Palin: I’m Not the Biggest Liar of the Year

By David Corn

There's an old story that occasionally makes the rounds in Washington. In the 1970s, a magazine (now long defunct) named New Times reported that Sen. William Scott, a Virginia Republican, had been ranked the "dumbest" senator in a survey conducted by a public interest group. Subsequently, Scott held a press conference to deny the charge — thereby proving he was pretty darn dumb. After all, he only called more attention to the accusation.

Sarah Palin has taken a Sen. Scott-like position.

Earlier this month,, a project of the St. Petersburg Times, awarded Palin the not-so-coveted "lie of the year" award for claiming last summer that President Obama's health care reform initiative would set up "death panels" run by bureaucrats who would decide if seniors and disabled citizens "based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society' " would be "worthy of health care." explains:

On Aug. 10, PolitiFact rated Palin's statement Pants on Fire [its highest — or lowest — rating]. In the weeks that followed, health care policy experts on both the right and the left said the euthanasia comparisons were inaccurate. Gail Wilensky, a health adviser to President George H.W. Bush, said the charge was untrue and upsetting.

"I think it is really unfortunate that this has been raised and received so much attention because there are serious issues to debate in health care reform," she said at a forum on Sept. 3.

Responding to the initial Pants-on-Fire designation, Palin tried to have it both ways, claiming her phrase was metaphoric and accurate. In a Nov. 17 interview with National Review, she said she didn't regret the remark:

"To me, while reading that section of the bill, it became so evident that there would be a panel of bureaucrats who would decide on levels of health care, decide on those who are worthy or not worthy of receiving some government-controlled coverage," she said. "Since health care would have to be rationed if it were promised to everyone, it would therefore lead to harm for many individuals not able to receive the government care. That leads, of course, to death."

"The term I used to describe the panel making these decisions should not be taken literally," said Palin. The phrase is "a lot like when President Reagan used to refer to the Soviet Union as the 'evil empire.' He got his point across. He got people thinking and researching what he was talking about. It was quite effective. Same thing with the 'death panels.' I would characterize them like that again, in a heartbeat."

Not literal, but accurate — as in, well, you know what I mean.

Now Palin is again taking issue with being called a liar. In a new Facebook posting, she scoffs at "Nancy Pelosi and friends who have tried to call 'death panels' the 'lie of the year.' " She doesn't mention it was the neutral that branded her statement the whopper of 2009. And she claims she has proof she was correct in the first place. The pending Senate health care bill, she says, calls for an Independent Medicare Advisory Board to find ways to cut costs. This, she writes, "is also known as rationing." If that's the case, then every insurance company and health care firm in America is a death panel, for that's what they do each day: seek ways to trim costs to bolster profits.

But there's more. Palin cites a letter Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week, referring to the bill's call for reducing Medicare spending by 2 percent. "It is unclear," Elmendorf noted, "whether such a reduction in the growth rate could be achieved, and if so, whether it would be accomplished through greater efficiencies in the delivery of health care or would reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care."

Aha, Palin proclaims: This reduced " 'access to care' and 'diminish[ed] quality of care' – is precisely what I meant when I used that metaphor." (She's back to calling it a metaphor.)

Not really. As Greg Sargent has pointed out, Palin is changing her definitions. When she first referred to "death panels," she was portraying them as medical tribunes that would decide the fate of specific individuals. ("You're IQ is too low, so no dialysis for you!") Now, she's essentially claiming that any cost-cutting that might influence access to care constitutes establishing a "death panel." Not only is she being shifty; Palin is poisoning one policy debate that the nation needs to have about health care. Does this ardent foe of socialism really believe that the U.S. government ought to pay for any medical procedure that a Medicare recipient might want? What if a treatment costs several million dollars and at best can extend the life of a dying patient by a week? If you question such a practice, then, in Palin's book, you're for rationing and can be a charter member of a "death panel."

Tough policy matters aside, Palin is playing loose with the facts about her own pronouncements — and calling even more attention to her dubious distinction of promoting the lie of year. The big question is, in this category, can she top herself in 2010?

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36 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ken
    Dec 27, 2009 @ 15:26:00

    my local paper is the st.petersburg times and the politicfact is the most slanted piece of socailist propaganda going right now,that democratic idiots like you enjoy quoting it is a laugh…….


