Pay close attention, class. The one moves fast

1. Mitt Romney criticizes Barack Obama for saying we need more police, firefighters, and teachers.

2. Mitt Romney gets roasted for saying that.

3. Romney surrogate John Sununu says remark wasn’t a gaffe, and defends it.

4. Obama campaign is all over Romney about wanting fewer police, firefighters, and teachers.

5. Romney goes on TV and says it’s “completely absurd” to charge that he doesn’t want more police, firefighters, and teachers.

This is part of a pattern. Mitt Romney is a chronic, pathological, utterly shameless, pants-on-fire (thirteen times so far), four-Pinocchios liar.

Kevin Drum thinks that the rules have changed – that even Presidential candidates can now get away with constant fibbing – and that Romney is simply smart enough to have noticed.

I’m not so sure. It’s possible that the press will start to report Romney’s lies as lies. That’s unconventional, but he’s asking for it.

Or perhaps some super-PAC will come along and run some spots on Romney’s mendacity. I doubt even low-information swing voters really like being lied to.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

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Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the New York University Marron Institute.