Home 2012 races Day #1 of GOP Convention: “Four Pinocchios” False According to Independent Fact...

Day #1 of GOP Convention: “Four Pinocchios” False According to Independent Fact Checker


Of course, Republicans will immediately reject the Washington Post fact checker’s findings that Day #1 of their convention was “Four Pinocchios” false. Why will they reject it? Not because the fact checker, Glenn Kessler, got it wrong, that’s for sure. Here are the two Big Lies from last night, with a few of Kessler’s comments.

1. The utterly fallacious “you didn’t built that” line of attack. Kessler asks, “Can an entire convention be built around a grammatical error?” It’s a good question, because that’s exactly what this is: total distortion, taken to the nth degree, of what Obama was actually saying. As Kessler explains it, Obama was “making the unremarkable point that companies and entrepreneurs often benefit in some way from taxpayer support for roads, education and so forth…trying to make the case for higher taxes, and for why he believes the rich should pay more, which as we noted is part of a long Democratic tradition.”

2. The “President Obama waived the work requirement for welfare” Big Lie line of attack (it’s also despicable for another reason, namely that it’s taken from the Lee Atwater/Jesse Helms “southern strategy”, appealing to/stoking racial resentment). According to Kessler, this one’s “a gross simplification of a complex issue,” with “PolitiFact awarding the claim ‘Pants on Fire’ and FactCheck.Org also saying it was incorrect.” In addition, I’d point out that welfare wasn’t even in the top 10 (20?) issues anyone cared about, prior to millions of dollars of these disgusting, pandering-to-racism ads going up on TV. So why are Republicans spending those tens of millions of dollars on this? Ezra Klein explains that one (“Race and the 2012 election”) extremely well.

And that’s pretty much the GOP convention recap for last night: two attacks on Obama, both utterly fallacious according to every independent fact checker who’s looked at them, one of them at the minimum appealing to racial resentment. I mean, can you get any more appalling than this? Oh yeah, I almost forgot Todd Akin, Paul Ryan’s plan to voucherize Medicare, Mitt Romney’s comments about wanting the U.S. auto industry to go bankrupt, etc., etc. Unfortunately, that’s today’s Republican Party – most definitely NOT the party I joined as a Teenage Republican back in the late 1970s in Connecticut, back when the party was dominated by moderates and even progressives, people like…George Romney, just to pick one randomly. Heh.

By the way, Kessler also notes that Republicans themselves have cited the same exact fact checkers when it suits their interests, so take their predictable, automatic, kneejerk rejection of Kessler’s finding that Day #1 of the GOP convention was based on two “Four Pinocchios” lies with a huge grain of salt.

P.S. Check out the exclusive video, above, from behind the scenes at the GOP convention last night. Fascinating, huh? 🙂

  • totallynext

    Having a great discussion this am….she starts spouting the Republican current meme…we need someone / like a CEO to run the country – Obama has no experience…

    Boy oh boy – how to keep my temper in check when talking to my 85 YO mom.  First, I highlighted his experience / work record / blah blah…then I said, he has experience he is PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES and has been for four years – what other experience exactly does he need to run the country after he has been doing it for FOUR YEARS….What part of that don’t you quite get?

    she had to agree!

  • Teddy Goodson

    After refreshing my memory about Pinocchio (thanks for the clip), I suddenly realized why the Republican elephant’s trunk has grown so looooong. And why its candidate, Romney, seems so wooden.  

  • Quizzical

    Exposing lies just doesn’t seem to matter in this election, in terms of correcting the behavior.  

    Maybe it is because it is a “base election”, in which the main task is to keep throwing red meat propaganda to your base to keep the base loyal, enthusiastic, contributing money and energized.  The base wants to believe the lies, and is even eager to repeat the lies.  

    Politics has been reduced to a game of “gotcha” sound bites, and if you don’t have the sound bites, apparently you can just make them up anyway.

    It is evident there is no downside.  The media aren’t referees in this process, as they might have been a generation ago.  The media is fractured, and the traditional mainstream media is losing money, and is counting heavily on the advertising spend of the two campaigns.  So the Washington Post can run fact checking columns, and Blue Virginia can do so also, but guess what — the Republican base, and the 1.5% of undecided, probable voters, aren’t going to read the Post article or this post.

    Still, we desperately need the push back, just to keep our own side from getting demoralized.

    Thinking back to 2004, remember how Kerry was crucified for the line about, “I was for it before I was against it.”  He was talking about a defense appropriations bill, and was saying that he was for the bill when there was a funding mechanism for it, and was against it when they took out the funding mechanism, i.e., taxes.  It’s kind of ironic to think about that today, when the great Republican fiscal wizard, Paul Ryan, is about to lecture us about the national debt with a big debt clock clicking in the background.  But there’s no plan to actually pay for the Iraq war debt, as Kerry wanted to do.

    Anyway, Kerry just got creamed by the Republican propagandists, and we can’t let that happen to President Obama.  I think he is the best President that I’ve seen in my lifetime, and I’m almost 57.    


  • playnotwork

    It’s bad enough that the GOP and Romney are completely anti-everyone-but-rich-white-straight-men…this in and of itself infuriates me.

    On top of that, it drives me up a wall that the right is apparently completely incapable of running a campaign without either a) straight-up lying (with no remorse, whatsoever) or b) completely slandering their opponents, for no reason other than to slander. They are the big dumb bullies from High School all over again.

    But the real icing on the cake, is that half of this Country not only supports these fools, but BELIEVES the snake-oil that they’re selling? I just can’t fathom it. I can’t understand why they continue to support a candidate who is full of **** and just doesn’t care about them!

    Is Obama perfect? No. Certainly, a case could be made that he hasn’t been the best solution…but compared to Romney and the potential of a Romney/GOP administration, Obama looks like Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt (both), and Eisenhower all rolled up into one!

    Anyone have any ideas on how to not loose my friggin mind around my brainwashed friends and family?