In a reply to a comment from Chuck Butcher, who pointed out follow-up reports documenting that there was absolutely no basis in--for want of a better term--fact for Cantor's claim, I added this:
[T]he point is, this is apt to become a Zombie Lie that will continue to walk the earth even though it's been disproved multiple times, simply because its importance to the required narrative ["see? both sides are guilty!"] trumps the niggling fact that it isn't true.
Billmon, in a welcome return at DailyKos, has a really strong diary entry about the inner rhetorical workings of this strategy in Republican hands. Here's a taste:
The basic objective of all this, as I wrote way back when, is very simple:The goal is to confront the public with two sides hurling identical charges at each other -- the better to convince them that it's just another partisan mudfight and who the hell knows . . . anyway.
Go read the whole thing. Don't get caught up about the title--he's kidding. But his point is dead serious. And dead right.
Proof? Billmon notes this headline from today's NYTimes:
Accusations Fly Between Parties Over Threats and Vandalism
Why bother distinguishing the facts of the matter when storylines like this are so much simpler?
Billmon's diary is going on the much-neglected Reading list in the sidebar.