Watching television Friday night, I saw a theme emerge around the Medicare debate that is raging around the country. Evidently, the Republicans believe they have already won the debate and there is nothing more to talk about. Everybody does not agree. It looks like there is a lot more to talk about.
We’ve seen a lot of discussion lately about lies, especially after Paul Ryan gave his acceptance speech at the RNC, and that night a lot of articles were published, especially the one posted at Fox News, that created a firestorm that even Fox News couldn’t put out. Let’s start with the first of two back-to-back segments on The Rachel Maddow Show that first looks at what’s involved when someone tells a lie.
The Lie That Eric Cantor Forgot
It is best not to lie. Obviously for more and ethical reasons, it is best not to lie. But one of the practical reasons it is better to tell the truth than it is to lie is because if the thing you're saying is not a thing that actually happened; if you have to make something up, you have to concoct a story in order to explain something because it's not true, then you are committing yourself forever to remember what that story is that you just made up. And the truth is just the truth. You never have to give it a second thought, but a lie is something you have to remember forever, or you will get caught.This is just plain and simple common sense. We all learned in kindergarten that lying is bad, and we shouldn’t do it. Taking on a lie is a lot of responsibility and if you’re going to do it, you should have a very good reason for it. I remember my mother explaining to me the difference between a regular lie and a white lie. People tell white lies because if telling the truth would hurt someone’s feelings, it is better to tell a lie. “Honey, does this dress make me look fat?” We can debate whether or not telling a white lie would be the best course of action in this situation, but that’s not what this discussion is really about.
So do you create a mnemonic device to remember it? Do you write the lie down on your hand to remind you? Do you get a tattoo? Remembering a lie your entire life is a difficult thing to commit yourself to. Now in politics, in terms of lying, it's one thing to get away with little explanatory lies and exaggerations that maybe nobody's going to ask you about again. Everybody maybe expects those from politicians; maybe you can get away with those. But, if a fundamental thing in your campaign, if a main pillar of what you're running on is a lie, then that's a problem because, not only do you have to remember what the lie is, but so does everybody else.I can see that. It’s one thing to tell a lie and keep it to yourself, but the minute you start adding more people to the equation, that’s going to make it tougher to keep the story straight. Won’t somebody slip up at some point?
And if you are a national campaign, you have a ton of surrogates, you have a ton of other people, a ton of other elected officials, all trying to get you elected, and they are all going to be asked about this thing that is a main pillar in your campaign and what you're banking on, if it's a lie, is everybody remembering the same lie ... for months, for years, forever? What are the odds that's not eventually going to fall apart? If this is something people are going to get asked about every day, and a lot of people are going to get asked about it every day.Yeah, I can see the problems that would cause. I’m sure back in the days before the Internet, video recordings, blogs and 24/7 cable news, it might have been easier to coordinate. But today? In 2012 in the 21st century? It would be quite a feat to pull that off.
Well today it all just fell apart a little for the Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan campaign when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor forgot what the lie was. The lie in question is that the Republicans think it is awful that President Obama is cutting 700 billion dollars out of Medicare. This is a lie because Paul Ryan has called for the exact same cuts to Medicare. So clearly, they do not think they're so bad. Somebody forgot to remind Eric Cantor how exactly you explain that lie. Asked about the inconsistency of Ryan attacking cuts his own plan embraced, [Mr.] Cantor said quote "The assumption was that, um, the, the, ah, again - I probably can't speak to that in an exact way so I better just not," he said [See Romney-Ryan details remain elusive: Just ask a surrogate, CNN Money/Fortune, August 30, 2012]. Eric Cantor forgot the lie.Come on, Rachel. That didn’t sound that bad. It just sounded like he couldn’t remember what is actually in Ryan’s Budget Plan. He’s the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, for Pete’s sake. Look at all those laws and policy positions he has to keep up with. (Full disclosure: the first time I typed that last sentence; I absentmindedly typed lies and policy positions and caught it in the proofread,) He can’t be expected to remember every single one of them.
