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Sunday, October 23, 2016

“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.” –Sarah Palin, Aug. 7, 2009

The death panels are back.

Sarah Palin’s vision of a dystopian society in which the elderly and infirm would be required to justify their continued existence before a jury of federal functionaries has been widely ridiculed since she first posted it on Facebook three years ago. It was designated “Lie of the Year” by Politifact, the nonpartisan fact-checking website, something that would have mortified and humiliated anyone who was capable of those feelings.

Last week, Palin doubled down. “Though I was called a liar for calling it like it is,” she posted, “many of these accusers finally saw that Obamacare did in fact create a panel of faceless bureaucrats who have the power to make life-and-death decisions about health-care funding.” Note that that’s not actually the claim she made in 2009. Of course, “Obamacare,” aka the Affordable Care Act, was upheld by the Supreme Court on Thursday, which must gratify Team Obama.

But we are not here to discuss that. Neither are we here to litigate Palin’s claim about “death panels.” That you could fertilize the Great Lawn of Central Park with that lie has been well established. No, we are only here to ask whether that matters, given the increasingly obvious impotence of fact.

Not long ago, if you told a whopper like Palin’s and it was as thoroughly debunked as hers was, that would have ended the discussion. These days, it is barely even part of the discussion. These days, facts seem overmatched by falsehood, too slow to catch them, too weak to stop them.

Indeed, falsehoods are harder to kill than a Hollywood zombie. Run them through with fact, and still they shamble forward, fueled by echo chamber media, ideological tribalism, cognitive dissonance, a certain imperviousness to shame, and an understanding that a lie repeated long enough, loudly enough, becomes, in the minds of those who need to believe it, truth.

  • StephenMcDonald

    That woman should not even open her mouth. She still doesn’t have a clue on whatever she talks about. As Keith Olberman used to say ” That woman is an Idiot”

    • ctruskey

      Quoting Olberman wow.

      • Well, whether or not you like Olberman, he was right. The woman is a power crazy idiot. She only tells the truth when it benefits her.

        • CPANY

          Pretty much like every other politician.

          • I would have to say that Palin is in a class all by herself. I don’t think that even Romney has her kind of lieing hutzpah. I wonder if she still thinks the world is flat or that the world is only 6,000 years old or that evolution is preposterous? It would not surprise me.

    • She is very dangerous .

      • joceandre

        The next female viper born at the Bronx zoo should be named Sarah Palin. By the way I do not think that her I Q is high enough to label her an idiot.

    • rockin_the_bay_in_Tampa

      The only problem that exists is that she, as well as the rest of these jack asses that open their mouths, have the freedom to say what ever they want, no matter how sinister or convoluted what ever it is that spews out is…and the supreme court says they have the right to lie, too!

  • Why doesn’t she go home and raise her kids?! She’s ridiculous and just another liar like Mitt.

    • I agree with most of the posts here, but what we have to do is get all the facts about Palin out in the open for once! MSM decided not to go after all the crap about her because it involved “ichy” stuff like a faked pregnancy & Todd’s “side” business which is against the law but a courageous ex prostitute wrote a book about & palin didn’t sue.
      But they didn’t vet her and let her continue to spew lies. Even though she has become a joke for most people, she’s still dangerous for the effect she has on ignorant people who still listen to Fox & Limbaugh for info.
      There are people who know more that would take her down but where & when will they show up?

  • BozoMustgo2

    Palin is as stupid and illinformed as they come. For the sake of me I cannot figure out what the GOP was thinking when they knocked on her door for a run as the VP. Her entire family have shown themselves as being total idiots even when fame and fortune were thrown in their laps.

    She quit before she finished her term as a governor of a state with about 2 million people, a daughter who is very liberal with her glory and it took her I do not know how many colleges, community and four year to finish a simple degree. Maybe this is part of being a cheerleader. When will she get the hint the entire joke is on her shoulders as long as Palin continues to open her mouth on things she has no inkling about.

    • ctruskey

      Affordable Care Act?

      • highpckts

        Read it and then criticize!!

