Friday, September 5th, 2008
I disapprove of the current flavor of language (maybe we should call it a semantical ecology) that calls lying misrepresentation. Most “misrepresentation” is a form of cynical slanting, where a speaker or writer claims one thing knowing well enough that he or she is slanting. Dean Baker catches this:
Senator McCain claimed that Obama’s proposal would force people into a health care plan run by government bureaucrats. This is not true. Senator Obama’s plan would give people the option of buying into a publicly run Medicare-type plan, but this would only be an option. Under Senator Obama’s plan, no one would be forced to join the public plan, they would be free to stay with their current plan if they chose.
McCain knows that what he’s saying is a lie. The better thing to do would be to outline the real sense of Obama’s plan and then to present rational disagreement or objections to it, point by point. Speakers don’t have to live and breath by formats.
Of course, lying is a political habit now. Even Obama does it.