax hikes he has proposed, 
employment will decrease, opportunity will 
be lost, and higher prices will be paid by every 
buyer of every product made or distributed by a 
business incurring those higher taxes. That’s not 
an opportunity, it’s a penalty!

 Conservatives, and Romney specifically, want 
to reduce taxes so that employers can grow their 
companies and offer more jobs to a broader base 
of Americans. That’s inclusive – recognizing, as 
both President Kennedy and President Clinton 
did, that a rising tide lifts all boats. The Obama 
approach has seen the economy stagnate and 
the deficit balloon. Clinton commented on the 
growth in debt under previous presidents, but 
neglected to remind us how much worse it has 
been under Obama. Simply put, there are not 
enough millionaires in America who could be 
taxed at 100% to eliminate the deficit, let alone 
to reduce our $16 trillion in debt. Make no 
mistake, as Clinton pointed out, this debt will 
bury us if we do not take steps now to stop the 
hemorrhaging and to reverse the damage. But 
what Clinton got wrong was that continuing on 
the same path Obama has charted will not work. 
We cannot spend our way to prosperity with 
money we don’t have. 

 Clinton took one for the team last night 
defending the indefensible – Obama’s track 
record. Clinton tried to give an undeserved 
credibility to Obama by claiming that they were 
on the same team without acknowledging that 
they were following radically different playbooks. 
There were many lies last night, and there will 
undoubtedly be many more tonight. We will hear 
again how awful things will be under Romney, 
but it’s hard to imagine how it could be worse 
than what we’ve experienced under Obama. We 
will hear how hateful conservatives are even 
as The President throws insults and invectives 
at Republicans. We will hear promises about 
opportunity and prosperity despite the fact that 
this president’s policies have choked off both. As 
my son, Courtland, observed, “He has poisoned 
the water, and now he wants us to drink it”. We 
wait to see on which side of Lincoln’s insightful 
observation we stand: some of the people can 
be fooled all of the time, and, sadly, all of the 
people can be fooled some of the time. Let’s hope 
Americans are tired of being fooled.

About the author: Gregory J. Welborn is a freelance 
writer and has spoken to several civic and religious 
organizations on cultural and moral issues. He lives 
in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 3 children 
and is active in the community. He can be reached at

TINA Dupay 


The Republican 
National Convention 
in Tampa was 
a post-Apocalyptic 
of what the 
world could be 
if Republicans 
were completely 
in charge: 
Scared (mostly) 
white people 
in a militarized 
labyrinth of 
blockades in strategic dead ends … all for your 
protection. Attendees endured security checks 
inside secured perimeters within partitioned areas. 
“Small government” police brigades were in 
roving gangs toting small arms. There was no way 
to just walk around downtown Tampa that week, 
it could’ve been re-named "Tamped Down." All in 
the name of freedom.

It was a chilling reality in 98-degree heat.

The RNC should have been the funnest place on 
Earth to be a Republican this past August 27-30. 
Well, maybe it was the funnest place on Earth if 
you’re a Republican. Maybe they’re no longer fun. 
They didn’t appear to be having a good time. By 
most accounts they were cranky.

The fracturing of their party started the moment 
John McCain picked Sarah Palin. In case that 
doesn’t seem fair, let me explain: When Palin 
“went rogue,” suddenly the disciplined Grand 
Old Party became awash in tea; a pack of rogue 
elephants indulging in any nuts available. The 
party of Lincoln quickly became the party of 
Akin, a politician whose sin was saying what he 
and his party believes (which is basically thinking 
you can sell any myth, no matter how ridiculous, 
by saying a doctor told you it was true).

For the second straight time, the RNC's week 
started off with a hurricane cancelling the first 
day of the convention. Republicans have not only 
become climate deniers—they’re weather deniers 
now too. August? Florida? Sure! 

The end of the week was marked by a primetime 
speech by an octogenarian offended by a potty-
mouthed imaginary President Obama sitting on 
stage. “I’m not going to shut up. It’s my turn,” said 
the Hollywood legend turned metaphor for the 
GOP during the Obama administration, Clint 

Eastwood is fed up with a President Obama who 
only exists when two or more Republicans are 
gathered together.

On the other hand, the Democratic National 
Convention (DNC) was packed full of the folks 
Republicans are trying to take their country back 
from: gay couples, inter-racial couples, non-Cuban 
Latinos, workers, non-billionaires, “sluts,” 
immigrants, African-Americans, liberals, civil 
servants, Reagan Democrats and women who 
aren't just a Republican's mom. Basically what 
America (love it or leave it) now looks like.

The DNC looked like America in 2012. The RNC 
looked like America in 1912.

The DNC was also impacted by weather. Bank of 
America stadium was sold out, according to the 
campaign, with a waiting list of reportedly 19,000 
wanting to see the President of the United States 
speak. The final night event was cancelled because 
the open-air stadium wasn't able to accommodate 
electronic equipment in the rain. Typical 
Obama: yes, he disappoints people, but often for 
something far "above his pay grade." The chairman 
of the RNC, Reince Priebus, after voting in 
his party’s vindictive platform calling for more 
Americans to have fewer rights—was on auto-
tweet the whole week of the DNC, “Is this going 
to be the last of the vitriol from the Dem party 
during their convention? Why aren’t they talking 
about the issues?” he wrote.

The idea both parties are just opposite equals, 
that they're really the lesser of two evils—six of 
one, half a dozen of the other—is a narrative the 
Republicans like to sell. They’ll tell you Democrats 
do the same thing Republicans are accused 
of doing. Republicans will tell you that Democrats 
want to kill Medicare, increase the debt 
and increase government spending. As President 
Clinton said in his speech at this year’s DNC put 
it, “It takes a lot of brass to go after a guy for doing 
what you did.”

The Republicans are angry victims of diversity 
and want their country back. And the Democrats? 
This year it seems they’re optimistic … 
which, for them, is real change.

Tina Dupuy is an award-winning writer and the editor-
in-chief of Tina can be reached at