When George Bush was "elected" president in 2000, I thought it was bad for the country. I didn't agree with his policies, and I thought he was a weak leader. And I said so.
But what I didn't do was FREAK OUT. I didn't go around saying, "OMG! He's going to force us all to wear uniforms, and he's going to cancel elections and declare himself dictator, etc.". Yeah, I knew George Bush was going to be bad, but real-life bad, not science-fiction bad.
I'm sure there were a few on the left who were prognosticating the end of civilization itself when Bush was elected. Yes, the left has its lunatic fringe. But the left lunatic fringe is, you know, on the fringe.
By contrast, the Obama opposition is not only loonier, but it comes from the political and media centerpieces of their party.
And now the latest? Obama wants to euthanize the sick and elderly.
Again, this meme doesn't come from Cheetoh-eating conservative citizens typing insane screeds on their blog from their parents' basements. It comes from elected party representatives.
Including oy NC representative, Rep. Virginia Foxx:
Rep. Foxx: The Republican plan would "make sure we bring down the cost of health care for all Americans and that ensures affordable access for all Americans and is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government."
Now, there's a somewhat rhetorical question here. Does Foxx really think that Obama's health care plan will really put seniors to death? Or is she just knowingly lying to convince the stupider citizens of its truth?
In the end, it doesn't matter. Dishonesty or stupidity have no place on Capital Hill.
The TRUTH of the matter is that Obama's health care plan does provide for end-of-life services. But that does not mean "putting seniors to death". It means providing consselling for seniors on certain subjects like how to make a living will, education about hospices, etc. Furthermore, that couselling is not mandatory.
The New York Times takes this up today:
A provision of the House bill would provide Medicare coverage for the work of doctors who advise patients on life-sustaining treatment and “end-of-life services,” including hospice care.
Conservative groups have seized on this provision as evidence that the bill could encourage the rationing of health care. The Family Research Council, for example, said the bill would “limit end-of-life care.”
The House Republican leader, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, said, “This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia.”
What??? How??? How does advising patients on something like hospice care lead to government-encouraged euthanasia?
In the same article, another NC politician weighs in:
G. K. Butterfield, Democrat of North Carolina, said he heard many expressions of concern from constituents when he answered telephone calls to his office on Tuesday.
“The longer we wait to vote,” Mr. Butterfield said, “the more opportunity our opponents have to put out false messages. Seniors fear they will lose Medicare. They worry they will have to discuss plans for end-of-life care every five years.”
The amount of lies and fearmongering from the GOP's leaders are lunatic. And it's not fringe stuff. It's coming from their elected officials.
It's an old game plan. Bill and Hillary made fun of it back in 1995: