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Monday, June 25, 2018

In recovery, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. For Republicans to ever get to that step, they’ll have to admit that they’re capable of having a problem.

Forget the polling data that says vast numbers of Republicans think an organization that no longer exists stole the election, or that one of the most investigated presidents in American history is hiding something, or that the economic crash of 2008 is the fault of the Democratic Party because of a bill passed in 1977.

This is a party that still brags about George W. Bush’s average unemployment rate of 5.2 percent, which is like boasting that the Titanic’s average location was somewhere in the middle of the ocean.

This is a party that blasts “socially liberal fiscal conservatives” for not caring about the debt, as if the world isn’t aware that their real goal — tax breaks, especially for the richest – is the reason we went from surplus to a deficit faster than W. could invade the wrong country.

This is a party that is still defending Mitt Romney’s most ridiculously offensive lie just days before the man who beat Mitt by about five million votes is about to be sworn in… again.

The one enduring honor Mitt Romney won in 2012 was PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year.” And Republicans are still arguing that Mitt was telling the truth when he said that Jeep was moving American jobs to China.

Of course, arguing with PolitiFact is a bipartisan sport. Democrats appreciated that Sarah Palin’s “death panels,” 2009, and Frank Luntz’s “government takeover of health care,” 2010, both took the fact-checking website’s annual prize. And they were aghast when the left won the award in 2011 for saying that voting for Paul Ryan’s privatization plan was a vote to “end Medicare.”

The proper phrasing was “end Medicare, as we know it,” which was objectively true. Ryan basically admitted that Democrats were right when he rewrote his plan to include a trace of the Medicare guarantee and a “public option” for people who wanted to stay on traditional Medicare. Regardless, Democrats may have taken to hyperbole and PolitiFact relished the chance to display “balance.”

But Mitt Romney’s 2012 Jeep lie was a lie that’s rarely seen in politics. It wasn’t poll-tested word play, as PolitiFact’s previous “biggest lies” had been. It was lie so objectively false that a corporation was forced to fact-check the man who said, “Corporations are people, my friend” – Willard Mitt Romney.

It’s a lie so damning that when you read all the way through the “Whoops: PolitiFact’s ‘Lie of the Year’ Turns Out to Be True” post on the Weekly Standard website, you get to an update that basically admits that PolitiFact was right and Romney was lying.