Saturday, September 8, 2012

Thank you for your service stations

Romney's explanation for why he failed to mention the troops in his convention speech—
When you give a speech you don’t go through a laundry list, you talk about the things you think are important...
—is as they say taken out of context to make it sound funnier than it is, but it's when you put it back into context that it starts telling you something about who Romney is, and fairly damning:
...and I described in my speech, my commitment to a strong military unlike the president’s decision to cut our military. And I didn’t use the word troops, I used the word military. I think they refer to the same thing.
In the first place, he does consult a laundry list, as you see, as do they all, but only Romney feels constrained to lie about it, which shows the degree to which his lying has become practically a reflex, something he can't quite control. Anyway, he feels he did manage to check off the troops even though he didn't use the word.

In the second place, however, no, they don't refer to the same thing. What he had to say about the military in his speech, aside from a reference to dead troops and their unitedness (in reproachful contrast to those divisive Democrats despicably dividing us by race, social class, and party affiliation*), is this:
[Obama's] trillion dollar cuts to our military will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs, and also put our security at greater risk.... [while Romney's] America, that united America, will preserve a military that is so strong, no nation would ever dare to test it.
Policy-wise, what he's talking about has nothing to do with troops; it's about equipment that the Pentagon doesn't even want, but certain senators do, along with the contractors that keep them in campaign funds. When he speaks of "our military" he means the number one client of some of his "job-creating" colleagues, the corporate Thing. And then if corporations are people, the military is people too, including soldiers, sailors, and marines, but that doesn't say anything about their needs (such as adequate pay and benefits, just like factory workers, and a claim on the so-called American Dream), and there's no evidence that he cares about those at all, only that the corporate Thing should be impregnable, like Palpatine's Death Star; it might as well be peopled by droids (which would make somebody a ton of cash).

So that—finally—he's lying about that too. He knows very well that he didn't mention the troops in the speech but he doesn't want to admit, so he cooks up this story about how he mentioned them but we just didn't notice.
*It's one of the best rhetorical tricks they've got: "There are two kinds of people in this world, dividers like those damned Democrats, and uniters like me."

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