Jamelle Bouie at Greg Sargent's place:
Why Romney keeps lying about Obama and welfare: It’s been three weeks since Mitt Romney first took fire for asserting that the Obama administration “gutted” work requirements in welfare…. The following week, they released another ad using a similar message…. [A] key Republican architect of welfare reform said that “there’s no plausible scenario under which [the change] really constitutes a serious attack on welfare reform.” If anything, Obama has strengthened the requirements…. It’s almost certain that Team Romney has heard these complaints, and just don’t care about them. Not only has Romney made this a key part of his stump speech — promising to “return work to welfare”— but this morning, he released yet another ad making the same claims….
Why would Romney continue use the claim if it’s been proven false? The first answer has everything to do with the press. Reporters aren’t equipped to deal with constant dishonesty, and one-off fact checks aren’t enough to stop a lie from gaining currency. The Romney campaign is capitalizing on both facts to push a false narrative and embed it in the political conversation. So far, judging from the non-response of most reporters, it’s working.
The second answer is much more cynical. As Greg noted when the first ad debuted, this is a clear attempt to resurrect the politics of resentment…. Romney’s White House bid depends on record levels of support from white voters, it’s hard not to see it as a blatant attempt to pander to the racial anxieties of downscale whites…. Romney is playing a deliberate game of racial division, trying to harm Obama’s standing with whites by connecting him to long-circulating stereotypes about African Americans. It’s an ugly move that should be condemned in the harshest terms possible.