Debunking the Top 10 Most Egregious Republican Lies

We spend a hell of a lot of time at The Daily Banter debunking various myths, slogans and lies, and the undisputed champion of easily debunkable myths continues to be the Republican Party. To be sure, this isn’t to suggest that all Republicans are easily-misled simpletons. They’re not. Yet their party consistently panders to its easily-misled simpleton base with the most egregiously dishonest ideas in American politics.

And, until now, I don’t think we’ve ever fully summarized the most glaring examples of GOP myths and lies. I hasten to note that this list obviously doesn’t cover everything and I’m sure you’ll have some additional examples for the comments below. But the following are definitely the ten most mendacious things the GOP has attempted to foist upon the American public.

10) Obama Doubled The Deficit.

This was a favorite of the Mitt Romney campaign. Throughout 2012, Romney repeatedly said, “The president promised to cut the deficit in half. He’s doubled it!” No. No he hasn’t. First of all, this line depends entirely on voters not understanding the difference between the deficit and the debt. See previous “simpleton” remarks. Indeed, the president has absolutely cut the deficit by way more than half in his first five years. When he took office, the deficit for 2009 was projected to be $1.4 trillion. The deficit at the end of 2014 will be $514 billion, just three percent of GDP. That’s a nearly one trillion dollar reduction in five years. Not only that, but the administration boasts the lowest year-over-year increase in government spending since Truman, and it’ll be one of just three administrations in the last 50 years that will have ended with a lower deficit than when it began. The last Republican do leave the White House with the same record was Eisenhower.

9) Man-made Climate Change Is A Hoax.

According to a clearly liberal agency called “NASA,” a full 97 percent of scientists with specific expertise in climate science agree that climate change is real and humans are causing it. We shouldn’t really have to say anything else. Of course if you’re Lloyd Christmas from Dumb & Dumber, and “one-in-a-million” means “there’s a chance,” then the three percent of scientists who aren’t sure about climate change obviously indicates that it’s a hoax.

So-Youre-Telling-Me-Theres-a-Chance-In-Dumb-and-Dumber-Gif

8) Cold Weather Disproves Climate Change

Second in our trifecta of climate change myths is an annual favorite. Every time it snows, you know the drill. Whenever there’s a snow storm everyone from Matt Drudge to Rush Limbaugh suddenly achieves nipple erections hard enough to cut glass. And out comes the myth that climate change can’t possibly be real because it’s snowing somewhere. What they fail to explain to their disciples is that New York City or Minnesota or Washington D.C. isn’t, you know, the globe. Climate scientists base their global warming observations on global temperature averages. So while it might be snowing outside Sean Hannity’s house, average temperatures year-over-year are growing progressively higher.

7) Tax Cuts Do More To Stimulate The Economy Than Food Stamps And Unemployment Benefits.

According to Moody’s Analytics:

–Every dollar spent on unemployment benefits generates $1.61 in economic growth.

–Every dollar spent on food stamps generates $1.74 in economic growth.

–But every dollar spent on rolling tax rates back to Bush-era levels only creates $.32 in economic growth — that’s a 68-cent loss on investment.

6) Cars Kill A Lot Of People And No One Wants To Ban Them Like Guns!

Unlike firearms, cars aren’t explicitly designed to kill or wound living beings (humans, animals, etc). They’re designed to move you from one place to another. Yet unlike firearms, cars and drivers are heavily regulated by the government, from emissions standards to annual inspections to safety features, and so forth. You can’t legally drive a car that doesn’t feature seatbelts, or a car that spews too much exhaust into the air. You have to take both a written and a behind-the-wheel test to get a license to operate a car. You often have to renew that license at regular intervals and, if you’re older, you have to prove that you’re physically capable of driving a car. You can’t drive a car while drinking alcohol or impaired by other chemicals. There are thousands of police officers patrolling our roads and, as most of us have experienced at one time or another, they will penalize or arrest you for improper handling of a car – with literally hundreds of laws to abide, and considerable penalties, ranging from fines to imprisonment to the government stripping you of your right to drive a car at all. So if the NRA and its supporters are going to keep using this car analogy, then let’s talk about regulating guns and gun owners the same way we regulate cars and drivers.

5) The Affordable Care Act Covers Abortion-Inducing Emergency Contraception.

Admittedly, there are so many Obamacare myths to choose from: death panels, IRS goon squads raiding homes, it’s a “job killing” law, it’s a “government takeover,” etc. It’s all a pile of hooey and definitely worth mentioning here. But this lie about emergency contraception coverage is so insidious that it even managed fool some liberals. Contrary to lawsuits by various religious businesses and organizations, the various forms of emergency contraception covered by the law do not, in fact, block implantation of a fertilized egg. If these medications were indeed abortifacients, they wouldn’t be covered because it’s illegal for the government to do so. But they’re not abortifacients, so they’re covered. Simply put: while some emergency contraception blocks implantation, the emergency contraception that’s covered in the law blocks ovulation — not implantation. Of course that won’t stop the lawsuits or likely factor into the opinions of perhaps five Supreme Court justices when the first major Obamacare contraception decision drops this Summer.