  2. You Betcha!
    Dec 27, 2009 @ 19:41:00

    Poor stupid Sarah and her painfully charred legs! If she had an ounce of decency, I would shudder for her and feel a bit of pity. But she doesn't, so to heck with feeling sorry for a downright evil and conceited twit.The stories keep coming, more from Alaska, more from Outsiders as the bloom fades. There will be sneaking under the radar, twitty Sarah. You know this, I know this, but your NPD syndrome will just keep tryin' and tryin' til you've been pushed back under your rock for good. That's OK – by the time you've been drug off the stage by the big hook once and for all, there will be no doubt remaining about what a nightmare your foray into the public eye has been.And the world will rejoice! Just don't forget to grab your whack jobs when you go.


  3. You Betcha!
    Dec 27, 2009 @ 19:44:00

    There will be NO sneaking… correction! But plenty of Whaaaa, I'm sure! She's awfully adept at that part, especially with that VOICE. No wonder she's so mean – living with a voice like that your whole life would do brain and emotional damage beyond the pale.


  4. Syrin from Wasilla
    Dec 27, 2009 @ 21:14:00

    ….living with a voice like that has to be killing her- it's certainly killing us! LOL!!!!!


  5. sjohnson
    Dec 27, 2009 @ 21:50:00

    I know nothing about PolitiFact, but that really has no bearing on the discussion. The FACT is she claimed there were "death panels" months ago and never clarified her "metaphor." She did her usual stirring up of hate and discontent of her undereducated followers. She was proven wrong by BOTH sides. Now she is at it again; however, now she is spinning her meaning for all it is worth and…..wait for it…..spreading as much misinformed hate and discontent as possible. She is a cancer on the butt of society.


  6. ken
    Dec 27, 2009 @ 22:05:00

    are you this blind to the healthcare bill thats going to be forced on this country,talk to people on the medicade system and ask them about it before you dismiss a conservative vioce,if you get cancer you will get only 2/3 of the treatments you need,and then the goverment will take a wait and see attitude,and ''death panels'' are very real your ability to heal and not be a permanent burden on society wil be weighed against cost,and you will be ''nudged'' into the ''right'' decision,you will be paying for abortion,you will be paying for foot massages,you will be paying for sub-standerd care wether you want it or not……….and you will get down on your knees and be thankful for it……..baabababa


  7. sjohnson
    Dec 27, 2009 @ 22:26:00

    Hey, Syrin, don't you love how Ken is just as reliable as Pavlov's dog. I can see his puddle of saliva from here.


  8. You Betcha!
    Dec 28, 2009 @ 09:26:00

    Palin will go down in history alright! Just not as she imagined. She will be a laughingstock and poster granny for delusion and lies for many years to come. Her bots don't write the history books since they don't have any education, nor interest in such as that is all just another big government plot! Less power to 'em!


  9. ken
    Dec 28, 2009 @ 13:09:00

    i can see whats creeping down your leg from here,must be that cold weather keeps it from smelling to much,and i thought alaska was a real american state,come to find out you have alot in common with california…..


  10. sjohnson
    Dec 28, 2009 @ 14:35:00

    Oh, Ken, you must be thinking that I am one of those C of Pe-ers. You are quite wrong as usual. Furthermore, Ken, I don't live in Alaska. Not cold where I live. Yes, boy, I am a real American, not a little amurican like you. I make positive contributions to society. What about you? What do you do to justify the air you're breathing? Rant and rave on your blog, spreading lies, hate, and discontent? What an achievement. It would be nice if you could raise your intellectual level a foot or two above your ass.


  11. ken
    Dec 28, 2009 @ 15:49:00

    a american,you,no..someone like yourself will never be considered a real american,you have to enjoy freedom,not destroy it in the name of socialism,scum like you that do everything they can to change this country into something the founding fathers would be ashamed of will never be considered americans.
    where is this positive contribution that you think your making,if its to turm my country into a socailst state,thanks but no run along little girl before i hurt your change dreams.


