Sunday, November 15, 2009

Crossing The Line

Sam Stein writes that The Huffington Post has obtained several internal e-mail messages from the McCain presidential campaign which cast serious doubt on the "accuracy" of Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue." Among the instances he describes is this:

In one email thread, dated October 14, 2008, Palin says she is "not thrilled" with the idea of going on Saturday Night Live as a way of marginalizing the show's unflattering impersonations of her.

"Not after seeing clips of what they've been playing re: my family," Palin writes to campaign manager Steve Schmidt, as well as top strategists Rick Davis; and Nicolle Wallace. "I had no idea how gross 'celebrities' on that show and in other celebrity venues could get when it comes to family and other aspects of my life that have nothing to do with seeking the vp slot. These folks are whack - didn't know it was as bad as it is... what's the upside in giving them any celebrity venue a ratings boost? That's Todd's input also," she concludes, in reference to her husband.

Schmidt would respond minutes later, telling Palin that, "if you don't want to do it you should not," while adding that a guest appearance would "get an enormous amount of" attention and help her "to fly above all this."

"The american people will see someone who can laugh at themselves which has alwauys [sic] been a trait they admire," he adds.

Palin would ultimately make a guest appearance on Saturday Night Live days later. But in her upcoming book she describes the deliberations about whether or not to go on the show much differently than the emails suggest. In "Going Rogue", the vice presidential candidate writes that "from the beginning, I liked the idea that John and I might appear on the show."


But it's not only The Quitting Governor. Washington Post syndicated cloumnist Ruth Marcus was shocked, shocked! at the “misrepresentations and distortions” articulated by several members of the Repub caucus during the recent floor debate on the health care bill. Marcus notes ("Health Scare Tactics," November 11) these departures from objective reality:

- "Let's remember the Pelosi plan for jobs: an $800 billion stimulus plan that caused unemployment to go from 8.5 percent to over 10 percent." (Jack Kingston, Georgia)

-“If you're a Medicare Advantage enrollee . . . the Congressional Budget Office says that 80 percent of them are going to lose their Medicare Advantage.” (John Boehner, Minority Leader, Ohio).

-"The bill raises taxes for just about everyone." (Brett Guthrie, Kentucky).

-"This bill, on Page 733, empowers the Washington bureaucracy to deny lifesaving patient care if it costs too much." (Tom Price, Georgia)

-"This bill, on Page 94, will make it illegal for any American to obtain health care not approved by Washington." (Tom Price, Georgia)

-"Americans could face five years in jail if they don't comply with the bill's demands to buy approved health insurance." (Dave Camp, Michigan)

- "I offered two amendments to try to improve this bill -- one to require members of Congress to enroll in the public option like we're going to require all of you to do." (Buck Mckeon, California)

-"The president's own economic advisers have said that this bill will kill 5.5 million jobs." (Ginny Brown-Waite, Florida)


Of course, notwithstanding Marcus' generosity, six of these eight claims are not mere "misrepresentations or distortions" but lies. Presumably, Camp if someone is not to have bought insurance, and is prosecuted, and is fined, and refuses to pay the fine, and then threatens the life of a court employee, he/she would be incarcerated. And given that someone now without health insurance would have a choice of plans, what does "approved" mean?

McKeon may have introduced a bill which would require members of Congress to enroll in the public option and may actually, in some flight into fantasy, believe that such an amendment would improve the bill. Still, no one as the bill is written, as any bill is written, as any bill would be written in this session of Congress, requires anyone to enroll in a public plan.

And these are the ones which are not demonstrably, inarguably, fabrications. (Marcus may believe Kingston's statement is merely among "extraneous claims about alleged Democratic excesses," but anyone who believes an $800 billion stimulus plan actually would decrease employment by more than 1.5% is, well.... no one would.)

Other than right-wing ideology, these House Republicans may not have much in common with the former Alaska governor. But it's telling that, in the case of the major policy initiative of the Obama administration and of one of the two leading candidates for the Republican nomination for President in 2012, exaggeration, distortion, manipulation, and deception apparently have given way to lying.

No comments:

Overwrought Reaction

Take the "L" and just move on.  162 Democrats joining Republicans to attack free speech and condemn a phrase that advocates one t...