Friday, September 18, 2009

When is a Lie NOT a Lie?

My mother always told me there's no such thing as a "little white lie," that a lie is a lie. An intentional deception is a lie. There are lies you tell to keep from hurting people's feelings ("Do I look fat in this?") but it's still a lie.

Charles Krauthammer looks today at Obama's "lies." Charles says that Obama doesn't really lie, he just" implies, he misdirects, he misleads." Still a lie. I usually agree with Krauthammer on things, and on this point, I guess technically we agree, but I'm for calling a lie just that - a lie. No niceties of terminology for me on this one.

Krauthammer looks at three good examples from one of Obama's many speeches on health care, and at this point, who can tell them apart?, and ends up pointing to the same old misdirections (LIES!) that we've all seen and that, in fact, Joe Wilson also saw:

(1) “I will not sign (a plan),” he solemnly pledged, “if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future. Period.” (2) And then there’s the famous contretemps about health insurance for illegal immigrants. (3) Obama said he would largely solve the insoluble cost problem of Obamacare by eliminating “hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud” from Medicare.

Krauthammmer goes into explanation as to why these are all (lies) - he doesn't call it that - and ends with the observation that "Slickness wasn’t fatal to 'Slick Willie' Clinton because he possessed a winning, near-irresistible charm. Obama’s persona is more cool, distant, imperial. The charming scoundrel can get away with endless deception; the righteous redeemer cannot."

On that much, Krauthammer and I agree. Read the whole thing here.

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