On Tuesday, I was pleased to report the Romney/Ryan welfare lie, which falsely accuses President Obama of "gutting" existing welfare law and "dropping work requirements," had suddenly disappeared. After weeks of constant repetition, the Republicans' ridiculous, racially-charged attack had vanished.
Regrettably, it appears I spoke too soon. Paul Ryan, reinforcing his "Lyin' Ryan" moniker, brought the lie back yesterday in Iowa, and a few hours later, Romney himself pushed the lie after being prompted by Fox News' Carl Cameron.
Cameron predicted that former President Clinton would take Romney "to task" over the bogus welfare claim, and asked the Republican to preemptively "react."
"Well, I'm not sure exactly what President Clinton will say, but there's no question that President Obama's decision to say that we're going to allow waivers or excuses from work requirements in welfare was designed to shore up part of his base that may not be inclined to go out and vote in the same kind of energy and passion as they did four years ago."And, I think putting a measure that would take work out of welfare and waiving the work requirement in welfare is an extraordinary political move on his part, and one which I disagree with. My own view is that we should have greater work requirements with welfare, not less."
In every possible way, Romney's simply lying, and he's doing so in a racially-inflammatory way. The reference to the Democratic "base" is especially ridiculous -- Romney is asking voters to believe the president's most ardent supporters want welfare checks without work requirements. How subtle.
The rest of this is just garbage, and Romney knows it. The work requirement hasn't been waived; what the candidate is saying is the exact opposite of reality. The Republican just doesn't give a damn -- he knows he's lying; he knows that we know he's lying; but he's confident just enough voters will be ignorant enough to fall for his con.
When the lie briefly disappeared, I'd hoped, naively, that the pressure surrounding a racially-charged falsehood might force Romney to shift his strategy. Alas, the reprieve was brief and Romney is back to flaunting his deception, carefully extending his middle finger in reality's face.