February 23, 2010

I wrote about the lying liar known as Mitt Romney and the mountain of lies he told at CPAC. Ron Fournier then wrote an article headlined: "Untruths have consequences in politics". The Washington Post epitomizes exactly what we mean by the "false equivalency" argument with this stupid article by Fournier.

In these hyper-partisan times, it's rarely good enough to respond to an unfair attack with a factual argument. Fire is fought with more high heat. And so it was this week, when liberal bloggers reacted to the CPAC distortions with false attacks of their own. On the Daily Kos Web site, one blogger noted the standing ovation given to "the self-confessed war criminal Dick Cheney."

Whatever one might think of Cheney's interrogation policies, the former vice president has never been charged with a war crime, much less confessed to one.

No matter. The same blogger criticized anti-liberal protests at CPAC, adding with a rare burst of evenhandedness: "Some of what went on was the same kind of silliness partisans of all stripes engage in."

Is this madness? Somehow a diary on DKos is given equal weight to the lies of Mitt Romney, who is running for president in 2012? This, my friends, is why we call them "The Villagers."

Digby has a great piece up about this heresy.

Ron Fournier wrote in yesterday's WaPo about the lying rightwingers at CPAC and the equally dishonest liberal activists who hate them. His theme is that Real Americans are sick of all this lying by the partisans of both sides and just want the truth.

He then takes an example of each side's lies to illustrate this. The first is Mitt Romney, whom many people consider to be the front runner for the Republican nomination, at CPAC. He points out that Romney lied about the Democrats' policies on taxes, jobs, deficits, tort reform, and the treatment of terrorist suspects in his speech to the faithful. For the Democrats he used as an example an anonymous diarist at DKos who wrote that Dick Cheney was a "self-confessed war criminal," insisting that's a lie because Cheney has not been charged with a war crime, nor has he confessed to one...read on

And as Digby pointed out, Dick Cheney admitted to authorizing waterboarding -- which is, you know, a war crime. Is Fournier that ignorant not to understand this?

Dick Cheney confessed to a war crime and just because our political system is too weak to prosecute him for it doesn't mean it's a lie to point that out.

But hey, by all means, let's pretend that Mitt Romney's lies and this anonymous blogger's truth are both to blame for the fact that the country has no faith in politicians. Luckily we have the village arbiters of reality to help us work our way through it.

(Ron Fournier is the Washington bureau chief for The Associated Press.)

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