A friend who I can fairly characterize as a liberal was nonetheless shocked when she read Lies and the Lying Liars… by Al Franken. She admitted “how naive I was about the shameless tactics of the Republicans. I am completely freaked out about what they have gotten away with….”

We now can see how that works even on a humble blog like this one.

On my recent post “Who’s Worse?” John K., who I believe is Republican, makes this comment, “Your [sic] the same guy who also called the 9-11 terrorists ‘courageous,’ right?”

Note the hedging as it puts it in a form of a question but strongly suggests I said that. I did not. He used the word courageous; I never described the terrorists as courageous.

My brief post (found here along with exchange of comments John and I had) noted what former security advisor Dick Clarke said in his book Against All Enemies: that the 9-11 terrorists, while evil in many ways, were not “cowardly.” John K. picked up on the dictionary definition that cowardly means “lacking courage.” So by my saying they were not cowardly, he interprets as meaning I believe they are courageous.

If one does not perform an act of courage today, does that mean that they spent the day being cowardly?

It’s one thing to mischaracterize the opposition by interpreting one vote as indicative of a political stance (e.g., Bush’s charge that John Kerry doesn’t want to protect American soldiers today because he voted against some weapons systems years ago), but it is wholly another thing to accuse people of saying something they never said. (See also my post Calling the Bushies)

There’s a reason the right is losing credibility, day by day, lie by lie.