4) Obamaphones!

Okay, just stop it with this. No, the Obama campaign wasn’t handing out free phones in exchange for votes. However, there’s definitely a program that offers low-cost telephones to citizens who can’t afford one. The truth is the Lifeline program has been around since 1984 when, that’s right, Ronald Reagan helped to create it. In 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set up a non-profit outfit called the Universal Service Administrative Company, which receives financial backing via the Universal Service Fund. According to its website, money for the program is contributed entirely by “long distance companies, local telephone companies, wireless telephone companies, paging companies, and payphone providers,” and none of the funding comes from taxpayers via the federal government. It’s all privately donated money.

3) It’s Safer To Have A Gun In The House, Or A Concealed Weapon On Your Person.

I’m going to step aside and let an actual Republican debunk this one. Here’s David Frum:

A gun in the house minimally doubles the risk that a household member will kill himself or herself. (Some studies put the increase in suicide risk as high as 10 times.) An American is 50% more likely to be shot dead by his or her own hand than to be shot dead by a criminal assailant. More than 30,000 Americans injure themselves with guns every year.

2) Exhaling Releases “Dangerous” CO2.

This is so dumb, it easily ranks as the most ridiculous climate change lie. Yes, more ridiculous than the blizzard thing. It’s truly astonishing that anyone with half-a-brain actually believes it. Speaking of half-a-brain, here are some prime offenders:

Glenn Beck:

“Carbon dioxide is basically this. (Exhales.) Look at how much pollution I just put out.”

Rush Limbaugh:

“We exhale CO2. If were a poison, it wouldn’t be part of the way we stay alive.”

Michele Bachmann:

“Carbon dioxide is a natural byproduct of nature.”

Mitt Romney:

“Now I know there is also a movement to say that carbon dioxide should be guided or should be managed by the Environmental Protection Agency. I disagree with that. I exhale carbon dioxide. I don’t want those guys following me around with a meter to see if I’m breathing too hard.”

The stupidity is, pardon the pun, breathtaking. On the surface, this “exhaling” silliness sounds like it might be true — if you’re really into uneducated, simplistic explanations for very complex topics. Not only does human breathing not even make the list of greenhouse gases but, chiefly, the ecosystem wasn’t designed to scrub out unprecedented levels of CO2 released by the burning of fossil fuels. Therefore all of that excessive CO2 is just lingering in the atmosphere, trapping heat and scrambling our weather patterns.

1) Voter Fraud Is A Serious Issue That Requires Strict New Voter ID Laws.

Nope. Not even close. Once again, this falls into the Lloyd Christmas category. Successful prosecutions of voter fraud cases barely amount to one one-hundredth of one percent of total votes cast in a single general election. In Ohio, for example, Secretary of State Jon Husted ballyhooed his war against fraud by nabbing a whopping 20 potential cases. 20 out of nearly six million votes cast in that state in 2012. The Bush Justice Department found that there were as few as 80 successful prosecutions of voter fraud cases out of hundreds of millions of votes cast since 2000. For this ratio of possible-fraud-to-votes-cast we’re told we need laws that make it more difficult to vote. By the way, some Republicans came right out and said it: this is all about electing Republicans.

That’s it. It’s of course foolish to think the Republicans will drop these lies and myths any time soon. But as long as various Republicans continue to repeat these transparently obvious falsehoods, they should expect that the rest of us will continue to think they’re either idiots or that they’re deliberately trying to deceive their own people — or maybe a little of both.

  • Susie Cross

    I don’t think we should stop trying to find ways to communicate with the delusional people, but it does get tiring. Republicans tend to have big amygdala’s and see things from an emotional, fear centered way. You see, for them it has nothing to do with ‘facts’.

  • Integrityx10

    Still waiting for the debunking to begin….

  • James Mc Cormack

    my cousin a devout evangelical conspiracy theory believer who quotes scripture to shore up his ideations that Obamas administration is the most anti christian ever.
    yet to hide his views he.posted that obama was a muslim ( too aftaid to use the N word)
    posted a picture of Hitler in chefs suit with references to turning heat.off the jews.
    when i called him on it and the fact he didn’t check his facts.
    i told him he must.get his information from glen beck,rush limbaugh,david barton the revisionist historian that even his conservative christian publisher pulled his book for historical errors.
    long story short his retorts were just a verbatim parroting of the lies of the tea party.
    i would surely be rounded up and executed under biblical law for.questioning his.religious beliefs. …..kind of like what islam does but better because Christianity is the only true religion….

  • Brandon Roberts

    o.k obama actually did increase the deficit not bush he’s been out of the white house for years and look some republicans are bad so are some democrats and i’m kinda a combination of the two i believe in loosening the immigration laws for good people i also see how hateful tons of liberals are to those who disagree (not all tons i’m just going by experience) but i can’t blame you for drinking the kool aid i mean everything you want with no consequences and free that sounds awesome

  • thetruthdetector6
  • thetruthdetector6

    We don’t vote on science.

