A certain relative (who is a huge proponent of Universal Health Care and knows that I am not) mentioned the other night that "somebody" was lying about the bill because each side was saying opposite things about it.
I'd been doing a lot of thinking about this lately. And I ran across a new Pat Sajak column today (yes, that Pat Sajak -- he's a good conservative writer) where he talked about some of the smearing of the Obamacare opposition. And there I saw one of those mambsy-pambsy, "aren't I balanced" " ... but BOTH SIDES ... " blah blah blah, once again decrying the Death Panel "lie" comments.
And it all congealed in my head as concisely as it ever had to this point. I spit it out as a comment, which makes up the remainder of this post.
The Democrats played a shell game simultaneously arguing that certain things the oppositon were saying were not explicitly in "The" bill, and that there was no "The" bill yet to criticize when opponents did find something explicit in one of the many versions of "the" bill flying around underneath the cups.
If you listen to Democratic statements over the years and especially in recent years, their goal is clear. A single-payer, government run, universal health care system. There are plenty of articles and soundbite examples to illustrate this. The preferred path is through a government option, they found out they weren't going to get it in one bite. So they opted for merely turning the insurance industry into a utility and bankrupting them so that a public option becomes acceptable, eventually transforming over the years into a .. single-payer, government run, universal health care system. It's no secret.
The opposition argued what the consequences would be, whether they were explicitly layed out in "the" bill or not. They were called "liars" on the basis that the bill, of course, didn't explicitly talk about rationing boards which will eventually become necessary and Sarah Palin referred to as "death panels".
Mean time, though not covertly secret about their agenda, the Democrats were tight lipped about it and would only talk about what was literally in the bill -- and rarely speak of what their actual medium and long-term goals were, and never talk about possible undesirable unintended consequences (or intended ones, either).
Thus Democrats lied by omission by narrowing the scope of what they were putting in the legislation right this minute, and projecting that narrow scope onto what the opposition was arguing. This throws the opposition's argument completely out of the context in which it was being made, and they declared the opposition "liars".
Too bad it worked as well as it did. But that's Alinsky tactics. Frame the argument on your terms (always a good idea for anyone) -- and decieve if you have to (which underscores why Alinsky dedicated "Rules for Radicals" to Satan.