What screwed Eric Cantor up there; what he could not remember the appropriate lie about is what Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Paul Krugman effectively calls the smaller lie of the Republican campaign on the issue of Medicare. The small lie is that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are denouncing this policy that Mr. Ryan himself has proposed. That's the small lie [See The Medicare Killers, The New York Times, August 30, 2012]. But what Paul Krugman says is the big lie, is this.Wow! I thought the Republicans gave up on that idea of turning Medicare into a voucher program. Didn’t a lot of senior citizens show up at their town hall meetings in 2010, ranting and raving that they wanted their children and grandchildren have the same Medicare plan that they have? Why are they bringing it back again? Didn’t they get the message from their constituents the first time they tried it? Like here and here.
Video of Paul Ryan giving acceptance speech at RNC: Medicare is a promise. And we will honor it. A Romney-Ryan Administration will protect and strengthen Medicare.You know, if you were running the son of a zillionaire, second generation zillionaire presidential candidate as your nominee this year, you would probably have a convention that was all about your Party's up-from-the-boot-straps stories, right? Single moms and poor immigrants working multiple jobs. And if you were running the kill Medicare guy as your vice presidential nominee, you too would have your convention be all about how much you love Medicare and want to protect it.
But as Paul Krugman writes today, quote The Republican Party is now firmly committed to replacing Medicare with what we might call Vouchercare. The government would no longer pay your major medical bills; instead, it would give you a voucher that could be applied to the purchase of private insurance. And, if the voucher proved insufficient to buy decent coverage, hey, that would be your problem ... Over time, the Republican plan wouldn't just end Medicare as we know it, it would kill the thing Medicare is supposed to provide: universal access to essential care [See The Medicare Killers, The New York Times, August 30, 2012]. That, I think even Eric Cantor could remember. Paul Krugman joins us for the interview next, in just a moment.
Well, let’s find out if Paul Krugman knows why. Follow me over the video clip of this first segment to watch/read the Rachel’s interview with Paul Krugman.
Debunking the GOP's 'Vouchercare' plan
Since when do Republicans get to say when a subject is closed? Just because they don’t want to talk about something any more (releasing income tax returns), does that mean the rest of us have to, or even are going to, stop talking about it? I also wonder if younger people are even thinking about Medicare and what all this discussion means to their future. For years I knew that there was a deduction from my paycheck, along with social security, for Medicare. But, I never actually thought about it and realized that it was a premium that was being taken out of my pay now, and meant I was going to receive healthcare from the government when I got older.Video of Paul Ryan giving acceptance speech at RNC: Medicare is a promise. And we will honor it. A Romney-Ryan Administration will protect and strengthen Medicare.RM: Paul Ryan is the spokesperson for protecting Medicare. Joining us now for the interview is Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-Winning Economist, Princeton professor of Economics and International Affairs, and of course a New York Times columnist. Mr. Krugman is a contributor to The Occupy Handbook, which I own both in hardback and in paperback because it is just out in paperback. Paul thanks for being here.
PK: Hi there.
RM: Politically, the Republicans say they have fought the Medicare issue to a draw. They do not have any more political liability on this issue because they have convinced people that President Obama will hurt Medicare more than they would. On policy terms, what's your reaction to that?
PK: Well, yeah, I mean it's amazing. I mean, they might be right on the politics. Who knows? But on policy terms, of course not; right? I mean, Obama is proposing some cost-saving measures, which are also exactly the same cost-saving measures that Ryan assumes in his budget. And then, of course, Obama is trying to preserve Medicare as what it is, which is something that guarantees essential health care to older Americans, which we should have for everybody. But, anyway, at least for older Americans, essential health care is a right. Republicans are say, oh actually we'll give you a voucher and you can go off and deal with the insurance company. It's your problem.