  • thetruthdetector6
  • Mary Cameron

    All the republicans are gonna say is Obama bought this website to make him look good, they don’t believe anything good about this president because of the rat bastards that keep lying to the American people, and the American people being over the top stupid!

  • Howienica

    Are you even aware that Politifact gave Obama 4 Pinnochios for being the biggest liar of 2013 for the lie “If you like your health plan you can keep your plan. Period”

    It was a blatant lie that was not taken out of context , had no caveats, no qualifiers, and was repeated by Obama dozens of times.

    Since then the majority of Americans now understand that Obama is a serial liar and no longer trust him.

    • Maike Hudson

      Right, because one oversimplification makes a person a serial liar. Got it.

      • Mike Lumisch

        It doesn’t even rise to the level of oversimplification.

        In the course of refuting the GOP lie that the ACA was a government take over of the health industry, he made a short and succinct paraphrase of the very true fact that eighty five percent of the population is insured through employers and that was not going to change.

        The GOP propaganda cunningly weaponized the sound bite, by dishonestly folding in the banal fact that insurance companies drop policies all the time for all sorts of reasons, but that hardly makes the President a serial liar.

        Brilliant politics, though: why can’t Team Goodguys run a campaign like that? Oh, right, we are bound by our commitment to the old time Republican Virtues (as in Roman, not Gooper) of decency and honesty and the public good.

    • Mike Lumisch

      Never lose your passion.

    • Eudaimon

      well, come on. why would he tell the truth? he doesnt need to, his supporters dont give a damn. i mean, who is gonna give him shit for lying? Conservatives? they do that already, but it rarely makes an impact on the people that support his administration because then it becomes a “well, i didnt hear you complaining when bush…” partisan blame-game festival. pointing out bad things about an administration doesnt matter if the people supporting the admin dont want to listen, and even if they do hear you out about something (like the patriot act, wars, etc.) it inevitably comes back to the “well, insert_ past_republican_official* started that program, so it’s his fault… also, we agree with that program now, i guess.” crap. criticizing the state is difficult when some parts of the nation think they are the state. the most popular politicians are the most adept students of sophistry.

  • Barry__S

    “–Every dollar spent on unemployment benefits generates $1.61 in economic growth.”

    All we have to do is convince everyone to quit their job, get unemployment, and then happy days are here again!

    • Lady Willpower

      No one is suggesting that. What a foolish thing to say.

    • Mike Lumisch

      All we have to do is convince everyone to quit their job, borrow a few million from Dad to seed the hedge fund, and then happy days are here again!

      FTFY, Romney version

  • Christopher Foxx

    Michele Bachmann:
    “Carbon dioxide is a natural byproduct of nature.”

    Well, she isn’t really wrong with that statement. Where she’s wrong is thinking that something that is made by natural processes doesn’t represent a danger when mass produced.

    Bananas give off radiation. That doesn’t mean you should bathe in a nuclear reactor’s cooling pool.

  • Christopher Foxx


    A gun in the house minimally doubles the risk that a household member will kill himself or herself.

    “minimally doubles”??

    What is that? Is that like “slightly increases by 1000%”?

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      “At least doubles” the risk of yada yada…

      • Christopher Foxx

        Ah. Got it. Thanks.

  • Christopher Foxx

    8) Cold Weather Disproves Climate Change

    And their attempts to maintain this lie is why they insist on always calling it “global warming” rather than the more correct “climate change”.

    “Global warming” means the world is getting hotter so any sign of coolness means warming isn’t happening, right? “Climate change” could mean any difference from what has gone before, and record cold would be just an example of that rather than something to be used as a refutation of it, which is why that term has to be avoided at all costs.

  • JozefAL

    About #2, what these morons are forgetting is that PLANTS absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen (which we humans need to breathe and live) as a “waste product.” The big problem, as Bob notes, is that the emissions produced by fossil-fuel factories is done, all too often, in areas that have been stripped of the BIG trees that are best able to handle the CO2 output. A simple houseplant can basically deal with all the CO2 produced by the human residents of that dwelling. Even the grass around a house can easily absorb all the CO2 produced by the residents of that house.

    Also, the factories are producing OTHER pollutants that tend to react negatively with the atmosphere, frequently in the form of acid rain–which just happens to affect plants (and animals) in a very negative fashion, often in the form of death. When those plants have died off from the effects of acid rain, that’s a little more plantlife that can’t be used to remove the excess CO2. And every year, a little bit more of the rainforests is cut down (an acre of corn or wheat fields isn’t nearly as beneficial to CO2 removal as an acre of 20-foot tall trees, much less an acre of truly old-growth forest).

    • Mike Lumisch

      The irony here is that once the scientists had identified the acid rain problem, it was a straightforward matter for the economists and engineers to devise the solutions. After a bit of political wrangling, made more difficult than necessary by Steve Milloy and his feces flinging howler monkeys, the solutions were implemented and problem as largely been solved.

