Jon Lovitz had a character he developed known as Tommy Flanagan. He was a member, no president of Pathological Liars Anonymous, yeah, that’s the ticket. He dated, no married Morgan Fairchild. Many of you know the routine. After the convention and most recently the radio comment from Paul Ryan about running his one and only marathon in less than three hours, this character came to mind.
So what is a Pathological Liar? There is a medical term involved here:
Pseudologia fantastica, mythomania, or pathological lying are three of several terms applied by psychiatrists to the behavior of habitual or compulsive lying. It was first described in the medical literature in 1891 by Anton Delbrueck. Although it is a controversial topic, pathological lying has been defined as “falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view, may be extensive and very complicated, and may manifest over a period of years or even a lifetime.
Lying is the act of both knowingly and intentionally/willfully making a false statement. Most people do so out of fear. Pathological lying is considered a mental illness, because it takes over rational judgement and progresses into the fantasy world and back.
The Romney/Ryan Campaign made it very clear this week during the convention that they would not be dissuaded by fact checkers in response to their (the fact checkers) analysis of all the misrepresentations (otherwise known as lies) coming from their camp. The ads where they blatantly lie about President Obama’s position on Medicare and the $716,000,000,000.00, as well as the lies regarding Welfare and the work requirements. All have been clearly debunked, yet they continue to tell these lies. As Joseph Goebbels said, “tell a lie enough times, it becomes the truth.” And Hitler himself said, “Don’t bother with the small lies, tell the big ones.”
And before some of you get into a tizzy about comparing Romney/Ryan to Hitler/Goebbels and the Nazis; this is what they said about lying, the facts about what Romney/Ryan are doing with lies are undeniable. I’m not calling them Nazis, but they are using propaganda tactics similar to the Nazis. Prove me wrong.
So they lie, they lie a lot and they are starting to lie big. They dismiss those who fact check them. Ron Christie went so far last night on Bill Maher to ask, “who checks the fact checkers?” To which I respond by quoting John Adams “Facts are stubborn things.” For the most part, since they are non-partisan and depend on providing provable facts in their analysis, I go with the fact checkers. If they are presenting wrong facts and analyses, present the facts showing that what they presented was wrong Ron Christie. Facts are what is used in Courts of Law. They are presented, weighed and ruled upon by either a Judge and/or Jury. Facts are stubborn things, they are absolute when pulled and presented in an unbiased manner. Just because they show someone is “lying” doesn’t make them partisan. Denying the facts without presenting counter facts is partisan and lazy.
So they are liars, but are they “pathological”? I wasn’t prepared to go that far until the recent radio interview where Paul Ryan said he ran a marathon in less than three hours when he was 20. As someone who actually trained with professional marathon runners (it’s become a science people) and studied the mechanics and history involved in running, I knew he was bull-shitting. Not possible. It flies in the face of professional marathon runners, athletes and pure common sense. It was quickly debunked, yet Ryan himself has yet (as of this blog posting) apologized and admitted he was lying.
He has lied about his position on abortion, contraceptives and personhood responding to the flack regarding Akin, he has lied about what his budget would, and is capable of doing, he has lied about the record of President Obama, he has lied about when a plant in his own district of Janesville closed and who was responsible, all of these things are easily proven by facts that are available for all to read and assess. Paul Ryan knows the facts that counter his lies are out there, yet he continues to lie and won’t apologize or take any of it back. He is nearing the realm of Pathological. And Mitt Romney’s record of presenting falsehoods depending on which way the wind is blowing and who his audience or backers are? Well, he’s getting pretty close himself.
Building a political movement, let alone an administration on lies is like building a home on sand. The foundation is poor, unstable and will result in the whole structure falling in on itself. The Romney/Ryan Campaign have built their race for the White House on the weakest of sand dunes. We as a nation cannot afford to have the country collapse due to their poor work on not building on a solid foundation of actual facts.