Of all the falsehoods and distortions in the political discourse this year, one stood out from the rest.
The "death panels" phrase was created by Sarah Palin, but has its roots in the coordinated campaign to scare voters with the idea that Democratic health care proposals would create mechanisms for euthanizing elderly or sickly persons. It was outrageous and obviously false – that's what it's the "Lie of the Year" – but that didn't stop leading Missouri Republicans from helping to spread the lies.
Notable Show-Me State propagators of the Lie of the Year include:
- Rep. Roy Blunt, who said it's "easy" for the death panel debate "to go either way." Blunt repugnantly refused to smack down the falsehood on KTRS in August. "I think it's easy for that debate to go either way," he said. "You know, when they start talking about doing this every five years, then you do begin to wonder, now, just how committed is the federal government to being sure that that decision's already been made by you well before you and your family face it."
- Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, who wrote to his constituents in August about how the government could start "encouraging assisted suicide or other forms of euthanasia"
- Ed Martin, whose August 11 "Circular Letter" column was titled "Democrat Health Plan = Abortion and Euthanasia." He wrote that "the combination of end of life and cost containment [in the health care legislation] leads you to one place: euthanasia. Cut costs by ending grandma's meds or care."
- House Children & Families Committee Chair Cynthia Davis, who told her constituents the reform bills will "encourage people to die prematurely"
- The Missouri Family Policy Council's Joe Ortwerth, who wrote a column in August spreading false rumors about the "coercion elements of the end of life provisions," and said the proposed legislation was "the gravest threat posed to the pro-life values of the American people since the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade."
Congratulations, gang! We hope you're very proud of yourselves.
Image credit: Kate's Kitchen Table