One of the reasons, in my view, that Mitt Romney is gaining some traction in this campaign – and hasn’t totally tanked, despite his disastrous overseas visit, his outsourcing of jobs at Bain Capital, his “47%” speech – is because Americans are in a place of suspended disbelief: It’s hard for most of us to comprehend that a candidate would not only fudge the info, but would outright lie in the most extreme, shameless, blatant way that the Romney-Ryan ticket is lying. So some Americans, who are trying so hard to find a reason to jump on the Romney bandwagon, are looking at him through their rosies.
Look, we all know that politics is politics – but a total disregard for the truth, repeatedly, speaks to bad moral character. And Romney has shown himself to have bad, bad moral character. And shown himself to be a very gifted, very smooth liar. (And Tagg, if you’re reading, you’re welcome to come on down and take a swing at me.)
Let’s talk contraceptives. Rachel Maddow took on this issue, which you can watch here, but I’ll paraphrase: At the second debate, Romney backed away from his previous stance that employers should be able to deny contraceptive coverage under health insurance plans for religions and “moral” reasons, telling American viewers earnestly, “I don’t believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not, and I don’t believe employers should tell someone whether they can have contraceptive care or not . . . Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives . . . .” (Emphasis added)
Really? Funny thing about that: When the Obama Administration reached a compromise on the contraceptive mandate, exempting religious institutions (but not religious-affiliated entities) from providing contraceptive coverage as required under the Affordable Care Act, Romney called it “an assault on religious conviction,” and then doubled down, saying, “I find it extraordinary that [President Obama] feels he can tell the Catholic Church what they have to provide for their employees, including devices and instruments they find contrary to their conscience . . . .”
The Romney camp even ran an ad declaring the contraceptive mandate under the ACA a “war on religion.” Mitt Romney’s position on contraceptive coverage is and always has been unequivocal, and the ad clearly states, “President Obama used his health care plan to declare war on religion, forcing religious institutions to go against their faith . . . Mitt Romney believes that’s wrong.”
Ever hear of the Blunt Amendment? The Blunt Amendment (artfully tacked on to a highway bill and killed (thankfully) in the Senate in March 2012), in short, “would have allowed not only religious groups but any employer with moral objections to opt out of the coverage requirement. And it would have allowed such employers to do so in the case of not only contraception but any health service required by the 2010 health-care law.” (Emphasis added.)
And here Romney is, telling a radio host that of course he supports the Blunt Amendment.
Contraceptive coverage for all under the Affordable Care Act is a “war on religion,” said Romney. Oh wait, no, Romney told us emphatically at the second debate, everybody should have access to contraceptives, and neither the government nor an employer should dictate that. Oh wait, Romney said, I forgot, I do support the Blunt Amendment.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me every time you open your mouth, and your credibility on everything – literally everything, from taxes to faith to your fairy tale marriage – circles down the drain.