To hear ol' Mittens Romney and Paul Ryan tell it, President Obama has plunged the American economy over the cliff, and only they -- the GOP -- are in a position to rescue America. Even Mrs. Romney has bought into and perpetuated the narrative of Mittens as "Superman" saving America.
This is what could best be described as the GOP "gaslighting" the American public.
The term "gaslighting" comes from the movie "Gas Light," in which a husband tries to make his wife think she is crazy so that others will, too. According to Wikipedia:
Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt his or her own memory and perception. It may simply be the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, or it could be the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.
So when I hear Paul Ryan say that President Obama made our economy worse, I know for damn sure I'm being gaslighted. What President Obama did, consistent with what President George Bush did before him, was to keep the American economy from going off the cliff by keeping the banks AND the Detroit auto industry in business. And I really feel like I'm being gaslighted when the press reports that Paul Ryan voted for TARP.
Like my doctor says, just as no one ever gives a doctor credit for the heart attack her patient didn't have, no one ever gives a politician credit for the crisis he averted.
What's even more "gaslighty" about this is that they want to revert to the policies that almost pushed the country off the economic cliff and roll back the limited protections put in place by President Obama under their rubric that less regulation is good for all of America, not just their corporate cronies. NOT.
Let's face it -- if a white man of EITHER political party had kept the banks afloat, kept Detroit in business, passed a stimulus package that not only augmented the budgets of several states in recessionary times but also kept many teachers and public safety officers on the job, ended a war, created a consumer protection agency focused on reigning in financial institutions' wretched excess, passed health care reform that allowed people to get coverage DESPITE pre-existing conditions and put their 23 year-old kids back on their health care insurance, ended "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," signed the Lily Ledbetter law, AND freakin' killed Osama bin Laden, we wouldn't even be talking about a re-election. We'd be talking about a coronation.
What the GOP won't cop to is that they've been trying to derail this president from day one.
Well I, for one, refuse to be gaslighted. And I think the American public will refuse to be, too, in November.