      Ditto with CFCs and the ozone hole.

      With regards to Climate Change, admittedly a bigger and scarier and more expensive proposition, we have for at least twenty years been stuck in the “bit of political wrangling, made much more difficult than necessary by Steve Milloy and his feces flinging howler monkeys” stage.

      Keeping us there is what this is all about.

  • repugnicant

    Its too easy to debunk Republican myths – something that’s done on a daily basis – so waste time on this?

    • Christopher Foxx

      It may be easy to do, but it is anything but easy to get folks who believe them to realize these are lies.

      The lies are told over and over and over, and the debunking has to happen at least as often.

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      Wow okay.

      • repugnicant

        Sorry, no disrespect, I go over all this stuff constantly. I can’t be an enigma.

    • Mike Lumisch

      Politics: to defeat the Lie, we must repeat the Truth over and over and over again.

      The whole point of the discussion up top it simply does not work to disprove the Lie and move on to better things.

  • JozefAL

    And about point 4: Where you wrote “According to [Universal Service's] website, money for the program is contributed entirely by “long distance companies, local telephone companies, wireless telephone companies, paging companies, and payphone providers,” and none of the funding comes from taxpayers via the federal government. It’s all privately donated money.”

    Technically, that’s NOT “donated” money. It’s a FEE. (Incidentally, “fee” has become a preferred term of choice by many GOPers, especially at the state and local level, to hide the fact the consumer/voter is being taxed.) If you’ve got phone service (at least a landline), you do NOT get to “opt out” from paying that fee. If you don’t make any phone calls beyond what your basic plan permits, you still have to pay that fee. If you disagree with paying it, I suppose you can withhold that amount from your payment, but it’s just going to be added to your next bill and so on until the phone company simply cuts your service for failing to pay your bill in full.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Yeah. From description given it sounds like this is a program done voluntarily by the various phone companies et al.

      I suspect (I haven’t looked it up to confirm) that funding this program is something they are required to do by law, and not out of the goodness of their corporate hearts. Without gov’t requirement, it wouldn’t happen, so the “the gov’t isn’t making this happen” argument doesn’t really hold up.

      • Christopher Foxx

        ASIDE: Not that I don’t appreciate it, j hentai, but are you really going to upvote every thing I post?
        j hentai

  • JozefAL

    Bob, about point 6, you wrote “You can’t drive a car while drinking alcohol or impaired by other chemicals.” It may have already been covered in the comments (I haven’t read any of them yet), but there really needs to be a “legally” inserted there. You most certainly CAN drive a car in that condition–you just can’t do so LEGALLY. If you get stopped while driving in an impaired condition, you can (most likely, will) be arrested. Bar owners are even mandated in many (if not all) jurisdictions to prevent patrons from driving “buzzed,” much less outright drunk.

    I haven’t read of anyone who’s shot and killed someone from having an added charge of being drunk while doing so (in fact, drunkenness and other chemical impairment is frequently used as part of a defense in the trial, or even getting the charge reduced from murder to some form of manslaughter or a lower murder charge).

  • Barry__S

    2006 deficit 248 billion
    2007 deficit 161 billion

    2008 deficit 459 billion
    2009 deficit 1413 billion

    2010 deficit 1294 billion

    2011 deficit 1296 billion
    2012 deficit 1087 billion
    2013 deficit 680 billion

    • GrafZeppelin127

      2006-2008 budgets did not account for war spending (more to the point, war borrowing).

    • http://www.twitter.com/bobcesca_go Bob Cesca

      The 2009 spending (and thus the deficit) was authorized by GWB in October 2008.

      • Barry__S

        Was tarp included in that? I don’t remember

        • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

          Tarp, signed into law by Pres. Bush in 2008, and yes, I believe it was. There was tons of study about the impact it would have on the budget, that’s for certain.

          • Barry__S

            Tarp was supposed to be a one time deal, and is why the deficit was so high for 09. spending levels were supposed to fall back after tarp, so saying that you cut the deficit when camparing it to a year when tarp was in place, isn’t really saying much, as spending levels weren’t really all that much less. Take out Tarp, and “Obama doubled the deficit”

          • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

            TARP isn’t like going to the store and paying cash for a high dollar item. It was money set aside to be distributed over a few months. You are also ignoring the fact that the two wars that Pres. Bush borrowed trillions to finance were not included in the budget until Pres. Obama insisted that we put them on the books and start paying for them. The supposed party of fiscal responsibility didn’t behave so responsible. Thank goodness President Obama knows that accounting for spending and then paying the bills was the responsible thing to do. Like Bob said, you have a narrative and the facts HAVE to fit that regardless of what the mathematical reality is.

          • Mike Lumisch

            Put those goal posts back where you found them!

      • Lady Willpower

        “The 2009 spending (and thus the deficit) was authorized by GWB in October 2008.”

