Thursday, August 13, 2009

New GOP Civil War: Those Who Believe The Death Panel Gibbersh And Those Who Don't-- Michael Steele Says He Does


I spent much of Tuesday palling around with teabaggers at Adam Schiff's health care forum in Alhambra. Before I headed out there I looked into conservative Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson's reaction to Sarah Palin's myth-making episode about death squads or death panels in the health care bill. Just hours before Rush Limbaugh told him he'd better retract his statements-- or else-- this is what he told the Washington Post's Ezra Klein:
I have no idea. I understand-- and you have to check this out-- I just had a phone call where someone said Sarah Palin's web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end of life directive or a living will as that is nuts. You're putting the authority in the individual rather than the government. I don't know how that got so mixed up.

Like Isakson, Insurance Industry shill Chuck Grassley (R-IA- $931,874) is up for re-election in 2010 and very scared that he could be primaried by a teabagger or birther. So he's moved further to the right than he's ever been in a very long-- many would say overly long-- career. Today he endorsed Sarah Palin's death panel calumny. "Appearing at a town hall in his home state of Iowa, Sen. Chuck Grassley told a crowd of more than 300 that they were correct to fear that the government would 'pull the plug on grandma.'" Oddly, by his twisted logic, it looks like Grassley's own grandson, a member of the state legislature, is eager to pull the plug on Grassley (as are more and more Iowa voters)!

Looks like the next GOP senator who will be hearing from Limbaugh will be Lisa Murkowski, a Republican who told an Anchorage crowd that Palin's bullshit is offensive. "It does us no good to incite fear in people by saying that there's these end-of-life provisions, these death panels," Murkowski, a Republican, said. "Quite honestly, I'm so offended at that terminology because it absolutely isn't (in the bill). There is no reason to gin up fear in the American public by saying things that are not included in the bill." GOP Florida Neanderthal John Mica, on the other hand, may not have read the bill be he sure spends a lot of time listening to Hate Talk Radio and he's on the death counselor team.

It's an outrageous lie and it's been debunked over and over by responsible political leaders and analysts. But, man, does it work with the two-digit IQ base that gets its world view from Hate Talk Radio and Fox! Every other imbecile I spoke with at the Alhambra tea party brought it up and most of them were waving around copies of "the bill" that plainly said grandma and grandpa would be killed by ACORN and the SEIU if ObamaCare passes. That's why they keep yelling "Read the bill." How could these stupid congressmen not see that-- in plain black and white. They showed it to me and there it was! I saw it over and over. "Grandma and grandpa will be killed by a panel of ACORN and SEIU experts if ObamaCare passes." It's right in the bill they all carry around with them! Proof and who cares if someone like Howard Dean, who even CNN says should be killed, says Palin's claims are preposterous. He didn't read the bill. And what does he know about medicine anyway?
She made up the term "death panel" and claimed that part of the health care reform bill now working it's way through Congress required that families with children with disabilities, or elderly people who are infirm, could be judged by one of these death panels, which could control their fate and decide if they would die. GOP leadership repeated this outrageous claim across the airwaves on the Sunday morning talk shows. The mainstream media gave this claim credibility simply by repeating it.

My wife and I have practiced medicine for over forty years combined. There is no truth now, nor has there ever been any truth to the idea that the government encourages euthanasia or infanticide.

Our country is in trouble. Claims like these are routinely refuted by people who know better, but they are recirculated because they are sensational, and the MSM purports to take a balanced position without a thoughtful assessment of the facts. Fox News actually has people on in support of these outrageously false claims.

In fact, these kinds of claims are lies. There is no nice way to say it. This kind of stuff is far beyond the usual politicians' tricks of shading words and imputing meanings that aren't there. To quote a famous American who began the process of ending the McCarthy era in the fifties I address the MSM: "At long last, Have you no sense of decency?"

Are you kidding? Sense of decency? The blood sucking scumbags at CNBC directly incited teabaggers to start a riot today for them to film. Sense of decency? How about a vague sense of staying within the ethical and legal limits?

As for Michael Steele... is job is to smear President Obama and get his approval ratings down and cripple his ability to get anything done for America. I want to personally thank Democrats like Ben Nelson (D-NE), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Ann Kirkpatrick (Blue Dog-AZ), Walt Minnick (Blue Dog-ID) and Travis Childers (Blue Dog-MS) for helping Steele do his job and accomplish his goals.

And for all the nuts and teabaggers who would follow Sarah Palin over the cliff of rationality, most Americans have completely soured on her. The freaks who idolize her make a lot of noise, and the media is enchanted by their circus acts and twenty vehicle pile-ups, but a new CNN poll shows that only 39% of Americans have a favorable opinion of her. She's lost 7 point since May.
A 39 percent favorable rating makes it that much tougher for Palin to become president should she decide to run in 2012. Her favorable rating is almost identical to the numbers that former vice president Dan Quayle got just after leaving office in 1993... Quayle formally declared himself a presidential candidate in 1994 but withdrew from the race in 1995.

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At 8:49 AM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

"Looks like the next GOP senator who will be hearing from Limbaugh will be Lisa Murkowski, a Republican who told an Anchorage crowd that Palin's bullshit is offensive."


I doubt Limbaugh will try this--though of course I could be wrong. It's just that he's shrewd, and I imagine knows attacking Palin sells up in Alaska whether you're a Democrat or Republican. Limbaugh's advice would be ignored, and I suspect it's the one thing he couldn't take.

That noted, we really do need the return of the Fairness Doctrine. The current climate of hate and fear that these talk show hosts use to boost ratings owes its existence directly the removal of the FD in the Reagan years. It's killing discourse, it's killed doctors that provide abortion services, and soon it could end up killing politicians. I wonder if that will make the self-centered idiots sit up and take notice?

At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, Balakirev. Where in the hell do these people get the idea that they have a right to spew all these lies.

But is the Fairness Doctrine good enough?

At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

The Fairness Doctrine would ensure that for every wingnut case, the station would have to give equal time to someone representing an opposing point of view. Simply that. Can you imagine the effect this would have on Faux News? On all those radio stations that air daily syndicated or locally originated hate call-in programs for rightwing loons?

And think of all the horror the far right was generated during Obama's first days, when it was thought he'd reinstitute the FD. You don't get that kind of fear unless they perceive that it really could hurt.

I wrote about it on other blogs, and was basically told to shut up, the fight was already won, the progressives had control of the airwaves, love was in the air, everything was fine because Democrats were in power. Sorry: it doesn't work that way. And now the usual spineless Democrats are wringing their hands and wondering how they can counter this really unprecedented wave of hate talk media.

Gee, I wonder what they can do, too.

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

Amen to the Fairness Doctrine--hate radio and TV screams the loudest because they would be out of business--if their business is spreading lies. If not they have nothing to fear---2nd amendment counters are BS when it comes to what we're seeing today--elected Congressmen/women, Senators are out there spreading these lies to placate the wingnuts---isn't that messed up? Playing up to the ignorant and making sure they ignorant


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