AP journalist Glen Johnson rocks!—dared to call out his imperious aloofness, Willard Milton Romney, when Romney issued yet another unabashed lie

When someone lies to us unabashedly it offends us. It is an insult to our intelligence when someone tells us that up is down or darkness is light. Now: Imagine the plight of the poor journalists assigned to follow the Romney campaign—those forced to endure one assault upon brute fact after another—as you watch this painful video.

From CBS News’ Scott Conroy:

“I don’t have lobbyists running my campaign,” Romney said. “I don’t have lobbyists that are tied to my … ”

“That’s not true, governor!” Johnson suddenly interjected. “That is not true. Ron Kaufman is a lobbyist.”

Romney then issues a strained distinction to resolve the contradiction, a distinction that hinges on the term “run” (this quote is from Mike Allen of the Politico.com—the emphasis is ours, all ours):

“Did you hear what I said — did you hear what I said, Glen?” Romney replied. “I said, ‘I don’t have lobbyists running my campaign,’ and he’s not running my campaign. He’s an adviser. And the person who runs my campaign is [campaign manager] Beth Myers, and I have a whole staff of deputy campaign managers.”

Apparently some woman named Beth Myers and her many deputies run Romney’s campaign, as she is Romney’s campaign director. And apparently what Romney meant by “running” was “running” in the technical sense of campaign administration.

Here be the problem: If this technical sense of the term “running”—as in plotting strategy, scheduling appearances etc., the sort of work that a campaign director would do—is the sense in which Romney meant that he had no lobbyists “running his campaign,” then no one, not anyone whether Republican or Democrat has lobbyists “running” their campaigns and Romney’s claim is meaningless on its face. It would be as meaningful saying that bears do not ride bicycles in the Romney campaign. (Well, do bears ride bicycles in any campaign?)

The Boston Herald’s Ms. Jessica Van Sack makes the case more elegantly:

[…] Romney’s argument basically came down to this: Kaufman’s not running my campaign – therefore, lobbyists don’t run my campaign. So, following Romney’s logic, if his campaign director isn’t a lobbyist, and every other campaign worker is a lobbyist, lobbyists still don’t aren’t running his campaign.

Folks, you can’t make this stuff up […]

So Johnson’s rejoinder clearly has merit. Lobbyists do hold positions of influence in the Romney campaign—for example, Ron Kaufman. To insist that lobbyists are not running the Romney campaign in some technical sense is like saying that generals never fight wars; only soldiers fight wars.

We would like to offer a special blessing for the parents, the children, and the loved ones of one Mr. Glen Johnson of the Associated Press, a man possessed of integrity, a man who possesses soul.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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