As more and more News agencies and political figures point to Politifact as a method of discrediting their detractors, it’s worth taking a moment to examine what it is that Politifact claims as true or false. Is Politifact, after all, a credible source to turn to when checking on the truth of a claim?
Take Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) recent claim that Robert O’Rourke (#Beto) once called for the legalization of narcotics.
Mr. Cruz linked to a DailyCaller article that speaks on the subject he’s referring to. Here is a clip in which O’Rourke makes his suggestions.
“And I’d ask that there be some language in here that would also include advocating or looking at, rethinking our War on Drugs, which by any measure I’ve looked it has been an abject failure. And also, looking at ending the prohibition on narcotics in the United States. And I’m not saying that we need to do that – to end the prohibition,” O’Rourke stated. “I think we need to have a serious discussion about doing that, and that may, in the end, be the right course of action.”
Per the DailyCaller:
O’Rourke, as a member of the El Paso, Texas, city council in 2009, put forth and passed a resolution urging the federal government to support “an honest, open national debate on ending the prohibition of narcotics.”
From the text of that resolution:
“Ultimately, supporting legislation that examines the nation’s policies on drugs with a focus on rehabilitation rather than incarceration;
Supporting an honest, open national debate on ending the prohibition on narcotics.”
The entire resolution can be seen here.
Cruz said O’Rourke had a resolution to legalize all narcotics.
In 2009, an El Paso City Council resolution directed at the federal government included language from O’Rourke urging open debate about ending the national prohibition of narcotics. The resolution, adopted but later vetoed, did not call for legalizing all narcotics nor did we spot evidence that O’Rourke has taken that sweeping stand.
We rate Cruz’s claim False.
While O’Rourke has at time backpedaled on his calls for an all-out end to the prohibition to narcotics, the fact that he called for it with quite a bit of determination says one thing, he changes his outward politics to suit the base he wishes to target.
And while Politifact has the word “fact” in their name, they do not (at least in this case) represent actual facts with any degree of absolute certainty. This is why I always recommend getting more sources, looking at actual court, legislative, or resolution documents whenever you want to be truly informed on any subject.
My website, as with any other website, cannot be taken as the end-all word on authority over fact. People make mistakes, are guided by political ideologies, and are biased based on their own beliefs and ideals.