Expressions of denial?

The creativity that can be involved in maintaining one’s desired paradigm can be amazing. Robert Schlesinger illustrates this in Lies, Damned Lies, and Mitt Romney’s Ads

“What happens to political and journalistic norms when a national campaign decides to blow past the run-of-the-mill cherry-picking of facts, distorting of policies, and playing in the gray area between truth and untruth, and instead simply runs hog wild into malicious deception and prevarication?”

You’d think that would involve such topics as calling a political opponent a felon, accusing them of tax fraud, alleging that they are out to throw old folks over the cliff, and other such things but this isn’t the case here. Instead we get examples like:

“His campaign has also taken other Obama quotes out of context (“you didn’t build that” and “it worked”) to portray the president as having said things he flatly didn’t say.”

The problem with this is that anyone can hear what was actually said. Who, actually, is twisting the context? Similarly for the Ohio effort to change voting law regarding military member voting or the executive order to eliminate work rules requirements for welfare.

Projection is particularly heavy in the conclusion:

“But underlying the cynical belief that they can game the press is an even more contemptuous and condescending belief in the basic laziness and stupidity of the American people. The Romney campaign knew that its welfare ad would be roundly blasted by the portion of the media that does fact-checking. But they’re counting on voters to absorb the charge and not pay attention to the details or follow closely enough to get the facts.”

Compare and contrast: one the one side you have actual words and deeds used for political rebuttal and on the other you have allegations from anonymous sources and without foundation that have severe contradictions with reality. Which is considered egregious and false by this columnist? Who is it that thinks the public is gullible? Is it the side that allows the public to see both the stimulus and the response or is it the side that just says to believe what they say despite there being no support or basis for it? Who is asking you to look for yourself and who is asking you to just trust them? Which of these approaches actually shows a contempt for the voter?

There is a difference and it goes well beyond policy into matters of values and intellectual integrity.

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