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WaPo: Ocasio-Cortez's 'You Can Spew Lies If You're Morally Right' Defense Is Straight Trash

AP Photo/Stephen Groves

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) likes to dance. Good for her; it's not upsetting anyone. Apparently, the liberal media, following their usual script, seemed to think that Republicans were offended by it. We’re not. No one is—but it allows the far left New York Democrat to get more airtime. Some conservatives mocked her for her clothes and the fact that she can’t afford an apartment in D.C. until her congressional salary kicks in. That’s not the way to go, folks. It makes her a sympathetic figure. Also, it’s not nearly as terrifying as her policy proposals or her position that you can spew lies so long as you’re morally right, or something. Yeah, that right there pretty much sums up liberalism. They’re insufferably arrogant: ‘I’m a Democrat, so I have a license to lie.’ The liberal media can stomach a lot. They will do the bidding of their Democratic allies to destroy nominees, offer cover to friends of the party, and bury stories that make the Left look bad. But on this, even The Washington Post couldn’t defend such a garbage position:


When Anderson Cooper confronted her with The Washington Post Fact Checker’s Four-Pinocchio verdict on her claim about $21 trillion in waste at the Pentagon, Ocasio-Cortez offered this (emphasis added):

COOPER: One of the criticisms of you is that-- that your math is fuzzy. The Washington Post recently awarded you four Pinocchios --

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Oh my goodness --

COOPER: -- for misstating some statistics about Pentagon spending?

OCASIO-CORTEZ: If people want to really blow up one figure here or one word there, I would argue that they’re missing the forest for the trees. I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right.

COOPER: But being factually correct is important--

OCASIO-CORTEZ: It’s absolutely important. And whenever I make a mistake. I say, “Okay, this was clumsy,” and then I restate what my point was. But it’s -- it’s not the same thing as -- as the president lying about immigrants. It’s not the same thing at all.

The first problem here is that Ocasio-Cortez is really minimizing her falsehoods. Four Pinocchios is not a claim that Glenn Kessler and The Post’s Fact Checker team give out for bungling the “semantics” of something. It’s when something is a blatant falsehood. It’s the worst rating you can get for a singular claim.

In the case of the $21 trillion, Ocasio-Cortez was suggesting that this was all Pentagon waste and that cleaning it up could pay for two-thirds of the estimated $32 trillion price tag for single-payer health care, which she and others are referring to as Medicare-for-all.


What might be most problematic about Ocasio-Cortez’s defense, though, is the idea that people should care less about specific facts and more about being “morally right" — as if this is a zero-sum game in which the two can be weighed against one another. She’s practically saying, “Well, maybe I was wrong, but at least my cause is just.”


…you can apply this approach to many of the biggest Trump falsehoods. If the ends justify the means and the policy is “right,” you can excuse pretty much anything.

None of this is to compare Ocasio-Cortez’s falsehoods to Trump’s; she’s right that there is no comparison. Trump’s are both exponentially more numerous and more impactful, coming from the president of the United States. But just because something is worse doesn’t mean something else can’t be bad. People need to recognize that “morally right” is a subjective definition, and there need be no choice between making your case and using actual facts.


Of course, the Post noted that Trump has lied. Well, everyone lies, but Trump or the GOP has never made the argument that you can lie because your political disposition is morally superior or “morally right.” That explains a lot about the Left. At least they’re being open about it in public.  

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