Social Question

Rarebear's avatar

Did Sarah Palin finally get her death panels?

Asked by Rarebear (21085 points ) October 4th, 2013

With the government shutdown, people have been kept out of clinical trials for cancer treatments. Terrific online editorial. And I’m not even a liberal.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/03/wrong-side-of-history/?_r=0

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29 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

Wow. Cheering. Thanks, @Rarebear.

You have to step back from the breathless tick-tock of the 24-hour news cycle to put this grim chapter in larger perspective. “Can you remember a time in your lifetime when a major political party was just sitting around, begging for America to fail?” So asked a perplexed Bill Clinton a few days ago.

trailsillustrated's avatar

What’s a death panel?

JLeslie's avatar

I was just talking about the death panels a week ago and could not remember that term, so i was fumbling around describing it, so thank you for this question!

Lettng the government shut down has happened before, it happened while Clinton was President. I don’t know what the right wing is really thinking honestly. The average person against obamacare really belies it will make things worse for America. The politicians I don’t know what they think or what they are exactly motivated by. If they geniunely think it will be bad for America, then I am not going to be very critical about the shut down. I’m not sure exactly what your article is talking about in taking away money from last chance cancer trials? Why is a trial cancelled? Maybe delayed? Which I know for a cancer patient is a nightmare. Anything mid experiment probably was still continued. I have friends who are government employees who are still doing some work even though they are furloughed. I could ask my mom if she remembers what happened when she was working at NCI when it happened last time if we are really curious. She might not remember though.

@trailsillustrated Death panel was a term created by the right wing a few years ago when obamacare was bring formulated. Part of Obamacare was to provide counseling services for end of life care, which in my opinion anyone in their right mind would be happy about. There also was conversation about how end of life measures cost a lot of money and the democrats would point out that often the patient does not even want to be kept alive with extreme measures, but without a directive that often happens. The right wing Republicans turned the discussion into Obama wanting to kill people off in the new health care system, and that the goverment now would have a “death panel” that gets to decide who lives or dies.

Pachy's avatar

Wow indeed! Great piece. Thanks for sharing, @Rarebear.

syz's avatar

So, are these people as stupid as they look, or is it all an act? I truly believe that Bachman and Palin are mentally unbalanced and idiotic, there’s just too much evidence to think otherwise. But are there truly so many idiots elected to hold political position? When did we as a country decide that we wanted “Aw, shucks” dummies rather than the smartest people we could find? WTF?

glacial's avatar

@syz It happens because you have Fox News blaring bullshit talking points 24/7 to an audience that feels like someone is pulling something over on them… and don’t realize it’s the very party that they support.

CWOTUS's avatar

For anyone who wants to believe that the government shutdown is 100% the responsibility of House Republicans, well, you’ve already drunk too much of the Kool Aid, and I’m not going to reach you.

However, for anyone who is willing to look at what is actually happening in Congress these days, the Republicans have offered many bills to fund various government operations but not including the costs to implement the ACA. The Democrats in the Senate, and the President, have absolutely refused to compromise on this issue, hence the shutdown at the start of the new fiscal year.

I won’t even ask, except rhetorically, what business the government even has in providing “non-essential” services, because I know that 90% of the jellies believe that “if government does it, then it has to be essential.

This editorial, like so many others of its kind, is rubbish.

SavoirFaire's avatar

For anyone who wants to believe that the government shutdown is 100% the responsibility of House Republicans, well, you’ve already drunk too much of the Kool Aid, and I’m not going to reach you.

Ah, yes. Scorn instead of an argument. The hallmark of reason. Tell me, @CWOTUS: how many Democrats voted for the shutdown (H.Res.368)? The answer is seven. So yes, I suppose that makes the Republicans only 99% responsible for the shutdown.


The Democrats in the Senate, and the President, have absolutely refused to compromise on this issue, hence the shutdown at the start of the new fiscal year.

A: Can I burn down your house?
B: No.
A: Just the second floor?
B: No.
A: Garage?
B: No.
A: Let’s talk about what I can burn down.
B: No.
A: YOU AREN’T COMPROMISING!

(From Twitter)


I won’t even ask, except rhetorically, what business the government even has in providing “non-essential” services, because I know that 90% of the jellies believe that “if government does it, then it has to be essential.

I realize that it’s getting close to Halloween, but we don’t need the straw men here. You know perfectly well that few—if any—jellies believe “government does it” entails “it has to be essential.” After all, the same jellies you’re trying to tar are largely against other government activities such as domestic spying, the various wars we’ve been involved in recently, and bank bailouts.

