BLOG: Why do politicians lie?

Tom Jackson
Oct 4, 2010

Apparently, one reason is that many voters don't seem to mind.

The Fivethirtyeight.com blog projects that Democrat Richard Blumenthal, in a Senate race in Connecticut, will win 52.8 percent of the vote. His Republican opponent, Linda McMahon, is trailing.

Here is her campaign ad, which includes clips of Blumenthal talking about when he served in Vietnam. One small problem: As the New York Times revealed in May, Blumenthal obtained several deferments to avoid service in Vietnam but has lied about it for years, representing himself as a Vietnam veteran. 

Blumenthal's spokeswoman, Mindy Myers, says the ad is a "desperate attack from a losing campaign with nothing to say." 

Study hard in school, kids, and you can make a living as a flack who reads prepared statements defending lying politicians, just like Mindy Myers does.

 

Comments

Cross

Why do politicians lie?

Why do fish live in water?

man4451

I HATE politicians who LIE. I just HATE Liers

 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lier

Americanonly

Politians lie because they want to get elected... They tell people what they want to hear not the truth because if they told the truth they certainly wouldn't get the votes.  I also think the mud slinging is turning voters off more than anything else. Maybe it's time to take and disqualify a candidate when he/she is caught lying about their service record.  It's time to make them accountable, but look at the politians who have been caught stealing, caught in shady deals, and other discrepancies and they are still in office.  Makes you sick to your stomach knowing these same people are voting on issues that effect our lives.  Way to many politians are bought and paid for!  I still think there should be term limits on all of them!  

6079 Smith W

 
@ Mr. Jackson:

The premise is flawed. Politicians never "lie," they misspeak.

One of the biggest "misspeaks" of my generation: 

“We are not about to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.” (Lyndon Johnson)

And contrast that with one of the most truthful:

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" (Ronald Reagan)

 

 

SamAdams

Politicians don't really lie to get elected. They make lots of pie-in-the-sky promises which they may be conceited enough to think they can actually keep, but those are not necessarily lies. The lies come in after they get elected. "No, I did not take that bribe!" when the money is hidden in their freezer. "Yes, I read the healthcare reform bill before I voted on it," when it was over 2,000 pages available literally only hours before the vote (when I spoke with Marcy Kaptur's office, I was assured she'd read the entire thing personally, something which is literally impossible to be true). "Those stimulus dollars are for Ohio" when a Texas company was hired and which, in turn, sub-contracted the work (and the payment) to Ecuador.

The only real campaign lies I've seen usually have to do with the candidate's resume. "I'm a Viet Nam veteran" when a simple records check proves otherwise. "Yes, I'm qualified to be president" when (hello?) the evidence both before and after the election shows the opposite.

It seems to me that if a candidate fudges his/her resume, s/he should be disqualified and removed from the ballot. If a politician lies in office, s/he should be dismissed from office. And if those lies cover up a genuine crime (like the Louisiana bribery, or the infamous Pigford case), s/he should be prosecuted, and prosecuted vigorously.

We can demand accountability from the public at large all we want—and we should!—but we also need to start holding politicians just as accountable as the "little people" like you and I would be if we committed comparable crimes. Until that happens, we're going to be stuck with politics as usual no matter the letter following the candidate's name.

brutus smith

 sam a, what "evidence" are you talking about on the qualifications to be President? And your proof?

brutus smith

 

Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution sets the principal qualifications one must meet to be eligible to the office of president. A president must:

be a natural born citizen of the United States;[17] be at least thirty-five years old; have been a permanent resident in the United States for at least fourteen years.

