MAYBE SHE CAN TRADE CHICKENS FOR SCRUPLES…. It’s been about a month since Sue Lowden, a far-right Senate candidate in Nevada, started sharing her unusual beliefs about health care policy, including the notion that patients should “barter” with physicians. A week later, she touted a system of “bringing a chicken to the doctor,” adding, “I’m not backing down from that system.”
Though the story, and national mockery, has faded, Lowden is still struggling with the fallout. Her reputation and credibility have been severely undermined, and by some measures, Lowden is something of a laughingstock. Her inability to deal with the controversy has only made matters worse. Republicans in D.C. and Nevada, who had high hopes that she’d easily defeat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) in November, are growing increasingly antsy.
To help get back on track, Lowden has launched a new television ad, which implicitly acknowledges that the campaign needs to do far more to put this fire out. In the commercial, Lowden looks into the camera, and referencing her detractors, argues, “They want to make this [campaign] about chickens and checks, a check I wrote decades ago and a statement they’ve taken out of context. That’s what’s wrong with Washington — lies and dirty tricks.”
The “check,” in this case, references money Lowden had contributed to Harry Reid several years ago. But the key here is the notion that the “chicken” talk was “taken out of context.”
By any reasonable measure, Lowden is lying. Indeed, it’s not even a close call.
As Greg Sargent explained, “In her original quote, Lowden said that ‘bartering is really good’ to ‘get prices down in a hurry,’ and even urged people to ‘go ahead and barter with your doctor.’ Lowden subsequently doubled down, saying that in the old days, people traded chickens for health care, adding: ‘I’m not backing off of that system.’”
It’s surprisingly easy to check — look at what Lowden said before, consider the context, and then listen to what she’s saying now. By claiming that her words were “taken out of context,” Lowden is quite obviously trying to deceive the public. Indeed, it’s quite cynical — she’s recreating recent history in the hopes that voters won’t know the difference.
Making ridiculous remarks is bad. Lying about those ridiculous remarks may prove to be even worse.