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Keep Chuckin’ Those Facts

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If you’re going to assert that perfectly accurate Democratic claims about Paul Ryan’s plan to end Medicare are false, why not go all the way and make it your lie of the year?

The defenses of this, as Bouie, Benen, Chait, and Yglesias note, are entertainingly absurd. Here, they argue that Democrats “ignored the fact that the Ryan plan would not affect people currently in Medicare — or even the people 55 to 65 who would join the program in the next 10 years.” Right, current seniors were exempted — because they would have revolted against a plan to end Medicare and replace it with an increasingly worthless voucher to purchase insurance nobody would want to sell. Why Democrats have a responsibility to take evasive Republican gimmicks at face value is not explained. And here, they note that for the first time the public didn’t go along with their lie of the year — despite a lobbying campaign by Paul Ryan; actual readers thought that the “lie of the year” should cover a “lie” rather than “accurate statements that are inconvenient for the Republican Party.” Although at least some LGM commenters got their attention: “A few people wrote in a vote for our own fact-check of the claim to be Lie of the Year.” And they’re right!

In related news, in a forthcoming Times Disunion post PolitiFact will announce the historical fact that slavery was the primary motivator of southern secession its “lie of the century.”

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