“obfuscation, misdirection and straight-up lies” : a commetary on a political agenda

A posting by Robert L. Borosage in the Huffington Post takes issue with assumed Republican Candidate Mitt Romney, and he does it straight on.  In doing so, he accuses Romney of “obfuscation, misdirection and straight-up lies.”   That’s a pretty brave comment which  risks the chance of being  designated dangerously risky by some.   So I checked out the correct meaning of the words before proceeding to assume anything.

  1. Obfuscation: literally, “to darken.”   It is a word that means that a person makes an intentional act to muddy the waters, to turn out the lights, to deceive by hiding the truth.  The main point of obfuscation is that it is intentional.  It is not an accidental covering of the facts; the speaker is determined to confuse the listener in order to deceive.
  2. Misdirection: to give guidance or instruction which is incorrect.  The implication of misdirection is, again, intentional for the purpose of sending someone the wrong way.  It’s like stopping at a convenience store to get directions, only to be told by the clerk, who hasn’t a clue, the wrong information just to get you off (his) back.  It’s happened to me numerous times, often leading me miles out of the way.  I don’t trust them anymore, and rely on my GPS.
  3. Straight-up lies are instructions that are intentionally designed to mislead the listener in order to avoid facts that undermine or deny the speaker’s truths.

In all three cases the speaker’s intent is the issue.  Borosage accuses Romney of being intentionally misleading when it comes to economic information in his plan for America.   It is an indictment which labels the Former Governor of Massachusetts as deceptive and immoral when it comes to the facts about his platform.   According to Borosage’s research the elements of the Romney platform are clearly designed to enhance the economics of a small portion of the top 1% of Americans at the expense of those who can least afford it.

Tax breaks, economic privileges and business practices that would be legal but exclusively beneficial to wealthy people are hidden in the plan.  Off-shore investment, protection from taxes which would apply only to wealthy people, and similar legislative and judicial practices are rampant.  Medicare and Social Security benefits for average Americans would be reduced and more difficult to secure.  Military budgets would be enhanced at the expense of infrastructure programs.   The plan is almost diametrically the opposite of that which Romney says when speaking on the campaign trail, again according to Borosage.

Robert Borosage is, clearly, a progressive whose biases are well known.   His inclinations for things liberal and progressive make him the darling of those who seek economic clarity which exposes conservative economic policy.    However, he is also recognized as someone with economic credentials which deserve recognition.

When Former Governor Romney, soon to become Candidate Romney, speaks about economics and claims his credentials as an expert in the field of business, investment, and finance, it is important to look at his critics as well as those who commend him.   It seems to me that this posting by Borosage is helpful in gaining insight into the intricacies of Romney’s plan.  It should be measured along side those which tout Romney as one who is prepared to correct the economic ills of this country.


Photo Credit:  Sportsnation article

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