The Real Problem with Firedoglake's Latest Attack on "ObamaCare" Is its Dishonesty

Their new ad plays on people's ignorance of the details of various policies.

You've probably gotten wind of this online fracas over Firedoglake's latest attack-ad on Obama and the Dems over health-care. It's part of a larger dust-up within the "liberal blogosphere" since the 2008 election over how to adapt to a new environment.

There's been a lot of cross-talk throughout, it seems to me, with FDL's supporters saying that they're providing a valuable service by trying to push the Dems to the left, and most of their critics taking the line that pushing is fine and great but their tactical decisions on how and whom to push (and with whom to collaborate) leave much to be desired.

As Bob Cesca wrote, "Look, I'm all for accountability, but there's a way to do it smartly. This isn't smart. It's hamfisted and politically infantile." John Cole added:

And if you are going to come in here defending this nonsense, telling us they are doing a valuable service by pushing theOverton window to the left, spare me. You don’t move the window to the left adopting right wing frames. You just validate what the wingnuts are saying. [Ed note: link added]

For the record, I agree with the critics. But for a variety of reasons, I don't really want to weigh in on the debate over strategy and tactics.

My problem with the ad, which appears below, is its dishonesty.

Its take-away is a big, fat lie; the FDLers, counting on people's ignorance of some rather complicated health-care proposals, are intentionally misleading their readers. I don't have a problem with going after Obama and the Dems with a certain amount of ferocity, but it's saddening when ostensibly liberal people try to score political points -- or earn a little street-cred -- by muddying some already murky waters in order to appeal to people's emotions rather than their intellect.

The ad targets the so-called "Cadillac Tax" on high-value health policies, a policy I oppose and would join them in criticizing honestly any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

The message is crystal-clear: Obama is pushing the same policy that he bashed John McCain for advocating during the 2008 election. Or at least a substantially similar one.

That goes beyond "framing" to outright intellectual dishonesty. 

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