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The pathological deceit of Mitt Romney

A little over a month ago, I wrote about Romney’s unusual capacity for lying, but in the weeks that followed, have come to believe that I was too cautious. What we seem to have is not merely a bad politician but a pathological liar who is psychologically disoriented to a degree found, for example, only in about one in a thousand repeat juvenile offenders.

Consider, for example, this assessment of Romney by Michael Cohen in the Guardian:

Romney persists in repeating the same lies over and over, even after they've been debunked. This is perhaps the most interesting and disturbing element of Romney's tireless obfuscation: that even when corrected, it has little impact on the presumptive GOP nominee's behavior.

This is a pretty good description of pathological lying. Here’s another from the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry:

Falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view, may be extensive and very complicated, and may manifest over a period of years or even a lifetime.

Wikipedia offers these characteristics of the disease:

The fabricative tendency is long lasting; it is not provoked by the immediate situation or social pressure as much as it is an innate trait of the personality.

The stories told tend toward presenting the liar favorably. For example, the person might be presented as being fantastically brave, knowing or being related to many famous people.

Some might argue that Romney is actually a sociopathic liar, defined by one scholarly site on deception as a person who is “often goal-oriented (i.e., lying is focused - it is done to get one's way). Sociopaths have little regard or respect for the rights and feelings of others. Sociopaths are often charming and charismatic, but they use their talented social skills in manipulative and self-centered ways.” There is, however, something oddly robotic about Romney’s behavior, including a bizarre smile that does not fade whatever the topic, suggesting not deliberate falsehood with a stealthily conceived goal so much as an unthinking soldier over-drilled in the art of mendacity.

Just in the past few days, Romney has been caught lying about several things that an ordinary good liar would probably avoid.

- He made up a fictional account of his time as a Mormon missionary in Paris complete with misleading descriptions of his economic conditions at the time and the state of his bathroom.

- He was found to have misstated his residency status in two states at the time that he was launching his bid for for governor there.

- His campaign has run an ad featuring an Ohio auto dealer claiming that Obama’s auto firm bailout had cost dealer jobs in the state. While it may have caused that dealer jobs; in fact, across Ohio dealership jobs increased.

Only one of these lies – the residency issue – was significant because of the benefits it might produce, i.e. making it legal for Romney to run for Massachusetts governor. The other two were trivial, easily exposed, and ultimately pointless.

Romney – unlike, say, a Nixon or Clinton – lies out of habit and nature rather than out of perceived necessity. And he doesn’t just exaggerate; he makes up wholly fictitious tales.

Romney has been greatly aided in this by the demise of American journalism, which now - like much of the country – considers any message to be a reasonable facsimile of reality and, further, one from which one may, with impunity, “walk back” should it prove embarrassing. The days when the conventional press was more loyal to the truth than to favored sources has well passed and now honesty has no embedded press corps to cover it.

What is not clear about Romney, however, is whether his propensity for deception is a personally developed dysfunction or whether it is the result of what can fairly be called brainwashing by the Mormon Church, where he rose from missionary to bishop.

Here again you can expect no help from the conventional media which is afraid to question the role of religion in our culture or politics for fear of seeming biased.

by Check this outreply 6912/09/2012

Well, it's apparent that those Mormon underpants are fire retardant.

by Check this outreply 108/07/2012

How many Romney posts which get 3 responses are you going to post today?

by Check this outreply 208/07/2012

R2, why are you complaining about Romney posts in every Romney thread? Are you trying to eliminate anti-Romney threads on Datalounge?

by Check this outreply 308/07/2012

is it that he is pathological liar or that the rebugs banked on him and are banking that the typical American is dumb as a stump and will never investigate his lies?

Barack Obama's election racists, bigot's heads to explode. They are spreading the fear and ignoring Romney's shady, unAmerican, greedy life. The rwnjs, who are louder, richer, and more prominante media-wise, are confidant that those who think like them, will ignore facts, be ignorant enough to vote against their interests. The lefties are too polite, trying to play by the rules, and too timid to be as loud and obnoxioux to really expose the lies.

