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 Scott-like position.
Earlier this month, PolitiFact.com, 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.” PolitiFact.com 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.