  12. Syrin from Wasilla
    Dec 28, 2009 @ 16:40:00

    From the "Crunchy Con" Manifesto (This list summarizes some of my conservative principles)
    1. We are conservatives who stand outside the contemporary conservative mainstream. We like it here; the view is better, for we can see things that matter more clearly.
    2. We believe that modern conservatism has become too focused on material conditions, and insufficiently concerned with the character and standard of integrity of society.
    3. We affirm the superiority of the free market as an economic organizing principle, but believe the economy must be made to serve humanity's best interests, not the other way around. Big business deserves as much skepticism as big government.
    4. We believe that culture is more important than politics, and that neither America's wealth nor our liberties will long survive a culture that no longer lives by what "the Permanent Things" – those eternal moral norms necessary to civilized life, and which are taught by all the world's great traditions.
    5. A conservatism that does not recognize the need for restraint, for limits, and for humility is neither helpful to individuals and society nor, ultimately, conservative. This is particularly true right now in the politics.
    6. A good rule of thumb: Small and Local and Old and Particular are to be preferred over Big and Global and New and Abstract.
    7. Appreciation of aesthetic quality – that is, beauty – is not a luxury, but key to the good life.
    8. The lack of accountability and self control in contemporary popular culture makes it hard to discern the call of truth and wisdom from those who proclaim being conservative.
    9. We share a conviction that "the best way to rear up a new generation of friends of the 'permanent things' is to read to them, and teach them what is worthy of praise, the wise parent is the conservator of GOD's ancient truths. … The institution most essential to conserve is the family."
    10. Politics and economics will not save us. If we are to be saved at all, it will be through living faithfully by the 'permanent things', preserving these ancient truths in the choices we make in everyday life. In this sense, to conserve is to create anew.


  13. sjohnson
    Dec 28, 2009 @ 19:01:00

    You certainly are a judgemental hemorrhoid, Kenny. You claim to not only know who my friends are but also what their politics are. And, oh yes, I definitely make a positive contribution to our society and have been for many years. You claim to know everything that I believe. And the fact that I believe in helping others less fortunate than me does make me a real American. You better go polish up that crystal ball of yours, little boy, it doesn't seem to be running on all cylinders. Kind of like you, huh?


  14. ken
    Dec 28, 2009 @ 19:43:00

    hahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! look at the truth of what that ''manifesto'' is all about and you will see SOCAILISM plain and simple.either you're hoping to dupe me or you have been duped.i'm all for getting back to basics but never like this.its just a back asswerds way to socailism..


  15. ken
    Dec 28, 2009 @ 19:50:00

    you are a sycophant of the first order arnt you,first syrup and now endofsea,do you have any ideas of your own,you are one of the most unfortunate people i've met,try helping yourself first.and there is nothing wrong with helping your neighbors,there is something wrong with the goverment stealing from you to give to people that are to damm lazy to do for themselves.


  16. sjohnson
    Dec 28, 2009 @ 20:35:00

    Well, Kenny, you are quite the bully boy aren't you? You rant. You rave. You call people who have different opinions than you names. You have no substance, buddy. Where is your proof? Give us some facts. Cite your sources. I suggest that you first grow some manners, and then do some research to back up your ludicrous raging. If you can't do that, then you really should go somewhere else. I do not agree with all of Syrin's opinions, but I certainly respect them as she has done her research, analyzed the data, and carefully considered it before forming her opinions. Getting her perspective on some things helps me to form some of my opinions even though I may come to different conclusions than her. I also respect her for allowing you to keep posting here in spite of the fact that you add nothing to any side of an issue and you are quite crude. As I said before, if you can't back up your comments with facts and you can't lift your intellect a couple of feet above you ass, you don't belong here. Furthermore, to post on your blog that Syrin is one of three people who should be tried for treason and shot is extremely childish and way over the top. It is particularly bad manners on your part when you are using her site to post your rabid opinions. I think "bully" pretty much sums you up.


  17. ken
    Dec 29, 2009 @ 11:30:00

    bully boy????????? is that how you pigeonhole any one who you disagree's with,you are a coward arn't've said your state has no bias against christains,i ask you what state and you want to keep this a secret,is it rhode island and your afraid you stick out that much.much like the ''polita fact'' that syrup quotes,she gathers knowledge and then finds the best way to slant it to serve her socailist ideals,i have no respect for this,only shame.
    you can't back up anything,not your name,your own blog,or your home state,again i feel shame for your cowardice.


  18. Madonna
    Dec 29, 2009 @ 11:37:00

    The Palins Are Suing Levi Johnston for Sole CustodySarah Palin is the unelected head of the political party that wants to
    micromanage your private life and believes that the state should
    dictate the form your family takes. And her own family is a complete mess:


  19. sjohnson
    Dec 29, 2009 @ 11:45:00

    Oh that's rich!! You object to being called a bully. No, I don't use that term freely, and it has nothing to do with disagreeing with me. It has to do with your lack of manners. You're rude and crude. You can't carry on an intellectual conversation while disagreeing with someone. You constantly resort to bully tactics of ranting, raging, and name-calling. All in all it is nothing more than one big man-trum after another. Get your ducks in a row, present your points one by one with support and cite your sources. Leave the emotion and name-calling out.


  20. ken
    Dec 29, 2009 @ 17:27:00

    if you had any idea on how insulting your socailist rhetoric really is,how anti-american and how anti-humanity you truly sound like you would understand why i reply with are in essance destroying 50,000 years of evolution.
    what are you babbling about ducks for,the only statement you have made is that your state is not biased against religion,when i ask what state and offer to prove you wrong you run away and hide.pick a state any state,if your so ashamed of your own state.


  21. sjohnson
    Dec 29, 2009 @ 20:59:00

    Who said I was ashamed of my state? You make one assumption after another and let your feet run with it while your head is up your ass sitting on the porch. The problem appears to be that you are very disorganized in your thinking. I'm not sure what you are mumbling about my "socialist rhetoric." What is that supposed to mean? Also, how can I possibly have enough power to destroy 50,000 years of evolution? Talk about exaggeration and rambling!! Telling you to "get your ducks in a row" means to organize the points of your argument into a logical order, do your research, and cite your sources. It is a common saying in America. You start off on a tirade and shoot off on multiple tangents which makes you sound like an idiot. I have often thought that Christ would be a socialist if he were here today (in the human sense). He believed it was our duty to help those who are less fortunate and to share whatever we have with others without judging them. I seriously doubt that He would care about politics or the boundaries of countries. He was all about people and how people treated each other. Remember He said that above all else we were to love one another.


  22. ken
    Dec 30, 2009 @ 12:48:00

    ok,let me do some research,whats your state!!!!!!!!!!
    another liberal that wants to hide behind jesus christ,again have you know shame,first you talk about how great atheists are then you try to slant the teachings of christ,damm how you liberals do wiggle.


  23. sjohnson
    Dec 30, 2009 @ 13:10:00

    Did I say how great atheists are, or are you putting words in my mouth again? I respect their legal and God-given right to choose. You can't force or legislate someone to believe anything, Doofus. I slanted the teachings of Christ how? Be specific, stick to facts, and leave your bias out of it. Then I will listen.


  24. ken
    Dec 30, 2009 @ 14:03:00

    ok, what state do you live in……..when you want to back up your irrational statements,i will be more then happy to do the same….i'm all done cutting you liberal children slack,you do nothing but cause trouble with the freedoms you have……………


  25. sjohnson
    Dec 30, 2009 @ 14:30:00

    I repeat, you disengenuous bully, did I say how great atheists are? And I slanted the teachings of Christ how? Be specific, stick to facts, and leave your bias out of it. Then I will listen.You're sounding like a broken record. I value my privacy. Period. Pick a state, any state. Doesn't matter which state, does it?


  26. ken
    Dec 30, 2009 @ 16:10:00

    your very first ''statement of fact'' was that your state has no anti-religious or socailst leanings in their schools and i offered to prove you wrong,i know liberal children are allowed to get away with this mentality on the national front,but i do not,again i will ask what state you are from,the fifty states that i know of all practice some form of marxist indoctranation,so do you live in the 51st state or just a state of confusion.


  27. Syrin from Wasilla
    Dec 30, 2009 @ 17:29:00

    You're not welcome here, you're a sycophant, a tormented soul, backdoor moron ….scratch that- you went in through the front door on that. You and all who are like you are sub-standard in intellect and integrity.
    America…. anyone who follows a whack job such as Palin Does NOT represent what a real American who happens to live by Conservative values thinks and believes.
    Very Simply- this is what Conservatives used to believe!!!
    Intellegence and reason of your opponent is to be honored regardless of the issues.
    Self control and personal integrity are valued in Repub Conservative politicians
    Accountability and culpability are the end games for all policy makers no matter what the party or idealogy….