RM: In terms of the, again, the political allegations back and forth here; one person ... one man's cost-saving measures is another person's dastardly cuts? In terms of the substance of what President Obama is proposing, do you think there's anything wrong with it?I hadn’t heard that part before about the hospitals agreeing to cuts in their rates. I did know that a lot of people who don’t have insurance will go to the hospital emergency room because the law says they have to be treated even if they can’t pay. I was even impressed when I read in my local paper that our hospital was opening a clinic across the street from the emergency room to take on some of those people who show up at the emergency room, and how it’s actually going to save the hospital money. But the hospitals realizing that since Obamacare will provide more people with health care, they will be getting paid for more of the services they were doing for free, it’s actually going to lower their costs and so they are willing to lower their fees; this was something new.
PK: No. I mean, if you actually look at it, the cost-saving measures are not; no benefits are cut. Benefits are actually expanded. They're all reductions in payments to insurance companies and to hospitals. On the insurance companies side, it's reducing the over payments. There's a program called Medicare Advantage, which has turned out to be a huge boondoggle; very small benefits in return for a lot of additional taxpayer costs. So they're just going to say this: we're going to stop subsidizing that. It has to compete on a level playing field.
And then the hospitals will be paid less, but they have agreed to that. The hospital industry said, you know, we're going to have more patients because people will have insurance. We'll have fewer uninsured people who have to be treated without being able to pay their bills. So, we're willing to accept slightly lower rates. So this was all a perfectly reasonable way to save what is actually a fairly modest amount of money over the next ten years. Amazing that this has become; well, you know, its because Republicans are so good at making people think that they're going to take away your money and give it to those people. Because if you looked at it on its own merits, it's a totally reasonable set of modest cost-reduction measures.
RM: And they're winning on the politics because what we're talking about, is what President Obama did on Medicare as part of health reform, and we're not talking about the Paul Ryan proposal to voucherize it.Wow! So a person getting on in years, who is going to have medical needs will have to go out into the marketplace and shop for an insurance company. Even if a few of those people are 100% healthy, the majority are going to have preexisting conditions. And let’s face it, seniors are the most susceptible to being ripped off by less than honest companies that are willing to prey upon them.
PK: That's right, yeah and I don't know if that lasts. I mean, we'll see now. But in any case, the amazing thing, that statement "we are going to keep the promise of Medicare." The promise of Medicare is that if you have a medical emergency, if you have a necessary treatment, it will be paid for. And that promise is explicitly taken away. The promise instead is, "We will give you some money that maybe will help you to buy an insurance policy from a private insurance company." That is not the promise of Medicare.
RM: In terms of the economics of a voucher proposal like that. I mean, in human terms, it is very hard to imagine. I mean, I imagine myself, let's say I imagine myself 88 years old, and I'm going to get a coupon and go shop on the private market for insurance.
PK: Right, just imagine that ...
RM: Because I've got a discount coupon and so then maybe somebody will want to pick me up as an 88 year old pensioner to get private insurance.
RM: It's hard to imagine on human terms, but on economic terms is there any reason to believe that putting people into the private market with some sort of government subsidy like that, would be more efficient and bring down costs in a big sense.Every study shows that costs will go up in a private system and yet the Republicans are still insisting that this is the road they want to take us down. I had to know more, so I went and read Krugman’s article, and I found this bit extremely interesting.
PK: This is an amazing thing because this is a case where conservatives, and not just the extreme ones but especially the extreme ones, just won't take No for an answer. We have lots of evidence. We have lots of head-to-head comparisons of private insurance versus government programs, and the private insurance always ends up being more expensive. You can see that. We've got Medicare Advantage, which is running Medicare through private insurance companies. It's turned out to be a money losing proposition for the taxpayer. We have Medicaid versus private insurance. You have a lot of head-to-head comparisons. Medicaid is a lot cheaper, and of course, there's the international thing. Every other advanced country relies much more on government provision of health insurance than we do, and every other advanced country has much cheaper health care than we do, with no difference in quality, and in some cases, better qualities. Though, you know you look at, it's not like you have to go Timbuktu to find this out, right? You know, go a couple of hundred miles north to Canada, and you find out that over the last four years, Canada has had much lower growth in health care costs. They spend not much more than half as much per person as we do; same health care outcomes as we have ... socialized health insurance. What more do you need?