  • William Deutschlander

    What a RATIONAL INDIVIDUAL MUST UNDERSTAND is that the ZEALOTS, the RELIGOUS FANATICS, the ULTRA CONSERVATIVE BIGOTS and the PERVERSE IDEAOLOGISTS, will do, is use every misrepresentation, every obsene tactic and every lie they can dream up, in an extreme effort to bolster their sick and perverted IDEALOGY. This is the COPYWRITED TRADE MARK of the 21st Century GOP, Rove, the Koch Bros, Adelson, Murdock and the list goes on, if you can not win the position, then purchase it aka, Citizens United!

    • sigrid28

      I bet you a cookie (not $10,000) that you have articulated what most of us on this comment list think and feel. Do we just settle for pointing out that the 21st Century GOP appears to have gained a potentially victorious position through dirty tricks and an unfair purchase sanctioned by SCOTUS? Is reading, writing, and voting enough to secure a win for Democrats in November?

    • DukeDacat

      I am just saying, do not forget to include OMG on your list………….
      Have a nice day, heh, heh,heh, heh,heh, heh,

  • Come on folks, we all know the only talent this imitation of a human has…it involves a physical position…..think.. There’s are NO death panels. But there is ACCESS to health care. Of course, she’s made millions doing nothing, so why should she care. Not a question. She doesn’t. Her daughter’s TV show is ridiculous – can’t get it off the air soon enough. I do hope she stays in Alaska where she belongs – couldn’t even finish her term. How’s that for dedication. That’s a joke folks. The day I would ask her about ANYTHING will never arrive.

    • ctruskey

      You read the Affordable Care Act?

      • Justin Napolitano

        Actually, I did. There is nothing in the ACA that should bother a normal human being that has an average intelligence. To even argue that there is no death panels in the act would give credence to the very suggestion that there is.
        It is stupid to argue with an ignorant person, especially one that uses it as a badge of honor.
        By now I would have thought that Palin would be gone but she is like a serious rash that refuses to go away.
        All you can do is fight it with a constant application of truth.

      • Yes, I have read most of it, and it is the best thing that has happened to this country in decades. Because of the affordable care act, america will no longer be the only modern country in the world without health care for its citizens. The Republicans have absolutely no plan to replace it — more than one Republican Senator has already stated that — they just want to get rid of the new health care law and go back to the status quo — they could not care less about the 30 million Americans without health insurance. They could not care less that 22% of the children in Texas do not have health care. They don’t care about people/children with pre-existing conditions, they don’t care the insurance companies drop people when they get really sick, they don’t care that when people really get sick insurance companies can drop them because they have hit their ‘limit’. Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman & Bill Clinton have all tried to implement universal-type health care, but it has been defeated time and time again. The health care plan is for the uninsured or underinsured middle class, the uninsured blue collar workers & the most vulnerable people in our society — finally they get something that will help THEM — not the top 1%-2% of the country.

  • Before Sarah became the veep nominee – she and Bristol could have benefited from the ACA benefits. Now that she has milked the FOX idiots out of millions she doesn’t need it – never mind all the uninsured in her own state. She is an empty-suit – spouting incomprehensible nonsense and getting unwarranted coverage from the hungry inept media pundits. I think I heard it all a couple days back, when she questioned the intellect of POTUS!! He forgot more yesterday than she has in her entire under sized brain.

  • howa4x

    Republicans since Nixon’s law and order message have won by making the middle class afraid either of Black crime, or terrorists with fusion grade material, or creeping socialism. They did this through lies and distortions. The death panel argument is just another in a long line of fabrications put out there from the right to protect one industry or another. At the time Palin was yipping about death panels run by government the insurance companies that she was protecting were dropping prople for pre existing conditions or becuause they were high risk. Out of the 32 million uninsured at the time 50, 000 died from the lack of access to care. They were the real death panels and people like her, Rush, Beck, Hannity, Coulter, and O’reiley were paid milions to protect them.

    • DukeDacat

      I am just saying, OMG does this for no $$$………….
      Have a nice day, heh, heh,heh, heh,heh, heh,

  • the queen of stupidity and lies

  • I am reminded of nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman’s comment in 2008 that the republicans are the party of the STUPID. I don’t believe he meant that all republicans are stupid. Far from it. But if you are stupid, you’re probably a tea party republican.

