Ed Driscoll

Go Flag Yourself, Mr. President!

Much like CBS’s Katie Couric giving Joe Biden a pass last year on his preposterous statement that FDR was in the White House and on TV in 1929, note that this quote from President Obama goes unremarked at ABC:

Obama said Democrat Bill Owens victory in the special election in New York’s 23rd congressional district, the one bright spot for the president’s party last Tuesday, “sent an important signal.”

“Bill Owens, the Democrat in a traditionally Republican district, a district that had been Republican for 100 years, did not shy away from saying he supported health insurance reform, that he supported the Recovery Act and the progress that we have made there and ended up winning,” Obama said.

Allahpundit has already noted the second half of the president’s lie, via this recently Drudge-lanched Gouverneur Times article from Owens’ district:

GOUVERNEUR, NY – Congressman-elect Bill Owens was sworn in at noon today.

Owens indicated in a press release released shortly afterwards that he was now in favor of the the “Affordable Healthcare for America Act” bill in direct contrast to his earlier position during the election campaign.

According to Politico.com, Mr. Owens assured voters that he felt the public option had no place in the health care reform bill.  Contrary to that position, Mr. Owens now indicates that he intends to vote in favor of the bill even though it now contains a public option.

UPDATED: A spokesman for Congressman Owens indicated correctly that Mr. Owens had recanted his solid position against public option later in the campaign, clarifying that he did not wish public option to be a ‘litmus test’ for the Health Reform bill and that on Oct. 30th, several days prior to the election, in a debate had stated that he generally supported the public option as it was now written (at that time.)

Mr. Owens also indicated during his campaign that he was firmly opposed to cutting Medicare benefits, taxing health care benefits, and increased taxes on the middle class in any way as you can see clearly in the screenshot below, taken directly from Mr. Owens’ campaign website.

But it’s the quote from Mr. Obama that “Bill Owens, the Democrat in a traditionally Republican district, a district that had been Republican for 100 years”, which is the real nonsense. ABC apparently can’t be bothered to hit the New York Times, or even Wikipedia. At Newbusters, Ken Shepherd wrote last week:

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it 1,000 times: the New York 23rd Congressional District (NY-23) has had a Republican incumbent since the 1870s. It’s a helpful talking point for mainstream media types bent on portraying the Hoffman loss in the district last night as evidence of how the Republican mainstream has moved away from conservatism.

The only trouble with the talking point is it is patently false and the New York Times can prove it. (h/t EyeBlast.tv’s Stephen Gutowski)

From the 1990 obituary for one Samuel Stratton:

He was the third-most senior Democrat on the Armed Services Committee when he announced in 1988 that his failing health prevented him from running for a 16th term.

He was first elected to the House in 1958, becoming the only Democrat in 42 years to be sent to Congress from what was then the 32d Congressional District in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy area.

Despite several redistrictings in a predominantly Republican area, he was returned to Congress with ease every two years and became dean of the New York delegation in January 1979. At his retirement, Mr. Stratton represented the 23d District.

Stratton retired in 1989 and was replaced by another Democrat, Michael McNulty, who held the seat from 1989-1992. Pursuant to redistricting, McNulty ran for and won election as the representative from New York’s 21st district in 1992. Liberal Republican Sherwood Boehlert ran for and won election to NY-23 in 1992 and was succeeded by moderate John McHugh (R) after Boehlert was redistricted to the 24th district in 2002.

As Shepherd added, this is one case where Wikipedia is right and the MSM is wrong — and now the president as well.

Fortunately, he’s not a Republican, so he doesn’t need to worried about being called out by state-run media. But back in August, the White House, in one of their many spot-on impersonations of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, famously wrote on their Website:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to [email protected].

In response, perhaps the president should go flag himself.

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