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Yes, “Death Panels” is Appropriate to Say

I already posted at length about Sarah Palin’s statement criticizing Obamacare’s ‘death panels’ here: Sorry, Palin-haters, She is RIGHT About Obama’s Deathcare

Now, even more people are coming out defending her statement and explaining why she is spot-on to use such descriptive terms. First ace at Ace of Spades HQ: Gibbs Lectures Press on Its Duty to Challenge “Disinformation;” Someone In Press Corps Asks Soicitously, “What More Can We Do?”

Incidentally, let me mention something about Sarah Palin’s remark. It’s a two-way remark, operating at two different levels:

1) It’s a catchy way to describe Obama’s plan to make some room in his bloated budgets for trillions in new spending by simply cutting Medicare and Medicaid spending by fiat, as supposedly “wasteful.” One may (if one is prissy) object to the heated nature of the phrase, but it’s a perfectly acceptable bit of political neologizing for a point widely conceded, including by liberals, as true.

2) It could conjure images of federally-coerced mass euthanasias.

Now, the thing is, the media is reacting as if 1) Sarah Palin obviously meant meaning Two, and 2) even if she didn’t mean that, it’s just the worst thing in the world to even use words that could suggest that.

This is [bullchit]. The Democrats, from 2001 until 2008, have played with two-way meanings in demanding inquiries into what Bush knew of 9/11, counting on the fact that this would be taken by some as an endorsement of Trutherism.

And “he lied us into war” was obviously heated, overstated, and deliberately phrased to suggest a 9/11 plot to gin up support for the Iraq War.

And the media did not scold Democrats for deliberately choosing their words to play both ways: …

And of course the rules are always different for a Republican, especially a Republican despised by the left and the MSM (but I repeat myself). Now the rule is that she has to disown a catchy formulation for fear she’s providing succor and moral support to people who fear a Nazi-style mass-euthanasia of impure undesirables.

Well, to hell with the MSM. If I had seen them patrolling Democrats’ soft endorsements of Trutherism so vigorously, I would say they are being consistent and have earned the right to act as referees, calling low-blows and rabbit-punches.

But they haven’t. …

But I’m supposed to be all upset because Sarah Palin chose a dramatic term to describe the Obama plan’s (genuine) central pillar of paying for medical insurance for the uncovered poor by taking it from the currently-covered seniors?

No. I decline to do so.

If Sarah Palin’s message plays two ways: Tough [chit], MSM. You should have taken notice of two-way messaging earlier. …

And here is liberal Camille Paglia in Salon:

“As a libertarian and refugee from the authoritarian Roman Catholic church of my youth, I simply do not understand the drift of my party toward a soulless collectivism. This is in fact what Sarah Palin hit on in her shocking image of a “death panel” under Obamacare that would make irrevocable decisions about the disabled and elderly. When I first saw that phrase, headlined on the Drudge Report, I burst out laughing. It seemed so over the top! But on reflection, I realized that Palin’s shrewdly timed metaphor spoke directly to the electorate’s unease with the prospect of shadowy, unelected government figures controlling our lives. A death panel not only has the power of life and death but is itself a symptom of a Kafkaesque brave new world where authority has become remote, arbitrary and spectral. And as in the Spanish Inquisition, dissidence is heresy, persecuted and punished.”

People really need to get over their deranged, irrational hatred of Sarah Palin and their cult-like, irrational worship of Barack Obama and start analyzing things objectively as ace and Miss Paglia have done here.

Good comment by AmishDude:

I think “death panels” did hit a nerve. Whatever Paglia calls herself these days, she thinks like a lefty. She approaches politics from that direction and the first thing she saw was authoritarianism.

The key to a phrase like that is people ask you to explain it. When you do, people realize (a) it’s right there in the bill and (b) it makes sense that any government plan would have a panel of government bureaucrats who will decide who gets care and who doesn’t.

Then peoples’ minds can wander according to what scares them most: Will the panel be green-eyeshade monsters who will ask us to off grandma or off Trig so as to save a few pennies? Will they favor the politically connected? Will they be hopelessly corrupt?

Any reasonable person (or at least a cynical one) would say all three.

Another thing I’ve noticed: When somebody mentions “death panels” or Obama’s “enemies list”, he and his supporters don’t deny it — certainly not with specifics, because they can’t — they laugh it off. Why how absurd, they couldn’t possibly be making an enemies list, how can you think of such a thing? Why they wouldn’t have a “death panel”, how can you think of such a thing? Even the reaction to Beck’s accusation that the president is racist after the Gibbs affair was indignation without refutation.

Ace, good rant, I like the passion. One thing that unites all Republicans and conservatives — we hate the media.

Posted by: AmishDude at August 12, 2009 01:44 PM

Also, Melissa Clouthier has a great article at Pajamas Media: Sarah Palin Defines the Health Care Debate

… Sarah Palin rightfully notes at the end that a government involved with health care issues will be involved in life and death decisions.

