The Audacity of Trope

Barack Obama

So often these days, we hear complaints about the divisive nature of partisan politics and a longing for a time when candidates were more genial and our politics more civil. Alas, in doing so we seek for the equivalent of the elusive white unicorn, something spoken of in hopeful measures but rarely seen in our nation’s history. Even our Founding Fathers, for whom I have the deepest respect and utmost admiration, were not always paragons of virtue in these matters. For example, the election of 1800 between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, two men who had enjoyed fifteen years of friendship “without the smallest interruption,” was, shall we say, a most discourteous one. In the New England states, the Federalists warned that Jefferson was an atheist, and people would have to hide their Bibles should he be elected. By contrast, Alexander Hamilton wrote that Adams was a man of “distempered jealousy…extreme egotism” with an “ungovernable temper” which produced a natural tendency towards “detriment to any cause of which he is the chief…”

Still, an attack ad released last week by Obama surrogates at the super-PAC Priorities Action USA, which essentially implies that Romney is responsible for the death of a man’s wife, show just how deep in the mire Obama (who somehow obtained sealed divorce records of at least two prior opponents, which he used to destroy them) is willing to go to win re-election.

The ad features the bitter and forlorn visage of one Joe Soptic, a steel worker at GST Steel, one of the many companies invested in by Bain Capital. Soptic’s wife died of cancer, and he blames Mitt Romney for her death. With a tone meant to evoke in the viewer sadness for his loss and anger at Romney’s heartless complicity in her death, Soptic laments:

“I don’t think Mitt Romney understands what he’s done to people’s lives by closing the plant. I don’t think he realizes that people’s lives completely changed. When Mitt Romney and Bain closed the plant, I lost my health care, and my family lost their health care. And a short time after that my wife became ill. I don’t know how long she was sick, and I think maybe she didn’t say anything because she knew that we couldn’t afford the insurance. And then one day she became ill and I took her up to the Jackson County Hospital and admitted her for pneumonia. And that’s when they found the cancer, and by then it was stage four. It was, there was nothing they could do for her. And she passed away in 22 days. I do not think Mitt Romney realizes what he’s done to anyone, and furthermore I do not think Mitt Romney is concerned.”

Oh, thou black-hearted villain, Willard Mitt Romney! Thou Son of Darkness, Destroyer of Virtue, and Enemy of All That is Good! Have you no humanity? How can you justify allowing a man’s poor wife to die just so you can add a few more dollars to your mountain of riches? …except the list of facts in this ad are fewer than the list of reasons Michelle Obama is proud of her country; which is to say, there ain’t much there.

Here are the actual facts: Mitt Romney left the day-to-day operations at Bain in 1999 to save the Salt Lake Olympics, and was a part of Bain only on paper. Bain, after eight years of trying to make GST profitable, closed the plant in 2001, nearly three years after Romney left. Soptic was offered a buy-out by Bain, but he refused. Soptic’s wife, at the time of his lay-off, had insurance through her own employer, up through 2003. Soptic got a new job as a school custodian six months later, making $46,000 per year between his salary and pension (plus benefits), declined to add his wife to his insurance policy. In 2006, Soptic’s wife was sadly diagnosed with cancer, and died a few short weeks later. Read that again. She died in 2006, nearly EIGHT YEARS after Romney left Bain, five years after the plant closed, and three years after she lost her own insurance coverage and her husband decided not to add her to his policy. Yet somehow, we are supposed to blame this on Mitt Romney?

For days after the ad initially aired, the Obama campaign denied any knowledge of or involvement with the airing of the ad. Now we find out that Soptic has been featured in other Obama campaign ads, and none other than Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, participated in a conference call with Soptic in May, and thanked him for sharing his story. Jen Psaki, another Obama campaign operative, denied knowing anything about the Soptic story, but later claimed “No one is denying he was in one of our campaign ads. He was on a conference call telling his story.” Yet, even with the facts now revealed, the Obama campaign, including senior Obama campaign advisor and former Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, steadfastly refuses to denounce the ad.

How blatant are these lies? So bad that even liberal MSM stalwart Wolf Blitzer shredded an Obama representative for trying to defend an ad so “full of falsehoods.” So bad that Lanny Davis, a presidential advisor to former President Bill Clinton, disgustedly stated that “Bill Burton [head of Obama’s super PAC] needs to go back to ethics school…He knows perfectly well that the ad is misleading and disgusting and he needs to apologize for it,” followed by “President Obama owes it to the American people to repudiate this ad”.

This should be no surprise though. The Obama campaign, clearly doing all in their power to keep the media narrative off of his miserable record as president, his record unemployment levels, his record deficits, and his failure at nearly everything he puts his hand to (other than a golf club), has been generating a steady stream of misdirection, half-truths, and outright lies. A couple of months ago, the Obama team accused Romney of being a corporate raider who outsourced jobs to China and Mexico, a claim maintained by Team Obama despite being repeatedly debunked by fact-checking organizations like and the Washington Post.

Other lies include statements by Stephanie Cutter claiming that Romney committed felonies by falsifying information on SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) filings, or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s claim that a so-called inside source told him that Romney hasn’t paid taxes in ten years (oddly, Reid refuses to disclose his own tax returns, which might shed light on how he managed to accumulate millions upon millions of dollars in net worth…my secret source tells me Reid got his wealth by selling plump puppies to the caterers of Obama dinner parties).

Obama routinely paints Republicans as the party of the rich (usually at $30,000 per plate fundraisers with Hollywood elites or Wall Street donors) who don’t care about the poor or working class, who want dirty air and dirty water, and who would cut Medicare for seniors (conveniently forgetting that HE was the only president to cut Medicare, by $500 BILLION!). The sheer audacity of the lies is stunning, and the Obama campaign strategy seems to be, either through their own campaign or their surrogates, to spew the most venomous of lies and invective, in the hope that enough will stick to get him re-elected despite his record of failure.

With the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as Vice Presidential candidate, we can probably expect even more lies and calumny from the left as we saw with the ad showing a Paul Ryan look-alike shoving an elderly woman in a wheelchair over a cliff. If such despicable lies are allowed to lead to an Obama victory, we can be assured that the level of political discourse will continue to plummet.

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