        BENGHAZI!!!

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      I’m pretty sure that President Obama didn’t enter office until January 2009 and that year’s budget would have been determined by the previous administration and Congress. So President Obama couldn’t have begun reducing the deficit in any significant way until 2010, which is exactly what the data you present shows. So thanks for proving our point!

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    About the deficit….They always counter with charts by their experts that say something different or distort the data to say what they want it to. But it leads me to my next point that they not only have their on set of facts, they have their own way of “thinking”.

    Perfect example is the “climate change” reasoning–3% disagreement means that it’s a hoax– seems to be a pattern with the right. They love to argue that the “exception proves the rule” instead of what any rational person understands that the weight of the evidence proves the rule. It’s why Fox News loves to use anecdotal evidence because their audience is too uneducated to understand that one surfer in a van abusing food stamps does not represent the millions of poor people who truly desperately need food stamps. This kind of upside down thinking really gets on my nerves and it’s impossible to argue with them because of it.

    And as you astutely notes, it relies on the simpleton base. The one on “emergency contraception” makes me laugh. I’m betting that the average Republican does not understand the workings of the female anatomy to even understand the difference between the “implantation” versus “ovulation”. Them’s women folk parts–they’s scarey! If’n God hadda wanted us ta know the goings on in there, he’d a tole us in the Bible.

    Ultimately, everything in the list boils down to this two pronged strategy of “use their own set of facts” and “turn traditional logic on it’s head”. How do we fight that? Education? That means we have to win the war on a state by state, district by district basis and they’re whipping our asses in that race. They’ve been replacing public school with private charters and controlling textbook contents for over a decade now. So, what are liberals doing about that? I still haven’t heard a decent answer from anyone on how we do that and we need to do that or I really think this country is screwed in the long run.

    Also, too, we should have a contest to rename things that the right has misnomered and then we should use the ones that win as consistently and forcefully as possible. Obamaphones become Ronniephones or something….at the very least it would be a fun game.

    And PS, in my anal retentive tradition:

    “who left office will with a lower deficit”

    “last Republican do to leave the White House”

    “Admittedly, here there are so many Obamacare myths”

    • JozefAL

      Ah, it’s just too bad the GOP and the rest of the right doesn’t apply that concept of “3% disagreement means it’s a hoax” to everything else. For instance, gays. Even if the total number of gays and lesbians and bisexuals and transgendered people were ONLY 3% of the population, that would only enhance the right to deny the LGBT population equal employment protections and equal rights to marrying the person he or she loves.

      But let 3 out of 100 scientists argue that climate change isn’t happening, and, you’re right, they call it a hoax.

    • mrbrink

      …we should have a contest to rename things that the right has misnomered and then we should use the ones that win as consistently and forcefully as possible. Obamaphones become Ronniephones or something….at the very least it would be a fun game.

      Yes! While we’re at it, I propose taking back ‘freedom and liberty’ at once. The Democrats are now the party of “freedom and liberty.” So it has been written, let it be done!

      The Democratic party is the true party of freedom– to not die bankrupted at the hands of corporate death panels from a common treatable disease. Freedomcare! Brought to you by the party of freedom and liberty!

      The true party of liberty– liberating America from grip of intrusive corporate monarchy, or Big Corporation! trying to control our lives, dictate our elections, pollute our water, and steal all our wealth and resources and food directly from the mouths of millions of children.

      Liberty and freedom from economic discrimination and religion-based persecution of women, Hispanics and LGBT Americans!

      Vote “Freedom and liberty!” Vote Democrat!

  • Robert Scalzi

    and just for fun here is a link to a LONG list of lies from Saint RayGun
    http://www.allhatnocattle.net/reagan%20quotes.htm

  • Draxiar

    All of the lies are bad but the one I find particularly offensive are the climate change denials because in my opinion it’s the most critical issue facing us right now (along with overpopulation) as a species. It’s also got a global reach and affects not just the U.S. but everyone on the planet- our only home. Denying it only furthers the damage. It’s also non-scientists pretending to know more than the experts. I wonder if they’d deny having cancer because they don’t believe in it…

    The change in attitude on the climate will occur by generation methinks. Younger generations will grow up knowing that our approach to our responsibility to energy production.has to shift to other means beyond having our head in the sand to drink that oil.

  • Badgerite

    As to lie number 2, anything taken to excess can indeed kill you and that includes drinking water to levels where it becomes toxic to your system. And that is the issue. Breathing is not exactly the same as industrial pollution, now is it. Industry never does anything on a small scale. So if you magnified Rush Limbaugh’s big mouth a gazillion time…..well, there you have it. Industrial pollution of the atmosphere.

  • ssj

    Yes, but trickle down……

  • Brutlyhonest

    The lie that powers the rest is: “The liberal media.” It’s devious, but an extremely well executed perception management campaign. Try to rationally discuss something with a diehard republican? If ti wasn’t on faux it’s a liberal media lie.

