Sunday, August 9, 2009

Nuttier Than A Fruit Cake

You have to pay attention if you really want to know what's going on in the world of politics.

First, we had the Tea Party folks, then came the Birthers, followed by the Deathers, and now you can welcome the Town Hall Turfers. Republicans all and each one is nuttier than the other. They say "Just say No to Health Care Reform." Here's the way conservative John Batchelor lays it out in his August 9th Daily Beast Blog post "The GOP Freak Show":
The sad-eyed Townhall Turfers now follow the saucer-eyed Birthers and the cranky Tea-Baggers as the latest political fad that the weakling Republicans not only cannot get away from but also cannot get enough of, like chocolate sauce on anything.

...Republican Party chief Michael Steele used the passive aggressive rhetoric of denial to aggrandize the reports of brouhahas at town halls, “We’re not encouraging people to be angry to the point of being mean, or nasty, or brutish. There is legitimacy to the protest. How people protest—I have no control over that.”

Forget John Bohner, Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor. As always the biggest nut of all is Sarah Palin. Her Facebook page tells the story as reported in The Daily Beast:
"In her first communication since officially resigning as Alaska's governor (and just days after telling the media to quit "makin' things up"), Sarah Palin stated Friday on her Facebook page that health-care reform, or what Palin calls Obama's "death panel," may kill her infant son, Trig. "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," Palin writes. Palin's spokeswoman pointed to page 425 of the House Democrats' bill when asked what Palin was referring to, which contains a section that refers to "advance care planning consultation" for seniors, which includes voluntary discussions of living wills, power of attorney, or the decision to reject "extraordinary measures of life support." The proposal, which has nothing to do with euthanasia, has been widely circulated by conservative critics of the administration as part of a false rumor that health care reform would pressure senior citizens into killing themselves. As for Palin's description of mandatory Sparta-style murder of Down Syndrome babies, the paranoid vision doesn't match up with any component of any health care plan being discussed."

Republicans may not have a health care plan to compete with President Obama's, but some critics of the administration (such as Aunt Sarah) seem to have come up with their own imaginary version of Congress' proposals that operates in a parallel universe to our own. President Obama used his radio address on Saturday to take on some of the most egregious myths about the proposed health care reforms, including a false but widely circulated rumor cited by Sarah Palin this week that claims senior citizens would be pressured into killing themselves under Obama's reform plan. "Let me explain what reform will mean for you. And let me start by dispelling the outlandish rumors that reform will promote euthanasia, cut Medicaid or bring about a government takeover of health care," Obama said. "That's simply not true." The president said the attacks were part of a plan to derail "the best chance of reform we have ever had" by "the defenders of the status quo and political point-scorers in Washington."

Stephen Foley's August 10th post on "The Independent" Blog reports:

"Recognising that he has lost control of the debate over US healthcare reform, President Barack Obama has begun pleading with the American people not to listen to misinformation from right-wing opponents.

The White House will this week launch a website dedicated to health reform, filled with fact sheets and videos to explain the complex proposals drafted on Capitol Hill. The aim of the legislation is to extend health care coverage to the 40 million people in the US without insurance and to drive down costs but Republicans have opposed most of the plans, saying it would ration treatment."

It's interesting to watch the reports of how the money is changing hands with various members of Congress receiving large contributions from folks who want health care reform to fail miserably. These legislators don't mind standing in front of the camera and mouthing stupid rehtoric about their fears about proposals for changes in health care, but they do not fear the sizeable windfalls they are getting from insurance and drug companies. Some like Aunt Sarah will take advantage of every opportunity to keep a public profile regardless of whether or not they have enough information to address the issues. (We're still trying to find out what magazines and news papers she reads. Prorbably, it's the Sunday comics.) Well, if we don't know and don't understand the issues, we can make it up as we go along. Why not, everybody's doing it.

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