In addition to being a feckless opportunist who has scammed millions of dollars from a military charity, Sean Hannity is also kind of an idiot. His daily three-hour radio program, a combination of reflexive liberal-bashing and fawning Ronald Reagan worship, contains more falsehoods per minute than a job interview. Not surprisingly, the same is apparently true of his new book, Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama’s Radical Agenda.
According to Media Matters, the book, a hastily assembled paperback quickie selling for $8 on Amazon.com, is rife with lies and smears. If you’ve listened to or watched Hannity recently, and also paid a modicum of attention to what President Obama has actually been doing, you know that the “radical agenda” exists only in Hannity’s delirious imagination. Media Matters details 21 separate falsehoods or distortions found in Conservative Victory.
Below are a few of my favorites.
Hannity repeatedly claims that Obama pushed “socialized” and “nationalize[d]” health care. For instance:
Only months into his presidency, he had so infuriated average Americans that a series of Tea Party protests emerged across the nation, attended by everyday people who were outraged and horrified by Obama’s every decision: his reckless federal spending, his seizure of control of private industry, his cap-and-trade legislation, and his obsessive quest to nationalize one-sixth of the American economy through socialized health care. [Page 4]
Rather than responding to the real fear that his debt explosion struck in the heart of most Americans, he brazenly turned a deaf ear and pressed forward with his hugely unpopular question to nationalize our health care, proving he was anything but a president of the people. [Page 6]
As a leftist to his core, Barack Obama has been salivating over socialized medicine for years. It’s the perfect policy vehicle for socialists who want to ensure that government’s tentacles will spread into all aspects of our society. [Page 94]
Democrats’ health care reform isn’t socialized health care. The Urban Institute wrote in an April 2008 analysis that “socialized medicine involves government financing and direct provision of health care services” and explained that Democratic health care reform proposals do not “fit this description. While these policies would provide additional public resources to help the uninsured pay for coverage and would increase the pooling of risks in insurance markets, none would overturn the dominant role of private insurance and private providers in America’s health care system.” The analysis also noted, “Similar rhetoric was used to defeat national health care reform proposals in the 1990s and, with less success, to argue against the creation of Medicare in the 1960s.”
Obama has not proposed socialized medicine, single payer, or nationalized health care. As PolitiFact.com noted in a March 5, 2009, post, “Obama’s plan leaves in place the private health care system, but seeks to expand it to the uninsured,” and “the plan is very different from some European-style health systems where the government owns health clinics and employs doctors.” And during a March 26, 2009, online town hall, Obama explicitly rejected the notion of implementing a health care system “the way European countries do or Canada does,” explaining that what “we should do is to build on the [employer-based] system that we have.”
Here’s one about the infamous death panels:
From Page 65 of Conservative Victory:
But among the Democrats’ many shameless attempts to seize power away from the people, the granddaddy of them all is contained in the Senate health-care bill. Unbeknownst to many, that bill contains an amendment, inserted by Majority Leader Harry Reid, that aims to make the bill’s proposed Independent Medicare Advisory Board (IMAB) unrepealable. The amendment would change certain Senate rules to prohibit future Congresses from repealing the IMAB (which some refer to as a death panel). But current Senate rules require sixty-seven votes for a rule change. The Democrats, who had already changed the rule with their sixty-vote (not sixty-seven-vote) majority, claimed they weren’t changing the rule, just changing a “procedure.” But their intentions were clear: Obama’s Senate was not only trying to make their provision for death panels unrepealable -- violating our first principles of popular sovereignty at their core -- but in the process they were also violating their own rules through semantic deception.
Independent Medicare Advisory Board is specifically prohibited from rationing health care or modifying benefits. According to the legislation, when the “projected per capita growth rate under Medicare” exceeds “the target growth rate for that year,” the board is required to “develop and submit” to Congress a “proposal containing recommendations to reduce the Medicare per capita growth rate to the extent required by this section.” But the legislation explicitly states that the board may not include recommendations to “ration health care,” “restrict benefits,” or “modify eligibility criteria.” From Section 3403 of the Senate health care bill:
(ii) The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums under section 1818, 1818A, or 1839, increase Medicare beneficiary cost sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.
The Congressional Budget Office found that the advisory board provision “would place a number of limitations on the actions available to the board, including a prohibition against modifying eligibility or benefits.”
FactCheck.org: The “Medicare Board is no ‘death panel.’“ From FactCheck.org’s January 15 article:
Footnote: Despite a few lingering claims to the contrary, the Medicare Board is no “death panel.” The bill explicitly states that its cost-saving proposals:
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Dec 24 2009: ...shall not include any recommendation to ration heatlh care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums...increase Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.
And maybe my personal favorite, Hannity griping about Obama doing something that Hannity himself and other Fox News personalities have done repeatedly:
From Page 121 of Conservative Victory:
Obama has shown his true foreign policy colors in his dealings with Iran. In his “Nowruz” (New Year’s) greeting to the leaders of Iran, he referred to the country several times as “the Islamic Republic of Iran,” which validated the standing of the theocratic leaders while offering a kick in the gut to the majority of Iranian people, who oppose them.
Hannity: “Islamic Republic of Iran.” From an August 30, 2006, segment (retrieved from Nexis) on Hannity & Colmes: [emphasis added]
HANNITY: In the midst of the western world’s nuclear standoff with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the U.S. State Department has granted former Iranian president, Mohammad Khatami, a visa to come to this country next week.
Now, Khatami is planning to attend the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations meetings as well as other speaking events in the United States, and at taxpayer expense, his security will be overseen by the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
And tonight, there are even reports that former President Carter is interested in meeting with Khatami during his visit. In a contact to the State Department, they told us, quote, “We are an open society, tolerant of diverse viewpoints. And after careful deliberation, we’ve determined that issuing Mr. Khatami a limited visa, and allowing Mr. Khatami to present his views directly to the American people will demonstrate to Iran that the United States upholds its commitment to freedom and democracy.”
Fox reporters refer to the “Islamic Republic of Iran.” For instance (emphasis added):
· Reporter Lauren Green on February 12: “In the Islamic Republic of Iran, politics and religion are one. But experts are warning that the Islamic apocalyptic figure called ‘The Twelfth Imam’ maybe fueling Iran’s obsession for nuclear weapons.”
· Reporter Amy Kellogg on August 5, 2009 (retrieved from Nexis): “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in for a second term as president of the Islamic Republic of Iran before the parliament, but it was not a packed house. Dozens of members chose to stay away. The security presence on the streets was as heavy as it’s been since the June election, according to an eyewitness.” Kellogg’s biography states: “In recent years, Kellogg has had extraordinary access to the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Check out the rest of the Media Matters review here. And take a minute, too, to read this article on U.S. News and World Report’s opinion blog. It’s by Scott Galupo, a conservative and former Republican congressional staffer who thinks Hannity’s plan for victory is actually blueprint for defeat.