“Lying Isn’t A Sin, It’s A Business Plan”

I have suggested that Mittens is a pathological prevaricator: “He lies when it would be so much easier not to.” But Lawrence O’Donnell in his “Rewrite” segment on Thursday night explains that there may be a method to the madness of Mitt’s mendacity:

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  1. Sounds outrageous, but O’Donnell’s assessment of Mitt the Mendacious here rings true.

    As chance would have it one of the pod-casts I listened to while at the gym today happened to be on a related subject, i.e., why otherwise highly-principled businessmen not only often break the law but find it easy to recruit accomplices. I found it completely credible. At the heart of the conundrum is the fact that human thinking is contextual. When a person is thinking business, that thinking is usually compartmented from the context of ethics. The context for business is profitability.

    So, when it comes to running a country the question becomes, which do we want running it, a business thinker who believes the end justifies the means, or a constitutional scholar and theorist who looks at the job in an historical context?


    • Jim,

      Hiring a businessman to run a business is a good thing. Hiring a businessman to run a government is not. Especially a businessman who thinks running a business and running a government amount to the same thing. The frustrating part, though, is that Americans have always had some kind of misplaced confidence in businessmen (and today women) and their abilities. And I am convinced that the only reason Romney remains a viable candidate is because of this misplaced confidence.

      Otherwise, he is a most unlikable candidate.


  2. I saw the series of “high point” photos on your main page sidebar, featuring one showing Barak Obama apparently smoking marijuana. This, of course, was contrasted to others, such as Sarah Palin, shown in very respectable poses. It would seem that the purpose was to rob the president of dignity to the greatest extent possible. Yet, the Bible commands that we honor our leaders, whether we agree with them or not. If you don’t like the president’s policies, that’s perfectly acceptable. But to try to hold him up to undeserved ridicule is not.


    • Ron,

      I think you should look up the word “erstwhile” and get back to me. And have another look at those pictures and think “sarcasm.”



      • Duane – Apparently, from your reply to my post about the sidebar pictures, I should have detected irony. I can only say that as one who was seeing your blog for the first time, the ironic purpose of those pics was perhaps a little too subtle for me to catch. Sorry.


        • Ron,

          Thanks for your reply. No need to apologize. Your comment did give me a chance to check out your blog on the intersection of religion and politics. And though we won’t agree much on our views of Christianity (I am a former evangelical Christian), I do agree with what you wrote:

          In fact, none of the self-professed Christians in the recent primaries have shown much concern for the poor.

          For example, it is an article of faith with all of them that “Obamacare” must be immediately repealed. But we hear no detailed discussion of what is to replace it in meeting the needs it was intended to address. If we forbid the government to help people who are sometimes literally dying because they can’t get insurance and cannot pay for the health care they need, we are condemning many thousands of our fellow citizens to lives filled with stress, anxiety, pain and suffering. A truly “Christian” candidate must address such issues if he or she takes seriously God’s command that we care for the poor.

          Thanks again, and thanks for being at least one Christian voice who takes seriously what appears to me to be a constant concern throughout much of the Bible (it’s those other parts I have trouble with!).


    • King,

      Thanks for linking to that piece. I came very close to writing a R.I.P. post on the passing of Chuck Colson (whom I was familiar with from my evangelical days), and it would have looked a lot like the piece written by the reformed Frank Schaeffer.

      For other readers, here is the point I would have made about Colson, whose role in the Watergate fiasco is virtually unknown to most people today:

      … Few men have done more to trade (betray?) the gospel of love for the gospel of empowering corporate America and greed through the misuse of the so-called culture war issues to get lower middle class whites to vote against their own economic interests in the name of “family values.”



  3. ansonburlingame

     /  April 21, 2012


    A relevant question for sure. Do we want, “…or a constitutional scholar and theorist who looks at the job in an historical context?”

    I would add to that question however, the following, “….. who has never lead an organization and thus been held totaly accountable for its success or failure”?

    I have known several “tycoons” and worked for them in “business” EVERYONE of them was as ethical as the day is long. Sure they made tough decisions, but never did they purposely try to violate any laws or common ethical standards of behavior.

    Now were people, employees, FIRED by such men. You bet they were. Did they negotiate (though their representatives) tough Union Contracts. You bet they did and Unions screamed “unfair” all the time. But unethical in any way were those men. Not by a long shot in my view. I once observed and participated in a union dispute that went all the way to and through arbitration before the NLRB and the COMPANY won, hands down, with the union screaming “unfair” all the way.

    Now if John Kuharski, the former CEO of EG&G ran for President today, that single union negotiation would be all over MSNBC. But the outcome of that negotiation was a stronger company and a better product delivered to the federal government at a cheaper price. And no union members wound up impoverished or “living on the streets” as well.

    Romney negotiated, wisely, an employment contract, when he was hired to “startup” Bain Capital with seed money coming from elsewhere. Is that unethical? Was Bain, at the time Romney began to run the company a “small company”. Yes it was by comparison to its size and wealth when Romney left the job. Seed money in the form of $10 Million that results in a huge company over time worth $Billions is called success in business. Is that unethical?

    Oh that the wealth of the United States had grown accordingly over the last 3 1/2 years. Had that happened even I would be voting for Obama.

    So do we want a “theorist” (maybe called an idelogue) in charge of a $15 Trillion dollar business or someone that has been there done that, ethically, before?

    Now should I waste my time to go back and listen to many early Obama promises and the results today? If you want to call reneging on a promise a lie, then I could come up with a huge pile of Obama lies as well. “You can keep your current policy” comes to mind from an earlier SOTU address, for sure.



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