I just checked through Politifact’s invaluable compilation of political statements that received its coveted “pants-on-fire” rating since the beginning of the Obama Administration. How many, I wondered, were from Republicans or conservatives, and how many were from Democrats or liberals?
It’s not even close.
Republican/Conservative pants-on-fire lies: 27
Democratic/Liberal pants-on-fire lies: 2
And that is actually generous to the GOP. One egregious Democratic lie is from Obama, who said that if you added up the numbers, the United States would be one of the world’s largest Muslim countries. Completely untrue, but the significance of it is zero. The other is Joe Biden’s statement that when someone sneezes on an airplane, it goes all the way to the back of the aircraft. Also totally wrong, but it’s hard to argue that this was done out of political motives or even had any political effect.
Contrast these with Rush Limbaugh’s lie that Obama wants to mandate circumcision, or Newt Gingrich’s lie that the stimulus bill “is anti-Christian legislation that will stop churches from using public schools for meeting on Sundays, as well as Boy Scouts and student Bible study groups.”
Indeed, the list at times looks like a conservative movement Hall of Fame: Gingrich, Limbaugh, Michael Steele, Steve King, Eric Cantor, and of course, Betsy McCaughey.
Just to cover myself, several of the Republican lies were from chain e-mails, not Republican politicians, but they are clearly designed for conservative political purposes.
Now, I’m sure that Republican operatives will just respond that Politifact is a liberal front. But that would be . . . a lie.