And the “L” doesn’t stand for lovable.
From former political speechwriter and current Wall Street Journal and The Times Literary Supplement contributor Barton Swaim, writing in the Los Angeles Times:
After abusing the word “lie” and its cognates for decades, we are faced with a choice between two pathologically dishonest candidates—and we have no word strong enough to call them what they are. Donald Trump’s lies are wanton and preposterous, whereas Hillary Clinton’s are more obviously calculated to win approval, but both have exhibited a tendency to say things that are manifestly and peremptorily false.
Consider only the most egregious instances. Trump insists that “thousands” of Muslims were cheering in New Jersey on 9/11, a shockingly stupid invention from which he nonetheless refused to back down; that he warned the U.S. government of Osama bin Laden’s danger before 9/11, though there is no record of this instance of his sagacity; that the 9/11 hijackers’ wives “knew exactly what was going to happen,” though the hijackers were almost all unmarried; that the Bush White House tried to silence his opposition to the Iraq War, though there was no opposition from Trump to silence.
Clinton’s career offers a similarly dizzying array of bogus claims—that she had known nothing about the firing of White House travel office employees in 1993, though she had orchestrated it; that she deplaned in Bosnia under sniper fire; that she was named for Sir Edmund Hillary, who climbed Everest when she was 5; that she was a fierce critic of NAFTA “from the very beginning” when in fact she worked to get it passed; that she “did not email any classified material to anyone,” though of course she did, many times.
These and similar claims by both candidates are not exaggerations or embellishments or just twisted renditions of the facts. They’re . . . well, they’re the commonest word in politics. And so not much of anything.
And a parallel, concise commentary tweeted by Edward Snowden: