Friday, August 21, 2009

About that "Death Panel" lie....

There are no death panels in H.R. 3200. Obama's pulled out the big guns, religion, and proclaimed that his opponents are "bearing false witness." Sounds kind of God-bothery to me, doesn't it? I thought our government wasn't supposed to impose morality on the people, because George Bush, bla bla bla. I guess it's ok when Obama does it. Although VD nailed it quite right:

This contrived use of religiosity (e.g., “There are some folks out there who are frankly bearing false witness.”) has a Reverend Wright flavor of mixing politics and religion in cynical fashion to bolster Obama's fides as an authentic moral figure. And isn't the use of religion as a political tool precisely what Obama and others have objected to in the Christian Right?;
I think we are seeing a sort of presidential meltdown. As Obama's polls free-fall, and threaten wider political damage, it causes him a certain novel exasperation that for the first time in his life soaring hope-and-change rhetoric for some strange reason no longer substitutes for a detailed, logical, and honest agenda.

Yes, but moving on. Death panels.

Charles Krauthammer says, basically, let's stop calling them death panels, cause that's not what they are. The end of life counseling isn't benign, though. Living wills are basically little more than insurance against your greedy relatives pulling the plug early, because in reality the decision, should you become incapacitated, is STILL up to your family. No, the end-of-live counseling in Obamacare serves another purpose.

[I]t is subtle pressure applied by society through your doctor. And when you include it in a health-care reform whose major objective is to bend the cost curve downward, you have to be a fool or a knave to deny that it’s intended to gently point you in a certain direction, toward the corner of the sick room where stands a ghostly figure, scythe in hand, offering release.

Krauthammer is, as always, reasoned, rational, and fair.

But, we aren't dealing with a reasoned, rational, or fair opponent. So, I'll stick with Andrew McCarthy's take on the issue.

The editorial’s contention was that there wouldn’t “literally” be death panels. To me, that’s not much different from quibbling over “what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” The stakes here couldn’t be higher, time is short, and “death panel” cuts to the chase.

What, after all, is “end of life” counseling in a bill that, we here all agree, rations care (i.e., redirects it away from those who consume most of it now: the elderly and the infirm) and raises fast-track-to-euthanasia worries? In the Wall Street Journal, former Bush White House official Jim Towey alerts us that, at the Veterans Administration, Obama has reinstated a 52-page “end of life planning document” authored by a medical ethicist who has advocated doctor-assisted suicide in a Supreme Court brief. This Orwellian “Your Life, Your Choices” questionnaire, in the familiar “push poll” manner, methodically steers the patient toward the notion that he is a malingering near-vegetable causing a “severe emotional burden” for his family. I don’t know what the correct, non-hysterical term for such a process is, but “Grim Government Reaper” strikes me as more accurate than “Your Life, Your Choices.”
Obama, of course, wanted health-care “reform” done — all 1,000-plus pages of it — before the summer recess. In essence, Democrats want to repeal individual liberty; move one-sixth of the private sector into the same government-controlled model that has produced bankruptcy in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; add additional trillions to the already exploded national debt; and they want to do it all right now — no discovery, no settlement negotiations, no five-week trial, no delays.

Given this Democratic whirlwind, I don’t see why we owe them better than “death panels.” They are what we’re sure to get if Obamacare isn’t killed first.

Exactly. There isn't time for reasoned and rational. Reasoned and rational debate takes years, not months. Reasoned and rational debate occurs in actual townhalls, not ones populated by Obama shills and fake doctors.

Update: I'd like to work the word "wee-weed" into this post. Any suggestions?