PolitiFact’s Lies of the Year fall short in any mental fact check.
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Obama falsely gave the impression Romney had lauded that bill as a model. In fact, Romney had defended the right of Arizona to pass that bill but never endorsed its contents in any way.
Well, it is a dirty trick that should be beneath a President. But it is not false in a substantive way. The kind of people Obama was directing that appeal to were those who dislike or fear the newer Arizona law. The fact that Romney defends it is probably enough to alarm those folks, and all Obama did was stoke the flames a bit. Obama’s main point remained valid; namely, if you find the Arizona law offensive, Romney’s not your guy. He just conveyed that truth in a gratuitously nasty way.
“President Obama was saying success is the result of government, not hard-working people, when he said, ‘If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.’” — Mitt Romney, on a web video, July 25, 2012
PolitiFact rating: FALSE. Reason: In context, Obama went on to clarify that when we succeed, we succeed because of our personal initiative, but also because we do things together. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.
There is no question some parts of Obama’s presentation were innocuous and pointed out an obvious truism, that individuals cannot thrive in anarchy. At the same time, he did start off by sneering at people who think they succeeded because they were smarter and worked harder than the other guy. “I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was so smart.”
If he would have finished that by saying God helped the winners, that would be fairly innocuous. But when he finished by saying government made it possible, he seemed to be subscribing to a view that success is more attributable to the government than to that guy being “so smart.” This makes the popular critique (which Romney echoed) a fair argument, a legitimate debating point. It certainly is not some kind of false canard manufactured out of thin air that needs to be given the bum’s rush out of the public square of political dialogue.
Some of the other lies they cite fall into the category of truly scurrilous distortion. In that respect, fact-checking could play a worthy role. But by clucking their tongues over every hyperbolic or overly dramatic presentation (such as their earlier conniption fit over Sarah Palin calling a committee determining what treatments will be paid for a “death panel”), they are not bringing greater honesty to politics, merely greater banality and timidity.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online