RM: Yeah, this is ... it works country-to-country, it works comparing two different systems in the same country. It even works comparing the private part of Medicare to the public part ...
PK: That's right. There is not one example that I am aware of that shows what Republicans insist that should be the belief that we completely rehaul our Medicare system.
RM: The Democrats will have done their job next week, if what we are talking about with regard to Medicare is the voucher idea of Paul Ryan's. Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist, Nobel Prize-Winning Economist, and contributor to the new paperback version of The Occupy Handbook. Thanks, Paul, it's nice to see you.
PK: Good to see you.
RM: Thank you.
Still, the G.O.P. promises to maintain Medicare as we know it for those currently over 55. Should everyone born before 1957 feel safe? Again, no.
For one thing, repeal of Obamacare would cause older Americans to lose a number of significant benefits that the law provides, including the way it closes the “doughnut hole” in drug coverage and the way it protects early retirees.
Beyond that, the promise of unchanged benefits for Americans of a certain age just isn’t credible. Think about the political dynamics that would arise once someone born in 1956 still received full Medicare while someone born in 1959 couldn’t afford decent coverage. Do you really think that would be a stable situation? For sure, it would unleash political warfare between the cohorts — and the odds are high that older cohorts would soon find their alleged guarantees snatched away.
The Medicare Killers, The New York Times, August 30, 2012
Wow that example hit home because as it so happens I was born in 1956 and my sister was born in 1959. Here I was thinking that even if the Republicans pull off this coup, I’d be safe according to their claims. But it turns out that not even that was true.
So this thing that Krugman called Mr. Ryan’s Big Lie, saying in his article,
— and, yes, it deserves that designation — was his claim that “a Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare.” Actually, it would kill the program.How do Republicans defend this? This was an informative discussion between two people who, let’s face it, lean toward progressive ideas. What does a discussion about this Big Lie with a Republican look like? It turns out, I didn’t need to wait long for my answer. All I had to do was switch the channel and watch Reel Time with Bill Maher. Follow me over the video clip of Rachel Maddow’s interview with Paul Krugman.
Reel Time with Bill Maher, Friday, August 31, 2012
Bill Maher’s discussion panel included actor Jason Alexander, Soledad O'Brien who hosts CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien, and former Special Assistant to George W. Bush, Ron Christie. I am unable to provide a video clip because this is an HBO program, and I had to transcribe it directly from the television.
Maher started the panel discussion by talking about the mendacity that came out of the Republican convention, and the first topic just happened to be that $716 Medicare Cuts debate.
Bill Maher: Do you think we've ever seen lies like this? Because it's one thing to slant things, all politicians do that, but to just pull out of your ass? I mean, Mitt Romney went through Obama's apologizing around the world. Fact checkers? No. Raising taxes on the middle-class? Not true. Cutting defense? He's only raised it. You know, wrecked our credit rating? Welfare work requirement; he got rid of that. No he didn't do that. Robbing Medicare? Just a series of total lies. Have we seen this before?There it is again, that term Krugman used, Big Lie. Oh boy, Maher brought up the name Hitler, and specifically said he wasn’t saying Republicans are Hitler because we all know how Republicans feel about Bill Maher. He’s their favorite person to bring up when defending things conservation pundits have said, “Liberals do it too. Look at Bill Mahar.” And so we should dismiss the fact that Big Lie is something that Republicans just say over and over again until we believe it as Soledad pointed out.
Soledad O'Brien: I don't know if we've seen it, but I think what you're seeing are people trying to get control of a message; that sort of the veracity doesn't matter, right? I mean, if you can just say it and say it often enough, and say it enough, and say it loud enough, and just keep repeating it and have everybody around you just keep repeating it, then eventually it becomes true. I think you've seen that a lot in this campaign.