    True story: Friday night some dipshit was bitching about obamaphones and I asked if he knew the program started under st ronny the raygun. His answer: Well Obama expanded it.

    • GrafZeppelin127

      Let’s not forget that “Fox News” is of course the “most-watched,” “most popular,” “highest-rated,” “most-trusted,” &c. news outlet on cable TV, whose pundit shows regularly crush those of “liberal” MSNBC (which “no one watches”) in the ratings, that conservative talk radio is also so overwhelmingly popular that it dominates the AM dial, whereas “liberal” talk radio always fails and has failed miserably because no one listens to it and no one wants to listen to it, not even in “liberal” bastions like New York or L.A. ….

      …. yet somehow the mighty, inscrutable “liberal media” behemoth manages to overwhelm the small, silent, marginalized conservative media voices and outlets who just can’t seem to get their message out.

      • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

        So, Fox News needs to be taken out….If I had a few billion, I’d make it my life’s ambition. Or maybe we can just root for Murdoch to expire sooner rather than later?

        • GrafZeppelin127

          I don’t think Fox News needs to be “taken out.” Especially now, when they’re really just preaching to the choir. Remember that there are plenty of neutral, fair-minded people who might tune in to Fox to hear the GOP message and be disgusted by it, turned off by the sneering and the self-congratulation and the nastiness and the toxic bullshit. It may be just as likely that Fox turns as many people away from the GOP as it draws in.

          • konnier

            I just wish someone would hack fauxnoose. I ‘d love to see a big red x covering the screen when they outright lie. (accompanied by an air horn sound). of course that red x would be on the screen 24/7, but I’d love to see it anyway. On dish there are 4 fauxnoose stations, plus beck’s insanity, plus enough religious channels to piss off Jesus.(and that doesn’t include the big 3 who about as liberal as a block of cement) and yet the liberal media can’t be overcome. damm us,we’re sooooo truthy.

          • drspittle

            I’d like to see or hear a “Face In The Crowd” moment, when a producer leaves the mic open as the credits roll or during a commercial break and captures the resident vampire squid saying what he/she really thinks about the rubes that watch.

          • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

            I truly hope you’re right about that.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Not that an occasional rundown of the improv script is not helpful to us normals in maintaining our sanity, but I can’t help feeling like we’ve been down this road many, many times before, over and over again.

    Remember, inside the paracosm all ten of these statements are not only true, but self-evidently true. We out here in the “real” world recognize them as delusional nonsense because, if for no other reason, they simply don’t match the reality we see. They’re not true because they can’t be true. Inside the paracosm they are true, because they must be true.

    • Ned F

      When someone goes off about the Obama Imperial Presidency and how our liberty, freedom, and the Constitution is under attack, I want someone to ask exactly, name one such freedom have you lost due to something the President has done? I’ll bet outside of some zany conspiracy theory, they can’t.
      On the other hand, I can name quite a few factual examples enacted by Republicans at the state level.

      • GrafZeppelin127

        I used to do that, viz., ask for details or examples to support these broad, sweeping, normative statements, and of course never got very far. The answer was always either a distortion or an evasion.

        Eventually one must realize that things like the “Obama Imperial Presidency” and the “Constitution Under Attack” are normative beliefs approaching articles of faith. They’re true because they have to be true; the person who believes them needs them to be true. The details don’t matter. These are not conclusions they’ve drawn using deductive reasoning; they’re a product of inductive reasoning where [X] must be true, therefore our understanding of any underlying facts, details and observable-reality has to follow from [X].

        You can’t ask someone whose ideas are the result of inductive reasoning to turn around and use deductive reasoning to reach the same conclusion. They just don’t think that way.

        I learned this a long time ago when I used to be obsessed with the Jeffrey MacDonald murder case, which I had occasion to think of again recently when Fatal Vision author Joe McGinniss died. The MacDonald case is fascinating for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that whichever side you’re on (viz., whether you think MacDonald is guilty or innocent), there are plenty of objective facts and evidence to support that normative belief, if you use inductive reasoning. I’ve seen very few people change their minds about MacDonald by trying to deduce his guilt (or innocence) from the facts without actively trying to prove him guilty (or innocent).

        Same thing here. You can’t “disprove” a normative belief, or an article of faith, something someone already “knows.”

        • Badgerite

          “I used to do that.” Me too. But I would never get a reply.

          • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

            So we’ve all done that to no avail. What other approaches do you guys recommend? I’m at a loss these days on how to deal with their level of delusion.

          • GrafZeppelin127

            I usually do one of two things:

            1. Keep the conversation on a very high abstract level. For example I might respond by saying “That simply isn’t true,” and follow up with, “Look, I know how badly you need to believe that, so I’m not going to waste time trying disprove what for you has become an article of faith. Go right on believing it if you prefer, for whatever good it does you. But I can’t have a conversation if we’re living in different universes.”

