November 8, 2009 — Ron Chusid
Sarah Palin has found new fantasies to talk about and excite the right wing. Politco covered a Palin rally where she discussed both health care along with expressing some paranoid thoughts regarding coins. She didn’t specifically mention death panels but raised the same type of fears:
Speaking to a fund-raising banquet of Wisconsin Right to Life, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee asserted that if policy-makers don’t believe a child in the womb is valuable, then “perhaps the same mind-set applies to other persons.”
“What may they feel about an elderly person who doesn’t have a whole lot of productive years left,” Palin asked an audience of about 5,000 who paid $30 each to hear her speak in an airplane hangar-like exhibition hall at the Wisconsin state fairgrounds just outside of Milwaukee. “In order to save government money, government health care has to be rationed… [so] than this elderly person that perhaps could be seen as costing taxpayers to pay for a non-productive life? Do you think our elderly will be first in line for limited health care?
“And what about the child who perhaps isn’t deemed normal or perfect per someone’s subjective measure of their use or questionable purpose in the eyes of a panel of bureaucrats making our health care decisions for us,” she continued.
We may or may not wind up with some sort of rationing in the future, but there is nothing in the health care reform legislation which brings us any closer. The bill does not give the government any power to make medical decisions or intrude on the doctor-patient relationship, despite the repeated Republican claims that this is a “government take over of health care.” On Thursday the American Medical Association addressed this in a fax to physicians explaining their support of the legislation:
Preserving the power of patients and their physicians to make health care decisions–rather than insurance companies or government officials–is of paramount importance to all physicians and to the AMA. While H.R. 3962 includes a number of new government oversight bodies, the AMA has not identified any new authority that would overpower the relationship between patients and their physicians. Furthermore, expanded coverage and choice should help empower patient and physician decision making.
Palin also had a new argument based upon fallacious information:
In addition to the suggestion that government officials would consider hastening the death of the infirm or handicapped, she began her remarks with a puzzling commentary on the design of newly minted dollar coins.
Noting that there had been a lot of “change” of late, Palin recalled a recent conversation with a friend about how the phrase “In God We Trust” had been moved to the edge of the new coins.
“Who calls a shot like that?” she demanded. “Who makes a decision like that?”
She added: “It’s a disturbing trend.”
Unsaid but implied was that the new Democratic White House was behind such a move to secularize the nation’s currency.
But the new coins – concerns over which apparently stemmed from an email chain letter widely circulated among conservatives – were commissioned by the Republican-led Congress in 2005 and approved by President Bush.
Where have we heard this type of logic before? Andrew Sullivan identifies it as the logic of Glenn Beck:
The whole technique of mentioning strange events or codes or numbers and implying that there is some sinister force behind them is classic Beck. And since the anti-Christ is now in the White House, we are all left to wonder what is next. Of course: it’s euthanasia of the elderly and state-mandated abortion of disabled or special need kids. Next up: the ritual killing of white new-borns or some such.
I can’t wait for the “book”.
Jon Stewart recently provided an excellent parody of Beck using this type of logic.
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