On the advice of the medical professional who monitors my blood pressure, I try to avoid reading Richard “Caligula’s Horse” Cohen, but Trickster preserve us this is Truly Special:
Among the attributes I most envy in a public man (or woman) is the ability to lie. If that ability is coupled with no sense of humor, you have the sort of man who can be a successful football coach, a CEO or, when you come right down to it, a presidential candidate. Such a man is Mitt Romney.
Time and time again, Romney has been called a liar during this campaign. (The various fact-checking organizations have had to work overtime on him alone.)…
… I admire a smooth liar, and Romney is among the best. His technique is to explain — that bit about not knowing what was in the ads — and then counterattack. He maintains the bulletproof demeanor of a man who is barely suffering fools, in this case Gingrich. His message is not so much what he says, but what he is: You cannot touch me. I have the organization and the money. Especially the money. (Even the hair.) You’re a loser…
A marathon of debates and an eon of campaigning have toughened and honed Romney. He commands the heights of great assurance, and he knows, as some of us learn too late in life, that the truth is not always a moral obligation but sometimes merely what works. He often cites his business background as commending him for the presidency. That’s his forgivable absurdity. Instead, what his career has given him is the businessman’s concept of self — that what he does is not who he is. This is what enables the slumlord to be a charitable man. This is what enables the corporate raider to endow his university. Business is business. It’s what you do. It is not who you are. Lying isn’t a sin. It’s a business plan.
(Omitted, in consideration of your health, the pander that George Will keeps calling President Obama a liar, and therefore both sides do it!)
Perhaps this is meant to be an example of the “funny” Cohen keeps citing as one of his gifts, on the word of his mom and his third-grade teacher back in the 1840s, but it reads like genuine friggin’ admiration for Romney’s unparalleled ability to look Truth in the eye and still like lie like a finely crafted Persian carpet. Gems like this are why I refer to Cohen as “Caligula’s Horse”. He’s as clueless but basically well-intentioned as any highly-bred beast of burden — the insult to the rest of us is that this trophy horse occupies a position of public visibility that might otherwise be filled by someone competent. The career of Richard Cohen is a seamless decades-long “fuck you, DFH peasants” message from the Media Village courtiers and the “elite” they serve with such dedication.