Dear Madame L,
I've been reading about the statements and charges being made by multiple Republican presidential contestants, and I'm astounded at the lies and misstatements they keep making.
Do they think the American public are a bunch of dolts? Do they think we've lost our memory? What's happening here?
Thanks for knowing everything,
Wants to know more
Dear Wants to Know More,
Here's the thing: These politicians themselves have forgotten an important fact: Everything they say and do, along with everything our current Democratic president says and does, is being continually recorded, which means that it's all on record, somewhere. Even if it's just some ordinary person with a cell phone camera, someone is taking their picture and remembering what they said.
Also, yes, they do think we're kind of forgetful and possibly downright stupid.
So, when candidate Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) says, for instance, that if she becomes president she will immediately lower gasoline prices to under $2.00 per gallon, that's an example of her thinking we're stupid.
Oh, and when she says prices have gone up since Obama was inaugurated as president in 2009, that's an example of her thinking we're forgetful (or at least selectively memorious) and at the same time stupid, because while gas prices WERE exceptionally low in 2009, it was not because the previous president had done anything to lower them. In fact, quite the contrary, it was because demand had plummeted, which was because of the Bush-caused recession, which made people cut down drastically on all travel and thus fuel.
Another important point is this: Only one of these candidates will actually oppose Pres. Obama in Nov. 2012, so they can get away with saying some pretty outrageous things. They can make some mind-boggling promises, such as Bachmann's promise to lower gas prices to under $2.00 a gallon, because nobody, not even her supporters, and certainly not the Republican Party itself, really thinks she'll end up becoming president. She doesn't have to face reality now or in the future.
She and the others are counting on our forgetting their most outrageous statements between now and then.
Even those who are or have been state governors (Romney, Huntsman, and Perry) have made some interesting mis-statements about their experience and qualifications. Romney of course is infamous for flip-flopping on every social issue from women's rights to health care. Perry hasn't done one single thing to increase jobs in Texas. And Huntsman, bless his heart, appears to be basing his campaign on being the only Republican smart enough to understand economics and global warming, which is probably true and will probably eliminate his chances to run against Obama.
And so, Dear Reader, Madame L comes back to her oft-repeated request that you study the issues, read many different points of view, and even watch some TV news, to become acquainted with the issues and the candidates.
(Don't spent too much time on it, though. You don't want to raise your blood pressure that much, and you probably have much more important things to do with your time!)