A person who meets the above qualifications is still disqualified from holding the office of president under any of the following conditions:

Under the Twenty-second Amendment, no eligible person can be elected president more than twice. The Twenty-second Amendment also specifies that if any eligible person who serves as president or acting president for more than two years of a term for which some other eligible person was elected president, the former can only be elected president once. Scholars disagree whether anyone no longer eligible to be elected president could be elected vice president, pursuant to the qualifications set out under theTwelfth Amendment.[18] Under Article I, Section 3, Clause 7, upon conviction in impeachment cases the Senate has the option of disqualifying convicted individuals from holding other federal offices, including the Presidency.[19] Under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Constitution prohibits an otherwise eligible person from becoming president if that person swore an oath to support the Constitution, and later rebelled against the United States. However, the Congress, by a two-thirds vote of each house, can remove the disqualification

 

Taxpayer

Politicians LIE because the PEOPLE accept it.  They want to hear all the glorious wonders their candidates accomplished.  All policians who want to get re-elected must "fluff" the truth.  Plain and simple.  I also hate liars, but watching Dennis Murray, he is getting caught up in it as well.  

And this excrement about the qualification of Hussein 0bama is ridiculous.  The U.S. Constitution prohibits a lot.  But, guess what?  It is too late now.  I personally believe Hussein 0bama is hiding something about his national origin.  The "reasonable" person would be PROUD to present ANY documentation PROVING their nationality.  I am one of them.  I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of.  I am PROUD to be an American citizen born and raised here.  But, for some reason, the birth certificate is a MYSTERY for our president, he is HIDING it and the majority of the PEOPLE accept it.  So it is too late now.  I am not caving in to liberals.  He is now the elected president of the United States of America.  If Hussein 0bama is NOT a legal citizen, he has pulled off one of the biggest scams in American history.  The ONLY way to prevent a furtherance of a violation of our great Constitution is to give the president some of his "hope and change" and vote him out.  Until then, it is too late!  He is the president and there is nothing anyone can do about it because the PEOPLE made the decision and NO one else.  The "birthers" are wasting energy on a moot point.     

6079 Smith W

The next time the Liar-in-Chief goes out of the country, Homeland Security should ask for a certified copy of his birth certificate before they let him back into the U.S.

The fact is: A certificate of live birth is not the same as a birth certificate.

What was the name of the doctor that delivered him? We don't know because it's not on the certificate of live birth is it? That info is on every birth cert. I've ever seen.

I ain't saying ol' Dumbo ears wasn't born in Hawaii, but I'd just like for him to present unquestionable proof of citizenship like he would if he was applying for a visa or a driver's license in some states.

@ bs: So what are you gonna do with the non-Obie believers who don't want to go peacefully to your concentration camps for lefty education?

 

 

Julie R.

Politicians LIE for the same reason JUDGES do.

Because they can.

Mime Bloggling's picture
Mime Bloggling

There's something particularly deviant about politicians who would lie about their service record.....Stolen Valor comes to mind.

Mr. D

Why do politicians lie???  We all lie....be it broken promises, in conversation, job interviews, taxes, love, allegiances, politics, money, marriage, divorce.....the list goes on...people lie and love the thrill of getting away with it......but even more, we love the thrill of catching or accusing someone else of lying because it validates and justifies our own lies and also diverts attention to someone else so our own lies are not discovered.

Just remember, we are all liars, not just the politicians....and we will continue to be....

 

Julie R.

@Mr.D:

So are you trying to say that when judges lie they only do it for the THRILL of knowing they can get away with it? Oh my, now that's scary.

Mr. D

Julie, Julie....You must comprehend what you read, not what you want it to read....I said "people lie and love the thrill of getting away with it."

I never mentioned " judges", nor did I say " the THRILL of knowing they can get away with it?"  Please don't put words in my mouth nor attempt insinuate I'm attacking judges...

See, you just lied about what I stated to platform your own agenda, a probable dislike for judges....Please, in the future, read and comment what I wrote, not on what you try to twist it into....If you do that for me, I won't have to expose your lie and expose your foolishness to everyone.

