If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a lot of your time fretting because right wingers have grown incredibly bold about bald-faced lying, and so far it seems there’s literally nothing that can be done about it. We have extensive freedom of speech protections, which is a good thing of course, but leaves us with few options to stem the ever-growing tide of lies emanating from a right wing that knows that it can’t make an honest argument. The mainstream media has basically abandoned its mission to correct lies with the truth. Some publications continue to fact check claims made by pundits, activists, and politicians, but it’s just not enough to counter the endless stream of lies and misinformation coming from the right….
Well, there is one door that is available, but not used especially often: lawsuits. Part of that is that it’s difficult to show damages with some of the lies that right wingers float, but not always. Some lies are actionable. Which is why I’m glad someone fought back against the aneurysm-causing lie that was in non-stop rotation during the health care debate, which is that health care reform somehow meant taxpayer-funded abortions.
“A judge is allowing former Ohio congressman Steve Driehaus to sue the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List for defamation, because as he sensibly pointed out, they were lying about whether abortion is “taxpayer-funded” under the Affordable Care Act.
The irony is that Driehaus is anti-choice. He did, however, vote for health insurance reform, which meant that SBA decided to run the above billboards against him. Despite the fact that abortion is never paid for by federal funds (except extremely limited cases of rape and incest victims on Medicaid) and the ACA didn’t change the status quo, anti-choicers have been obsessed with insisting that it does by focusing on federal subsidies to private plans….