Politifact.com made it official yesterday afternoon. Barack Obama, in describing his signature healthcare reform program, told the Lie of the Year. Everyone could have known that would be the Lie of the Year. What really matters is that Politifact.com could no longer deny it, no matter how hard they tried.
What was the Lie of the Year?
Politifact.com listed the Lie of the Year as:
If you like your health care plan/doctor, you can keep your health care plan/doctor.
Barack Obama told that lie at least twenty times. And twelve Democratic Senators told that same lie.
Politifact.com said more than that. They listed three other “rulings” they made on the subject. They made one in June of 2012 – five years before the election. That they called “half true.” Also:
On October 28, 2013, Valerie Jarrett said,
FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans.
Politifact.com said: False.
On November 4, 2013, Politifact.com made their most telling ruling. Barack Obama tried to take back what he said.
What we said was, you can keep (your plan) if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.
Politifact said of that: Pants on fire. Meaning that was not only false but blatantly false. But of course, CNAV did not need Politifact.com to tell us that.
Did Politifact.com give a clue to their eventual Lie of the Year pick? Perhaps. But they also put it to their readers. Their readers chose “If you like your plan you can keep your plan” as Lie of the Year by fifty-nine percent. Those are runaway-favorite, landslide numbers. Furthermore Politifact.com had 14,278 total votes. That, they say, was a record.
Those same readers said a mouthful about the Lie of the Year. The comments reflect much voter’s remorse. Like this sample:
Although I’m a supporter of the new health care law, it’s clear the president attempted to retroactively adjust what he in fact had said. That many lost their insurance was no surprise to me. Why? Because of the good work performed by PolitiFact; I knew what he was saying was only Half True.
As a Dem, I must admit that Obama is the obvious winner. Source: I received a cancellation letter.
This will prove the Democrats’ undoing. Republican voters knew all the time that the Lie of the Year was and is a lie. They knew Obama could never have kept that promise. Not without either forcing insurers to work at a loss, or printing even more money than the government is now printing. So these are Democratic voters. Their outrage will not go away.
Where does Politifact.com stand?
Where Politifact.com stands on the issues is even more significant. Their Top Ten list of what they called lies includes statements that, at worst, were exaggerations, or predictions of things that had not yet come to pass, but would or will. Thinks like the IRS keeping a database of health secrets, or forcing doctors to ask about your sex life. Or that Obamacare would force home inspections. Or that American-trained doctors will quit rather than accept Obamacare. (Ann Coulter exaggerated when she said no American-trained doctor would accept Obamacare. But when seventy percent of doctors in one State quit, you have a problem.)
One could make a good case for any of these being part of the eventual plan, or no worse than exaggerations. That Politifact.com called them lies was quibbling. Except for a handful of cases (like the FISA courts being transparent), Politifact.com bent over backwards to avoid embarrassing Barack Obama.
But not this time.
What this means
Lie of the Year would be a highly dubious distinction from anyone. Still, if Fox News Channel had called the Lie of the Year, Obama and his followers could ignore it. Or add it to all their other reasons for their obsession and compulsion to find some ground, any ground, to put Fox News out of business.
But Politifact.com? That they cannot ignore. This is the reverse of Walter Cronkite calling the Tet Offensive a victory for the North Vietnamese Army, instead of the victory for the United States Command that it really was. Then-President Lyndon Johnson lamented,
If I’ve lost Walter Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.
Barack Obama never had Middle America. He won by having the Two Coasts. Now he would seem to be in danger of losing those.
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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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