From Joan Walsh at Salon:
I’ve been writing about “town hells” and anti-health care reform hysterics, as well as the crazy Birthers, for a few weeks. Every few days, I think: Maybe we’re giving these fringe folks the oxygen they need; maybe we should ignore them. But it all got even loonier today, and it can’t be ignored.
Alex Koppelman wrote about it immediately: Sarah Palin (or her handlers) posted a message on Facebook decrying the “death panels” she says – wrongly, bizarrely, viciously — Obama’s health care reform will establish. She also claimed such panels might well have ended the life of her son Trig, born with Down’s Syndrome.
Where to start? It would be funny if it weren’t so sad, and if Palin wasn’t a contender for the Republican nomination in 2012 (trust me, she is too unhinged to prevail, but she’ll get a lot of attention.) Palin’s entire statement is so ignorant, so bollixed rhetorically and morally, it hurts to read it. The next time any Republican apologist tries to claim the “town hell” turnouts are spontaneous, let’s remind them: OK, sure, it’s spontaneous alright; spontaneous combustion super-ignited by the most stupid and divisive lies we’ve seen in a long time.
I’m especially disappointed in the media. Sure, I sit and watch the stalwarts of the MSNBC lineup rant about it all, but I see too little sober, straightforward mainstream media reporting about how completely inaccurate, ideological and dangerous the GOP assault on health care reform is. The Washington Post’s Steven Pearlstein’s excellent and fair assessment of Republican lies about Obama’s plan was a crucial exception.
Here’s some of what Pearlstein said:
“The recent attacks by Republican leaders and their ideological fellow-travelers on the effort to reform the health-care system have been so misleading, so disingenuous, that they could only spring from a cynical effort to gain partisan political advantage. By poisoning the political well, they’ve given up any pretense of being the loyal opposition. They’ve become political terrorists, willing to say or do anything to prevent the country from reaching a consensus on one of its most serious domestic problems…
Let me go beyond Steven Pearlstein and say: Most of the health care screamers are sadly uninformed. and some are hugely driven by lies and racism. Maybe more disturbing, the fact that the last GOP nominee for vice president falsely claims that Obama is going to create “death panels” shows the Republican Party has has arrived at a point of abject shame. John McCain’s multi-faceted service to his country was obliterated by his choice of Palin last August, which almost catapulted her to vice president but certainly propelled her into national GOP leadership. McCain’s decline is sad, but it needs to be called out constantly.
From Political Punch at abcNEWS:
When we last heard from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin she was — not without some justification — beseeching some members of the media to “quit making things up.”
But in a post on her Facebook Page today, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee seemed to take some liberties of her own.
She questions Democratic promises that the health care reform plans will reduce the cost of health care, invoking economist Thomas Sowell, saying the only way to cut costs is to refuse treatment.
“And who will suffer the most when they ration care?” Palin asks. “The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”
One can question whether there will by necessity be any rationing decisions that will need to come as a part of health care reform […] but pictures of government bureaucrats forcing euthanasia upon seniors — and, now, children with Down syndrome — because they’re not productive members of society are not part of any reasonable debate on the facts of the matter.
Asked specifically what the former governor was referring to when painting a picture of an Obama “death panel” giving her parents or son Trig a thumbs up or down based on their productivity, Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton responded in an email: “From HR3200 p. 425 see ‘Advance Care Planning Consultation’.”
That’s a curious reading of page 425 of the House Democrats’ bill, which refers to “advance care planning consultation,” defined as a senior and a medical practitioner discussing “advance care planning, if…the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years.”
Palin refers in her statement to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who in a speech on the floor of the House, Palin said, described the “Orwellian thinking of the president’s health care advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of the White House chief of staff. … I commend her for being a voice for the most precious members of our society, our children and our seniors.”
Bachmann’s speech was based on an op-ed article in the New York Post, titled “Deadly Doctors,” by the former lieutenant governor of New York, Betsy McCaughey, that took a number of leaps of fact when discussing the academic writings of Ezekiel J. Emanuel, health-policy adviser at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget and a member of Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research.
We vetted the factuality of McCaughey’s op-ed HERE.
Palin-Bachmann-McCaughey, a triumvirate of stupid bathed in estrogen.