ARMEY’S STANDARDS, MEMORY LACKING…. On “Meet the Press” yesterday, David Gregory asked Dick Armey a reasonable question: “FreedomWorks, your advocacy organization is getting together a lot of folks, coordinating a lot of the efforts to get people out for the [health care] protests. Do you bear some responsibility for the tone of the debate?” Since some of Armey’s buddies are now comparing the president to Hitler, it’s a fair inquiry.
Armey said, “Not, not whatsoever.” He immediately shared an unrelated, and patently false, anecdote: “[W]hen MoveOn.org ran those ads that compared President Bush with, with Adolf Hitler, I thought it was despicable.” Rachel Maddow interjected, explaining that this never happened. Armey insisted it did, and seemed annoyed that Maddow wanted to include reality in the discussion.
As for the right-wing activists comparing health care reform to the Nazi Holocaust, Armey would only say, “There are always a lot of colorful people that show up with town hall meetings, a lot of people with a lot of colorful statements.”
First, let’s note the facts. Five years ago, MoveOn.org invited people to put together homemade television ads for the presidential campaign, and anyone could just post their idea to the group’s site. Some unknown person put together an ad comparing Bush to Hitler, and put it on the MoveOn.org site without the group’s knowledge. MoveOn pulled the submission. When Armey said MoveOn “ran those ads,” he was lying.
Second, note the competing standards. If some anonymous liberal compares Bush to Hitler, Armey thinks it’s “despicable.” If Armey organizes far-right activists carrying placards comparing Obama to Hitler, he thinks they’re “colorful.”
And finally, now that it’s obvious that Armey said things he knows are untrue on national television, any chance he’ll be barred from returning? Will bookers conclude that Armey shouldn’t be invited onto television news programs, since he’s obviously willing to lie to the public? No, that’s not how the game is played, which is why hacks like Armey feel comfortable lying in the first place — there are no consequences.