Friday, August 14, 2009

To Kill The Republic

Paying for end of life counseling, advance directives, will be removed from the not-yet-extant health care bill, so it seems.

It's not the fact that advance directives are actually protection against the evils that Sarah Palin imagines in her tiny little mind, nor that paying for them was included in a Republican bill a few years ago, for which the loudest screamers nowadays voted back then. The worst thing about it is NOT that people with money will have an easier time having their wishes carried out than poorer people. It's NOT that Sarah Palin evidently has a doctor she doesn't trust. It's not even that, once again, easily, people with hidden agendas have managed to shepherd the sheep into bleating against that which they need most.

What's really, really, really sad is that the right wing and its screamers -- the very people who like to refer to Obama as a Nazi in order to hide their own tactics -- have adopted the use of the Big Lie, which is in fact a Nazi tactic. Having discovered during the first health care debate, if not before, that bald-faced lies actually work, the Republican party has now adopted it as their most fundamental modus operandi. They no longer even attempt to disguise it. Lying works.

So what does it mean for our republic? I'd say it's pretty clear. On the most critical -- and therefore complex -- issues that face us, that impact our very survival, lies will carry the day. No longer will rational discussion, based on respect for opposing views and aimed and coming to reasonable solutions be the order of the day. The most venal, the most self-interested, the least ethical or honest will rule the day. Lying works, so that's what they do.

It makes me sad beyond expression. It makes clear the end is coming, brought to you by the frightened, the gullible, the thoughtless. And the liars.

Lying works.

[In an attempt to forestall predictable responses, let me say I've never claimed the Democrats are above reproach. But I honestly can't think of examples of out-and-out lying about such a serious matter, programmed and repeated over and over, orchestrated and reinforced by all the leadership and members or Congress, done by the Democratic Party. I'm open to being shown examples. No, the fact is that since Ronald Reagan, Republicans have managed steadily to dumb down debate and most literally to have dumbed down our people, presumably knowing that eventually they'd be able to get whatever they want (or, more properly, to prevent whatever Democrats want) simply by lying big. The bigger, the more effective. And so it is. It's no longer possible to imagine real change for the better. Because lying works, Republicans know it, and only they are willing to use it as over-arching strategy. It takes a level of cynicism that I simply can't get my mind around; a level not given to liberals. Not, at least, in numbers enough to make it grand policy.]


  1. Truth or lie? I'm asking these questions because I really don't know the answer and I want to hear the "truth" from someone who should know.

    I was stuck in the car yesterday for 8 hours coming home from a business trip and on the dial I ran across Hannity. A caller said something to the effect of... You've been talking about how in Canada people are waiting six or eight weeks for colon cancer treatment and how bad that is, but what you're not saying is that here in the U.S., the wait for colon cancer treatment for someone who is uninsured is infinite. You don't get radiation or chemo in the ER... At this point Hannity hung up on him and responded that there is a 1968 law that says people cannot be denied life saving care because of their inability to pay for it.

    So here is the question. Is Hannity telling the truth? I always knew that if you showed up in the ER with your leg blown off they would treat you regardless of insurance, but I thought that treatment was only to the point you were "stable". In the cancer example used above, I didn't know that extended out past an "emergency". Please let us know because as a surgeon, I'm guessing you're pretty authoritative on the subject.

    I had another question/example, but this has gotten long enough

  2. Mike, I'm sorry to say I can't give you chapter and verse on the law. It's true that anyone who shows up with emergency needs will get treated. As far as I know, it's not true that elective care is similarly looked upon by the law.

    One reason I don't know for sure is that I worked at a large clinic where other people took care of billing, etc. I saw all comers, although it happened once in a while that I'd get notified that someone was scheduled to see me who had an unpaid bill elsewhere in the clinic and I was advised not to see them. I always did, anyway. But from that I infer that there's no law that said I must.

    Likewise, there's the issue that many people who don't have insurance wait until they're beyond cure to see a doctor, afraid of the expense. So whether they get care when they finally show up, it's often a much more expensive -- not to mention hopeless -- situation.

    And, of course, there's the fact that Hannity is completely full of shit essentially all the time. He neither knows what he's talking about no matter what the issue, nor cares to find out what's actually true.

  3. Well, let's be fair. Our side (Tom Daschle, I think?) did say that Bush would have senior citizens eating dog food because of Medicare cuts. But I take your point.


    Sam Spade

  4. I missed that one. Still, we're talking about a general policy, whereby everyone lies, from the chairman of the party, to its congressional reps, the lobbyists, its official media organ and organelles; all repeating the same lies, none standing up to call them out. I do think it's unprecedented in its breadth and depth and unanimity.

  5. Sid, I must have slept like Rip Van Winkle, when did the Republicans take control of Congress????
    Gitmo's still open, Gay Soldiers have to stay in the closet if they want to get killed in Iraq/Afghanistan (229 since Jan 20, more than last year BTW)and where's my middle class tax cut??? If it wasn't for illegal aliens smuggling cigars from Mexico I'd really be hurtin....
    Man you REALLY REALLY hate Sara Palin, there's gotta be a back story there...


    P.S. you're the subject of my own Blog entry today... might wanta check it out...

  6. Non sequitur, as usual, Frank. Not the part about your blog; ignoring the point, once again. If my calculations are correct, this is the 792nd time.

  7. It does appear that 3 simple words, "Obama's death panel" will bring the health care reform to a halt. Mission Accomplished, again. There's a chance I will be unemployed in the near future and I'm looking ahead to $650/month COBRA payments. My car insurance is $900 per year, my home insurance is $735 per year. My health insurance, if I can keep it, will be $7,800 per year. But at least I won't be standing in front a death panel...

  8. Sid,

    Sorry for the bother but there's a comment here purporting to be from me. It isn't. Probably you can verify this now and in the future by noting that the submitter did not use Netscape on Linux and was not from an IP address with the IP geolocation of "Vashon Island" (oddly, I actually live on the east side).

    Ideally you will delete the offending comment.


  9. Hmmm. Interesting. Although I can see such data as you suggest, it's hard to correlate with a specific comment. I don't get that data from blogger, but from my statcounter, and the visit time and the comment time don't match up.

    I've tried in the past to figure out which comment comes from which ISP and most often I can't. Maybe it's me and my limited computer skills; but I think mostly its blogger and its limited service.

    I could speculate as to who might have done such a thing; if I were right it would be ironic, in that to date he'd not shown the ability to make a contrary comment of the sort that could make a point in a useful way. Had he managed, he might still be around.

  10. "But at least I won't be standing in front a death panel..."

    Alas, spynster56, you will indeed be standing, metaphorically at least, in front of a death panel: those dear bean-counters at the insurance company who can easily deny authorization for treatment at their whim. And then turn around and cancel your policy at the next re-up cycle.

    That's oh-so-much more American, don't you know, than that socialistic universal coverage those leftist Democrats wanted to foist off on us.

  11. Just wanted to say this blog is refreshing. Great read. Thank you.

  12. Thanks, RFE. Pissing in the wind, but it's an outlet.


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