So, as unsurprising as the coming of the spring after winter, or the rising of the sun after a long night, Mitt Romney is suddenly refusing to take a position on his running mate’s signature position:
Romney Won’t Say Where He Disagrees With Ryan On Medicare
Stumping with the conservative visionary — but he won’t commit to the vision.
Posted Aug 13, 2012 5:12pm EDT
MIAMI, Florida — Mitt Romney declined to say how he disagreed with his running mate on the issue of Medicare reform, despite taking three different versions of the question from reporters in a press conference Monday.
In the 72 hours since Romney tapped Paul Ryan to join him on the Republican ticket, his campaign has repeatedly insisted that he won’t be adopting the Congressman’s bold, and controversial, plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system, with aides saying he doesn’t agree with his running mate on every issue. But asked where, exactly, he disagreed with Ryan, Romney demurred….
You know the story: somebody writes a venomous takedown of President Obama, and sends it to every granny on the list, who forward it to all their friends, and so on, until one of your rightie friends thinks it’s SOOOO DEVASTATING that by forwarding it to you, it will cause your awful liberal head to explode, and, like Paul on the road to Damascus, you will see the error of your ways in a blinding flash and get with the program.
This is what happened to a friend of mine. And when he patiently (he is unfailingly patient with these people) explained that the story is not only fundamentally a distortion, but the person in the story is a complete fiction, with the requisite Snopes urban mythology link, the snark spammer replied in an astonishing manner. Tellingly so, inasmuch as it clearly illuminates the fundamental disconnect between the Right and Left in this toxic era.
On Sun, Aug 12, 2012 at xxx PM, XXX wrote:
- Wheather or not the man exists makes no difference.
- The story is the important part .
- And I understand that you people that have not owned built or run a business can’t relate to the story but you could learn something. Maybe?
To which I replied:
That is the best summary of GOP Reality I’ve ever heard, XXX:
Whether it’s true or not, or happened or not, doesn’t matter.
Only the STORY matters, and whoever tells the best story is the truthful party.
I have watched this overcome and paralyze what was once an honorable political party into an enormous echo chamber, repeating the best stories that money can buy, over and over in highest tech, deepest market penetration, on bumper stickers, sound bites and “call in” listeners chanting “DITTOS!” (or, yeah, me too!)
And when the stories are proven to be untrue, you shrug, crack your neck, and go on to the next story, still believing the first story to be true.
But stories are often wrong. You know “Saddam Hussein was a conspirator in 9-11.”
With tragic results. But, rather than admit the uncomfortable truth, you hang on to the story that YES, HE WAS A THREAT! because the reality is too monstrous to admit, and you can’t admit that anyone ever makes a mistake, is wrong or changes their mind with new and better information.
Because the story is all that matters.
Here, let me tell you a story: Once upon a time, a free and independent people, with the BEST MASS COMMUNICATIONS and COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA that the world has ever seen managed to produce the least-well-informed voters that any democracy has yet seen and survived.
Now, how do you suppose that happened? Because the people were all stupid? Or because that mass communications media was more interested in telling them stories (that didn’t matter whether they were true or not) than in telling them the truth?
If the story is all that matters, that would probably explain it.
And some of them lived happily ever after, but most of them didn’t.
Is that freedom, XXX? Is that what you believe in? Do the Constitution and the Declaration mean so little to you that all that matters is a good story? Never mind whether it’s true or false?
Because that’s the current Republican party.
Take a look at Portland Oregon in 1925 and ask yourself whether you thought these people were acting on facts or on stories.
Portland, Oregon, 1925
[ &c ...]
Back to the present: I sent it with no illusion that he would see the error of his ways, nor decide that fact is preferable to comforting fiction.
And therein lies the difference.
Which is why it’s impossible to debate with the GOP.