Bill Maher: (Stunned pause.) Well, now you're describing what Hitler did. I'm not saying the Republicans are Hitler, but Hitler famously said, the big lie works and the little lie doesn't.
Ron Christie: Well, I think the big lie here is that we need to fact check the fact checkers. The fact of the matter is the media has been running around (audience grumbles); the media's been running around and saying Paul Ryan's been lying. The fact of the matter is this, President Obama in his plan, Obamacare, took 716 billion dollars out under Medicare Advantage. He took it out of the hospitals and he took it out of the insurance program and he programmed that into Obamacare. That's true. The media has said, oh Ryan is lying.This is the Republican answer? We need to fact check the fact checkers? Is he serious? Are we supposed to just keep looking for fact checkers until we find one that agrees with the Republicans' indefensible defense? Isn’t this the definition of insanity, or something like it? According to Albert Einstein, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Bill Maher: That's not what they're saying.
Ron Christie: Actually, Paul Ryan had two plans. Let me explain that to you.If this man says, the fact of the matter is one more time, I’m going to scream. As if using that phrase makes what he is saying true.
Bill Maher: They're saying he took that 700 billion dollars from people. He took it from corporations.
Ron Christie: No he didn't take it from corporations.
Bill Maher: As he should (referring to President Obama taking it from corporations). Yes he did.
Ron Christie: The fact of the matter is I actually read the law, every last page of it. And the fact of the matter is, Bill, he's taking it out of the program where people are on Medicare Advantage, the number of money that's going to hospitals and the insurers to deal with people who are on these programs.
[Talking over each other]Why is that number they keep repeating, $716 Billion? Why don’t they just use the $700 Billion figure they started with? Is it because $716 Billion is more specific, and sounds more “true” than saying $700 Billion?
Soledad O'Brien: That's not correct.
Ron Christie: Yes it is!
Soledad O'Brien: No the 716 billion dollars number ...
Bill Maher: Please, please, neutral news lady, please tell us the truth.
Soledad O'Brien: Back to this conversation I've personally have had many times now. And this is the 716 billion dollar that is just repeated over and over again. They say, "716 billion dollar cut," and I think everybody's supposed to take that as a cut to services. It's not a cut to services; 716 billion dollars is diminished over time. It's diminished over time, over a period of time, and it's the insurers, it's the hospitals. There's no loss in benefits, and I think when the number of times I've had to have conversations especially with congresspeople who have voted for that very same thing in Congressman Ryan's Budget. That number. I think that this is a really good example of this number that is repeated and repeated and repeated. And, yeah, I think the media is working overtime as fact checkers. And so, then say, well check the fact checks, it just boggles the mind. (Thunderous applause from audience.)
Jason Alexander: It's also, I think George Orwell in , predicted what we are now in. Where, you know, he had a civilization that said, We're at war with EurAsia. And then Big Brother said, We're not at war with Eurasia. We're at war with East Asia. We've never been at war with Eurasia, and then the population went, Okay. That's where we are. We have a population that is so ill-informed and misinformed in our cycle of endless 24 hour issues ...This is where I let out a loud primal scream. Is this guy for real? First, he used that phrase again, twice, and now he’s happy that he has a video clip of Bill Maher saying “That is correct.” Does this guy have selective hearing? Didn’t he hear the part where Bill Maher described what he was saying as the We Will F#@k You in 10 Years Budget? Unbelievable.
Bill Maher: Low information voters, they're called.
Jason Alexander: Low information, low factor ...
Bill Maher: Otherwise, known as idiots. (Applause)
Jason Alexander: That's right.
Soledad O'Brien: It's complicated.
Bill Maher: Low information voters. I love that sound.
Soledad O'Brien: It's complicated. You know, in order to do the fact checking, you have to go through and read line by line the Congressional Budget Office report. You have to refer to the law. You have to go through the Tax Policy Center. It's very hard. I think if you're a person who's sitting at home who has Medicaid, and you're trying to figure out, so am I going to lose my Medicare under this, or am I going to lose my Medicare under that? It's very complicated.
