The word "lie" gets thrown around a lot in politics, most often when someone disagrees with someone else.
But this weekend the Obama White House provided us with a textbook definition of a lie: Saying something that you absolutely know is not true.
The prevaricator in this case is Obama's Chief of Staff, Jack Lew, who first told the lie on CNN, the repeated it on NBC.
The story begins with the failure of the Democrat majority in the Senate to pass a federal budget the past three years, even though they are required by law to do so. The country's finances are in such bad shape that any budget the Senate passes will contain huge deficits or unpopular cuts. So Harry Reid - with the acquiesence of Minnesota's two dimwit, lightweight senators, Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar - has simply refused to have the Senate pass a budget. Again, that's a violation of the law, but Reid's been getting away with it.
This weekend on CNN, Lew was asked to defend the Democrats' failure to pass a budget, and he said this:
“You can’t pass a budget in the Senate of the United States without 60 votes and you can’t get 60 votes without bipartisan support,” Lew said. “So unless… unless Republicans are willing to work with Democrats in the Senate, [Majority Leader] Harry Reid is not going to be able to get a budget passed.”
This is a flat-out, bald-faced lie, and Lew knows it. Under Senate rules, the Budget Resolution cannot be filibustered, and it requires only a simple majority to pass. Not even 51 votes, just a simple majority of Senators present. Budget resolutions in the past decade have been passed with as few as 48 votes.
So, you say, maybe Lew just got confused, and doesn't really understand the budget process. That's not really possible since Lew, before becoming White House Chief of Staff, was the budget director in both the Obama and Clinton administrations. It's inconceivable that he didn't know he was lying.
As you can read here, the White House tried to spin Lew's comment by saying "the chief of staff was clearly referencing the general gridlock in Congress." Except that he clearly WASN'T referencing anything but the budget, because he started the sentence with "You can't pass a budget in the Senate of the United States without 60 votes...."
It was all too much for even the Washington Post, which is usually happy to simply parrot the Obama administration's line. In a column you can read here, the Post's "fact checker" gives Lew the "Four Pinocchio" rating for his lie.
I realize lying in Washington isn't exactly big news, but coming from the Administration that also said, "If you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan," it's just more proof that they'll say whatever it takes - and whatever the media lets them get away with - to win this election.