Pence-Philly-Protest-Sat
Protesters march down Market street to speak out against Vice President Mike Pence, who made a noon speech in Philadelphia on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017.

I don’t know if anyone’s noticed this, but there’s a lot of dishonesty — a.k.a. falsehoods, a.k.a. lying — in American politics right now. And, yes, too much of it comes from the very highest levels. Example: Just today, President Trump told active duty troops and military brass at a base in Tampa that terror attacks have “gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that. “

As a clueless member of the American news media, I actually don’t understand what the president is talking about here. The “Bowling Green massacre“? That tragic murder of six Muslims in Quebec, which unlike other incidents around the world doesn’t seem to be on Trump’s radar screen? The president’s deliberate falsehood here — part of his (fairly successful) campaign to de-legitimize the media — is outrageous.

And yet, there’s a Big Lie making the rounds these days that’s even worse:

That the only people out there protesting must be getting paid.

Look, it’s not surprising when this canard makes the uninformed rounds on conservative talk radio, but now it’s being adopted by elected officials who should know better and are using the dueling myths of “paid protesters” and “outside agitators” to duck their responsibility to hear from their actual constituents. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that one of the propagators of this myth is the Pennsylvania Dodger, Sen. Pat Toomey.

Toomey’s been deluged with phone calls and — when…