    Still its hard to argue that people like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman and their ilk are truly stupid. Its quite likely that they know more than it appears. But its in their interest to ensure that the tea party base supporters remain as completely ignorant of the truth as possible. Just ask Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. If you tell a lie frequently enough, over time it magically morphs into the truth — at least for some republicans.

    • jimlscotland

      I agree, there is a large profitable market for stupidity in our culture. People like Bachman, Palin, Cantor, and Limbaugh and a bunch more make millions from the stupid people in America. Bachman and Palin in particular are closest to stupid as one can get, and so they appeal to the stupid market. Limbaugh, Faux News and others intentionally appeal to the stupid market to make their money.

  • sigrid28

    On this, the central problem of the 2012 elections–two realities competing, Leonard Pitts has got game and quite a few of us on this comment list, so far, don’t. When liberals become preoccupied by exchanging witticisms (even really clever ones) about Sara Palin and her failings, we take the gaudy, goofy bait the GOP keeps tossing off to us. We waste precious time and energy on distractions, instead of concentrating on winning this November (and from here on in) within as many state and federal elections as possible. I’m as guilty of this as anyone, knowing full well that it isn’t very nice (or even very effective) when smart people bully dumb people by using words better than they do. However, we play into the GOP’s hand whenever we don’t remember that we have to fight as if our lives depended on it.

    I wonder whether today’s crass GOP strategists count on liberals like us having been softened up by being raised in kinder, gentler Republican households. I turned up the dog-eared printout of an old email in a chest of drawers I inherited from my parents, alongside my mother’s diploma from nursing school. It was the first I knew of the silly, mean-tempered things the far less crazy Republicans of their day had to say in jest about Hillary Clinton and her efforts to reform health care, long before many in the Great Generation became the grateful beneficiaries of Medicare and Social Security, long before the Clintons and other liberals were vindicated by passage of the ACA.

    Note that my parents, and probably many others like them, did not shout the insults in this printout from the mountain tops of Super PACS as Boomer Republicans see fit to do. Then again, our parents had experienced firsthand the consequences of societies caving in to big lies broadcast over loudspeakers. They knew firsthand that rhetoric is not enough. You have to fight for some truths as if your life depended on it.

  • There is too much money behind the distortion of facts to have the truth shine through.

  • Don

    It’s just another Dooms Day scenario conjured up by a clueless Republican to try and get back to what they do best – fear monger. They can’t get elected if they can’t scare you. She would be better served to get her own house in order and stay out of politics…

  • Did Palin discover death panels in Canada and Europe ? Joke…..

  • Sarah Palin’s “death panels” comment may have been a slip of the tongue for what the GOP has in mind for seniors. There is only one option available if MEDICARE is dismantled as proposed by Rep Ryan, MEDICARE continues to be gutted by the 2003 Part D “Reform” (read Trojan Horse), and the young don’t earn enough to support their parents and grandparents if the social program they currently use to live with a relative modicum of dignity are no longer there. Sarah may have been right of the money…she simply directed her claim at the people whose policies would prevent the implementation of death panels.

  • labrown69

    The woman is a good looker with shit for brains!

  • labrown69

    Wait till you hear Eric Cantor lying through his teeth about “choosing your own doctor” etc. He makes a far more credible liar and the administration better get off their asses, open their mouths and talk about it.


    I agree with the article, but caution against the spirit contained in the last sentence, because it’s a false one. Americans were never “one people.” America is a pluralistic society.


    Good artuicle, but don’t knock lies. They worked for Hitler.

    • ExPAVIC


      Our buddy Karl has a signed copy of Dr. Goebbels book “If the Truth Doesn’t Work, Tell Them Lies.” It worked for Hitler and will surely work for Mitt RoMoney.

  • She just trying to get her stupid face back in the limelight. Her 15 minutes of fame were over a long time ago, but she’s too damn stupid to tell time!

  • Still an IDIOT!

    See the HBO Movie Game Change.

    Just think the hell the USA would be into today if she and McCain had won!

    • dtgraham

      After the public shaming she got from the showing of Game Change that first weekend, I thought she’d take her fortune and disappear to the jungles of Burma or something, never to be heard from again. I would have. She’s got chutzpah she does.