As for the question you merely asked rhetorically (because you don’t really want it answered), promoting the general welfare is in the very first sentence of the US Constitution. Maybe you’re not a big fan of that document, but it is the law under which Congress is presently obligated to act.

Rarebear's avatar

@SavoirFaire Meanwhile children may die because of your political point of view. Enjoy.

glacial's avatar

@Rarebear What children are these? And what’s putting them in sudden peril?

nikipedia's avatar

@SavoirFaire, thank you. Round of applause for that answer.

JLeslie's avatar

My dad just called me. He had a stent put in yesterday. I knew he had had a questionable stress test, and he was keeping track of pain in his chest. Seems Thursday they decided to schedule him for an angiogram and they did a stent once they saw the result. All done at the same time. I had no idea it had been decided he needed the angiogram (although I had assumed it probably would be the case) he hadn’t called to tell me. Anyway, all done by our wonderful military doctors at Bethesda Naval while not getting paid.

Rarebear's avatar

Rant begin.

Just so everybody is crystal clear where I am coming from, I am a Conservative. But I am a Conservative in the mien of Eisenhower. In another day I’d be a Republican, but currently I think the Conservative movement has been hijacked by wackos who are more than willing to put millions of people out of work, ignore science, and let children die to address their own political agenda. These extremists think the Earth is 6000 years old, that women should stay barefoot and pregnant, that people who love each other shouldn’t be allowed to marry, that government should allow roads to crumble, and that the environment is here only at the sufferance of anybody who wants to rip it to shreds.

I have my own problems with the ACA, but it’s been legislated, litigated, and an election has been held. Don’t put these children at risk, and don’t put my buddy out of work because you didn’t get what you want.

How’s THAT for a straw man @SavoirFaire? Rant end.

glacial's avatar

@Rarebear I think you missed the point of my question.

But it sounds to me as if you, I, and @SavoirFaire all share the same (or a similar) opinion of this mess. And yet it also sounds like you are arguing with us both… but I can’t figure out why that is.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear I came to this discussion to post the same answer as @SavoirFaire used about “Can I burn your house down.” You really need to go back and read that reply and grasp what it’s saying. You’re argument is with the position @CWOTUS expressed, and @SavoirFaire beautifully rebutted that right-wing spin.

Since @SavoirFaire has already posted the reply I had in mind, I’ll instead link to this one about Kentucky’s success with the Affordable Care Act making a mockery of Teapartier lies about it. People, many of them children, will live to see another day in Kentucky because Democrats are refusing to negotiate about how much of our country Republicans can burn down.

CWOTUS's avatar

If anyone thinks that I’m coming from the right wing, they have no idea what or where the right wing is in this country. Judging by the generally poor quality of political discourse on this board in support of the status quo – including the nonsense from @SavoirFaire – I’m not surprised.

In general I agree very much with @Rarebear that the “right” is no longer what anyone in my parents’ generation would have recognized or supported as “conservative” politics. However, since politics in the USA is binary, and the Democratic policies are nearly always far too liberal with other people’s money, you don’t have many choices when it comes to opposing them.

In any case – I know that I’m pissing into a strong wind of refusal to face fact here – the shutdown cannot be wholly blamed on the Republicans, when they have offered bills to support funding for the policies they don’t so strongly oppose. Had the Affordable Care Act been passed with bipartisan support, and taken into account any of the Republican offers of compromise to support it, then it might not be meeting such strong opposition now.

glacial's avatar

@CWOTUS “Had the Affordable Care Act been passed with bipartisan support, and taken into account any of the Republican offers of compromise to support it, then it might not be meeting such strong opposition now.”

Thanks, I haven’t enjoyed a laugh like that in quite a while.

Rarebear's avatar

@glacial I don’t think so. I am a supporter of the ACA. It’s the single greatest piece of legislation since Medicare and will allow for 30 million Americans to get coverage. My problem with it is that there is not an option to purchase health insurance directly from the government. By leaving it just in the hands of the insurance companies prices are not regulated.

glacial's avatar

@Rarebear I agree with you.

nikipedia's avatar

@CWOTUS do you have a response to @SavoirFaire‘s analogy? Yes, the lunatics have offered a compromise, but to compromise on this issue would be ludicrous….no?

ETpro's avatar

@CWOTUS Republicans want to end Social Security as we know it, end Medicare and issue vouchers letting seniors try to by wildly expensive insurance in the private sector with no exchanges and with all the egregious exclusions for preexisting conditions, lifetime caps, etc. that prompted passing healthcare reform. They want to slash taxes further on millionaires and hike taxes on the working poor. They want all this while the nation’s wealth inequality has already reached and all-time high and is rising every day. If they can grab another piece of the pie for themselves and their billionaire funders with every budget cycle, they WILL burn the house down. Negotiating about that is only talking over how long till they get to eat all the seed corn.

