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Lie of the Year: Reader comments

By Angie Drobnic Holan
Published on Thursday, December 16th, 2010 at 11:27 p.m.

We gave our readers an opportunity to comment on their votes for the "Lie of the Year." Here is a sampling from those who voted for "government takeover." (For more coverage, see the complete results of the readers' poll and our extended story on the "Lie of the Year.")

"This was a complete misrepresentation of the health care bill, and it was accepted by many on the right. It caused a much longer debate than should have been necessary, and led to the contentious town hall meetings all across the United States, in which many Americans seemed to lose their ability to debate rationally and conduct a civil discourse. America seemed to lose its collective mind. This was a whopper."

"This lie is continually repeated and believed by people.  If pressed, the liars telling this lie will say that it was built to be doomed to failure so we could then go to fully socialized medicine (another lie)."

"Was a lie, is a lie, and the best part, the Republicans will use it again when they try and repeal health care reform. 'Lie of the Year' if people can keep using it and 'We The People' keep believing it!"

"We must all demand a recount if any entry other than the government takeover entry wins."

"As good as PolitiFact is - happens to be my first stop in the morning - people will continue to believe what they want to believe, even when faced with the truth. And that is a scary thought."

"The health care issue probably had more impact on the recent election than any other issue you list. More people took the health care issue to heart and felt personally affected by it than any of your other issues. At least that's my humble opinion."

"Biggest lie of 2010 ... If the president would've labeled this 'health insurance reform,' he would've saved himself a lot of grief!"

"The Republican distortions and outright lies about health care reform have led many people to reject changes that are in their own best interest."

"The most persistent 'Big Lie' of the past two years.  Republicans believe that saying it often enough makes it true, and given how they have owned the conversation about health care, it has worked brilliantly for them."

"To me, the 'Lie of the Year' should be something demonstrably false but so pervasive as to become common knowledge.  The 'government takeover' of health care matches both.  There are millions of misinformed people who were suckered into this one, and it arguably continues to shape our policy."

"We should be given a choice of the three most egregious lies.  Naming one is not satisfying enough."

"Statements such as this caused Americans who were not paying attention to deny themselves the public option in health care. The GOP took this statement and pounded the life out of health care reform.  Shame on them and shame on Democrats for not fighting back."

"Most of the other lies are tempests in a teapot: the cost of the President's trip, whether there are kidnappings in Phoenix, (Rep. Charles) Rangel's huffing over the report.  The ObamaCare lie became a policy position among many opponents, and worked to once again frustrate efforts to reform health care delivery in the U.S., a deeply serious problem that is bankrupting the country.  None of the other lies had the potential to stop progress on an issue that was this politically, fiscally and financially existential."

"I voted for this one because a) so many people believed it and voted accordingly in November and b) because the same people don't want any changes in (government controlled) Medicare.  Makes me think a lot of our fellow citizens are pretty gullible."

"My vote went to the one that might not have been the 'biggest' lie, but the most impactful, deceitful, and clearly understood by those making the claim to be incorrect and indefensible."

"The others are contenders, but this lie really takes the cake. Health insurance is still dominated by private industries, and lots of people are still left uninsured. How outrageous!"

"'Government takeover' in a nation where most individuals get their health insurance through their employers? Good grief. This one has to be the lie of the year."

"Democrats and Obama were never really able to recover from all the lies and misinformation Republicans and far-right pundits spread around the issue of health care.  When Fox 'News' anchors are told they can't use the words 'public option' but must instead say 'government option,' they have revealed themselves as the propaganda machine they are."

"I went with this answer because it was repeated by so many.  It's like Goebbels' philosophy that a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth. It's a shame there wasn't an 'All of the above' option for this Rogues' Gallery."

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Sources:

Reader comments from PolitiFact's 2010 "Lie of the Year" survey

Researchers: Angie Drobnic Holan

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