Does anyone remember PolitiFact's 2011 Lie of the Year?
Back last December when they ignored the input from their readers and chose instead to christen the following as the Lie of the Year:
2011 Lie of the Year: Republicans Voted to End Medicare
At issue was the Republican vote for the Paul Ryan budget proposal -- and PolitiFact contorted six ways to Sunday to make it out as a Pants on Fire.
But now -- as Brian Beutler points out to devastating effect on TPM this afternoon -- one of the GOP's own is now on video giving the lie to the lie (as it were).
As JamieG from MD and I reported last Friday, GOP Wisconsin Senate candidate Tommy Thompson was caught last June telling a Tea Party audience that he was just the guy to "do away with Medicaid and Medicare." H/t brinmat for the re-uploaded, properly-synched video that as of this writing is climbing past 22,000 hits:
The most damning aspect of Thompson's brag is his subsequent description that what he's actually talking about is the GOP/Ryan plan:
change Medicare and Medicaid like I did welfare -- and who better than me, who's already finished one of the entitlement programs, to come up with programs to do away with Medicaid and Medicare? Let's block-grant what the state has, and allow the states to determine what's going to go into Medicaid. And Medicare, let's wait until everyone that's right now under 55 reaches 55 by age [sic] 2020, and give them a choice whether they want to purchase health insurance with a subsidy from the federal government, or stay on Medicare. I'm here to tell you, when you look at the situation nobody's going to accept it, because Medicare's going broke by the year 2022.More beyond the cheddar swirl!
Beutler begins his reflection at TPM with these words:
If you haven’t heard much about Tommy Thompson’s super subtle primer on “doing away” with Medicare and Medicaid, it’s probably because Thompson had already been in free fall for weeks when his remarks first surfaced.Go read the rest of it for yourself... it's a brief, compact thing of beauty.
But I wanted to very briefly propose that, whatever the incident’s impact on that race, it should once and for all put to rest the Fact-Checker stoked “dispute” about what the GOP’s plans for Medicare and Medicaid really are.
I wonder, though, whether Beutler is right or not about why the story hasn't gone far beyond progressive blogs and publications (and Ed, & Rachel, & the Democratic Party of Wisconsin). It may instead be because the PolitiFact and the WaPo Pinocchios have pre-inoculated the Village to this particular truth that Tommy Thompson blurted out so confidently. PolitiFact has even come back to remind us that they awarded Tammy Baldwin a half-true for quoting Tommy from this very event, on the claim "Baldwin says Thompson said he wants to 'do away with Medicare.'"
Tommy's been caught telling the Big Truth, giving the lie to what was supposed to be the biggest lie of 2011.
Will the viewers of tonight's Baldwin/Thompson debate (starting 8pm Central, livestreaming here) get a chance to hear Thompson have to defend himself on this?
The debate is co-sponsored by the AARP of Wisconsin. I'm betting that Medicaid and Medicare will be FRONT AND CENTER.
Shall we live-blog in the comments once the debate kicks off?