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Holding Radical Right Wingers Accountable for Their Lies

I’m far from thrilled by the watered-down bill the Senate is about to pass (though I’m hopeful the House will improve it in conference), but there’s one thing that annoys me even more than Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, and Harry Reid: shameless, lying, power hungry right wingers.  The idiot squad on the right, "led" by  Michele Bachmann, Fox News and other right wing phony journalists, is resurrecting the outrageous death panel lie.  Bachmann ought to be especially ashamed of herself for suggesting health care legislation will lead to the government deciding who will live and who will die, seeing as she called the whackos to a gathering  where they waved signs comparing health care reform to the Holocaust.   It’s getting harder and harder for Bachmann to disclaim responsibility for ths outrageous (and repeated) lie when she keeps suggesting that the government really is going to off undesirables and her followers parrot that lie.

Here’s my call to right wingers lying about death panels: if this legislation passes, prove it.  Present evidence that an objective source can accept as proof that government death panels are deciding who will die.  Show us evidence that government death panels are pulling the plug on grandma.

The thing about the liars on the right is that they are rarely, if ever, held accountable.  Before President Obama took office, Rep. Paul Broun claimed the new president would establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship–"exactly what Hitler did."  Ok, Rep. Broun, show us the Gestapo–or, at least, help us make sense of your incoherent ramblings (Hitler was also a Marxist?) .  Sarah Palin warned us that candidate Obama couldn’t be trusted because he was "palling around with terrorists" who wanted to do harm to the country.  Obama’s been president for nearly a year now–can Palin pull herself away from devising clever ways to go incognito long enough to tell us whether Obama turned out to be a terrorist posing a danger to the United States as Palin suggested?

Right wingers lie all the time.  They’re good at it.  They score political points from it.  Maybe some time it would be fair for media insiders to actually look back at some of their outrageous claims once a little time has passed to hold right wingers accountable for their transparent lies.

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Chris Edelson

Chris Edelson

Chris is a lawyer and professor at American University who writes frequently about current political and media issues. His writing has also been published in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Metroland (Albany, NY), and at