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Politifact’s ‘Lie of the Year’ Goes to Democrats

Oh boy, this is going to make heads explode.

As a renegade liberal who never agrees with anyone, I characterized Paul Ryan’s plan like this:

There’s a reason Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have been pushing the Heritage Foundation mercilessly on their show for months and it was to pave the way for Paul Ryan and his Heritage Foundation hallucinations.

This partisan ideological shop is the driving engine for Rep. Ryan’s math , who in using the Heritage Center for Data Analysis as his cover conjured up the stamp of right-wing approval for his “Path to Prosperity.”

It’s going to solve all of our debt problems and even make parents able to stand their teenagers.

I also said it would “end Medicare in ten years.” Is that a lie? It’s partisan language, for certain, fueled by emotion, because I believe Ryan’s plan would end Medicare as we know it. If I’m being honest, now writig as a recovering partisan (though not quite cured), that is what I would write today.

The push back has started, which you can see at Memeorandum.

Steve Benen begins:

This is simply indefensible. Claims that are factually true shouldn’t be eligible for a Lie of the Year designation.

It’s unnerving that we have to explain this again, but since PolitiFact appears to be struggling with the relevant details, let’s set the record straight.

Medicare is a single-payer health care system offering guaranteed benefits to seniors. The House Republican budget plan intended to privatize the existing system and replace it with something very different – a voucher scheme. It would still be called “Medicare,” but it wouldn’t be Medicare.

It seems foolish to have to parse the meaning of the word “end,” but if there’s a program, and it’s replaced with a different program, proponents brought an end to the original program. That’s what the verb means.

Paul Krugman joins in:

The new scheme would still be called “Medicare”, but it would bear little resemblance to the current system, which guarantees essential care to all seniors.

How is this not an end to Medicare? And given all the actual, indisputable lies out there, how on earth could saying that it is be the “Lie of the year”?

The answer is, of course, obvious: the people at Politifact are terrified of being considered partisan if they acknowledge the clear fact that there’s a lot more lying on one side of the political divide than on the other. So they’ve bent over backwards to appear “balanced” – and in the process made themselves useless and irrelevant.

What do you think? Did Democrats and progressives deserve Politifacts “lie of the year”?

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