Exaggerated claims and outright lies told with an air of complete conviction are common elements of almost every campaign for national office. I don’t know why. It doesn’t seem to be the case in our local elections. I can’t speak for what happens in yours. But the traveling hucksters’ medicine show that the Republicans have been passing off as a debate between candidates has set new records that may never be broken.
Taking a quick look through the fact checkers reviewing last night’s attempt at performance art is a case in point.
Cruz claimed that six years of Obamacare has been disaster with millions thrown out of work or forced into part time work. That 18 million people have health care coverage when they had had little or none before is apparently irrelevant. Unemployment is nearly at an all time low. Whether the ACA has had any impact on part time employment is an unknown, except for anecdotal stories one hears now and then.
He’s also deeply concerned over our tiny little Air Force of only 4,000 planes. He apparently didn’t see the 1 that comes before the 4 that the DOD reports to have on hand.
Rubio bemoans the small size of today’s Navy as if numbers of things that float take precedence over the purpose and capabilities of what we have. Maybe if he counted Zodiacs he’s be happier.
Christie still claims he knew nothing about the politically motivated bridge closure, and cites his own investigation of himself as proof.
Fiorina is disgusted at the number of veterans who are not being given health care in a timely way. So are we all. It’s a real problem. Not a Republican problem. Not a Democratic problem. It’s just a problem that needs to be solved quickly. However, her claim that 307,000 have died waiting for health care is a number that cannot be supported by any thoughtful examination of the data. For instance, my dad is one of those numbers, but he never sought VA medical treatment because he had wonderful coverage through other means. He just died in the normal way that we all do.
She also mashes the numbers on HP employment during her tenure as CEO in such a way as to imply wonderful growth that never happened. Smoke and mirrors, without the mirrors, just smoke.
Huckabee (the Rev. Mr. Huckabee) claimed he cut 90 taxes as governor, which he did. He conveniently failed to note the taxes he increased that amounted to a net increase of about 500 million.
Those are only the highlights, but you can be sure that a great many people watching believed it all.
The so called debates on the Democratic side are better, but by a matter of degree, not kind. It may be due in part to having only three people on the platform, each genuinely interested in the well being of the nation, and each holding the others accountable without (very much) rancor.
And then there’s Trump, “ Along came Trump, long-legged, lanky Trump.” Not exactly the slow talking Jones of the old song, but like Jones, all he does is show up. Never actually does anything. What he says brings to mind a petulant sixth grader trying to fake his way through and essay test for which he had never studied.
My solution. There is little one can do about the exaggerations and lies, but I agree with Trump on one point: get rid of the debates. They are a sham. They bring global ridicule and disrepute to American politics. It hurts to see adult persons claiming to be fit for the nation’s highest office making absolute fools out of themselves week after week.