 

6079 Smith W

 

@ Mr. D:   That moral relativism argument is typical liberal pap.     You falsely assume that just because you admit that you lie and "love...getting away with it," that everyone is equally culpable – it ain’t necessarily so.    Unless judges aren't "people," Julie interpreted your absurdity correctly.  
Mr. D

Hey Smith, You just lied,too....No where did I admitt to anything you claim I admitted to....Please don't lie!, but then you can't help it...none of us can....

Read your Bible...Maybe then you may understand.....

Please, read what I  say, not what you wish I had said....No time for your nonsense....More important issues to deal with......

SamAdams

Brutus, I wasn't referring to the Constitutional qualifications to be president (although I don't believe BHO has proved anything insofar as his citizenship is concerned, and I do believe he should be required to do so), but rather the qualifications you'd ask of anyone for pretty much any job: relevant experience, and competent knowledge.

Given the absurdity of the various and sundry stimuluses, Obama obviously knows nothing about economics. (And don't tell excuse him by saying that Bush did it too. I know he did, and he also made a mistake, something I wasn't shy about saying at the time.)

Given the ill (no pun intended) effects of "Obamacare" already, it's clear Obama knows little or nothing about the free market (or he hates it, something that there's also some evidence in favor of).

Given his patently obvious disrespect for the military (let alone his lack of knowledge concerning same), Obama is woefully unqualified as Commander in Chief.

And his failure to hire advisors that could make up for his lack—something any competent administrator or manager is sure to do—illustrates his utter bewilderment by administrative duties.

Isn't that enough?

And no, Obama isn't the first president to be unqualified for the position. He's just the current and the worst.

 

 

Salvatore

Instead of letting these politicians use a podium, strap them into a chair and give them a lie detector test as they campaign.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UErR7i2onW0

Oy brutus! What you say?

Mr. D

No one likes a logical look at a question nor look at the question/problem from another perspective, so we are going to do just that....

We already know that people lie...politicians, husbands, wives, businessmen, workingmen,children,.....lets not be picky....we are imperfect...we lie about something....

So, lets rephrase the question.... Why do we, the public, the citizens, the taxpayers...why do we believe a politician from any party, when we know, he or she is probably lying???We listen to them, then when they don't deliver on their programs, we act disgusted or suprised and point fingers.....then in the next election listen to more lies, elect that person...complain...point fingers.....History repeats itself again and again...

So, aren't we just as bad as the politicians, because we believe their campaigns....Remember the ole saying, "if it sounds too good to be true, its probably too good to be true".

Now you're gonna say, that they should be trustworthy because they are representing us, they are at a higher standard, which in theory should be true....EXCEPT for one thing, WE ALL LIE....

Kimo

People expect you to lie.

How you doin?  Fine.

How you doin?  I just got out of the hospital, had my gall stones removed, that's after my.........

Next time someone asks "how ya doin?" Tell the truth, and see what happens.

“Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They're absolutely free and worth a fortune.”

Sam Walton quote

 

brutus smith

 sam a, once again you throw out a bunch of right wing talking points with nothing to back it up. 

6079 Smith W
Speak of the "devil":    Dick Blumenthal Gets Hammered In CT Senate Debate Over How To Create A Job

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/dick-blumenthal-gets-hammered-in-ct-senate-debate-over-how-to-create-a-job-2010-10#ixzz11aWyaYxF

 

6079 Smith W

 

@ Mr. D:   Regarding your 5:10 & 8:32 PM posts and the following quote:   “WE ALL LIE....”   If according to you, all people lie, then what proof do you have that what you have written is not based on a lie?   You are after all a “person” aren’t you and therefore according to your misguided premise – a liar.   And expecting truth from self admitted liar such as yourself is like expecting good fruit from a diseased tree.  

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.” (MT 7:16)

 

 

maverick12's picture
maverick12

I say we eliminate the carreer politician and establish terms. When the term is fulfilled the politician returns to the rank of citizen and shares the same benefits as the general population. This would ensure that each politician works diligently to provide the best services possible to enable a good retirement from politics.

I find it ironic that the universal health care does not include the high ranking politicians....
....seems they forgot the "U" in "Universal".