Ron Christie: Actually, that's a very good point. Let me speak to that. Because everyone talks about Paul Ryan and they demonize Ryan and they say that they want to throw; you know, that Ryan's trying to take folks off of Medicare. The fact of the matter is this, nothing that Paul Ryan said in either of his budgets dealt with anybody who is over the age of 55. Not a one. The fact of the matter is, Soledad (Bill laughing heartily), and it's really true the Obamacare budget. The 716 billion. Only in Washington D.C. where you actually reduce the rate of spending is actually called a cut. The fact of the matter is, Bill, you're dealing with people who are actually on Medicare and receiving Medicare services, they'll have a reduction in the amount of benefits available. That's the truth.
Bill Maher: It's the We Will F#@k You in 10 Years Budget. That is correct.
Ron Christie: Well at least you say it's correct. I'm just glad that we got that on the record that you admit that I was correct.
Bill Maher: But how come he both includes that 716 billion dollars in Obamacare, and also cuts it from his own budget?I feel Bill’s pain. I’m not even there, and I want to jump through the television screen, grab that man by the shoulders and shake some sense into him.
Ron Christie: The difference between what Paul Ryan had done in his two previous budgets and the President's is very clear. What Paul Ryan does is he took 716 billion dollars in reduction of spending, and he put that immediately back into Medicare. What President Obama did in his budget, was he took his...
Bill Maher: He gives it back to the insurance company.
Ron Christie: No, he doesn't give it back to the insurance co...
Bill Maher: Of course. Okay. All right. Let's ... You see, this is why I have such trouble with Republicans on the show. They say, have more Republicans. I try. We try to book two at once, but I can't ... It's very hard to argue in a world where we don't agree on facts. (loud round of applause from audience)
Jason Alexander: At the heart. Any way you want to describe it. Any way you want to slant it. Ryan doesn't like Medicare. He doesn't like entitlement programs. That's their platform. He doesn't like Social Security. He doesn't like Medicare. He's not PRO the program. So he's not going to do much to help the program. He doesn't believe in.And there you have it. You just get so fed up trying to talk sense to a Republican, despite being presented with facts that clearly indicate otherwise. And so you just throw up your hands in frustration, and stop trying. This is one of the reasons I so thoroughly enjoyed life is making tacos's diary earlier today: Defeat the Medicare Lie Easily...with Groceries! Unlike Bill Maher, she isn’t willing to give up on the discussion, and found a way to frame the conversation differently to make it easier to understand. I was disappointed to see that her diary neither made it onto the Recommended List, nor was it rescued to the Community Spotlight. If somebody doesn’t understand the point you are trying to make, it means you need to find a different way to explain it so they will understand it, and this diary demonstrated one way of doing that.
Ron Christie: And here's the only thing I'd say to liberals, the fact of the matter is that our entitlement systems are going broke. If we do nothing ...
Bill Maher: I agree.
Ron Christie: And this President has done nothing, he ...
Bill Maher: I agree.
Ron Christie: He ignored his own commission. Medicare as it currently exists ...
Bill Maher: That's not true, either.
Ron Christie: Well, he didn't endorse his own Simpson-Bowles plan …
Bill Maher: Yeah, right, because you know who torpedoed that in Congress? Paul Ryan. (Thunderous applause.)
Ron Christie: No, he didn't.
Bill Maher: Yeah he did. Okay. All right. Let's get off this. You know, you know what. I'm the host of this show, and I'm f#@king bored with this. Let's move on because that's the problem. You can't really have a discussion because we don't agree on the Universe.
So there is a Big Lie that Republicans are telling, and it’s a whopper. In truth, there is more than one Big Lie. What about all that voter fraud they claim is going on around the country, requiring all these new Voter ID laws? And what about this thing Bill Maher claims about Hitler saying the Big Lie works? I decided to look into that, and actually found a Wikipedia page dedicated to the Big Lie.
