In logic a tautology is a proposition which is always true such as “A or Not-A.” In a sense, Republicans are tautological, even if it isn’t quite the strictly logical sense of the term. (But we don’t expect Republicans to be logical or true to form anyway, right?)
Scan today’s GOP leaders and you can pretty much defend this proposition: Republicans are either dishonest or stupid. Is it true or not?
In some cases, they’re both! (cf. Michele Bachmann. We know Michele Bachmann all too well in Minnesota and most of us offer our apologies. She’s our disgrace and we bear that shame reluctantly.)
There, however, is a more rhetorically subtle and codified form of the tautology at work in America today.
Anyone who thinks an intelligent and well-informed Republican leader really thinks Obama deserves the blame for our current economic malaise, for example, isn’t being honest with himself…or isn’t informed.
And if you constantly turn a blind eye to facts in favor of opinions, well…we can start to see a pattern that does indeed explain our problems. Ignorance and dishonesty have hijacked our political discourse.
And then there is still a slicker form of this conservative tautology. It is man over ideology, and look no further than current GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Mitt has claimed he resigned from Bain Capital in 1999, prior to the many years of Bain’s predatory takeover practices that critics note. But then — Lo and behold! — that isn’t quite true! In fact it isn’t true at all. According to reports out now, Mitt remained the sole owner of Bain Capital and was its chief executive officer and president through at least 2003.
Ok, Mitt, so which is it, are you stupid or dishonest?
I don’t know about you, but if I were the sole owner and leader of a company that earned hundreds of millions of dollars, I think I would know about it. Apparently Mitt knew enough about what was going on to shovel millions of dollars of personal wealth overseas into tax havens during those years. But maybe someone else did that, too.
What are we supposed to believe? If a company like Bain can function without its owner and chief executive officer even knowing he’s the owner and chief executive, how does that square with the argument that high compensation packages for “top CEOs” are justified and necessary? Hell! Bain Capital did it all while its leader says he was not at the helm. It even appears that he was ignorant of his role. Hire me. You don’t even need to tell me I’m hired. Just pay me generously from your miraculous profits because I wasn’t there. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Let’s review: Some people are stupid and poorly informed. Fine. Do we want them leading our country? Probably not. Others are dishonest. Shameful, but true. Do we want them leading our country? That probably isn’t good, either. Which is of the two is Mitt Romney and should it matter? Isn’t one bad enough?
Romney once said he enjoyed the fact that he could fire people, I presume based on some standard of performance or integrity. (He was talking about quality health care, something he once supported at a government level and now denies it, by the way.) Would dishonesty be a reason to fire someone, Mitt? Or if you consider a candidate for a job, say a modest job, would inaccuracies about employment be a good mark or a bad one? What if the job candidate then lied about it besides? What about character and integrity?
Now suppose you’re considering a candidate for the most important job in our country, if not the world, would such lies, errors, and ignorance support the candidate? In any position you can never say for certain that you found the absolute best person, but you can pass on those you know don’t measure up.
Look at Mitt Romney’s record. Does he measure up? America deserves better.
- Obama team: Romney committed a felony or lied to voters (politico.com)
- Romney team disputes report he misled on Bain departure date (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)
- Wait–Maybe THIS Is How Mitt Romney Got So Rich… (businessinsider.com)
- Lying Mitt Romney’s Financial Black Hole (theobamacrat.com)
- Michele Bachmann on being Mitt Romney’s Vice President: “That’s not for me to make that decision and that announcement” (piersmorgan.blogs.cnn.com)