THEY’RE NOT ABOVE LYING…. Time will tell what, if anything, the 111th Congress will manage to actually accomplish in 2010 — or rather, what Republicans will allow Congress to vote on — but high on the list of priorities is reforming the way Wall Street does business.

Conservatives and the financial industry, not surprisingly, are fighting to prevent new safeguards and accountability for those who brought the global economy to the brink of collapse. As part of their lobbying efforts, they’ve come up with a message that turns reality on its head.

The right-wing group “Committee for Truth In Politics” seems to have taken the advice of the postmodernist Frank Luntz, and cast new regulations on Wall Street, which Wall Street is furiously attempting to kill, as a giant favor to Wall Street. […]

There’s just some diabolical genius involved in casting opponents of Wall Street as its courtiers and vice versa.

This may sound like a comical exaggeration. It’s not. Those who hope to rein in Wall Street’s recklessness and prevent another crash are being characterized by Wall Street’s allies as … Wall Street’s allies. The plan to clean up the industry is being presented as a doing a big favor for the industry.

Up is down, black is white, left is right.

Kevin Drum added the other day:

And that, boys and girls, is how the game is played. Just portray a bill meant to rein in banks as a bill meant to bail out banks and see if the noise machine plays along. If it doesn’t, try something else. Maybe suggest that instead of protecting consumers, it will remove consumer protections. Or that instead of regulating derivatives, it will set them free. Simple. Why bother making up complicated lies when simple ones will do just fine?

Of course, with a 59-vote majority in the Senate, Democrats shouldn’t necessarily care. But even after Wall Street nearly destroyed the global economy, Senate Republicans will likely to try to block a vote on reform. If the Orwellian “Committee for Truth In Politics” can convince people that Wall Street’s critics are actually Wall Street’s allies — in other words, if they can successfully pull off the con — it will only serve to embolden the GOP.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.