I always watch these useless Presidential debates, not because I need to be informed, but because the dog and pony show that is the Democrat vs. Republican debate can be funny at times. If you don’t laugh at it you’ll probably get mad, so I laugh. Last night was a stellar example of why. So first, let’s laugh then we’ll get to the serious part.
At one point a question about gender equality for pay was asked, so Obama brought up the Lily Ledbetter Act (odd that he kept calling it a bill). Mitt Romney on the other hand bragged about how HE made sure his administration had more women in it than another other state government. We’ll get to whether that’s true (hint: it’s not) in a second. But first, the best line of the night came from Romney’s rambling non-answer (from ThePhoenix):
I went to a number of women’s groups and said, “Can you help us find folks,” and they brought us whole binders full of women.
This line immediately spawned dozens of internet parodies, including a Facebook page, an excellent collection of internet memes (thankfully compiled by NPR) my favorite of which is below (because who doesn’t love Bill Clinton?):
Here’s the sad thing about Romney’s entire woman-hiring non-answer. According to David Bernstein with the Phoenix, this binder full of women was actually compiled by a nonprofit called MassGAP to help reduce gender disparity in government. Romney flat-out lied when he said he requested this, as MassGAP compiled the list in 2002 prior to knowing who would be elected. Even worse, the number of women involved in Massachusetts government declined during Romney’s administration (from 30% to 27.6% when he left).
This point naturally segways into what really upsets me about these debates: the frequency of lies. Rather than repost most of them on here, I am going to refer you to some excellent fact check compilations. Yes I’m being lazy, but you don’t need my opinion to know whether someone lied. Plus the people below are professionals.
- The New York Times has a good compilation that digs into the candidate’s rhetoric a fair amount.
- The Associated Press put out a concise list of falsehoods in the debate.
- The best list by far comes from the Daily Beast, who compiled their own list from every fact checker they could find.