The Nation's latest editorial on the GOP as the "post-truth" party that "has now fully entered the netherworld of post-truth politics" seems to me right on target. As the editorial notes, (über-Catholic) Mr. Ryan is now "infamous" for his "pack of lies," and (über-Mormon) Mr. Romney wasn't even "remotely believable" with his rambling, truth-defying rhetoric at the recent convention of the party on whose side God stands.
But as the editorial observes, grand and bold lies may be just the ticket for the Republicans in this campaign, because if the "values" voters they hope to dupe ever wake up and understand the real agenda that lies beneath the lying, they might not pull the GOP lever in the fall:
This poses a real challenge for the Democrats, who can’t get bogged down in the minutiae of every Republican lie—there are just too many of them. Democrats must instead go big, and tackle the GOP agenda, which at its core is dedicated to a massive redistribution of power and income toward the 1 percent, who already have more of both than at any time in the past eighty years. The central lie of the Republican campaign is the claim that the wealthiest country in the world is so broke it cannot fund school lunch programs or Pell Grants, but not so broke that it would ask billionaires to pay taxes or put the Pentagon on a diet. The best way to unmask the GOP is not with charts and graphs. It must be done with economic straight talk. We must explain why Romney and Ryan are lying—because their agenda is so unpopular (as well as unworkable and dangerous to the nation’s recovery). And we must offer a vision for job creation, infrastructure investment and an uncompromising defense of the social safety net.
Me, I tend to think the brazen lies are going to work. I think they'll return the GOP to full power in the fall.
I hope I'm wrong. And woe betide the planet if this happens. (But it wouldn't be the first time in history that bold lies have carried the day and have been blessed by wily, unctuous ecclesiastical kingmakers who excel at telling lies every bit as grand as those of the kings on whose heads they lay their oily hands in blessing.)
And not infrequently people actively prefer to be lied to rather than face a reality that calls on them to examine themselves and make substantial changes in their behavior.