            2. Ask a lot of questions, but do it as direct examination rather than cross-examination. Don’t lead the witness with yes/no questions but use direct questions to get the witness to examine the basis of his own thinking and beliefs. Try to get the witness to articulate how and why he believes these things, without necessarily insinuating that he’s wrong or that his sources are lying to him. Get him to realize that on his own.

            (2) is a lot harder. The key is to let the witness do all the talking, and not load your questions with averments or accusations that would shift the focus to you. Make him defend his position without putting yourself in a position to defend yours; keep the focus on what he’s saying. Listen very carefully to every answer, fashion every question from the previous answer, don’t try to cover or respond to everything he says, don’t lead the witness, don’t expect him to change his mind and don’t be afraid to let the conversation end right where it started.

            The most you can hope for is to get this person to think about things in a new way, to re-examine the things he “knows” in a way he hasn’t attempted before. Sometimes you can get a concession or acknowledgment that he needs to think, or learn, more about the subject. Be satisfied with that; it’s a step in the right direction.

          • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

            I’ve tried this technique with an old guy at work who is very conservative. I didn’t know I was actually doing a “direct examination” per se. I just acted like I was curious about what he was saying, asked him questions and let him do the talking. Ultimately he’d start from a very hard right position and by the end of the conversation he would have made several concessions on his own and softened his perspective. But it ultimately didn’t make a difference. It feels like water wearing away a stone. Give the drip drip a million years and it will wear a hole in the stone. But we don’t have a million years nor do I have the patience for such things. It’s why I didn’t become an attorney….I’m simply not patient enough and am too passionate about my causes.

          • Badgerite

            “Give the drip, drip a million years and it will wear away a stone.”
            Erosion as political advocacy. Interesting concept!

          • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

            Would most likely end up eroding our sanity.

          • Mike Lumisch

            It feels like water wearing away a stone.

            Precisely: this is the way of the Tao.

            Of course, Wife is a Confucian wolverine who goes straight for the jugular while I am fetching another bucket of water.

            I think my way works better.

          • Christopher Foxx

            But I can’t have a conversation if we’re living in different universes.”

            Exactly. I’ve started with “What would you have to be shown as proof for you to change your mind? Is there any evidence at all that would cause you to reconsider your view?” and have yet to get an answer other than “No.”

            There is no point in even discussing any further with people like that. They live in a fantasy land which they simply will not leave.

          • mark Welker

            LEFT SCORN DYSLEXIA.

            the hypocrisy of blaming the left for things the right wing is actually doing.

            this comes under the heading of the right-wing saying
            ” drinking the Kool Aid”
            without knowing exactly what the saying really means.

            this saying has nothing to do with Jim Jones, but actually goes back a decade earlier…and is attached to the book ” the electric kool-aid acid test”….. and the mistaken use of the saying is a simple way to identify listeners of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck.

            people suffering from left scorn dyslexia, or LSD for short, have ingested far too much propaganda in their Kool Aid.
            basically, these people are tripping………
            and are in need of a large shot of thorazine to bring them back to reality from the alternate universe they inhabit.

            as they slowly withdraw from their alternate universe and come back to reality, they must be made to understand that they are not on the bus, they are not even riding the bumper,
            they are on the wrong side of history,
            and that true reality is not their
            alternate universe movie….

            and when the dawn comes,
            they do not pass the acid test.

            ~ the intrepid traveler.

          • Mike Lumisch

            I did not know that, thank you.

          • Clark Blomquist

            An excellent approach to anyone – it deepens the thought process and allows for interaction.

          • Mike Lumisch

            Sadly enough, it’s quite rare that anyone ever changes his mind.

            In my experience you try to have fun, you try not to get hurt, and you spread around a bit of information that some one else might overhear and learn from.

            The original case, he will bump along in his little bubble world until he crashes into some internal contradiction so hideous that his entire world fractures and he has to assemble an entire knew intellectual universe: thus Moaist recreates himself as a neocon.

            One can only hope that he does not do too much damage along the way.

          • James Mc Cormack

            You can’t ! If you gave them actual historical and academic proof to counter their claims they would politely read it then claim it’s not valid due to fact that the evidence was certainly not to be believed because it came from a left wing institution of higher learning and its agenda is a godless communist plot to undermine AMERICA championed by an atheist Jew controlled ant-Christian media out to remove God and Jesus from the Constitution and the Bill of Rights!

        • Churchlady320

          That’s actually deductive reasoning; inductive assimilates facts (never actually in evidence) to create a theory. That’s why the waffling about the first premises – what freedoms have you lost? – totally undermines the statement. It cannot be proven on first evidence.

          • GrafZeppelin127

            Maybe I have those backwards. I always thought of inductive reasoning as an attempt to induce a particular conclusion (i.e., to make the answer be [X]) by getting the facts to lead thereto, whereas deduction starts with the specific facts and deduces a general conclusion to which they lead, that makes sense.

          • Mike Lumisch

            I think the medieval scholars made this as difficult as possible so as to keep people out of their little club.

            Sherlock Holmes never deduced anything, deduction being the process of starting with general principles and working out their implications in particular instances.