Any idiot can see what Romney is. A greedy POS. He'll just pass off lie and lie, along with his witch of a wife, talking down to the uneducated, unwashed masses till they take office.

by Check this outreply 408/07/2012

Actually, R5, Romney does. Romney does not have that internal governor that tells him not to lie. He almost cannot help himself. Pathological? I guess that's the proper word for it.

by Check this outreply 608/07/2012

R5, Romney is a hundred times worse. He has been told since he was a small child that he fulfills divine prophecy, that anything he does is good and that he is morally superior to everyone else because of who he is.

by Check this outreply 708/08/2012

R5 is an idiot. OF course there are many Democrats who lie (Hillary Clinton is a case in point). But Romney is in a different class than ALL of them. His entire presentation is based on deception in things small and large.

by Check this outreply 808/08/2012

R5 - Romney might be the most deceitful Presidental nominee from a major party in the modern era.

by Check this outreply 908/08/2012

How are we to respond to a campaign that deliberately deceives the public without shame?

Romney's lie about welfare policy comes on the heels of Romney's lie about voting rights in Ohio, which came on the heels of Romney's lies about the economy; which came on the heels of Romney's lies about health care; which came on the heels of Romney's lies about taxes....

And on and on.

If you removed all the lies from his campaign, he wouldn't have a campaign.

by Check this outreply 1008/08/2012

R11, did you miss the point of the article?

by Check this outreply 1208/08/2012

You're full of shit R5.

Warren's ethnicity issue - a tiny detail - was fully explained and the explanation was completely sound. As the article notes, and as anyone connected to reality can discern, Romney lies repeatedly and with abandon. Pathologically.

Your party has the most vile and reprehensible presidential nominee of the modern era. Congratulations.

by Check this outreply 1308/08/2012

OP, Thank you for posting this thread, and referencing the article. Most interesting is the motivation for lying. I've often been called "too honest." I guess most people expect others to lie.

by Check this outreply 1408/08/2012

R11 = Mitt Romney

by Check this outreply 1508/08/2012

R11... that's completely irrelevant... an excuse and a distraction. You're pathetic.

by Check this outreply 1608/08/2012

So true that reporters and the MSM are as worthless as Romney.

by Check this outreply 1708/08/2012

To say that Obama 'made up' a 'fictional girlfriend' in his biography is dishonest, R18. The character is a composite. There is a difference. And you're the one being intellectually dishonest if you don't admit that.

Can you answer a simple question? Are you supporting Romney in this election, R18?

by Check this outreply 1908/08/2012

I would take Obama's "made up girlfriend" or anything else he says over the reality of a Romney presidency.

The GOP of today is a dangerous party and I'm not being hyperbolic when I say it. Their policies don't even resemble that of the GOP from 20-25 years ago. They are a party of ignorant, hateful, embarrassingly uneducated ideologues. The only question is whether the politician is genuinely all of those things (like Bachmann or Steve King) or playing to the crowd to keep their position (like a Lindsey Graham).

There's a difference between hating someone's ideology vs. simply hating, and when a rightwinger says that the left "hates," they seem to think hating a policy against gay people or a woman's right to choose is on par with the platform-approved xenophobia and homophobia of the right.

by Check this outreply 2008/08/2012

Comparing Obama's "lies" to Mitt Romney's habitual mendacity is like comparing a fire-cracker to a nuclear bomb.

It makes you look stupid to even go there.

by Check this outreply 2108/08/2012

There's also an important distinction between the lies that come directly out of his own mouth and ones that come from his campaign. Not only does he have a problem with personal honesty, but he's apparently surrounded himself with staff that have no problem with his falsehoods either.

That's the kind of thing that made Nixon more than just personally dislikeable, but actively dangerous.

by Check this outreply 2408/08/2012

Freeper desperation smells good.

by Check this outreply 2508/08/2012

R22 is that obnoxious parent whose kid is a bully and he tries to justify the behavior by saying "every kid does it."

What has Obama lied about that is on par with Romney's lies? The motherfucker passed healthcare that was to the left of what Obama got through and Romney attacks Obama for it as though Romney had not passed anything resembling the ACA!

I'm reminded of a George Costanza quote when I think of Mitt: "It's not a lie if you believe it."

Now tell us what lies Obama has repeated over and over, even after they've been debunked?

by Check this outreply 2608/08/2012

Please notice R23 refuses to admit he supports Romney. I guess the dishonesty runs from the top of the campaign to the bottom.

From the opening of Obama's memoir: "For the sake of compression, some of the characters that appear are composites of people I've known, and some events appear out of precise chronology."