    Do us a favor dear, in these busy times we have better things to do than pay attention to your mindless drivel. Go find some salmon to gut and can.

    Or, maybe those American Taliban Republican Plutocrats in Naples, Florida, will again pay you $600. per head for another night of worthless rantings.

  • sarha is just a big mouth D-BAG that shut the lights out when she gose to bed with her hubby tod . the lights are out because she wants to see tod as the black man that dumped her retarted butt years ago

  • Lisztman

    Prior to the 2008 general election “the pundits” (whoever they be) noted that the reason Sarah Palin was the partner on the McCain ticket was that there were few other takers for what would ultimately be considered “political suicide”. Why doesn’t this woman recognize that she committed political suicide nearly four years ago? What is it in her ego that prompts her to continue with such drivel? Why is it that she believes that anyone is truly listening?

    And what is it about American media that continues to offer her a platform to spout such stuff?

    • Gammaanya

      Money. She makes a 1M plus now on people gullibility. When she need more ahe will come out and speak to the lemmings with a single digits IQ like hesr. Being stupid pays for some, but for stupid voters it’s suicide. Can’t fix stupid – born with it.

  • as sad as it is for the child her (baby with Down Syndrome) if there is a good side it is that the baby lucky not to have a clue of how much a stupid idiot his mother truly is

  • Melvin Chatman

    The Prime example of the need for a quality Education – what more “Proof” do we need?
    I ain’t mad @ her though, she makes $ millions off Fox and those who “LACK” the quality Education that’s now under attack- can you really see Russia from her back porch? If she actually could, do the Russians really care and, do THEY look back and, if THEY could, what would they see? Would it be funny? I just WONDER!

  • karinursula

    I was born in Germany in 1944. Yes lies got Hitler and Goebbels to the top. People where desperate and wanted to believe. But see what happened in the end? I remember the ruins til today. Romney wants to attack Iran. Yes I do belief that Palin is dangerous because there are plenty of nuts out there who belief her drivel. We have to re-elect the President.

    • dtgraham

      Hallo aus Kanada karinursula. Ich bin ein Deutsche sprache Student. Ich versuche die Deutsche Sprache zu lernen. Ich habe immer die Deutsche National Fussball Mannschaft geliebt, und so, habe Ich gedacht dass Ich Deutsch lernen Wurde (kein umlaut an mein Computer). Ich war sehr traurig nach der Italien spiel, aber werden wir die Weltmeisterschaft in 2014 gewinnen. Ich hoffe dass Sie meine Grammatik verstehen konnen.

  • I am going to reilerate my question: What is so special about this ditzy woman?! Every time she opens her mouth; she showcases to the world her ignorance! She needs to carry herself back to Alaska, along with the rest of senseless dysfuntional family and raise that child with down syndrome!

  • Put an end to all her input. Don’t propagate news about her. She’s like the Kardashians. No substance but publicity continues…they must be paying a lot of money!

  • Landsende

    After McCain chose Sara Palin as his running mate every time she opened her mouth it became more and more obvious she was an uneducated moron and cost him the election. Nothing has changed since then except she got a taste of “fame” and instead of fading away she continues to spew her hateful rhetoric and lies. The republican party has become the party of lies spread by Romney, Boehner, McConnel, Ryan, Cantor, Rove and Faux News. They champion the rich and say to hell with everyone else. Even though the ACA was modeled after Romneycare and by the republicans themselves now they want to repeal it but won’t say IF or WHAT they will replace it with. It’s time for them to put up or shut up as to what they will do for the 98% not just the 2%.

  • phantomoftheopera

    doesn’t she realize that we already have ‘death panels’? only we call them ‘insurance companies’. her child with downs syndrome could face many health perils over the years–ie preexisting conditions. if she loses her health care coverage for him, he could be DENIED coverage. now, she probably has enough money that it wouldn’t matter. but if she were poor, that could indeed be a death sentence.

  • The interesting – and disconcerting thing – about her comment is that we NOW have Death Panels. They are accessed when one tries to buy insurance with a preexisting condition, when one is “too old” to be insured, when children cannot be covered because they were born with a birth defect, or one is thrown out of his/her policy because s/he got sick.

