Mark Twain said that, "A lie can travel halfway 'round the world, while the truth is still putting on its shoes." This remark is even more appropriate today as we see, as a result of the Supreme Court "Citizens United" ruling, that corporations are "people,' who are permitted to spend millions of dollars to ensure that such fibs travel at twice the speed of light.
A particularly silly TV ad promoting U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel falsely accuses incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown of being somehow "responsible" for the downgrade of America's credit-rating. The 2011 decision to reduce that rating from AAA to AA was made by the international credit-rating firm Standard and Poor's, and based upon their stated reasoning that the "political brinksmanship" shown by Congress during the debate over the debt-ceiling "did not inspire confidence" in the nation's ability to manage its finances in a responsible manner. The Mandel ad neglects to say that most of that "brinksmanship" took place in the U.S. House of Representatives where rightwing ideologues like Paul Ryan, Jim DeMint, Eric Cantor, and John Boehner took the nation to the brink of default, mainly because of their obsession with creating problems for the current president. Sherrod Brown is a U.S. Senator and played no role whatsoever in the downsized credit-rating.
This ad (like several others put out by Mandel's campaign) has received the prestigious "Pants-on-Fire" award from Politifacts, and has been discredited (no pun intended) by all other nonpartisan fact-checking organizations.
More amusing is the charge (in the same ad) that "Sherrod Brown is receiving millions from big corporations." This contention is a perfect example of what psychologists call "projection." The truth of the matter is that it is Mandel's campaign that has received $15 million in funds from such entities as Karl Rove's "Crossroads GPS," the Koch brothers-funded "Americans for Prosperity," and The U.S. Chamber of Commerce for attack ads against Brown - and they've announced that they plan to spend another $6.8 million before Nov. 6. These are the same folks that presidential wannabe Romney was "entertaining" at that $50,000. a-plate dinner in Florida back in May, when he made his own silly claim that "47 percent of Americans" are freeloaders who "pay no taxes" and "depend upon government for everything" ... Birds of a feather?
In another ad, Mandel makes the claim that he has "secured an AAA credit-rating for Ohio." This claim has been refuted by (of all entities) the credit-rating firm of Standard and Poor's that gave Ohio its triple-A rating back in the 1990s (when Mandel was still in middle-school?), and has likewise been declared "false" by most fact-check organizations. In none of these ads is there a mention of the fact that, as Ohio's Treasurer for the past 19 months, Mandel has hired numerous cronies, that some of his supporters have forced employees to contribute to Mandel's campaign, or that he has skipped several important Board of Deposit meetings to attend campaign fundraising events.
Finally, there is also the claim made by Mandel that Senator Brown - whose strong record over the years on behalf of Ohio workers speaks for itself - is "unAmerican" for supporting the successful 2009 G.M./Chrysler loan that saved the jobs of tens-of-thousands of auto-workers, dealers, and parts suppliers in Ohio and elsewhere in the nation.
Surely, someone must be "joshing" us!