An ‘appalling amount of misinformation’

AN ‘APPALLING AMOUNT OF MISINFORMATION’…. The Washington Post‘s Ruth Marcus explained in her new column that she’s “not a huge fan” of the House health care bill — she didn’t say why, exactly — but the columnist ended up cheering for the legislation anyway. Apparently, Marcus heard an “appalling amount of misinformation being peddled” by Republicans, and grew disgusted.

I don’t mean the usual hyperbole about “a children-bankrupting, health-care-rationing, freedom-crushing, $1 trillion government takeover of our health-care system,” as Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling put it. Or the tired canards about taxpayer-funded abortion or insurance subsidies for illegal immigrants. Or the extraneous claims about alleged Democratic excesses….

I mean the flood of sheer factual misstatements about the health-care bill.

Marcus proceeds to document all kinds of lies from a variety of GOP lawmakers. There were obvious falsehoods about Medicare, taxes, Comparative Effectiveness Research, jobs, and the public option. It was as dishonest a display as one will ever see from one party in one day.

You have to wonder: Are the Republican arguments against the bill so weak that they have to resort to these misrepresentations and distortions?

Good question. When you take an intellectually unserious caucus, add dashes of panic and paranoia, and throw in a healthy dose of ignorance, you end up with a group of people who can’t help but lie — they have nothing else of value to say.

Marcus’ column was especially impressive for resisting the urge most of the media establishment gives into: trying to pretend “both sides” are equally bad. It’s lazy but common, and Marcus, to her credit, called it like she saw it. There was no need to put a pox on both houses, when only one had earned it.

House Republicans spent the entire debate shamelessly lying. Here’s wishing other media figures were as willing as Marcus to say so.