Thursday, April 5, 2012

Don't Get Fooled Again

While you may have missed it this past weekend, the calendar does now read "April", and last Sunday, plenty of people - and even companies like Google - were playing April Fools' Day jokes on one another.

From our observation of the political tactics being used by folks like Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney, the folks in charge of strategy for the Republican Party must also like the idea of fooling people. In fact, they appear to like fooling people so much, they can't seem to restrict their tricks to just the first day of April.

The speech Mitt Romney gave yesterday at the Newspaper Association of America - the same venue where President Obama spoke on Tuesday - was an incredible example of the brazen foolishness of Romney and the GOP. Or as journalist Benjy Sarlin termed it, Romney's "I know you are but what am I" speech.

Even if you overlook the fact that Romney was misqouting Obama throughout his speech, virtually every line Romney used in his attempt to attack President Obama during his speech was a repeat of a criticism that's already been leveled at Romney or the GOP. From flip-flopping, to avoiding budget details, to controlling health care spending.

As Sarlin also noted, Romney's "I know you are, but what am I?" dynamic was clear, even if his speech was anything but. The President in his speech on Tuesday noted that Romney won't lay out his more detailed plans for cuts to  Medicare - so Romney accused Obama of doing the same thing. President Obama noted the "new" version of the Ryan Plan would end Medicare, just as the first did - so Romney accused Obama of wanting to end Medicare.

This kind of childish muddying of the waters on policy isn't anything new for the GOP. In fact, it's become a hallmark of Karl Rove, the man behind George W. Bush's policies. Usually though, Rove and his cronies are a bit better at waiting until more people have forgotten what their candidates lies are, before they get them to reverse course.

In fact, just before our vacation - less than two weeks ago - we covered the Ryan Plan 2.0, in depth, right here in this commentary, and in our daily e-mail edition. We called it a "Barrel Full O' Stupid." We linked to nearly twenty stories, fact checks, and even opinion pieces from right-wing-leaning sources like the conservative Washington Post Editorial Board, which all said the same thing: the Ryan Plan 2.0 was a joke, a political document at best, but not a real budget plan.

Two weeks later, in the face of further criticism, fact checks, and breakdowns that all say the Ryan plan would give massive tax cuts to the rich, while screwing the poor like never before, Republicans continue to insist the opposite of reality. Republicans like Romney and Ryan, as well as much of the right-wing propaganda machine, are screaming at the top of their lungs: if we all just quit our bitching and give the rich folks even more tax cuts than we have over the last dozen years, jobs will magically reappear in America and the benefits will trickle down to the rest of us.

It's not often we'll quote our friends from Texas, but on the ideas that Romney, Ryan, and the propagandists of the right are spreading, we think this one fits: Don't pee on our legs and tell us it's raining.

Or as President George W. Bush once said, "Fool me once, shame on... shame on you. Fool me twice... you can’t get fooled again.”

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