Posted by: Lisa Pampuch | August 23, 2009

The tactic explained

The Atlantic’s Conor Clarke exposes the shameful, deceitful, lie-spewing tactic that conservatives are using to great effect in the health-care reform debate, inspired by Sen. John McCain’s appearance today on This Week with George Stephanopolous. Key quote:

But, to recap, the tactic is this: (1) Make a preposterous and false claim about a bill. (2) Have the claim disproved. (3) Avoid defending the original claim, but instead observe that the controversy reflects “a legitimate difference of interpretation” about what might happen in the future. Effective opposition in three easy steps!

And so we have a conundrum: Ignore the tactic, and let the falsehood persist, or engage with the tactic, and play into the false appearance of legitimate debate. I do not have a good solution. The best I can do is repeat, with endless tedium, that the bill is not ambiguous and the original claim is still false. I can further add that people who hide falsehoods behind the smokescreen of an equally false ambiguity are doing a fabulous job of destroying legitimate public discourse.

McCain, the war hero who sunk so low as to nominate the laughable Sarah Palin to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, clearly has lost his way. It’s shameful and sad.


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