There’s a difference between a lie and a misstatement

A recent letter writer attempted to make the point that politicians on both sides of the aisle tell lies, using three examples of Democratic politicians lying.

One of the examples the letter writer provided shows, inadvertently, how a misstatement is different from a lie.

A lie is when someone willingly says (or writes) something that that person knows to be untrue.

Motive is key; it has to be provable that what was said or written was known by that person to not be true for what was said to be a lie.

In the example used, President Obama said that under the proposed Affordable Care Act, one would be able to keep one’s doctor. At the time President Obama said this, the as-yet-unpassed act was still being written, and at that time the intent of the authors of the act was that, yes, patients would be able to keep their doctors and their plans. As the act was revised and re-written, this part was subsequently deleted.

So at the time he made that statement, President Obama believed it to be true, and it was.

It’s a common tactic of the right to point to this one example to “prove” that President Obama told a lie. Yet that is the lie. Not what Obama said.

Jeff Rivers

Mountlake Terrace

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