  • Ed

    The writer could have mentioned the fact that the idea that “If you repeat a lie often enough and loud enough it becomes truth to those who believe it.” started with Nazi Germany. Strong right wingers who called themselves “socialists”. After the war Madison Avenue began to pick it iup. They were restrained by FCC rules until President Reagan repealed all thos “unnecessary regulations” which opened the flood gates. But even before that it was established that the election of 1964 became the one when advertising replaced dicussion. Read; The Selling Of The Presidency.

  • I watched an interesting white-paper on the popularity and rise of Adolph Hitler. His method was simple, use emotion to rouse the people and don’t let facts get in the way. Sound familiar?

  • That woman is an idiot, pure and simple. If the media would ignore her for a few moments she and the memory of her would soon fall back into part of our dark history. Unfortunately, there are still far too many ill informed and ignorant people in this country who continue to hang on her every word. You can’t fix stupid, but you certainly can try and ignore stupid people.

  • I’ve read it and there are no death panels. Can we please move on to something constructive and real for a change.


  • Tom_D44

    Great. So we have an article that slams a bunch of conservative media personalities and politicians. Big deal. But where are the facts Leonard? Where is the proof that the ACA will be a self supporting bill that will be able to handle the projected cost over runs and will not have to turn to rationing care?

  • Palin is the bimbo of bimbos. Though I didn’t like Keith Olbermann’s abrasive style, he was as right as rain when he called her an idiot, and she’s proven us right time after time. You’d think this airhead would go home, shut the hell up and live out her useless life, but no, back she comes again like a rash you can’t cure. There are people still stupid enough to think she’s smart, but all that means is that they are still STUPID.

  • Is the media that hard up that they need to constantly bring this Palin creature up at every chance they get? Give it a break folks, she’s nothing.

  • She may be an idiot and she may have a tenuous grasp of reality but so do the people she reaches. They are as uneducated and moldable by fear as she is. Thanks! to the American education system for a general lack of critical thinking skills and a special thanks to all those wakho churches these people attend. My step son and daughter in law are both teachers in the public school system and born again, how can that happen after 4 years of collage. Their ignorance scares the hell out of me

  • Creating a big lie and repeating it loud enough and long enough to those who need to believe — becomes the truth. That’s exactly what the Nazi’s did and the German people swallowed it hook, line and sinker. I sure hope we can learn from history.

  • when are people going to realize Palin is an idiot and stop paying attention to her.

  • The Republican party as a whole seems to have become the party of the belligerence. It appears truth and facts have no purpose with this party’

  • Palin is an ignorant idiot!

  • grammyjill

    I hope Romney picks her for VP.

  • They won’t remain one people. The Teapublicans are committed to this path — committed to partisanship for its own sake — committed to putting the goals of their party above the well-being of this country.

    They’ve already promised on multiple occasions to secede and/or violently revolt if they don’t like the latest election results.

    This will end with violent clashes in the streets. The only question is who the police will be clashing with; whether it will be with the destitute and desperate like in Libya, or with the hired cronies of the failing regime like in Egypt.

    Obviously I’m hoping it’ll be the latter.

  • Let’s not forget how she tried to change the history of Paul Revere and his midnight ride. When she got it wrong, her supporters tried to go on Wikipedia and change the facts to agree with her version of history. With her, stupid and dangerous are in a dead heat!

  • Joel Grumm

    Thank you again Leonard Pitts and God Bless You for your persistence in pursuing sane discourse toward mutually beneficial objectives, over noisy gongs and clanging cymbals. Let us hope that God gives us more leaders that we need and fewer that we deserve.

  • Sam

    If it was between Sarah Palin and Kelly Pickler for Secy. of State, I’d go with Pickler because I know she at least knows where the Dominican Republic is. I’m not so sure with Palin.

  • Sam

    “At long last, sir, have you no shame ?” — Joseph Welch to Sen. Joseph McCarthy Someone of great standing like Welch had needs to ‘get in her face’ at an official hearing. Trouble is today it would probably take ‘the deity’ to shut Palin’s trap for it.