  28. sjohnson
    Dec 30, 2009 @ 18:01:00

    Kenny? Hey, buddy, you're mixing topics from your blog with topics from this blog. The state and religion thing is your blog. Let's keep it there. I will not respond to it here.


  29. ken
    Dec 30, 2009 @ 19:20:00

    where is your reason,you call yourself a conservative and embrace just about every bedrock liberal idea there is,you call yourself a american and defend it with marxist ideals,america was founded for freedom, the rights of the one,not the rights of the many to feed off of the one.neighbors helping neighbors is what america is about,neighbors stealing from neighbors is what that country to the west is all about.somewhere along the line you took a hard left turn, time to get back on the path,america needs you if you would stop betraying her………you want to be treated with respect, don't throw that grungy con manifesto at me and expect to be treated like a conservative worthy of respect.


  30. ken
    Dec 30, 2009 @ 19:22:00

    fair enough.


  31. sjohnson
    Dec 30, 2009 @ 21:11:00

    You know, Ken, everyone is entitled to their opinions. You don't have a corner on the market of where this country should absolutely be going. Where do you get off pontificating about your opinions to the expense of all other opinions? What you have is an opinion and nothing else, same as me and as Syrin. What you don't have is respect for anyone who has a different opinion than you and you are ugly about it. I have often learned good things from people who have a different opinion than I have, so I try to keep an open mind. However, I'm not impressed by broad statements and "I believes." You can't foretell the future any more than the rest of us, so why do you act like you know absolutely what is right and wrong for this country? The world is not black and white, Ken. There is a lot of gray area in life.


  32. sjohnson
    Dec 31, 2009 @ 12:37:00

    See above.


  33. ken
    Dec 31, 2009 @ 22:11:00

    you are right everybody has a opinion,but thanks to the msm,the democratic party and others the people that hold the true core values in this country are not being heard,now in d.c. we have a watered down version of marxism,when i would rather see a watered down version of ayn rand,and until that happens i will keep voicing my opinion that america has taken a sharp left hand turn, that could very well ruin it.


  34. sjohnson
    Jan 01, 2010 @ 09:04:00

    I call bullshit. All sides are being heard loud and clear. That is just a typical right fringe whine. Anyone can blog; you're clear evidence of that. Anyone can go into communications. Rupert Murdoch owns the largest and most conservative news conglomerate in the world, so if your "message" isn't getting out to the public (again I call bullshit), then you need to give old Rupert a ringy-dingy and let him know about your dissatisfaction.


  35. ken
    Jan 01, 2010 @ 20:55:00

    read a newspaper lately,watched the big three news broadcasters,fox news and the few newspapers he owns are the only ones coming close to a conservative view point.when the latist acorn scandel broke fox was the only one reporting it,if it was covered any where else,it was reported that fox news was bashing acorn for something they might have done wrong,all sides of socailist/marxist/communist view points are being heard the conservative view point is being whispered,just the fact that no one went to jail,no goverment investigation was started,and acorn was allowed to do their own inhouse investigation which found,after a 2 week indepth study that there was no wrong doing on their part,when the whole country saw acorn members helping a prostitute set up a whorehouse with underage illegal all the proof any rational mind would need to know that the truth is not being told and justice is not being served.unless this is what socailists call justice,in which case not only are you blind you are also deaf and dumb.


  36. sjohnson
    Jan 01, 2010 @ 21:13:00

    Whoa, Ken. Hold your horses. I can hear the conservative screaming from my house at any hour of the day. Conservatives are at the very least whining, but mostly they are screaming their outrage at the top of their lungs. I do not watch TV. Newspapers and magazines have old news by the time they are printed and dispersed. Don't even try to infer that I am not well-informed in a general sense. I just happen to be more open-minded than you. I always entertain the possibility that I could be wrong in my conclusions, unlike you. As for Acorn, like any large organization, they have their corruption, but to say the entire organization is corrupt would be wrong. You are spouting Fox talking points without doing your own research on it. I notice that you have once again dropped your intellect to ass level.


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