You're only embarrassing yourself, R23.

by Check this outreply 2708/08/2012

On a related topic, [bold]WHY[/bold] does every Republican instinctively fall back on the defense strategy of "well everybody does it!" It's beyond pathetic.

by Check this outreply 2808/08/2012

R2 stop being a hall monitor.

The more stuff likes this that comes up about RawMoney in a search, the better.

by Check this outreply 2908/08/2012

R22, you're still comparing firecrackers to nuclear bombs. Stop it. You're making yourself look like a complete fool.

You can't defend Romney by saying "Obama does it", especially when Obama doesn't. (Only in the twisted delusional minds of FOX News viewers is Obama worse than Romney on any level, in any way)

by Check this outreply 3008/08/2012

Rmoney is such a habitual liar. Continuously all the time!

Funny how the desperate repukes bring up "Hillary's sniper fire" gaffe from 2008 from a trip she took there in 1998. At least sniper fire was in the region.

Apples to oranges.

by Check this outreply 3108/08/2012

R23? [quote]Clinton admits Bosnia 'mistake'

[quote] Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has said she made a mistake in claiming that she came under sniper fire on a trip to Bosnia in the 1990s.

[quote]"It proves I'm human," she said in Pennsylvania ahead of the key primary election vote there on 22 April.

[quote]Her aides earlier admitted she "misspoke" in claiming she and daughter Chelsea "ran with our heads down" when arriving in Bosnia in 1996.

You see how it works?

Romney doesn't even admit to a 'mistake.' He doubles and triples and quadruples down on the lies he tells.

Stop pretending that the "all politicians do it" defense invalidates the argument regarding Romney. You make no allowance for how big the lie is and whether they admitted to it or chose to continue to lie about it.

by Check this outreply 3208/08/2012

Hillary Clinton's autobiography is also full of lies (I babysat the children of migrant farm workers; I met Dr. Martin Luther King; I uncovered vote fraud in the Chicago ghetto as a teenage girl white girl from the suburbs walking alone; Park Ridge made supervisor of one of their parks when I was eleven years old). It was one big reason why I supported Obama. Obama had been upfront: yes, I used cocaine. Yes, I had issues as a teen. Certainly Obama has lied many times.

But Romney lies about what he did yesterday, and he will turn 180 and lie about what he said today about what he did yesterday tomorrow.

His philosophy is "I'm better than you no matter what I do. You're worse than me no matter what you do." That's it. That's the whole enchilada of Mitt Romney. You can't run a country that way.

This is not a "trivial" issue, or a matter of "gotchas." This is someone whom you cannot believe anything he says, from "I love Ann" to "I believe in America."

by Check this outreply 3308/08/2012

Romney has NO recollection that he ever asked for welfare waivers from the feds. He cared nothing for GOVERNING, and it doesn't fit his current self-image, therefore it didn't happen. Romney's lying is so dangerous because he actually believes them. Who he is changes every single damn day.

by Check this outreply 3408/08/2012

The problem is the media (quelle surprise). Don't let him get away with telling the lies. Keep after him. If he insists on lying again, call him out on it. Don't simply move onto something new.

by Check this outreply 3508/08/2012

He also lied twice that John Kerry released two years of tax returns. The actual number is 23 years.

by Check this outreply 3608/08/2012

In the 2008 election, the Hillary Clinton Campaign releases a video that proves that Obama lied about his position on “single-payer healthcare.”The video compares statements Obama made during the January 21st Democratic debate with those he made to an AFL-CIO conference in June 2003 while campaigning for the Senate. Contradicting what Obama said at the debate, the old footage shows the senator saying, “I happen to be a proponent of single-payer universal healthcare coverage. That’s what I’d like to see.”At the debate, Obama stated: “I never said that we should try to go ahead and get single-payer (healthcare)

by Check this outreply 3708/08/2012

Obama said "I will walk on that picket line with you, if workers are denied the right to bargain."

Yet he never showed up in Wisconsin either during the occupation of the statehouse or during the recall election

by Check this outreply 4108/08/2012

Again, R37/R38, you need to be reminded: President Barack Hussein Obama could tell us he fucked his grandmother's corpse and I would vote for him over anyone the GOP puts forth (save Jon Huntsman).

Do you understand that there is nothing that would possess a sane, thinking person to vote for today's GOP no matter what you post?

