Look, we all know that the only skill politicians have is lying, but things are starting to get out of hand with the GOP candidates for president. Over the past few months, we've watched Donald Trump creep further and further and further over the line from "oddly misleading" to "often deceitful" to "gleeful con artist" with no consequences. And now it seems like his GOP rivals have been emboldened to do the same.
Lies from the Republican side have been getting bigger, crazier, and more shameless than ever before. Marco Rubio killed Obamacare! The Colorado shooter is a "transgendered leftist"! The Syrians LIKE living in a war zone!
Look, if Trump can get away with this "Muslims celebrated on 9/11" nonsense, why shouldn't his colleagues?
The latest on Trump's Mysterious Muslim Dance Party is that he's STILL insisting it happened. "I have a very good memory. I saw it somewhere on television many years ago and I never forgot it," he said, though apparently his memory's not so good that he remembers what channel it was on.
Trump added that his staff is still looking for video clips to confirm that he's correct. Jesus, can you imagine working for this guy? He blunders into your office, points at your whole research department and orders you to locate a video clip that you know exists only in his mind, and then that's your next two weeks: coming in every day to comb through archives for nonexistent footage. Nice work if you can get it.
You might've heard that Ted Cruz suggested that the guy who attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado is a "transgendered leftist." This is based on no evidence whatsoever — just a single voting record on which the man is marked down as "female," which is far more likely to be a clerical error. But hey, why not make shit up? And use offensive terminology while you're at it?
Ben Carson, meanwhile, is telling people that the Syrian refugees would prefer to stay in Syria. "Their intense desire is to return to their country," he said; and sure, if the fighting ends and everyone can return to their homes safely, of course they would rather stay where they've always lived. But Carson is carefully wording his statements so that it sounds like the refugees want to go back to Syria right now. As if they just fled their homes by accident.
"They are satisfied to be in the refugee camps," Carson told reporters."They have recreational facilities that are really quite nice."
Lately Marco Rubio's been bragging that he just "killed Obamacare" with a complicated budgetary move. The whole story is a labyrinth of money and laws, but the short version is that Rubio simply delayed a bunch of payouts to insurance companies (and forced some co-ops to shut down because they didn't get timely payments). Rubio didn't kill anything, he just put a bunch of companies in financial peril. But hey, why not take credit for stuff you didn't do!
Bush, meanwhile, is turning the lies inward on the party, with staffers pushing rumors about Marco Rubio sex scandals. Are they true? Who cares!
So who knows what, if anything, to believe from these people. Paul Ryan just announced that the State of Union is scheduled for January 12, but we should probably get a fact-checker on that. It's probably really on January 11, and he's just telling people it's the 12th so they show up a day late.
Alas, poor Chris Christie doesn't seem to have gotten the memo that everyone's just blatantly lying these days. "It's just wrong," he told CNN about Trump's 9/11 comments. "It's factually wrong," he said, confused and frustrated, still operating under the assumption that telling the truth matters.