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The Biggest Mitt Romney Lie (So Far)

Over the weekend, Mitt Romney, while clearly benefiting from Republican voter purges and Voter ID laws meant to discourage minority and working class voters, accused the Obama Justice Department of somehow trying to disenfranchise military voters -- his biggest lie yet.
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As you've probably observed already, Mitt Romney is a lie machine. Steve Benen at Maddow Blog has been tracking Romney's mendacity and the tally is usually 20-30 items per week. That's a lot, and Benen probably doesn't catch all of them.

Any normal human being has to work hard to lie that much. But Mitt Romney is doing it as a matter of campaign strategy, specifically as a way to fire up the gullible and desperate tea party base. By the time a Romney lie is fact-checked, it's already too late, and, besides, Romney supporters won't actually read/believe the fact-checkers who are obviously part of the liberal conspiracy to re-elect a communist Muslim. It's a strategy based on the maxim: "A lie travels halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on."

Meanwhile, as I've documented here, Republican legislatures have passed laws in 11 states requiring photo IDs in order to cast a ballot. These laws will make it more difficult for lower income registered voters to participate on Election Day even though numerous studies, including a five year investigation by the George W. Bush Justice Department, have proved that voter fraud is practically nonexistent.

Recently in Ohio, Republicans tried to significantly cut back the window for early voting from five weeks to three weeks. They failed to keep the law on the books, but the Republicans managed to ban early voting on the weekends, except for military veterans who can continue to vote on Saturdays and Sundays.

However, the Obama administration filed a lawsuit against Ohio to restore weekend voting for all registered voters. Soldiers would retain weekend voting privileges, and voters would once again be allowed to vote on those days. Once again, the Democrats are trying to make voting easier and the Republicans are trying to strip people of that fundamental right.

Over the weekend, Mitt Romney, while clearly benefiting from Republican voter purges and Voter ID laws meant to discourage minority and working class voters, accused the Obama Justice Department of somehow trying to disenfranchise military voters. In other words, the Democrats are the ones who are trying to disenfranchise people -- and they hate the troops, too! The troops!

President Obama's lawsuit claiming it is unconstitutional for Ohio to allow servicemen and women extended early voting privileges during the state's early voting period is an outrage. The brave men and women of our military make tremendous sacrifices to protect and defend our freedoms, and we should do everything we can to protect their fundamental right to vote. I stand with the fifteen military groups that are defending the rights of military voters, and if I'm entrusted to be the commander-in-chief, I'll work to protect the voting rights of our military, not undermine them.

In addition to sounding like a Patrick Bateman speech, that's arguably the biggest Romney lie so far (although his new welfare reform attack might have topped it). There's nothing here that's even remotely close to the truth. The Obama administration has absolutely not done what Romney says it's doing -- in any way. The president is actually trying to extend weekend voting to everyone, while preserving it for the troops. Romney has used this twisted Orwellian Karl Rove style backwards logic to trick his supporters into buying this bag of hooey while reinforcing the myth that the president -- the commander in chief of the armed forces -- hates the military. At the same time, he's reversed the Voter ID debate by making it seem as if the Democrats are trying to disenfranchise voters.

And it's in print. It's not a jittery, Uncanny Valley Romney gaffe or something he blurted out on a cable news show. He (his advisers) carefully crafted this one, and it's entirely untrue. And, for what it's worth, Politifact declared it to be "False" while entirely debunking the Facebook post.

It is simply dishonest for Romney and his backers to claim that Obama's effort to extend early voting privileges to everyone in Ohio constitutes an attack on military voters' ability to cast ballots on the weekend before elections.

But none of that matters because it's out there now. The Facebook post has been "Liked" more than 152,000 times and shared by more than 19,000 Romney Facebook friends. And it's a lie by every measure. To wit, here are some choice comments from Romney's Facebook:

"Obama is trying to make it more inconvenient for the military to vote. Obama is a db."

"suing Ohio for equal voting days between military and civilian voters , is an attack on military voters .common sense something dipshit liberals dnt have ..."

"What a hypocrite! He sues to overturn voter ID laws so that no vote is turned away and then sues to prevent servicemen and women from disgusting! He is a disgusting President!"

Everything is taken at face value because Romney's lies are crafted to be exactly what the base wants to hear. They want to hear that the president is a hypocrite who hates the troops. They want to hear that it's the president who doesn't want people to vote -- not the GOP state legislatures and governors. So Romney gives them what they want: red meat, irrespective of its veracity.

Crossposted at The Daily Banter.
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