  • ralphkr

    Well, Palin was correct about there being death panels but she was mistaken as to whom the death panels were beholden. I came into contact with a death panel consisting of one doctor in 1998. I was visiting my mother after a major stroke had left her unable to communicate or anything else other than randomly staring at the ceiling when a nurse told me that the doctor wished to talk to me. I met with the doctor and we discussed my mother’s treatment and prognosis and he convinced me that I was causing her extreme pain by force her to stay alive. I had a strong tendency to go along with his suggestion as I had left directives with my progeny and wife to pull the plug if I was in a vegetative state such as that. After I agreed to accept his recommendations for my mother’s continued care I discovered later that her insurance immediately stopped covering her hospitalization and that “her doctor” who had convinced me to make the change was actually employed by her insurance company (not Medicare but a for profit company). So Palin was correct about the existence of death panels but erred in not pointing out that the death panels had been in existence for many years and were employed by health insurance companies.

  • onedonewong

    No one ever accused old Lenny of being smart and his article once again proves the point

  • To say that Palin is an idiot is to be gracious beyond any level of politeness.

  • dtgraham

    This is an outstanding article and captures the phenomenon. This is the new reality. Used to be that people would agree on what happened, and the causal factors for it, but then disagree on the fix. That’s where politics and left/right would come in. That’s what was. Now, we’re living on different planets where all of the facts are different when describing the same thing.

    Not too long ago, I was posting back and forth with montanabill here. I started realizing at one point that we were talking about completely different events even though we were discussing the same thing. It became clear to me that we were living in alternate realities and there wasn’t much point in continuing on. He may have been thinking the same thing. When there’s no basis for dialogue, that’s not good for democracy.

    Last weekend Obozomustgo repeated the elaborately constructed fantasy of the right that 1977’s Community Reinvestment Act was wholly responsible for the meltdown of 2008. As though some poor folks defaulting on their mortgages in America could take down the financial system of the United States of America and other countries throughout the world. Derivatives? What’s that? Just a little insurance policy I tells ya.

    For a long time, I couldn’t figure out why this “fast and furious” was a banner story every day on Fixed News, the right wing internet, and conservative talk radio. It was started by Bush and was well intentioned even if it didn’t exactly work out too well. It was a story but not a big one. It deserved some press coverage but not a lot. It deserved to be questioned, but not that circus. Even by their standards, I didn’t know how they could milk it that much. Then I finally heard the conspiracy theory. A militia blogger in Alabama started a rumour that Obama purposely walked guns to mexico to increase gun violence there and, thereby, make Americans more susceptible to having their second amendment right taken away due to creating ill will toward gun violence. Yea I know, it’s coocoo for cocoa puffs but here’s the thing: my jaw dropped when I became aware of Fixed News contributors and many Republican politicians (including Darryl Issa) repeating this conspiracy on air.

    I’m showing my bias, but I blame this entirely on the conservative media. There’s no false equivalency here.

  • jimlscotland

    However, when someone has shit for brains, they uncomfortable don’t look like a good looker anymore. When I see a picture of Palin, I automatically see the horns and her twisted mouth.

  • AlphaPlus

    The opportunity that is missed to discredit Palin here is to exploit her blatant lie, exposing it as doublespeak and point out the reality of the current situation: death panels ALREADY exist, but within the insurance companies, not the government. It is actually common practice for insurance companies to hire doctors to look for any way, any medical loophole or technicality of definition, to deny benefits and care to the sick, for the purpose of reducing claims costs, and maximizing profits. Not just turning away ppl with pre-existing conditions, which is bad enough, but actually denying treatments to people with existing policies who are unfortunate enough to get sick. This is documented reality that can be backed up by fact. Profits above people, the mantra of corporate America and the Republican party economic platform. The protections passed in the Affordable Care Act actually prohibit such practices, effectively putting an end to death panels, NOT creating them. So if there is a fear of death panels being exploited here, it should be very easy to turn that around, but as usual the Democrats seem to drop the ball in PR and let the lies go widely unrefuted, when the rebuttals should be shouted over and over just as loudly as the lies are.

  • Sara really need to read, the death panels are the insurance companies that will decide care for Americans. I have been a victim of the death panels from Blue Cross, I am lucky as my husband is an attorney and was able to stop them from denying me coverage.

  • MethMouthMary

    What did Lincoln say? “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” facts versus lies….