Monday, August 10, 2009

Gingrich backs Palin on "death panel" lie

By Michael J.W. Stickings

As Steve Benen notes, some on the right, like David Brooks (who is known to have a sane moment every now and then), have been critical of Sarah Palin's claim that Obama's proposed health-care system -- "Obamacare," as it has been misleadingly dubbed -- would subject Americans (and specifically the elderly and the disabled) to "death panels," panels of bureaucrats that would supposedly make life-or-death decisions like Roman emperors at some gladiatorial extravaganza.

The facts are the facts, the truth is the truth, and Palin was just lying, spinning fear, like many others on the right. Brooks himself called the claim "crazy." "Maybe, just maybe," Benen writes, "[Palin's] 'death panel' message on Facebook -- complete with lies, poor writing, policy confusion, and family exploitation -- will be enough to convince the skeptical that Palin really is that far gone?" Personally, I doubt it. And I doubt it because Palin isn't alone. There are many who think like her and lie like her, and many more still who credulously accept whatever she and her ilk offer as the truth and nothing but, so "far gone" are they. Besides, Palin's already done more than enough to convince us that she's "that far gone." Those who remain skeptical are the bitter residue of irrationality, and they aren't about to be convinced.

And, indeed, Palin's various backers on the "death panel" lie include not just the usual suspects on Fox News and mobocratic talk radio, as well as in the right-wing blogosphere but a leading Republican and media darling: Newt Gingrich, who, yesterday on ABC's This Week, actually supported Palin's claim. It's hardly news that he's as "far gone" as Palin, and he's long been a leading GOP spinner and propagandist, a partisan who says whatever needs to be said in support of narrow Republican interests regardless of the truth, but it's good to have him confirm like this his place in the Palin wing of the right-wing insanitarium.

It's funny, though. He's a media darling not just because of his past electoral success but because he's convinced enough people, media people, that he's a smart guy, an intellectual conservative, in other words, a rarity that sets him apart. And he often talks a good talk -- consider that he's been a frequent guest on Jon Stewart. And yet his record is quite different than the manufactured image. It's a record of rhetorical insanity suggesting not just a deep reservoir of partisanship -- party before country, party before truth -- but core convictions that are just as insane. This latest foray into the wilderness of delusion and deception only proves the point.

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  • First appointment to Death Panel.


    By Anonymous Mike Licht, at 10:51 AM  

  • I actually enjoy Jon Stewart, but I don't go there to get my news. To those who do, I suggest you have unresolved issues with reality. Why not actually do the honest thinker thing and seek out other sources who have a different point of view to see if, just by chance, they have a legitimate point to make too?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:46 PM  

  • What is it with you leftists that spurs you on to make such outrageous comments? Are you mentally ill? Palin isn't my choice as a politician but she has hit a real sensitive spot on this version of the bill most likely to pass the House. She has a legitimate complaint. Yet you just continue to use her as a target for your goofy remarks. Just wait and watch. If anyone chooses to reply to what I say they will likely assault Palin and ignore what she said. Why not do something different this time? Actually READ the damned bill to see if she knows what she is saying and then comment on what she said?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:47 PM  

  • I have read the bill and guess what - Palin is either delusional, illiterate, a pathological liar, or all three.

    Allowing Medicare to pay you doctor if you consult him about a DNR order or a living will is not setting up a Death Panel.

    Now what the hell is "leftist" about being able to read? What is "leftist" about being intolerant of lies designed to undermine Democracy? I doubt you could give anyone a useful and honest definition of the word.

    Perhaps if you had more than a ten word vocabulary, you might be able to make sense, but it remains that there are no Death Panels or anything resembling them in any form.

    There is nothing open minded about spreading lies and there is nothing good about tolerating people like you who hope that we will not read and just take your lying word for something.

    The ball has been in your court all the time and you may either come up with evidence for your ridiculous charges or go away and shut up.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 8:26 AM  

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