            In a sane world he would be a master of induction, the process of synthesising multiple instances into more general principles.

            Based on this you were actually correct the first time… but I am not actually confident about that :p

            In any case, you present a good tool for shutting down blowhards.

      • maccamcfc

        Spot on mate, I am from England and watch these Right Wingers in America and it staggers me how dumb they are going on about how America is just like Nazi Germany, there obsession with gay sex that’s going to cause the end of the world, the war on the poor, they want them to get a job but don’t want them to get to rich by working overtime, liberals want to put Christians in jail, Obama is a Marxist Commie Socialist Muslim Limp wristed tyrant who is personal going to come to every ones house to take there guns.
        I love America but man you have some mad people.

    • Christopher Foxx

      They’re not true because they can’t be true. Inside the paracosm they are true, because they must be true.

      I’d say it stronger: “They’re not true because… they’re not true.”

      • GrafZeppelin127

        OK, but how do we know they’re not true? If it’s simply a matter of choosing to believe whichever version of reality we trust, whichever version of reality validates our normative beliefs, then we’re just doing the same thing they are.

        We know they’re not true because they don’t jibe with the reality we actually see, and that we know first-hand; they’re inconsistent with what is knowable and observable; they’re unreasonable. They can’t be true because our eyes, ears, common sense and personal experience — not just our trusted media outlets — tell us otherwise.

        • Christopher Foxx

          If it’s simply a matter of choosing to believe whichever version of reality we trust, whichever version of reality validates our normative beliefs, then we’re just doing the same thing they are.

          Yes, agreed. The parallel phrasing in the original comment struck me as not making that distinction as clear as it could be. “Can’t be true” and “must be true” both struck me as interpret-able as statements of opinion. (“It can’t be true he’s cheating on me!”, “It must be true Obama’s a foreigner!”).

          Some things are true simply because they are true. Not because they’re “truths” we made up, but they’re truths we’ve discovered.

          OK. That horse is pretty beat now. ;)

    • StephenMeansMe

      It’s sometimes amusing to run bad arguments around into “strange loops” where the absurdity of their internal logic is blatant. For example, on myths #3 and 6 (the gun ones), you can propose the following:

      – GIVEN that a common (and perhaps most reasonable) Second Amendment argument is defense against tyranny;

      – and that bolt-action rifles are both sufficient for home defense and have a very low risk of being used for self-harm or mass slaughter;

      – why not, hypothetically, impose moderate “shooting license” / background check regulations on most guns, while housing off a special class of BARs for ironclad Second Amendment exemption? (Hypothetical because of recent SCOTUS rulings, e.g. Heller)

      The cognitive dissonance will give any conservative or libertarian dudebro a fit. An instant name-calling offense.

      • GrafZeppelin127

        “Second Amendment™” arguments are not about the guns.

        Conservative/libertarian gun-rights absolutists are ultimately motivated by one thing: Their own personal sense of their own personal heroism. They can try all they like to make objective arguments against this or that gun-control-related measure, but ultimately they regard gun control as an affront to their heroism. They want to think of themselves as heroes, and perhaps more to the point, they want to be thought of as heroes. They want the Right to Bear Arms to be thought of as a sacred, honored, revered and immutable principle of Liberty and Freedom, up there with free speech and the right to vote.

        One such person actually admitted as much in a comment thread over at Daily Kos. (I’ve written several diaries over there on this topic.) I have a theory — that’s going to become a Law Review article at some point — about the Second Amendment being grounded in property rather than liberty. Libertarians, given their usual affinity for property rights, should embrace this theory, but they don’t. If guns are “mere” property, “mere” consumer products, and gun rights are “mere” property rights, that “diminishes” them; it turns the Heroes of the Next American Revolution into ordinary retail consumers. Even though regarding gun rights as property rights would not enable any new regulations or restrictions that aren’t already permissible, it would affect how people think about guns, gun owners, and gun rights.

        And we can’t have that, now can we?

        • StephenMeansMe

          I didn’t say that conservatives/libertarians were making the reasonable Second Amendment arguments :P That’s just the most reasonable one (to me) that I’ve encountered so far.

          You’re probably spot-on with the property thing. The contrast gets starker, the more one considers just how much conservatives double down on property rights for every other issue.

  • http://www.dlancystreet.com reginahny

    Lie after lie after lie. The Obamas take too much vacation, and their vacations cost taxpayers millions. The President was not born in the US. Moochers use food stamps to buy vibrators and weed. The president is a tyrant who has gone wild with Executive Orders. Religious (christian) freedoms are under attack. There is no war on women. Solyndra / IRS / Benghaziiiiii. Obama said he loves to kill children. Oh wait, that last one is on our “side”. Le sigh.

  • David L.

    Great debunking, Bob; but to cover Republican lies simply from the beginning of the Obama presidency (there’s no abstract human concept capable of expressing the number of lies during the Bush years), you’d need to do a Top Trillion. Life’s too precious for that.