Here's part what the former governor wrote on her Facebook page yesterday:
As more Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized health care plan that the current administration is rushing through Congress, our collective jaw is dropping, and we're saying not just no, but hell no!
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course.
The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
Good God. Where to begin?
First things first — this has to be one of the most mindnumbingly stupid things ever said in this health care debate (and believe me, there's a lot of competition for that honor). She's done something I wouldn't have thought possible: lower the bar on the GOP discourse. It's so low now, I can't even see it anymore.
So, there's that.
Now, let's recall that on the day she left the governorship, Palin chastized the media for "making things up". I believe her exact words were:
"So how about in honor of the American solider you quit making things up?
And yet, here she is talking about a "death panel" which will decide who shall live and die, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society" merits health care. As Time's Karen Tumulty noted, "Yes, such a system would indeed be downright evil. Which is why no one is proposing anything like it. Let's repeat: No one is proposing anything like it."
So, there's that, too: By her own standards, Sarah is dishonoring the military
Needless to say, you can comb any of the health care bills floating out there and find nothing about death panels — nothing even remotely like that. NOTHING. So much for Americans who "delve" into the health care issue. Apparently, Sarah isn't delving at all.
Of course, if Katie Couric were to ever ask Sarah what page of what bill has this "death panel" provision, Palin would whine about unfair librul media asking her "gotcha" questions.
UPDATE: It looks like some ABC News did ask —
Asked specifically what the former governor was referring to when painting a picture of an Obama "death panel" giving her parents or son Trig a thumbs up or down based on their productivity, Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton responded in an email: "From HR3200 p. 425 see 'Advance Care Planning Consultation'."
That's a curious reading of page 425 of the House Democrats' bill, which refers to “advance care planning consultation,” defined as a senior and a medical practitioner discussing “advance care planning, if…the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years.”
This includes an “explanation by the practitioner of advance care planning, including key questions and considerations, important steps, and suggested people to talk to,” an “explanation by the practitioner of advance directives, including living wills and durable powers of attorney, and their uses,” and an “explanation by the practitioner of the role and responsibilities of a health care proxy.”
It directs the medical provider to give the patients “a list of national and State-specific resources to assist consumers and their families with advance care planning,” and an explanation “of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title,” as well as “an explanation of orders regarding life sustaining treatment or similar orders.”
In other words, giving the elderly information on living wills and hospice care is what Sarah Palin means when she talks about "death panels" who could kill Trig.
Another fun fact? This provision of the bill was the brainchild of a Republican, Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine.
Nice work, Jake Tapper, for not only asking then question and for giving the Palin camp's response, but for doing your job as a journalist and pointing out why Sarah's interpretation is, well, nuts. Back to original post….
By the way, you have to admire how Sarah uses her Down's Syndrome baby, Trig, as a political prop. And here I was thinking that her kids should be treated "hands off". But there she is, not only using her child, but using her child to prop up a political lie.
The level of stupidity goes even deeper. As publius notes:
"[T]here are people who weigh whether children like Trig are worthy of insurance. They're called insurance companies, and they have decided that these children are not in fact worthy of coverage. That's because Down Syndrome is a 'pre-existing condition.'"
In any other era of modern political history, Palin's Facebook comment would end her political career. It would expose her as one of two things:
For Palin to write such a statement for public review makes clear that she's either conspicuously unintelligent or she thinks her followers are idiots. Either she believes her own vile nonsense or she assumes her audience is foolish enough to believe patently ridiculous attacks.
So she's either a liar/manipulator or an idiot. No matter which way you slice it, however, she has gone from joke to national embarassment.
And yet she remains relevant because hers is today's face of the Republican Party, which is a party that is not only without any ideas, but is quickly finding that it no longer represents mainstream American values of progress, community, fairness and inclusion.
And so, what is left of the Republican Party is a party of fear, hatred and irrationality.
As such, the dwindling of the Republican Party into a party of misanthropes
is a significant loss for America.
A viable healthy democracy demands a health exchange of ideas – on all sides of the political fence. Some Republicans, like David Frum, get this:
What would it mean to “win” the healthcare fight?
For some, the answer is obvious: beat back the president’s proposals, defeat the House bill, stand back and wait for 1994 to repeat itself.
The problem is that if we do that… we’ll still have the present healthcare system. Meaning that we’ll have (1) flat-lining wages, (2) exploding Medicaid and Medicare costs and thus immense pressure for future tax increases, (3) small businesses and self-employed individuals priced out of the insurance market, and (4) a lot of uninsured or underinsured people imposing costs on hospitals and local governments.
We’ll have entrenched and perpetuated some of the most irrational features of a hugely costly and under-performing system, at the expense of entrepreneurs and risk-takers, exactly the people the Republican party exists to champion.
Not a good outcome.
Even worse will be the way this fight is won: basically by convincing older Americans already covered by a government health program, Medicare, that Obama’s reform plans will reduce their coverage. In other words, we’ll have sent a powerful message to the entire political system to avoid at all hazards any tinkering with Medicare except to make it more generous for the already covered.
If we win, we’ll trumpet the success as a great triumph for liberty and individualism. Really though it will be a triumph for inertia. To the extent that anybody in the conservative world still aspires to any kind of future reform and improvement of America’s ossified government, that should be a very ashy victory indeed.
Frum does not favor "Obamacare", but he doesn't see the point to the Republican's current goal, which is to prevent change of any kind.
Unfortunately, Frum's message to his fellow Republicans has no chance of being heard over the shouting and scare tactics of his fellow Republicans.
How will this end?
Well, if swiftboating is any clue, this will end up in a defeat for health care reform. Ultimately, Americans will come to regret that. Even, I bet, many of those now doing the loudest protesting.