Cross

Blumenthal will get elected because he represents the views of the vast majority of his constituents.

Most could care less if he exaggerated his service record. If that's the worst they have on the guy, it's pretty tame. I'm a decorated combat veteran so I think I have the right to safely say this is much ado about nothing.

 

pntbutterandjelly

Let's, for a moment, surmise "that we all lie". Okay, now with that in mind we can begin to answer the baseline question of, "Why do politcians lie?". Don't we hold athletes, TV personalities and others of "notoriety" to higher, although not necessarily legal, standards? Is it asking too much for the very people who are our legal, moral and yes, sometimes spiritual, leaders to not lie? They are in some respects acting as our sudo-parents. "Yes" even parents lie/fib/embellish to their children on occassion HOWEVER (and if) they are doing it in a responsible manner AND for the good of the child....then it may be "alright" to do so. It's when it's NOT in the childs best interest it become a problem. A big problem.

I still contend we need to alter our judiciary system into a more straight forward and streamilined one based upon a "points" OR demerits. That being...every crime carries "x" value of points. If and when the maximum allowable points have been attained...then that individual person is ethuinised for the greater good of society. Next, those attributeable points are magnified for officials of public/elected office. Some where in the mix lying needs to be addressed.

Ps. I firmly believe that with a handful of changes our democracy may not only be salvaged but actually be expanded upon and taken to new heights of decency, morality, economic friutfulness and dignity.

(a) eliminate ALL forms of lobbying (including the Chamber of Commerce)

(b) set strict term limits to ALL elected offices

(c) create the afroementioned "point" system

(d) heavily tarrif all goods brought here from China

(e) build, if necessary, an inpenatrable barrier alonf our southern border (a mine field comes to mind)

(f) eliminate all tax loopholes, et. al., set forth via "incorporation" status

* Alas, human nature including its Achellies heel "GREED" pre-supposes, usurps and therefore checkmates all the above thoughts and ideas.

   Now.....anyone have any ideas that may actually come to fruition??

6079 Smith W

  

 pbaj writes:   “I firmly believe that with a handful of changes our democracy may not only be salvaged but actually be expanded upon and taken to new heights of decency, morality, economic friutfulness and dignity.”   Your list of stiff tariffs, a "points" system, reductions in rights to partition elected representatives, a mine field on our southern border and radical changes to the U.S. tax system reads more like a perscription for the loss of individual liberty and freedom and a desire for a collectivist state run by an authoritarian-totalitarian regime.   Your fascistic wish list ain’t gonna happen without a strong dictatorial figure or figures in charge.    We need more freedom in this country – not less. This country didn’t become great because it had great rules and regulations, but rather because of the lack of them.

 

Satan666

Your government lies to you. Your churches lie to you.  and yes...don't make me say it......he lies to you too.

TrueConservative

Yep, Satan lies.  He infiltrates organized religion and puts the worst at the top, that's why Amish don't even have churches and why there's a movement today against the corporatized churches among Christians.  Growing numbers of Christians are avoiding the corporate church and are meeting in houses for group worship, as the earlly Christians did during Pagan Roman times.

TrueConservative

The Libertarian Party has a whole slate of candidates for offices in Ohio from Governor on down to Erie and Ottawa Counties' District 80.  And they're candidates are not seasoned pied pipers.  They're straight-talking small business owners who tell it like it is. 

Check out their candidate for governor Ken Matesz at www.MateszforOhio.com .  He actually put together a budget plan for Ohio!!  I didn't see the other 4 gubernatorial candidates do that.

And Judy Kayden was delightful in her debate at Mr. Smith's Coffee House against Murray and Krabill.  You can certainly distinguish the seasoned political speakers from the straight-talking ordinary person.  Check her out at www.JudyKayden.com .

All the other ordinary persons running on the Libertarian Party ticket can be found at www.lpo.org .

Tired of the Same?  vote Libertarian.

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