MAY POLITIFACT SHAPE THE DEBATE AS MUCH THIS YEAR AS IT DID THE LAST TWO
I see that our side is (gratifyingly) flooding the zone in response to PolitiFact's preposterous proclamation that "Republicans voted to end Medicare" is not only a lie but the lie of the year. My anger is tempered, however, by a recognition of what happened after PolitiFact made its last two end-of-year declarations:
2010: PolitiFact's Lie of the Year: 'A government takeover of health care'
2009: PolitiFact's Lie of the Year: 'Death panels'
These were Republican lies, but neither of the PolitiFact pronouncements harmed the Republican Party in any way -- in fact, they coincided with the rise of the GOP to complete domination of our political life. And neither pronouncement affected the debate on the issue of health care: it's true that death panels weren't death panels, but they're still effectively dead, and among most people who have a strong opinion (i.e., hardcore Republicans), calling them "death panels" still seems accurate. And the "government takeover of health care" lie remains a millstone around Democrats' necks.
PolitiFact got it very wrong this year. Let's just hope that PolitiFact has as much impact now as it did in 2009 and 2010.