As you'd probably expect, the Senate Finance Committee is moving toward dropping coverage of end-of-life counseling from its bill entirely. Luckily, the committee's ranking member, Chuck Grassley, has some advice for those who are confused about such things as "living wills" and "advance directives" and "full and aggressive treatment."I think the best thing to do is if you want people to think about the end of life, number one, Jesus Christ is the place to start, and after that, in the physical life, as opposed to your eternal life, it ought to be done within the family and considered a religious and ethical issue and not something that politicians deal with.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
What I think is going on here, at least partly, is that the peddlers of anti-progressive lies are managing to convince a certain kind of American — white, socially conservative, etc. — that the hate-mongers are people like them; and, even more important, that progressives are Those People, people not like them.
Obama’s skin color makes this easy; but the Clintons faced the same kind of thing. Why? Well, the old line about Clinton being the first black president gets at something: even if Bill Clinton had a regular skin and name, he was obviously comfortable with people who didn’t, which made him one of Them.
And anti-intellectualism is also part of it.
In any case, it’s scary: you’ve got a good segment of the American population that is completely impervious to any kind of evidence, any rational argument. I mean, who collects statistics? People in black helicopters!
One of the three Republican senators working on a bipartisan health care bill perpetuated a particularly outrageous untruth about the legislation on Wednesday. Appearing at a town hall in his home state of Iowa, Sen. Chuck Grassley told a crowd of more than 300 that they were correct to fear that the government would "pull the plug on grandma." "There is some fear because in the House bill, there is counseling for end-of-life," Grassley said. "And from that standpoint, you have every right to fear. You shouldn't have counseling at the end of life. You ought to have counseling 20 years before you're going to die. You ought to plan these things out. And I don't have any problem with things like living wills. But they ought to be done within the family. We should not have a government program that determines if you're going to pull the plug on grandma."Let's.Take.This.Opportunity.To.Abandon.The."Bipartisanship."Bullshit.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I should let this must-see speak for itself, but first, one anthropological observation (AO) and one non-anthropological one (NAO).
- AO: Notice how the Health Care Gun Guy seems to think he has acquitted himself well. That, my friends, is the most important thing about this back-and-forth, and I would love to hear your thoughts on Health Care Gun Guy's worldview. It speaks to how the Tea Party episteme is immune from most progressives' idea of the "facts." By extension, it calls into crisis the efficacy and/or coherence of whatever semblance of "civil society" and/or deliberative, public, political discourse these Town Halls are meant to constitute. Tea Parties are all about "Liberty," but weirdly, they are also impervious to the basic democratic processes that progressives and moderates think of as being boring, sure, but also sacred. (In short, the emergent conservatism/political theater/Angry Old Man Draped in Historic Garb aesthetic is a way bigger threat to the "incomplete project" of modernity than postmodernism ever was. Remember the definition of fascism as the "aestheticization of politics." Fascism is, after all, always available (if not appetizing) for disgruntled non-majorities in liberal democracies. )
- NAO: I am frightened for the safety of the President, and even more fearful about a certain right-wing tendency's overall effect on our society. If this is the sort of generalized anxiety that comes out of the woodwork when we are merely trying to pass a limp-ish public healthcare option...what's the Cap and Trade debate going to look like? Are people going to move away from the 'BHO is not a citizen, BHO is a Muslim' meme, into "BHO is selling our planet to space aliens who will give us daily rectal exams and make us wear veils and shawls?" This would be funny if it weren't the most un-fucking-funny fucking thing I can fucking think fucking of.
Monday, August 10, 2009
You're asking us to trust turning power over to the government, when there clearly are people in America who believe in -- in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards.
So, what other public policy decisions should be determined by this test?
Can you prop up a bigger Strawthing?
I mean there are clearly people in America who believe in __(Blank)___...so we can't ___(Blank)___
We can't lower the drinking age, because I mean there are clearly people in America who believe in infant alcohol use.
any others come to mind?