And my attack on the 9/11 truthers relates to today's AOTW in one specific way: It's a situation where facts disagree with the "truth," and can't be resolved because everybody is playing that Washingtonian game, Parse the Word (and the man for whom the city and description is named would probably take issue with the characterization).
The problem with truth is that it relies on opinions and conclusions, and often without all of or with incorrect or misrepresented facts. It's easy to do, and sometimes necessary. Religion, in all its varied, naked glory rests on truths, mainly because you can't have facts to back everything up ("it's in the Bible" doesn't make it a verifiable fact).
But too many people take things which are ideas, working theories, or dreadfully legalese documents and start confusing the two. I have someone who continues to argue that global warming is a fact. Bullshit. I'm willing to continue looking at and considering the possibility, but the facts that back the theories are mixed and don't absolutely back the theories (and I suspect they won't in the end).
Which is where the are of parsing the word comes in. A simple example from Obama's speech last week (which also happens to be related to the AOTW) was a statement that his health care bill (which doesn't exist in fact) would note "force" anyone to change their health care plan. That's true. However, here's how Parse the Word works (and the reason we fight the government option relentlessly):
If the government option is instituted, as well as "standards" that other insurance companies must live up to, then insurance companies must run on little to no margin to compete with the government. As they adjust things closer to the bottom line, insurance companies start getting out of the business (because companies don't play to lose). As well, with employers being mandated to either provide coverage or be taxed, they look at which one is cheaper. So once the government option becomes cheaper, bye bye private insurance. So while the government doesn't "force" people to change insurance, they create the conditions where the market does the forcing (because the government forces the market).
And it's in that nebulous mix of facts, truth, and legalspeak that I have to do a sad duty:
First let's deal with the facts. President Obama was saying that (the nonexistent on paper) Obamascare would not insure illegal immigrants when the representative from South Carolina (already in the political news because of their horny and deluded governor) shouts out "you lie." And of course, technically, he's wrong (because there is no bill that will pay for insuring illegals). Furthermore, unlike the chewing the British prime minister takes across the pond, it's bad form to do this (unfortunately) in a joint session.
So political lynching began, with Democrats screaming for resignations and apologies, Republicans joining in to kick the ready target, and John McCain (go away, you asshat loser!) finding any mic possible to prove he hates his party. Of course, Wilson called the White house and apologized to the President for the inappropriateness of the outburst (but not the content).
Of course, Democrats still want an apology before them (to which Joe said no), Wilson's constituents are standing behind him, and John McCain still sucks (me, bitter? No, couldn't be).
It all comes down to the nuance of the situation. Obama speaks quite well in this setting (the reason he got elected) and doesn't utter blatant lies (he's no Bill Clinton). Rather, he (and most politicians at his level) rely on the vaguerities of our language to give them wiggle room to convert "truth" into whatever they decide it will be.
So for giving your political enemies a bone to chew on (no Barney Frank jokes, please), you're an asshat Joe. And a rank amateur of a politician from the looks of it (as in no Wilson in '12 (that was Woodrow, last century). Now had you desired to be more accurate, a better phrase to shout out shock everyone and still avoid being incorrect would have been appropriate, because it's open to interpretation and nuance: