PALIN DOUBLES DOWN…. Sarah Palin’s “death panel” nonsense ran into a few rebukes this week. Politifact called it “pants-on-fire” wrong. One conservative Republican senator called Palin’s claim “nuts.” Another conservative Republican senator said proponents of the “death panel” talking point are “making things up.”

Even the AP and ABC News, outlets that are often reluctant to call out politicians for saying things that aren’t true, told the public that Palin’s claim is wrong.

Faced with reality, would Palin back down? Of course not — she’s doubling down.

In a new Facebook post entitled “Concerning the ‘Death Panels,’” Palin further explores her insistence that the health care bill’s provisions for voluntary counseling on end-of-life decisions constitutes a government plan to get rid of undesirable patients.

“With all due respect, it’s misleading for the President to describe this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients,” Palin says. “The issue is the context in which that information is provided and the coercive effect these consultations will have in that context.” […]

Note, however, that many of Palin’s footnotes are to other people’s statements of opinion, which in turn don’t create anything that approximated Palin’s original statement: “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”

So the real question for evaluating her statement, is whether counseling on end-of-life decisions — which patients are not required to go through — constitutes a “death panel” that would condemn a senior citizen or Palin’s baby to death by depriving health care.

It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to get caught saying something ridiculous, and respond by insisting you were right all along. Honesty? No. Common sense? No. Intellectual seriousness? Of course not. But chutzpah? Sure.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.