Have you heard the news? Mitt Romney met with editors of the Des Moines Register yesterday and dropped a bombshell. “Romney promises no abortion legislation,” says the Associated Press. “Romney: No abortion legislation,” says Politico. “Romney says no plans to restrict abortion,” says Agence France-Presse.
Nope. That isn’t what Romney said. This is a man with a long history of using technicalities to disguise his abortion views. You have to read his exact words, with attention to the loopholes. So let’s back up and listen to the full audio of Romney’s remarks.
— Romney’s Abortion “Agenda”: Don’t fall for his insinuation that he won’t restrict abortion. It’s full of weasel words, William Saletan, Slate, today
Saletan goes on to summarize what he brilliantly calls Romney’s Massachusetts-pol-days use of escape-clause language on the abortion issue—how he would calculatingly appear to state a position and then, for the sake of political expedience, renege and point to some hedge he’d included in the contract—er, the campaign promise.
Saletan concludes his article by warning, “That’s why you need to spot the weasel words up front. In the end, with Romney, they’re all that matters.”
Well, yes. That’s true on every issue, not just on that one. We’re dealing here with the Mad Hatter.
One of Romney’s sons, Josh, said yesterday in an interview that Obama had lied about Romney’s positions. The son was restating, but even more clearly, the father’s debate claim that Obama keeps stubbornly claiming that Romney has proposed things that Romney hasn’t proposed. Except that Romney in fact has, repeatedly, proposed those things—like cutting taxes (not just tax rate, replaced with the closing of loopholes, but tax payments) for the wealthy by 20%.
This Orwellian strategy of saying that the person who says you said something you said is an “obstinate child” (Josh’s phrase) who is “lying” (Josh’s word) is downright scary. It’s a direct attempt to pervert democracy.
The news media really, really, really should point that out. Cleary. But the Obama campaign needs to, too. More effectively than it has in the last week.
And what better than a Halloween fun house—ghosts suddenly jumping out of nowhere; the floor suddenly dropping out from under you; fake smoke and real mirrors that distort your body shape (or his)—to illustrate the point?
Oh, and Romney’s Halloween costume? The Mad Hatter, of course. Romney wearing it to go trick-or-treating while spouting lines written by Lewis Carroll. And by Josh Romney. Who’s now made himself fair game.