Rarebear's avatar

@glacial @SavoirFaire Sorry guys, I misunderstood. I am really upset about this and I didn’t read your responses carefully enough.

Paradox25's avatar

The term death panels remind me of my sodahead days. Obviously the author of that article wrote little more than a rant, but in my opinion it’s probably a justifiable one. What a paradox here, being that conservative predictions about death panels appear to have potentially become a reality, with the only catch here is that conservatives would be the ones ultimately responsible for creating them due to their attempts at obstructing progress.

@ETpro While I agree with you here, I still think we have to address social security either way. One of Ron Paul’s suggestions was to set up a SS trust fund of some type.

ETpro's avatar

@Paradox25 There already is a Social Security Trust Fund. What Ron Paul wants is what every Republican wants, to take the trillion dollars plus in it and give it to Wall Street banksters to plow into high risk investments. Yes, we have to fully find Social Security to deal with the wave of boomers retiring, but it’s not hard to do and doesn’t require putting the retirement funds of the elderly into super high-risk investment vehicles like credit default swaps.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Rarebear No problem. Thanks for taking the time to give the responses a second read.

@CWOTUS I don’t know if you’re being accused of coming at this from the right wing so much as employing some of the right-wing spin in your argument. Though your personal motivations may be elsewhere, some of your rhetoric is straight from the mouths of those who have acted as the Republican Party’s frontmen during this whole affair. And if you are going to get upset that we don’t know you well enough to realize you are not coming at this from the right wing, then I suppose I am allowed to complain that you surely know me well enough by now to realize that I am not a supporter of the status quo. That you and I want different changes does not mean that we do not both want change.

In any case, I’m curious what you think is “nonsense” in what I wrote. Here are the claims I made:

1. The Republicans are predominantly responsible for the shutdown.
2. Some of the same jellies you are attacking here are against other government activities (meaning they cannot believe that “government does it” entails “it has to be essential”).
3. Promoting the general welfare is mentioned in the very first sentence of the US Constitution.
4. The US Constitution is the controlling document under which Congress is legally obligated to act.

Let us take these in reverse order. Do you really deny that the US Constitution is the supreme law of the land in the United States or that Congress is not legally obligated to act in accordance with it? If so, I refer you to Article IV, Clause 2 (aka the Supremacy Clause):

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

Now then, do you deny that promoting the general welfare is mentioned in the first sentence of the US Constitution? If so, then let me refer you to that very sentence (aka the Preamble):

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, <strong>promote the general Welfare</strong>, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

How about various jellies opposing various government activities? Unfortunately, search is still not working on the site. If it were, the list of examples I could proffer would be endless. Still, we can look at a few threads. Here is one on military strikes against Syria that you should be familiar with, as you were the first one to comment on it. See how many jellies were opposed to the US government’s approach here? Then there’s this question devoted entirely to complaints about unnecessary (that is, non-essential) government activities. Here is a question about wiretapping that gets into various complaints about the PATRIOT Act, and here is a short thread about the PATRIOT Act and national security letters. Here’s one that complains about the continuing disregard showed to the US Constitution (as evidenced by the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012). And surely we don’t need links to all of the various complaints there were against Bush during his presidency? The fact is that it is simply daft to even suggest that 90% of jellies endorse anything like the entailment you suggest. Pure rhetoric, and pure nonsense.

And finally, we come back to the claim that the Republicans are ultimately to blame for the shutdown. Someone might object to my earlier math and point out that seven votes out of 228 total in favor of H.Res.368 is in fact 3%, making the Republicans only 97% to blame. This is a fair point, I suppose, but it is also worth keeping in mind that the shutdown was not only planned, steps were taken to ensure that it would be harder to end it. Obstructionism was endorsed as a strategy back in August by Mark Meadows and 79 others. And of course, let’s not forget that the Republicans came clean in the end and admitted this was all their fault. John Boehner referred to the shutdown as “taking a stand,” which makes no sense if he is not claiming causal responsibility for it. Moreover, he did so while admitting that the action was an alternative to accepting a compromise offered by Harry Reid and Democrats, which means that there were compromises offered. And for what it’s worth, he’s not the only one who has made such an admission.

Paradox25's avatar

@ETpro Ron Paul has never struck me as a corporatist, though I definitely don’t agree with him on many issues.

ETpro's avatar

@Paradox25 He’s so libertarian he’d eliminate any and all restraints on corporate power. It doesn’t matter what drives someone to do that, it is corporatism at its rankest and would be disastrous for America and the world.

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