A party built upon a foundation of lies

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Remember the $700 billion lie that will not die (up fro $500 billion in 2010) about "cuts" to Medicare, even after every media fact check organization in America rated the GOP claim a "pants on fire" lie repeatedly since 2010? NRCC's 'pants on fire' – the $700 billion lie that will not die returns. Expect to see this lie return in 2014.

Gop_failThis week it was the epic media fail on the CBO report that GOPropagandists tweeted and retweeted: Obamacare to mean 2 million fewer workers. Corporate 'lamestream' media fail on CBO reports. Even the GOP-friendly AP (All Propaganda) has fact-checked this lie, Anti-Obamacare chorus on job losses is off key, as has the GOP-friendly FactCheck.org. The ACA: Losing Jobs vs. Choosing Not to Work – FactCheck.org.

One would think the GOP would simply admit to making an error, as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) did on Wednesday, Paul Ryan has momentary lapse into truthfulness, and say "my bad, it won't happen again."

Oh, you would be so wrong.

The GOPropaganda machine is already doubling down on this lie that will not die. Greg Sargent reports today, Republicans double down on another Big Lie about Obamacare:

It’s official: The GOP’s Big Lie about the CBO report — that it said the law will kill 2 million jobs — is now the new “Obama gutted Medicare to pay for Obamacare.”

The claim about the CBO report — which has been widely debunked by fact checkers — has now found its way into its first ad against an incumbent Democratic Senator. Here’s the spot hitting Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina, paid for by her opponent, GOP Rep. Thom Tillis:

Politico says this is a Web ad, but it’s very likely this is how countless attack ads to come will feature this newly minted GOP falsehood. The ad says:

Kay Hagan votes with Barack Obama 96 percent of the time. What will it take to change her mind? How many families will have to lose good health coverage? How many workers will have to lose their jobs? How many people will have to pay for Kay Hagan’s loyalty to Obama?

As the narrator talks about workers losing their jobs, the ad flashes a padlocked factory on the screen, with the words: “Congressional Budget Office estimates 2 million lost jobs do to Obamacare.”

That’s not what the CBO estimated, of course. Indeed, even CBO director Douglas Elmendorf directly contested the characterization of jobs being “lost” during yesterday’s House hearing, noting that when people decide to ease up on work for good reasons, “we don’t sympathize. We say congratulations.” Elmendorf even added that those impacted this way could include older people who decide to retire earlier than they otherwise might have, or spouses who choose to reduce work hours to stay home with a new baby.

It’s worth appreciating the perverse nature of the lie on display here. Because Republicans are absolutely wedded to their “Obamacare is a job killer” talking point, the CBO report’s findings are being distorted into proof that the law will inflict job losses on millions of workers who, in this telling, become Obamacare’s helpless victims — a labor demand argument. In reality, the report actually found it would impact the choices workers receiving the law’s benefits make — a labor supply argument.

Some conservatives have dealt with the report’s actual findings directly by arguing they prove the case against the law — that government subsidies reduce the incentive to work. Many of the good wonky writers — Jonathan Cohn, Brian Beutler, Jonathan Chait, Jared Bernstein — have already engaged this argument effectively. But that is at least a legitimate debate to have within the context of the CBO’s findings.

However, the point is that, for the purposes of political attacks, Republicans don’t want that to be the debate. The argument over the pluses and minuses of expanding health care to those who lack it — whether it’s good because it creates economic flexibility, or bad because it fosters dependency — takes the debate on to turf GOP operatives would prefer to avoid. That’s in keeping with the larger story here, which is that Republicans don’t want any debate about the law’s benefits. They have focused relentlessly on supposed victims of Obamacare horror stories about “lost” coverage and rising premiums (see “Bette in Spokane“), while pretending those benefitting from it simply don’t exist and in some cases explicitly working to prevent their own constituents from joining the ranks of the law’s beneficiaries.

Similarly, the CBO report must be distorted beyond recognition into fodder for a story only about people being victimized by the law — by Obamacare-created job losses inflicted on them.  The above ad is only the beginning of this, and we’re going to be seeing a lot of it.

This GOPropaganda will be aided and abetted by the usual suspects among the media villagers and Beltway bloviators, such as Sargent's coworkers at the Washington Post, media villager Chris Cillizza and wingnut blogger Jennifer Rubin.

Cillizza wrote a piece entitled, "The worst headline for Democrats this year" before the Washington Post's Fact Checker Glenn Kessler debunked the GOPropaganda talking point. Cillizza dismisses this as irrelevant, essentially adopting the old adage "if you are explaining, you are losing." He argues that politics is all about perception and people believe what they are already conditioned to believe, so there. Why the CBO report is (still) bad news for Democrats.

Jennifer Rubin is always the right-wing polemicist. Obamacare’s killer — the CBO:

In a nutshell, this is the newest and perhaps most effective argument Republicans have come up with to attack Obamacare — and the Democrats who passed it. It does a number of things for the anti-Obamacare forces.

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Americans — despite the far right’s continual predictions of catastrophe — are very much wedded to work.

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The opposite of earned success is “learned helplessness,” a term coined by Martin Seligman, the eminent psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania. It refers to what happens if rewards and punishments are not tied to merit: People simply give up and stop trying to succeed.

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In other words, Republicans find themselves on the side of an issue that defies partisan boundaries and is overwhelmingly popular with most voters. Conversely, Democrats are in the unenviable position of defending the “choice” not to work on other people’s dime.

Once again, the GOProganda framing that the "47%" are takers and moochers and are dependent upon the hammock of the safety net.

For serious-minded people, see Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times, Why the new CBO report on Obamacare is good news, and Paul Krugman at the New York Times. Obamacare and the Reverse Notch and Labor Supply and the Meaning of Life.

What we are witnessing is the death throes of the modern Republican Party. It is intellectually bankrupt and morally depraved. it is no longer capable of policy or governance, only propaganda. It is a party built upon a foundation of lies.

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One response to “A party built upon a foundation of lies

  1. You are trying to turn weakness into strength and weakness isn’t strength. Labor force participation is collapsing and employment participation is collapsing. As a result government spending per capital is collapsing. And. Its going to get worse. Much worse. The game is over when it comes to funding all this deficit spending by increasing money supply. With velocity at 1.4 perhaps the lowest recorded velocity in history its over.