Since the goal of government-run health care is to insure everyone while simultaneously holding down costs (an outrageous goal on its face), decisions will have to be made. Those decisions will be made by the ones paying the bills — the government bureaucratic panel of political appointees. This is already happening in Oregon [3] where there is a public option health care system.

The majority of health care expenses occur at the end of life. Right now, doctors and family members struggle [4] with the ethical decisions individually. A way to cut costs would be to make central decisions — a “death panel,” if you will. How will the decisions be made? Well, political advocacy groups with the most power will push the panel to make certain choices. There will be bias. But mostly, there will be political correctness and bottom-line decision making by a very small group of people.

Americans on both sides of the debate are looking at the guts of the bill, sure, but more than that, they are seeing the debate as philosophical. That is, those in favor of the public option, those who support the president, believe that health care is a right like clean air and water. They believe the collective should pay for the health care of the less fortunate. If that means cutting some services, rationing, and cutting costs on a few, to serve the whole, so be it. On the other side of the debate, those who support a free-market solution to the health care challenges see the public option as an intrusive, taxpayer-funded way to give a vast, unaccountable bureaucracy far more power.

Sarah Palin rightly sees the debate in philosophical terms. The American people do, too. People are arguing over this and that provision, but the reason there is a depth of feeling on this issue is because people perceive that health care legislation would be a fundamental shift in the nature of what it means to be an American.

President Barack Obama fights for soft European socialism. Governor Sarah Palin fights for free-market American individualism. …

In addition, with the debt, the deficit [10], and the unrestrained spending, Americans are quite sensibly rejecting a vast new entitlement program. Sarah Palin clearly reflects this sentiment. In fact, she is one of the few voices brave enough to stand with the will of the majority. Too many other Republicans are afraid to be viewed as obstructionist to recognize that they sound out of touch with their own grassroots constituents on the right.

The Democrats don’t like the answers the American people are giving and thus have upped the rhetoric and resorted to name calling. In the last week, opponents of government-run health care have been compared to Nazis by the speaker of the House. They have also been called “un-American,” “terrorists,” “the mob,” and more. That’s a sign Democrats have lost the philosophical debate.

Instead of calling out Sarah Palin, critics need to realize she’s defining the health care debate philosophically. Really, she’s doing the same thing President Barack Obama is doing. It isn’t like he’s been discussing specifics. He’s been trying to convince people that the government can provide more coverage at less cost than the private sector. He’s been trying to convince people that health care is a right. He has not been mentioning the trade-offs people make when giving the government that much power. Sarah Palin is doing that. She is acting as a clear voice in opposition to a powerful government.

Interestingly, the majority of Americans agree with Sarah Palin, not President Obama.

It warms my heart to know there are women out there who feel this way (I’m assuming “Ella” is a woman commenter):

I totally thought her remark was for meaning Number 2, and, might I say, I think that is a reasonable and justified fear. Not just theoretical political framing. A woman in Oregon is not getting life-saving treatment because the state doesn’t feel like doing anything but killing her. I don’t see any phrase that accurately describes that condition as “overheated.”

I applaud Sarahcuda for being so blunt honest.

Posted by: Ella at August 12, 2009 01:37 PM

Ah, more heart-warming. Why can’t I meet more of these types of conservative, common-sense women in my real life.

She did one additional thing with that phrase “death panels.” She put up the bait and they fell for it. They focused on the words and on the speaker. The american people then heard the word and focused on the meaning. And they didn’t like what they saw. If she had chosen a less charged word, the MSM would have ignored her post and it would have been a non-event. By using a word that was sure to rankle, they focused the debate right where she wanted it… and the ball is moving down the court in her possession..

Well played… for a short point guard, she understands basketball better than Barry…

Posted by: Stephanie at August 12, 2009 02:02 PM

August 12, 2009 , 1:50PM - Posted by | Barack Obama, Death Panels, Fascism, Healthcare, Liberalism, Marxism, Sarah Palin, Socialism


  1. […] Obama Spoke of “Death Panels” in April 2009? Well then! Sarah Palin’s description of “death panels” is being seen as more and more on the mark afterall. I wrote about this initially in my post “Sorry, Palin-haters, She is RIGHT About Obama’s Deathcare” and then followed that up with examples of pundits supporting her classification of Obama’s “end-of-life care” as “death panels” in “Yes, “Death Panels” is Appropriate to Say“. […]

    Pingback by Obama Spoke of “Death Panels” in April 2009? « AmeriCAN-DO Attitude | August 13, 2009 , 1:41PM

  2. […] surprising to anyone who has been paying attention to facts the last few days and actually reading the bill and putting it into context with Obama’s own words and those of his health care advisor, Dr. […]

    Pingback by Sarahcuda Palin Humiliates Fah King Obama on Health Care « AmeriCAN-DO Attitude | August 13, 2009 , 5:06PM

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