Very recently, in a calculated attempt to undermine the credibility of his opponent in the upcoming presidential debates, and to provide himself cover in case he suffers an ignominious defeat in them, Mitt Romney announced that he might not do well in the debates because the president was simply going to prevaricate his way through them.


A liar calling someone else a liar? Things that make you go hmmmm . . . . Sure, politics is not about fairness, but once again, the Romney team shows that it is the leader in utter gall.

The list of Romney-Ryan prevarications in pursuit of the executive brass ring is already huge, and it is growing, as one reporter put it, ” . . . into a lie-by-night” operation. Interesting how quickly the admonitions and prohibitions of Christianity are being trampled so harshly already, and this is just the campaign. What are we to expect if they actually win?

A mantra repeated at the Republican National Convention was, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.” Ha! The truth be damned, huh? Who are you guys?


The three debates should really demonstrate in direct ways the true character of the two men who would be president, and the one vice-presidential debate should be immensely entertaining, to say the least. The polls that follow the debates will be the most accurate accounting up to that time of the perceptions and views of the American public. It will really be show-and-tell time, and neither candidate will be able to hide. As in all the preparations for a major title game in football or baseball–Enough talk. Let’s play the game!

Since none of the debates will be traditional Lincoln-Douglas, a lot will depend on the adroitness and skill of the designated moderators. But essentially, each candidate will either know what he is talking about or he won’t. Artful dodging will not be enough. The emperor and would-be challengers must all wear visible clothing and bring their intellectual and political A-games to the fore. The debates, for many of us, is the real core of the presidential and vice-presidential races. Mano y mano. Let as much truth be told and shown as possible, and shame the devil and the Tea Party.

Remember how Ms. Engle of Nevada, and Ms. McDonnell of Delaware were each politically slain by their own voices? Bring on the debates!

Here are some top examples of outright prevarications from the Romney-Ryan perch:

On Medicare:
Romney and Ryan have repeatedly accused President Obama of being the true threat to Medicare, not them.

Ryan recently said, “You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the healthcare takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare, $716 billion funneled out of Medicare by President Obama. An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.”

Well, truth be told, President Obama did use those Medicare savings–in the form of targeted cuts in payments to providers, but did not, as Ryan said, cut benefits to seniors to pay for the healthcare law. Ryan’s budget calls for using that same $716 billion cut to finance tax cuts for wealthy Americans, and deficit reduction. But by now calling to restore that spending commitment to Medicare, Ryan and Romney, allowed to implement their plan, will simply hasten Medicare’s insolvency by many years, according to the independent Congressional Budget Office.

On the U.S. credit rating:
Ryan recently said (and echoed by Romney) the Obama presidency, “began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.”

That’s partially true. That rating was at Triple A when Obama came in, but Standard & Poor’s downgraded the country’s sovereign debt rating in 2011 because congressional Republicans, led by Ryan, threatened not to increase the country’s borrowing authority–risking a default on the debt–unless Democrats agreed to slash trillions of dollars from domestic social programs and investments.

This was politically irresponsible, and was rewarded by the downgrade. Obama did not cause that. Ryan even briefly toyed with the idea that a temporary default for the U.S. for “a day or two or three or four” was not that bad. Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed.

On the Janesville GM plant:
Ryan has repeatedly criticized Obama for–yes–not using government funds to prop up an auto plant in his district.

“A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you . . . this plant will be here for another hundred years,’” Ryan recalled.

“That’s what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day,” said Ryan.

It would be bad enough suffering the gall of any Republican chastising Obama for not bailing out more auto manufacturers, when their broad opinion was not to help any of them, but the plant in question closed before President Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

‘Nuff said. Liar, liar, pants on fire!

Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday.

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