Thursday, September 17, 2009

"You lie!" many times

Jim Davies provides an excellent analysis of the Joe Wilson transgression. Writing at Strike the Root, Davies points out that in Britain, politicians are expected to use euphemisms instead of direct speech when the words in question happen to be forbidden.
Churchill, early in his career, wanted to call someone a liar but settled on the substitute phrase "terminological inexactitude" so as to bypass the prohibition . . .
Things are done differently over here, usually.
Is there catcalling across the aisle? Are there rude interruptions? Groaning, hissing and booing? As often as not a speaker speaks only to the C- SPAN camera, all his colleagues having found better uses for their time than to listen. What a shocker, therefore, when Joe Wilson (R, South Carolina ) interrupted the Prez last week in full flow and shouted, "You lie!"
Here is what President Obama was saying prior to being accused of lying:
"There are also those who claim that our reform efforts would insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false. The reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally."
Davies then proceeds to show that the preceding three sentences are loaded with lies. For example, Obama refers to his proposals as a "reform." But reform implies improvement. Is there any evidence that government has ever improved health care with its interventions?
Again and again government has intervened in the industry, to mandate this and prohibit that, each such intervention boosting the price spiral every time; as I wrote here recently, the very notion of making health care appear cheaper than it is causes demand, and therefore total cost, to rise. So government participation has been an unrelieved disaster, and Obama is proposing more of it; therefore, without a shadow of doubt, his proposals or any variant on them are the very opposite of "reform" and he was lying absolutely, and Joe Wilson was right.

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