Republicans in Congress have raised the specter of a bloated, “socialized,” bureaucrat-run nightmare of a health care system as a means of undermining the White House’s effort at a systematic overhaul. And yet, as Democratic sources are now pointing out, when medical crisis hit close to home, many of these same officials turned to a government-run hospital for their own intensive care and difficult surgeries.
Take, for instance, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who warned that “a government takeover of health care” would “take away the care that people already have [and] are perfectly satisfied with.” In its place, the senator said, would be “a system in which care and treatment will be either delayed or denied.”
That was July 2009. In February 2003, McConnell actually went to one of those government-run institutions (where treatment is, apparently, “either delayed or denied”) for a procedure of his own. The Kentucky Republican traveled to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, to have an elective coronary artery bypass surgery after it had been revealed that he had arterial blockages.
Some other conservative enthusiasts of “socialized medicine” include Senator Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Senator George Voinovich, (R-Ohio), Rep. Roy Blunt, (R-Mo. (two procedures) and Senator John McCain, (R-Ariz.). McCain the “maverick” has enjoyed “socialized medicine” for most of his life. First as a military dependent, then as a pilot and now as a senator, despite being married to a multi-millionaire heiress.
More conservative health-care astroturf, The GOP’s Fake Doctor Council – How Obamacare opponents scam physicians and the public
Joe Klien is not one of my favorite journalist, but at least even he knows crazy when he sees it, It Gets Worse
I was at a Blanche Lincoln town hall meeting in Russellville, Arkansas, yesterday–and the number of people who believe that the President has larded the government with communists (!) was astonishing. One woman said there were four known communists in the government and that she’d researched it on the internet. When I asked her afterwards, she said environmental adviser Van Jones, legal advisor Cass Sunstein (who was last spotted being excoriated by the left for supporting the FISA revisions), someone named Lloyd and she didn’t remember the fourth. And wasn’t it suspicious that Obama had all these czars working for him–that was a Russkie commie term, wasn’t it? When I asked, the woman admitted that, among other things, she occasionally listened to William Bennett’s conservative radio show. I pointed out that Bennett had once been the Drug Czar, appointed by Ronald Reagan. Life sure can be complicated sometimes.
Joe might be behind the curve on conservative reinventing the Red Scare, but its not his fault. The Right seems to have discovered a special fertilizer that makes batsh*t insane grow faster and bigger then ever, Secret camps and guillotines? Groups make birthers look sane
However, the accusations are out there, a series of fantastic claims fed by paranoia about the government. They’re spread and sometimes cross-pollinated via the Internet. They feed a fringe subset of the anger at the government percolating through the country, one that ignites passion, but also helps Obama’s allies to discount broader anger at the president’s agenda.
In one, retired FBI agent Ted Gunderson says the government has prepared 1,000 camps for its own citizens. He also says the government has stored 30,000 guillotines to murder its critics, and has stashed 500,000 caskets in Georgia and Montana for the remains.
Why guillotines? “Because,” he wrote in a report obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, “beheading is the most efficient means of harvesting body parts.”
In a second warning, the Web site Worldnetdaily.com says that the government is considering Nazi-like concentration camps for dissidents.
Jerome Corsi, the author of “The Obama Nation,” an anti-Obama book, says that a proposal in Congress “appears designed to create the type of detention center that those concerned about use of the military in domestic affairs fear could be used as concentration camps for political dissidents, such as occurred in Nazi Germany.”
Another Web site, Americanfreepress.net, says the proposal “would create a Guantanamo-style setting after martial law is declared.”(emphasis mine)
Let’s try and do the math on that very last bit about martial law. Less then a year ago if you as much said you saw a soldier leave litter on a curb the Right would accuse you of being an anti-military commie terrorist sympathizer. Now the Right thinks the military is going to heard everyone into internment camps. How quickly the blush fades from right-wing roses. Are their darker deeper gutters which the Right has not visited. At this point, from birthers to deathers to guillotiners to deadly shooting sprees, they pretty much have insanity covered. Kos catches the hypocrisy about Presidents addressing school kids. 1992 presidential campaign — October 1, 1991, to be exact — President George H. W. Bush pitched his education plan in a speech broadcast live to school classrooms nationwide.
Some other takes on the Right’s sick attempt to portray President Obama’s school address as somehow dangerous, The far right says Obama is bad for our kids, we’re accumulating more and more stories based in anti-Obama hysteria and IT’S COME TO THIS…. In 1988, then-President Reagan spoke to students nationwide via C-SPAN telecast.
But that’s not what this is about. The administration not only edited the supplementary materials, but has offered to make the text of the address available in advance, just so everyone can see how innocuous it is. It’s made no difference. Conservatives don’t want school kids to hear a message from their president. Those who claim superiority on American patriotism have decided to throw yet another tantrum over the idea that the president of the United States might encourage young people to do well in schools.
Its time, way past actually for Broder to retire, Why David Broder Is Wrong
Mr. Broder argues that the Attorney General should have weighed the various political and practical consequences of an investigation against the abstract principle of accountability and decided to stand down. I reject this idea completely.
I understand the Washington habit of reducing all difficult questions to political calculations — I am a politician myself, after all. But the decision whether to investigate possible crimes connected to our interrogation programs is simply not a political one.
Our nation is obligated by treaty to investigate credible allegations of torture and similar breaches of law. The materials available to the Attorney General manifestly state such credible allegations of such violations — he really had no choice to go forward, unless we were to breach our legal commitments. Does Mr. Broder have so little respect for the rule of law that he cannot simply commend the strength and dignity of a public servant like Mr. Holder carrying out an unpleasant duty?
Beyond that basic point, Mr. Broder’s column remains deeply flawed. As I read the piece, there are two asserted reasons we should shirk our duty to investigate. First, investigations will harm CIA morale, and second, if trials ensue, a “major, bitter partisan battle” would erupt and “the cost to the country would simply be too great.”
On the issue of CIA morale, even the limited public record makes clear that, within the CIA itself, there were individuals who resisted the interrogation program or particular applications of it. So it is simply not fair to ascribe a single view to the vast CIA community that serves our nation so bravely.
Furthermore, if it is correct that CIA morale will be harmed by investigations, we must ask why that is so. In my view, the most likely source of morale problems is the rumored scope of the investigation. The record makes plain that this program was concocted, approved, and directed from the highest levels of our government. If reports that only frontline officers will be investigated are true, I can understand why agency personnel would feel hung out to dry.
Artificially limiting the investigation to interrogators working in extremely difficult circumstances while immunizing the officials who directed and approved these acts could quite reasonably be viewed as unfair and unjust. (I note that such a limitation has been suggested in press reports but never confirmed by the Justice Department, and I urge the Attorney General to simply let the prosecution team investigate the matter and follow the facts where they lead.)
Mr. Broder seems to agree when he argues that “if accountability is the standard, then it should apply to the policymakers and not just to the underlings.” Yet, he rejects the logical implications of his point, asking “do we want to see Cheney, who backed these actions and still does, standing in the dock?”
Without knowing all the facts, that question is impossible to answer. But for Mr. Broder the idea seems to be unthinkable. Why does he believe that? Is it not a basic principle of this country that no person is above the law? I do not know if Mr. Cheney broke the law, but I do know that, in my America, the law applies to him as it does to everyone else.