The Big Lie (German: Große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, about the use of a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously." Hitler asserted the technique was used by Jews to unfairly blame Germany's loss in World War I on German Army officer Erich Ludendorff.Reading further down into the Wikipedia article we learn that the United States Office of Strategic Services prepared a report during the war describing the phrase in their psychological profile of Hitler:
His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.Do you think that is true? That if you tell a big lie, people will believe it? It turns out that earlier this year, Priorities USA Action, learned a little bit about this.
Mitt Romney’s tax and spending plans are so irresponsible, so cruel, so extreme that they are literally incredible. Voters may find it hard to believe anyone would support such things, so they are likely to discount even factual descriptions as partisan distortion.I suspect that one of the reasons we are seeing things slowly rolled out by President Obama's campaign, as well as the videos released by Priorities USA Action, is that they know if they put it all out there at once, people will think that what they are saying is beyond belief.
The pro-Obama New Priorities PAC stumbled across this phenomena early in 2012 in its focus group testing. When they informed a focus group that Romney supported the budget plan by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and thus championed ending Medicare as we know it while also championing tax cuts for the wealthy, focus group participants simply didn’t believe it. No politician could be so clueless.
This concept of Republicans following Hitler’s model for leadership; I’ve heard that before. Do you remember back in 2009 when Rachel Maddow did several segments about a group called “The Family” which was also known as “The Fellowship.” It was back around the time of that scandal surrounding South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, and how he was part of the C-Street House that the group uses as its base in Washington, D.C. I vaguely remember reading back then about that group and how they admired Hitler’s leadership model.
Jeff Sharlet, in contrast, told NBC News that when he was an intern with the Fellowship "we were being taught the leadership lessons of Hitler, Lenin and Mao" and that Hitler's genocide "wasn't an issue for them, it was the strength that he emulated.They think that they can use Hitler’s leadership model; but will see different results? What did Einstein say? “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Because adding fundamental Christian beliefs to what Hitler did, and mixing thoroughly, is going to result in a better outcome, right?
Maybe it isn’t a coincidence that Paul Krugman used Big Lie, to describe the Romney-Ryan claim that they will protect and strengthen Medicare. Does that game plan remind you of anything? Do you watch The Newsroom on HBO? Did you see this?
Did you catch that list at the end that defines The American Taliban? ● Ideological purity ● Compromise as weakness ● A fundamental belief in scriptural literalism ● Denying science ● Unmoved by facts ● Undeterred by new information ● A hostile fear of progress ● A demonization of education ● A need to control women's bodies ● Severe xenophobia ● Tribal mentality ● Intolerance of dissent ● Pathological hatred of US government
What do you think? Are the Republicans telling a Big Lie, and will they persuade enough people to believe it, that the Romney/Ryan ticket can win the White House in November?
Update: Wow! I can't believe I missed this. I was just rereading the diary looking for typos, and this stood out. Look at the first time Ron Christie talks (second quote box of Maher segment). He says:
Ron Christie: The fact of the matter is this, President Obama in his plan, Obamacare, took 716 billion dollars out under Medicare Advantage. He took it out of the hospitals and he took it out of the insurance program and he programmed that into Obamacare. That's true. The media has said, oh Ryan is lying.Then I make some comments, and in the next quote box, we see:
Bill Maher: That's not what they're saying.Ron Christie: Actually, Paul Ryan had two plans. Let me explain that to you.In the first case, Christie says the truth about what President Obama did and then says that people are claiming that Paul Ryan is lying meaning that what he just said was what Ryan had been saying. When Bill Maher points out that what Christie said Ryan was saying, was not what Ryan was saying. Ryan was saying President Obama took the money from people, not corporations. Christie says President Obama didn't take the money from corporations. The exact opposite of what he said in the first place, unless he believes that hospitals and insurance companies are not corporations.
Bill Maher: They're saying he took that 700 billion dollars from people. He took it from corporations.
Ron Christie: No he didn't take it from corporations.