The GOP is VILE.

by Check this outreply 4208/08/2012

Keep fucking that chicken, R37/38/39/40/41.

by Check this outreply 4308/08/2012

"I'll be better than Ted Kennedy on gay rights."

Who said that?

Hmmmmm.... I wonder...

by Check this outreply 4508/08/2012

In case I wasn't clear enough, Freepy McFreeper: I will take the lies of Obama over the reality of the GOP any day of the week.

No point in you continuing to copy/paste the latest nonsense from Free Republic or Little Green Footballs or Newsbusters or whatever site where brain cells go to die.

by Check this outreply 4608/08/2012

I'm just waiting for the day when Romney starts to claim it was his twin brother "Nitt" who said those things, R45

by Check this outreply 4708/08/2012

I found the following interesting:

by arthanyel August 7, 2012 3:43 PM "It's pretty clear why Romney won't release his tax returns.

Remember, Romney he was actively running for president in 2007 and 2008, and he KNEW he was going to be running in 2012. That means it's nearly certain those years should be able to withstand scrutiny. So why not at least release the last 5 years?

Because on October 15, 2009, this happened: "Wealthy U.S. taxpayers, concerned about an Internal Revenue Service crackdown on the use of secret overseas bank accounts as tax havens, are rushing to meet a 10/15/2009 deadline to disclose those accounts or face possible criminal prosecution. The concern was triggered this summer when Switzerland's largest bank, caught up in an international tax evasion dispute, said it would disclose the names of more than 4,000 of its U.S. account holders.

The decision shattered a long-held belief that Swiss banks would guard the identities of its American customers as carefully as they did their money, and it raised concern that other international tax havens might be next. Under an amnesty program, the IRS is allowing taxpayers to avoid prosecution for having failed to report their overseas accounts. As a result, tax attorneys across the nation have been besieged by wealthy clients who are lining up to apply even though they will still face big financial penalties."

We KNOW Romney had money in Switzerland - he has said so himself. Therefore, the logical conclusion is that Romney doesn't want people to know he was intentionally (and illegally) hiding money from taxation in Switzerland. There is no criminal prosecution because the IRS granted an amnesty, but it WAS ILLEGAL - and he knew it.

No wonder he is keeping them a secret - releasing them would destroy his candidacy."

by Check this outreply 4808/08/2012

A great many Americans adore pathological liars.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

by Check this outreply 4908/08/2012

Life is lying. Blacks trying to bleach themselves white is a common occurrence and today it is all the rage in India. I believe Obama on that one. What would Life file it under, "skin bleaching"? They wouldn't. Nobody searching for such a photo in the Life archives would even know what to look for.

by Check this outreply 5008/08/2012

Karl Rove openly coordinates Romney's campaign and Super PAC.

As for Soptic, how exactly is he lying? Did Bain cut him off and cut off his health insurance? YES.

by Check this outreply 5108/08/2012

And when you cut off people's health insurance, some of them, quite predictably, will die because of it. So whether or not Soptic's wife can really be said to be one of the victims, there will turn out to be many others.

by Check this outreply 5208/08/2012

People in this thread actually think there is a substantial difference between Obama and Romney. Priceless.

Because Obama has done so much to roll back/reverse the things Democrats bitched about with Bush.

Bush drones; evil. Obama drones; fine.

Bush Patriot Act; offense to civil liberty. Obama support of unchanged renewal; no prob.

Bush relationship with Wall Street; dispicable. Obama not holding Wall Street accountable; cool.

Bush signing statements; affront to Constitution. Obama executive orders to circumvent Constitution? Fine.

Bush assassinations with no due process? Non-existent. Obama same power? Not only confirmed but defended.

Bush illegal wiretapping? Invasion of privacy. Obama renewal of law unchanged? We don't mind.

Bush administration transparency? Horrible. Obama administration transparency? Worse but oh well.

The same Democrats who bitched and moaned about all of the ways Bush was infringing on their privacy, violating their rights, and acting like a tyrant have been virtually silent while Obama does the same exact things. Yet you've convinced yourselves that all of the civil liberty issues can be overlooked because a Republican will ruin the country.

It amazes me that Obama in so many ways has succeeded in continuing Bush policies but you're so wrapped up in some superficial argument that Democrats are better for the country than Republicans.

