From the Annals of Bad Political Spin

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Mitt Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom is getting knocked around pretty badly for his ill-conceived Etch A Sketch comment. And it was pretty ill-conceived! But if you want an example of truly wretched political spinning, check out Meghan Snyder, press secretary for Rep. Jim Jordan of the Republican Study Group. Yesterday, after about the millionth congressional hearing on Solyndra, Jordan said, “What I hope happens is we stop doing these kind of things … this whole cronyism approach to the marketplace. Ultimately, we’ll stop it on Election Day, hopefully. And bringing attention to these things helps the voters and citizens of the country make the kind of decision that I hope helps them as they evaluate who they are going to vote for in November.”

Steve Benen pounced: “In other words, Republicans haven’t uncovered a ‘scandal’; they’ve uncovered a game to play. For those who figured out months ago that this was a manufactured outrage, Jim Jordan just confirmed it.”

I was all ready to think that Steve was being unfair. What Jordan meant was that the “whole cronyism approach to the marketplace” would end on election day because Republicans would win and put an end to it. Nothing wrong with that! But then I clicked the link and read Meghan Snyder’s attempt to put her boss’s remarks into context:

If you step back a little bit and look at the quote, he’s discussing how these Oversight investigations are bringing to light things like, especially in this one, the cronyism of the market place. How he intended it and I believe maybe if you flip the coin you can kind of see, is he’s explaining the purpose of Oversight Committee, which is bringing this to light for Americans. A lot of these people vote, and therein maybe lies the mix-up of how it was perceived by your story and maybe another one.

We’re just saying this is our purpose and voters see it. Maybe they’ll put an end to it on Election Day. But to say that elections drive the Oversight Committee, we believe is incorrect. It’s the purpose of the Oversight Committee to conduct these investigations.

Has Snyder been taking lessons from Sarah Palin? Holy cow.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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