From Rachel Maddow, and, dear God, I wished more journalists had the stones to call this what it is. Speaking on the Mitt Romney/Etch-a-Sketch fiasco, she said (at about the 6:30 mark):
In the general election you don’t have to be any one ideological thing in order to win over the country. But you have to not be a liar. Here’s how else Mitt Romney is like an Etch-a-Sketch. It’s not just speaking French. It’s not just outsourcing jobs to China. It is not just fudging his conservatism. It’s fudging everything, all the time. And this is hard to talk about in the day-to-day news context because there are such low expectations for politicians’ being truthful and because the word ‘lie’ is both underused and overused to the point where everybody’s a little touchy about it. But the degree to which Mr. Romney lies — all the time, about all sorts of stuff, and doesn’t care when he gets caught — is maybe the single most notable thing about his campaign.
If the Republicans want to make this presidential election about character and not about the economy and jobs and the endless war in Afghanistan and the rising ocean and shrinking window for doing anything about it, well, then, let’s have that conversation.
And as we do, let’s remember that the three most important rules of political journalism are 1) Look at the record, 2) look at the record and 3) look at the record.
Obama has let me down, to the point at which I publicly called for his impeachment more than two years ago. But the reality for a long time has been that in the system we have, the best we can hope for is the lesser of two evils.
On top of that, Obama has carried through on some important things on which he campaigned in 2008, including health-care reform, stimulus for the economy and finding Osama bin Laden. The sole Supreme Court justice he has appointed to date appears not to be a sociopath. He can, on some subjects, be trusted, at the least, not to do the wrong thing.
But Romney has a history of doing the wrong thing, time and time again, particularly in the economic sphere, where we remain vulnerable. On top of that, he has held so many positions so many times on so many issues, it simply is impossible anymore to place any credence in anything that comes out of his mouth, including his own name.
N.B. I pray for the day when Rachel Maddow gets to moderate a presidential debate. Because as much as she comes across about as threateningly as your smarter little sister, she will cut a guy. And I want to be watching when it happens, because as politics goes, I suspect it might be the single greatest moment of my lifetime.