If you’re a fan of comic books
or other types of serial fiction, you’re probably familiar with the
concept of the “retcon”—a made-up word that stands for “retroactive
For the not-so-geeky, the basic idea is that the authors of some
long-running storyline change previously established facts within
the narrative. Often the idea is to facilitate new storylines,
or, less generously, to help struggling serial writers work
themselves out of some difficult plot corner they’ve written
Fans sometimes complain about the way the practice can upend
complex stories that have been developing for years. But in
general, they’re expected to just go along and accept that the old
story is gone, and the new story is what really happened.
I wonder if President Obama is a comic book fan. Because with
the updated version of his oft-repeated promise that individuals
who like their health plans can keep them, he’s essentially
Here’s how Obama
described his promise yesterday: “Now, if you had one of these
plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really
liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t
changed since the law passed.”
This isn’t just an update. It’s a backwards revision. Obama is
not just changing his claim going forward—he’s attempting to alter
what he said in the past as well.
Let’s look through some back issues for a moment. Here’s what
Obama used to say about the circumstances under which you can keep
your health plan, via New York Magazine.
Got that? If you’re happy with your plan, nobody’s changing it.
If you like your plan, you can keep it. You will keep it. Nobody’s
There are no exceptions here, no qualifications or caveats. It’s
a promise, as Obama has said, period.
No matter what.
This is what Obama actually said. But now he’s saying it’s not.
He’s covering for his old lie with a new one—an insistence that he
never misled in the first place. And he’s hoping that everyone just
goes along. The most ardent fanboys might buy it. But most people,
I suspect, will see it for the artless and desperate revisionism
that it is.
from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/05/president-obama-covers-up-an-old-lie-wit