Maybe the WSJ confused the two candidates?

Wow. I just read the most incredible piece of sophistry I’ve ever seen. The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial this morning called, “The Postmodern President.” The subhead reads, “The challenge is finding anything his campaign says that is true.” Those of you in the reality-based community will be shocked to discover the campaign in question is that of Barack Obama’s, not Mitt Romney, the most mendacious presidential candidate in modern history.

Oddly, in nearly a thousand words, the piece only comes up with one alleged falsehood by the Obama campaign: The claim that it didn’t “know the specifics” of steelmaker Joe Soptic’s story, which were misleading presented in a Priorities USA SuperPAC ad (SuperPACs do not, in fact, legally cannot, coordinate with the campaigns they support). The only evidence to call that claim a falsehood is that Soptic had earlier appeared in an official Obama campaign ad – though in that ad (the Wall Street Journal fails to mention this), he talks only about the plant closing, not his wife’s illness. (Soptik also was on an Obama campaign conference call in which he briefly discussed her illness.)

The rest of the piece goes after Nancy Pelosi and even an independent, nonpartisan research center (once praised by Romney). So. Nearly 1,000 words to expose one alleged falsehood by the Obama campaign. Not one word about an actual lie escaping the lips of Barack Obama himself. In the meantime, every other word that falls out of Mitt Romney’s mouth is a lie (during the primary, he even lied about his own first name). And we’re not talking bending the truth a little bit or misspeaking off the cuff and getting a detail wrong here or there. We’re talking about bald-faced, repeated, shameless lies.

Steve Benen, recently of the Washington  Monthly and now with The Rachel Maddow Show, has been running a feature for months now, Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity. He’s up to Volume 28 (Volume 29 should be out later today). Recent pieces, which covers only a week, average 25 to 30 separate falsehoods. These aren’t by his campaign or surrogates, but things Romney himself has said.

I remember in 2008 being shocked and dismayed by the persistence of Sarah Palin’s Bridge to Nowhere lie. You remember this. Palin famously claimed that, as Alaska’s governor, she told Congress, “Thanks, but no thanks,” for the hundreds of millions of dollars for Sen. Ted Stevens’  pork extravaganza known as the Bridge to Nowhere. But the real truth was that Palin supported the Bridge to Nowhere when she ran for governor in 2006 and only killed it after Congress made it clear the state would have to pay much of the cost itself. Not only that, but Alaska didn’t give the money back. Congress removed the earmark, but let Alaska keep the cash. Fine. Many politicians lie. But, before that, they usually stopped telling a particular lie once it had been exposed. Not Palin. She kept repeating the line, and McCain spokesman Brian Rogers justified using it, saying, “We’re running a campaign to win. And we’re not too concerned about what the media filter tries to say about it.”

That was one lie. Romney tells dozens of lies that have been exposed as lies, and he keeps telling them. Obama doesn’t have a jobs plan, he says. Yes, he does. Romney says the number of business start-ups has plunged under Obama. Not true. He says his record on jobs as governor of Massachusetts is far better than Obama’s record as president. That’s true only if you judge them by completely different standards. Romney claims to have released the same number of tax records as Sen. John Kerry when he ran for president. Uh, no. He even sometimes says things that are self-contradictory, like accusing President Obama of doing nothing to cut entitlements while in the same breath slamming him for cutting Medicare by $500 billion. I could go on, and on, and on. It is a staggering record of deception that doesn’t say much of Romney’s respect for the intelligence of American voters.

Romney’s lies are manifest. But even in a 1,000-word editorial claiming that it was hard to find anything Obama said that was true, the Wall Street Journal could not come up with one actual lie spoken by Obama. That should tell discerning readers all they need to know.

Update: Talk about chutzpah, Romney came out yesterday and said Obama should be embarrassed by the inaccuracies in the Soptik ad – again, an ad put out by a SuperPAC that, by law, Obama cannot coordinate with. Romney said:

“You know, in the past, when people pointed out that something was inaccurate, why, campaigns pulled the ad,” Romney said on Bill Bennett’s radio show. “They were embarrassed. Today, they just blast ahead. You know, the various fact-checkers look at some of these charges in the Obama ads and they say that they’re wrong, and inaccurate, and yet he just keeps on running them.”

Yet Romney seems unembarrassed by the ad he put out falsely claiming that Obama has gutted the work requirement in the welfare reform, even though “various fact-checkers” have all said it is completely and utterly without merit. Even Romney surrogate Newt Gingrich admits there’s no proof for the accusation. Romney is without shame.

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