Steve Benen has truly done yeoman's work this campaign season in documenting the astonishing onslaught of Romney's lies, and Fred Clark helpfully compiled them.
Click those links. Read the lists. List after list of lie after lie. Hundreds of them — 533, to be exact, although Benen does not make any claim to providing a comprehensive chronicle.
This is unprecedented. “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,” Romney’s pollster, Neil Newhouse, said.
While the sheer number of Romney's lies are indeed unprecedented for a presidential campaign, his fact-free campaigning is simply the logical continuation of a trend that started in the George W. Bush administration, when Republicans literally walled themselves from reality.
The [Bush] aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
So this has been going on for a while. Right-wingers just don't have to confront facts they don't like any longer. They no longer have to watch to Edward R. Murrow dress down Joe McCarthy for his un-American demagoguery. They don't have to listen Walter Cronkite telling them the Vietnam War is lost. Those days are over -- they can simply switch the channel.
Now, they are tightly cocooned in the cozy world of FOX News, right-wing radio, conservative newspapers and wingnut blogs where high taxes and burdensome regulations are crushing the American dream, inflation is running rampant, businesses are suffering, global warming is a joke, homosexuality is a choice, illegal immigration is at all-time high, our scary Muslim enemies are on the march -- and if only Republicans could take power over the entire federal government again, those problems would all magically disappear.
Because of this highly-profitable right-wing media infrastructure so willing to deceive its consumers, and because conservative dogma has replaced fact-based analysis on the right, Republican candidates don't have an incentive to tell the truth. Quite the opposite.
It's going to get worse before it gets better.