Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why Do Conservatives Lie?

Art chided me in comments here for calling Steven Moore a liar in the aftermath of his lying screed at the WSJ.  I had only read enough of the liar's lies to assure myself that he was lying, and pulled some damning quotes.   In response to Art, I said this:

I think that when you can find someone lying repeatedly, and that person has a public forum, it is vitally important to call him exactly what he is - a liar.

The entire edifice of conservatism is based on lies. Consider, for example, the "miracle" of Texas, WMD's, the lump of labor "fallacy."

Etc, etc and so forth.

And look at the "so forths": Obama, the most liberal member of the senate according to McCain in '08, is a Kenyan Muslim socialist who wants the terrorists to win, The Stimulus failed, Obama has tripled the national debt, Krugman is a war monger, the country is bankrupt, the ACA and raising taxes on "job creators (a lie within a lie)" will harm the economy.  Acorn promoted pimps.  Global warming is a hoax, and Climategate proves it.  Conservatives routinely attribute non-Keynesian ideas to Keynes, and then ridicule their own lies before an ignorant and credulous audience.

This morning I heard a clip of Dick Morris on Hannity saying that Libya is the next Iraq.  Never mind that American casualties in Iraq number 4474 as of 7/18/11, with 94.7% of them occurring after the lie of "mission accomplished," while American casualties in Libya number ZERO!   Or that the Libyan unpleasantness is a genuine popular revolt while the Iraq unpleasantness was a wobegon exercise in American imperialist over-reach.  Other than that, the circumstances are rather dissimilar.   This is the classic conservative ploy of false equivalence.  Tux elaborates.

I have already dissected lies from the Heritage Foundation and conservative economists like Scott Sumner and Russ Roberts.  (The Blogger Search function is inop AGAIN, making it more trouble than its worth to track down my links.  You'll have to trust me - but that's OK.  I'm not a lying conservative.  UPDATE: Search is now inexplicably working again, and I have supplied the links.)

Some imposter named Carlos Graterol put up a bogus Krugman account on Google+.  On that account, he said things that Krugman never said or would say, in an attempt to make Krugman look bad.  In the aftermath, he remains impenitent.   He's actually proud of what he did.  In comments, one of his fawning supporters goes so far as to say: "Well Done! You made some great points while pointing out the foolishness of leftism, and have taken responsibility for it in a way only conservatives ever do…honestly. Again, Well done!"

This is particularly illustrative.  If you've paid any attention to Krugman, Rachel Maddow, or me, you'll know that when we get it wrong, we own up to it.  Why?  It's simple - we're honest.  You'll also know that we are careful to get the facts straight before we spout off, so - though we are human and therefore imperfect - we don't get things wrong very often.  A conservative, on the other hand, when caught lying, doubles down on the lie.  

UpdateAt HuffPo, Jason Linkins does the near equivalent of a DEEP STUPID treatment to lying liar Carlos Graterol.  There is a video of Krugman included as a no extra charge bonus.  H/T to the LW.

Conservatives lie.  They lie all the time, and then they lie about their lies.  Though it is now commonplace among even mainstream conservatives, it has always been so on the right lunatic fringe.  Back in the '50's, when I was in grade school, Robert Welch, the founder of the John Birch Society, said that Ike was a communist sympathizer.   Now, the right wing lunatic fringe has become the mainstream.

Why do conservatives lie?  It's really quite simple.  They lie because the truth is not favorable to their point of view.  They make shit up because facts and data seldom support their opinions, and most typically reveal them to be unworthy.  This is the well known "liberal bias" of reality.  Conservatives lie because the truth does not serve their purposes.

And that's the truth.


nunya said...


nanute said...

Well said, and all true! My word verification is factica. As in, conservatives can never rely on facticas. Well, they can, but they're usually made up.

BadTux said...

But the reality of course is that the conservatives don't really care if they're lying or not. For them, it's all about winning -- about coming out ahead. Truth isn't something that concerns them, so the truth that the facts have a well-known liberal bias simply is irrelevant to their way of thinking.

- Badtux the Lizard-decoding Penguin
And since we're talking about co nservative lizard people, perhaps it's apt that my word verification is "slying".