It is all the rage right now to rag on the mobs descending on town hall meetings spouting off lies they’ve been fed from mainstream politicians in the Republican faction about a pathetically watered-down health care plan emerging from Congress. The odd part about this is that it frames the Democrats as innocently (and perhaps too sheepishly) defending the Truth against budding fascists.
There is a huge problem with this picture. Democrats have been economical with the truth as well. Not only were they complicit with Bush administration crimes for eight long years, but now that they are in power, they not only perpetuate those crimes and participate in a cover-up, even going so far as to seek to withhold evidence from a British court, to conceal photographs of torture from the public, and to only selectively prosecute torturers. This is the president, who as candidate, promised to improve the U.S. image around the world.
On health care, Democrats were less than honest in excluding a single-payer proposal from the “full” range of ideas to be considered, even going so far as to have advocates arrested. Even the promised floor vote is nothing more than a show for “liberal” lawmakers to record their votes.
After all this, Obama condemns “wild misrepresentations by opponents of health care reform. I posted on the then-president-elect’s web site back in November: We’ve endured a lot of lies. It is time for some truth.
But Obama chose a different path.