The Big Lie Returns

In this age of truthiness, spinning, messaging, and Luntzian code-words like “big-government takeover,” I rather imagined the status of the Big Lie might be threatened. However, the Bachmann-Palin Over-Drive (I stole that from a talk-show) seems to have revived the Big Lie. Examples include “Obama is a Socialist,” “Obama wasn’t born ‘here,'” “The Government Wants To Take Your Guns,” “Obama (and others) Hate America,” and “51 per cent of private industry is now controlled by government.” This last one is a lie by definition, I think.

The one about guns reminds me of a logical consequence of not working out some kind of get-citizenship program for people in the U.S. who are not citizens. As comedian Lewis Black has pointed out, if the decision is then to “round up” all undocumented non-citizens, then all of us would have to stop what we are doing and pitch in (assuming we had some desire to do so). It’s physically, numerically, impossible.

The same goes for guns. There are just too many. Also, President Obama, who seems to know things about the law, has probably gotten the memo about the Supreme Court’s having weighed in heavily recently on the Second Amendment. And finally, President Obama is such a pragmatist that even if for some strange reason he wanted to “go after guns,” he wouldn’t do it anyway. He seems about as interested in gun-issues as he is in taking economic advice from Bernie Madoff.

Probably the Democrats’ claim to have passed “health-care reform” qualifies as a big lie. President Obama more or less suggested as much when he allowed as how the comprehensive bill (I’m paraphrasing) was not radical reform but necessary change; that is to say, the bill was all that was left standing. The Demos passed what they did because it was the one thing they could pass, given the chess-game being played by the GOPers.

Anyway, the apparent return of the Big Lie is refreshing, and it induces nostalgia for Nixon’s “I’m not a crook,” Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” and Powell’s oral-presentation to the U.N. about weapons of mass-destruction.

However, I doubt whether the old-fashioned Big Lie can or will replace truthiness, weasling, faux-apologizing, faux-journalism, faux-patriotism, spinning, race-baiting, and phrase-doctoring.


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