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Jimmy Kimmel: 'Killer Bill' Cassidy Is Lying For Your Own Good

Oh, the myth of a "noble falsehood."
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Last night, Jimmy Kimmel said that Senator Bill Cassidy lied to him:

Late night host Jimmy Kimmel ripped into Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), one of the coauthors of the GOP’s latest effort to repeal and replace Obamacare, on his show Tuesday night. “This guy, Bill Cassidy, lied right to my face,” Kimmel said, encouraging his viewers to call members of Congress.

During the earlier health care debate, Cassidy received a fair bit of attention for coining what he called the Jimmy Kimmel Test, urging fellow lawmakers to protect people with preexisting conditions. Kimmel had called on Congress to do this after his son was born with congenital heart disease.

Since the summer, though, Cassidy has completely changed his mind, and is now sponsoring the GOP’s last effort to repeal Obamacare before a September 30 deadline. The bill Cassidy introduced earlier this month clearly fails his own test. It cuts billions in federal health spending and allows states to wipe out the vast majority of Obamacare’s rules protecting people with preexisting conditions....

Today Cassidy revised and extended his fact-challenged remarks:

Hours after a brutal takedown at the hands of late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) went on television Wednesday to respond.

But with literally his first sentence, Cassidy did the very thing that had drawn Kimmel’s ire: The senator made wildly misleading claims....

“There will be more people covered under the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson amendment than are under status quo and we protect those with pre-existing conditions,” Cassidy said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

That statement, similar to one Cassidy also made on CNN, is virtually impossible to defend.

Cassidy made a lot of statements today that can't be defended:

But is it fair to accuse Cassidy of dishonesty? Of lying?

He's a member of a party in which there are many adherent of the philosophy of Leo Strauss. As Andrew Sullivan wrote a few years ago, Straussians don't believe you and I deserve the truth:


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Strauss argued that many critical texts in Western civilization were written with an esoteric teaching for the intelligent few, while presenting a less radical and palatable public doctrine for the masses. Hence the Straussian penchant for a noble lie – one that is good for the people to believe but which the elite knows is bullshit.

If you're a Republican, the need to cut people from the health care rolls is a necessity understood by "the intelligent few," while Cassidy's happy talk is "a less radical and palatable public doctrine for the masses." It's not dishonest! It's what's wise leaders must do in the interest of social cohesion!

So cut Bill Cassidy a break -- he's doing this for your own good.

Originally published at No More Mr. Nice Blog

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