Wake up people. Both parties are a sham and they want nothing more than for you to get all emotionally worked up.

by Check this outreply 5308/08/2012

Romney would do all those things any many more R53. Obama has kept some promises (health care reform; auto bailout; gay rights). There is a huge difference between Obama and Romney, a vast one. Romney will use nuclear weapons if elected president R53. That's no small thing.

by Check this outreply 5408/08/2012

R53 is a more sophisticated PsyOps warrior. No, we will not be so depressed over Obama as not to vote. We will vote and we will work for him because Romney is just plain unthinkable.

by Check this outreply 5508/08/2012

R54 - You are delusional. Romney will use nuclear weapons? Ok.

There is no "huge difference" between Obama and Romney; just like there is no "huge difference" between Bush and Obama. There was a "huge difference" between the two in Obama's 2008 campaign rhetoric but not in actual practice. Obama knows how to talk the talk but walking the walk has been a completely different story.

by Check this outreply 5608/08/2012

R53, do you think you're being profound? Do you think you're telling us things we don't already know?

Should we vote for Ralph Nader or the like to make YOU happy as yet another Republican gets elected, but at least we can hold our heads high for voting third party? Yeah, that'll really show 'em! It worked out so well in 2000. Is that the tactic on the right?

Until the opposing party is NOT the GOP in its current form, there is no way in hell we'd not vote for Obama, and I'm sick of this nonsense from people like you who think the rest of us look at Obama like we're a bunch of starry-eyed teenagers.

I don't know if you're just another rightwing jackass attempting to pull this "they're the same" bullshit, but what I do know is that WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE.

The goal is to keep the GOP out. PERIOD. Stop wasting your time because there is no way in hell we are not voting for Obama.

by Check this outreply 5708/08/2012

Does Romney even have a platform?

by Check this outreply 5808/08/2012

No. He wants his vice presidential running mate to have strength of character and a vision for America.

by Check this outreply 5908/09/2012

Who's being deceived? Republicans would vote for any white man over Obama. Hell, they'd vote for Alan Keyes

by Check this outreply 6008/09/2012

[quote]There is no "huge difference" between Obama and Romney

Actually, yes there is, and it's not even close, particularly on economic issues. Romney has supported the Ryan budget, which Obama opposes. Romney has supported ending Medicare as we know it, which Obama opposes. Romney has supported "cut, cap, and balance," which would be a disaster, and Obama opposes it. Romney wants massive financial deregulation; Obama opposes it. Romney wants massive tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy; Obama opposes them.

Do I really need to go on? I haven't even gotten to the appointment of federal judges, including the Supreme Court, or to the makeup of the various regulatory agencies, all of which differ dramatically from Bush. Or to gay rights, all of which Romney opposes and Obama supports. Trust me, I can keep going.

[quote]just like there is no "huge difference" between Bush and Obama.

ROFL.... Well, sure, if you're a clueless moron.

by Check this outreply 6108/09/2012

[quote]Does Romney even have a platform?

Yes and no. He's got a wish list but he has put no specific proposals on the table, to the best of my knowledge. For example, he has advocated cutting taxes on the wealthy but has also said that such tax cuts would be made revenue neutral by closing other tax loopholes. To date, he hasn't identified a single loophole he'd close. Or he's said that he intended to add 500,000 jobs a month but hasn't said specifically how. Or that America will become energy-independent in a few years but hasn't said how.

It's pretty much that way on every single topic. Most of these claims are complete bullshit, of course, but that hasn't stopped him from making them over and over again.

by Check this outreply 6208/09/2012

Well, the whole point is sort of moot because at this rate, there's no way in hell Mitt Romney will become President.

by Check this outreply 6308/09/2012

Let's not get overconfident, R63.

That can be dangerous.

by Check this outreply 6408/10/2012

bump for the lying pompous ass that is Romney.

His comments on Libya will be the end of him. The shit he pulled today is worse than McCain's "The economy is sound" bs.

by Check this outreply 6509/12/2012

Something is VERY wrong with this man.

God help the earth if he gets into the White House.

by Check this outreply 6609/12/2012

He has said how America will be independent in energy R62, development of domestic oil and gas. What he hasn't said is that to make shale oil economy, oil prices have to be much higher than they are now. He is promising extremely expensive gas.

by Check this outreply 6709/12/2012


by Check this outreply 6810/10/2012

Still psycho

by Check this outreply 6912/09/2012
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