When Your Case Is Based On “Trust Me?”

Back in the late 80’s there was an ad campaign for Isuzu cars.  The ads featured a character named “Joe Isuzu,” who was known for … well … lying.

I’m reminded of the character every time I watch Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan talk.

There’s an article in the recent Salon which points out a basic difference between the speeches at the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention:

There are other examples the fact checkers have looked at but the point is, while Republicans were widely condemned by fact checkers for the blatant lies repeated throughout their convention, Democrats were barely slapped on the wrist by fact checkers. This is not because the media has a bias toward Democrats but because, apparently, Democrats have a bias toward telling the truth

It’s not just at the RNC, though.  It’s been a constant, unrepentant stream of blatant lies from the Romney campaign.  Not “spinning the facts,” or “shading the truth,” but outright falsehoods.  Romney and his surrogates have hit the point where I know they’re lying:  Their lips move.  It’s that bad.   It’s not just me, it’s what virtually every fact checker in the media has seen.   We expect that politicians will try to present things to portray them in their best light.  It may not be “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” but there’s usually a kernel of truth buried (sometimes very buried) in there.  Romney just lies, and takes it to levels that astonish even seasoned political reporters.

But here’s the thing about that.  He’s also been remarkably … reticent … about any specifics in what he intends to do once in office.  He’s even remarkably vague about general outlines of what he wants to accomplish, outside of “cut taxes for the wealthy” and “slash everything non-defense.”   The basic gist of why he thinks people should elect him is “I know what I’m doing, I ran a big business,” which comes down to “trust me.”

The problem with that is that it’s remarkably hard to “trust” someone who lies constantly.   He seems to have been taking a page from the old Joe Isuzu commercials, just without the scrolling “fact check” beneath him, or without the humor.



Filed under Politics

13 responses to “When Your Case Is Based On “Trust Me?”

  1. Dancer

    You are tapping into my inner rage now…WORDS matter along with TRUTH. The oft repeated LIE that Obama “had control of Congress for the first two years” drives me batty…how about saying he had a “majority” in both houses (true but mostly meaningless given Repug opposition to EVERYTHING). If Repugs just said that OR if informed interviewers/pundits pushed back with the simple truth …but NAH! Last night on Bill Maher’s increasingly juvenile program the guy from Politico made the ridiculous “false equivalency” statement AGAIN…rather than just saying that there are surely operatives on both sides of the argument who “shade the truth” but, as you note, one party DOES just blatantly LIE…our sucky media has to play nice so they can continue to get the “GOOD GETS!”…how pathetic and obscene!

    • The media has been fluffing for the Republicans and the “both sides do it” idea for so long that they almost can’t help themselves. There’s a big difference between the Republicans saying the equivalent of “the Sun rises in the West,” while the Democrats say “the Sun rises in the East.” But according to the media, just because the Sun rose just off of exact East in the morning, they’re both “lying.” 🙄

  2. Beyond that, Romney needs people to think things will be disastrous if Obama is re-elected, hence his line that he guarantees that if Obama is re-elected then our best days are behind us. Wow. I think his campaign team thought it would be an easy election if they just let it be about the economy and did nothing else. Perhaps they think massive ad buys full of lies will win the election – they put their faith in propaganda and how gullible people are. It might work…but I doubt it!

    • Exactly. The problem with their attempt to just let it be about the economy was that they proposed no alternatives – and as you’ve pointed out, nothing new – to what the President has been doing. What’s astonished me about this campaign from the Republican side is not just the sheer volume of lies, it’s that they lie even about things they don’t have to. It’s like they can’t bring themselves to tell the truth about anything, even something as simple as a personal marathon time.

  3. Dancer

    How demeaning to those voters who DO care about facts and accuracy…plus how does anyone who watched the Dems convention continue to push this “only about the economy” as Ms. Romneybot does? As important as people having jobs and some security for their employment is there are a load of issues that matter to people. AND, also sick and tired of hearing that only 8 states are important to the outcome of the election…give me the president’s message of the importance of WE THE PEOPLE all being fired up and ready to go!

    • To make it worse, their only prescription for “fixing” the economy is to a) cut taxes on the wealthy, and b) cut most of the social safety net. Neither of which has been markedly successful in boosting the economy in the past.

  4. Vic78

    Has anyone seen McCain’s opposition research? I’ll just say that story about Willard hiring undocumented workers is pretty interesting. The president’s team is being nice to him. I wouldn’t let this guy lead a class discussion. There was something about him that sickened me before I heard the stories.

    Mitt’s a comedian for wanting us to trust him. There is no way to humanize this guy. Our media has known about this and played these games for a long time. We shouldn’t expect better. Remember Michael Jackson and how they treated him.

    • What I find remarkably interesting is the silence from McCain and others who have seen Romney’s tax returns. Also notable in the opposition research was the rapid leap to a senior position in an investment firm, right out of Harvard. Strings pulled much? 😉

      Today, we have Paul Ryan trotting out the whopper that Obama has gone to great lengths to keep gas prices high. He stood right there and lied through his teeth, something which is easily fact-checked.

      • Vic78

        So you mean they were lying when the story came out about them eating dinner on the ironing board?

        Maybe I have high standards or have spent too much time talking to policy wonks, Ryan doesn’t come across as smart. I wouldn’t call him serious either. Anyone that thinks he’ll get the best of a successful career senator and vp in a debate is living in a fantasy land.

        I call Romney an opponent’s dream. He’s got an ego but lacks every other tool necessary to be a decent politician. He’s proof that selecting the right parents is the key to getting ahead in life.

  5. Dancer

    I agree about Ryan’s competence but still bet our media’s need to keep this a “tight race” (lest folks just watch the NEW TV SHOW/FOOTBALL/?) will probably give him points he doesn’t earn…oh, yeah, then there are the moderators …YEGODS!!!

    • Vic78

      Mitt will probably be spotted 20 points. If he doesn’t wet himself he’ll be alright. The bar will be low for Ryan as well. Biden will be able to beat him up. I predict some nonsense from the media about how well Ryan did.

      I heard some media hack say the president was thin skinned. I guess you can say the same about whales.

    • I remember that in 2008, it was a running joke on progressive blogs at how almost every report in the media about some issue came to be “this is good news for McCain!” If I recall correctly, the media spin was that the race was “tight,” even though the actual result showed that it wasn’t even close. The only good thing is that Joe Biden won’t have to hold back in his debate with Ryan, because he won’t be seen as “picking on the poor idiot” like the last time around.

  6. The character in the ad is spot on for a Romney double. I remember this character and the ads and always thought how sly these marketers were for essentially showing their base instincts while still making it humorous.