Friday, August 10, 2012

Lies, Damn Lies & Politics

Are career politicians and their handlers congenitally insane?  Or is it simply the prospect of being voted out of their position(s) of power and privilege that makes some of them act this way?

A few weeks ago, one of the heads of the Obama re-election campaign suggested that Mitt Romney either filed falsified tax returns during the period immediately after he left Bain to run the Salt Lake City Olympics, or he misrepresented his relationship to Bain in his filings with the SEC.  Either one, she said, "would be a felony".  In spite of the lack of any evidence to support such a serious accusation, she wasn't censured by the President, or his spokes-people.  She later tried to cover herself by saying that she didn't actually accuse Mitt Romney of anything illegal, she simply said that "if he did it would be" a felony.  Pretty thin, ma'am.

Then we have the "honorable" Harry Reid, the majority leader of the Senate.  Last week he made the assertion (not an if/then, but offered as a statement of fact) that Mitt Romney "hasn't paid any taxes in 10 years".  When pressed on his lack of evidence, Mr. Reid made vague references to "someone who used to work at Bain told me" and admitted that he couldn't prove the truth of his accusation.  Instead, he turned the American system of justice on it's head saying, "it's up to Mr. Romney to prove he paid taxes by releasing 10 years of his tax returns."  Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty" Mr. Reid?

To escalate matters further, Mr. Reid followed his interview with the Huffington Post with a repeat performance of his outrageous allegations (still without a shred of evidence) in the well of the Senate.  Conveniently covered by an exemption provided legislators to exposure to charges of slander and libel for the content of speeches made in session.

I'll say this:  I hope Mr. Romney sticks to his guns and refuses to release more than the two years of tax returns he already has.  There's no legal obligation for him to do so, and it's none of anyone's business.  We the people don't have any need to know, nor do we have any right to the information.  Unless, of course, it's being alleged (with proof, this time) that he has engaged in improper or illegal activity.  Otherwise, the release of the documents would serve no useful purpose.  His tax returns are an order of magnitude more complex than anything a regular person could understand.  It's not like he's filing a 1040EZ.  His filings are massive & complicated.  The only reason to release the documents is to give the Obama administration, and it's allies, material that they can cherry-pick and distort in order to further their class warfare tactics.

Messrs. Reid, Obama, Axelrod, et al are doing the American people a great disservice by knowingly leveling these false accusations.  Particularly in such a blatant fashion.  If they have proof of financial wrong doing by Mr. Romney, if they can show evidence that he illegally evaded taxes, then by all means, show us what you got.  Don't make such a charge and then run and hide, saying it's the obligation of the accused to prove the allegations false.  Our justice system doesn't work that way.  The accuser has the burden of proof.

Put up, or shut up.

I say they are knowingly making false charges (as opposed to simply being wrong) based on the ever increasing virulence of the charges, and the corresponding lack of any indications of them being true.  Also, there are examples such as the latest ad by a pro-Obama Super Pac.  In this ad, a man makes the obscenely outrageous claim that his wife's death from cancer was directly attributable to the actions of Mitt Romney through Bain Capital.  Several problems with this ad have already been brought to light: such as, his job was lost when the company closed it's doors in 2001 (Romney left Bain in 1999); his wife didn't not have insurance through his job, but through her own; she became ill 5 years later and lost her insurance coverage when she had to leave her job, not because of anything Mr. Romney or Bain did; she put off going to the doctor until she had become extremely ill, which was when her cancer was diagnosed.  Her death, tragic as it was, had absolutely nothing to do with Mitt Romney or Bain Capital!

Remember when Obama declared that Mr. Romney should exert some influence on one of the pro-Romney Super Pacs because of some ad his team didn't like, and demanded that Mitt Romney's team dis-avow the activity?  The silence coming from the Oval Office on this ad is deafening.  Obama's spokeswoman (the same woman who made the original spurious accusation that Romney "could be" guilty of a felony) said that "of course, we don't have anything to do with the actions of this group.  We are barred by law from coordinating with them" and she went on to say that "I don't have any information about the specific details of his story" when confronted about the falsehoods in the ad. 

As it turns out (surprise) she had hosted a conference call where she asked this man to relate his story to the media, thanking him for telling his story at the end of the call.  Collusion?  I'll not make any unfounded accusations here, but it is interesting that this same man appeared in an Obama re-election ad a few weeks earlier, claiming that Mitt Romney and Bain were to blame for his troubles (interestingly, it appears that he is wearing the same shirt in both ads.  Could both ads have been shot the same day?........Nah, that's crazy talk).

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