Sarah Palin visited the Hannity show last night where she offered her deepest thoughts on Obamacare – which pretty much amounted to reiterating her death panel Lie of the Year for 2009 and egging on the Tea Party to make a “wise decision” and force a government shutdown over defunding Obamacare.
But first, Sean Hannity asked what Palin thought of Howard Dean’s op-ed which Hannity falsely described as “acknowledging” death panels. In fact, Dean’s op-ed, which was supportive of Obamacare overall, suggested getting rid of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) mostly because they don’t control costs, not because they become death panels:
What ends up happening in these schemes (which many states including my home state of Vermont have implemented with virtually no long-term effect on costs) is that patients and physicians get aggravated because bureaucrats in either the private or public sector are making medical decisions without knowing the patients. Most important, once again, these kinds of schemes do not control costs. The medical system simply becomes more bureaucratic.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has indicated that the IPAB, in its current form, won’t save a single dime before 2021. …I believe the IPAB will never control costs based on the long record of previous attempts in many of the states, including my own state of Vermont.
Of course, Palin knew nothing of Dean’s piece. She said, “I haven’t wasted my time on it because I think I and others wasted too much time listening to the liberal pundits a few years ago when they said that was the biggest lie of the year …my claim that death panels were a part of Obamacare.” I guess that’s when journalism major Palin must have given up that onerous chore of reading “all” the newspapers.
That’s common sense. …Congress holds the purse strings. They can unfund anything they want to and that’s how you stop something that is not right, it’s not good, it’s not economic for we the people. So it’s a wise decision for Mr. Lee and others to decide not to budget for something that’s gonna be so burdensome to the American people.
Palin also took a shot or two at the Republican Party "elites" who are against this idea (think Fox colleague Karl Rove). Once again, I wonder how much longer her employment will last at GOP Communications, aka Fox News.
You’ve now reverted back to the idea of not compromising. I’m honestly confused. Either you believe compromise is necessary for governance between rational people or you believe that compromise is a problem to be avoided. I believe the former – I believe that governance is impossible when people refuse to talk to each other. Politicians folding their arms and just saying “NO!” does not constitute governance. It constitutes exactly what it’s been called – obstruction.
The left in the United States has enunciated its principles on more occasions than I could possibly enumerate here. If you are unclear on what those principles are, I recommend you spend some time listening to a radio program called Democracy Now. You can find it on the internet at democracynow.org. If you want to understand a progressive view of the U.S. school system, I highly recommend the writings of Jonathan Kozol, particularly a book called Savage Inequalities. If you were to ask the left, they would tell you that programs they wanted to see have never really been implemented in the United States. For example, the left wanted single payer health care, and the Obama Administration removed the public option from the ACA in an attempt to placate GOP congresspeople who continued their efforts to obstruct it anyway.
It’s strange that the right wing has decided that the Great Society programs from the 1960s were failures. I’ve heard this meme usually coming from Bill O’Reilly as a way of attacking the ability of government to do anything. But there are plenty of success stories from the Great Society. How about Medicare and Medicaid? How about the Voting Rights Act? How about the various Civil Rights Acts?
I appreciate that you’ve acknowledged that Head Start worked. How about the creation of the NEA and the NEH. These are not small things, and it’s really a shame that the right wing seems to think that all of this was a waste of time.
I also find it interesting that the right wing tries to cherry pick the quotations of the earliest national figures of this country as though there is some kind of right wing claim on the birth of the nation. As we’ve discussed, scholars from the left and the right have endlessly debated the intentions of the people who started this country. Scholars from the left and the right continue to debate the meaning of various sections of the constitution, as well as the meanings of various laws and case law findings. Nobody has an exclusive claim on the intentions or wishes of the founders of this country, and it belittles an argument for any pundit to claim that they do.
The notion that the right wing wants “a restoration of American values and principles” is false on its face. The right wing was perfectly happy to trample on American citizens’ rights and values throughout the Presidency of George W. Bush. The idea that the entire country went out the window the moment that Barack Obama became President is silly on its face. The fact is that the policies inflicted under the Bush Presidency (and abetted by Democrats in Congress who did not engage in the obstructionism we’ve seen over the past few years from the GOP) resulted in the inflation of possibly the worst financial bubble I’ve seen in my lifetime. While the Bush people clearly wanted to get out of town before the bubble burst, the whole thing came crashing down on them. So yes, we’ve seen a transformation over the past few years, as the country has struggled to get itself out of a pretty deep mess. I would agree that the Bush Administration policies (and Clinton policies before them) that led to this mess absolutely failed. No question about that. But I wouldn’t blame President Obama for taking actions to try to stem the disaster. I do have an issue with GOP politicians and pundits who chose that moment to try to obstruct solutions – particularly those who were clearly trying to use such a position as a campaign plank.
I find it interesting that the right wing tries to fan a concern about “the growing tyranny of government”. They must be kidding. Is this the same right wing that acted as cheerleaders for the Patriot Act, that supported warrantless wiretapping, that supported a Bush Justice Department that got itself into more trouble than it knew what to do with? Is this the same right wing that wants to tell women what medical choices they are allowed to make regarding a pregnancy and their own bodies? The idea that these people want to preach to the rest of us about the “tyranny of government” is so absurd that it nearly provokes laughter.
I absolutely agree that more bankruptcies like what happened in Detroit are not something most people want to see. But I should note that there are plenty of right wing AM radio hosts who’ve been saying just the opposite. For years now, these people have been advocating for state bankruptcies and city bankruptcies, specifically so that they could throw out all the public employee union contracts and cancel the union pensions. There are people I’ve heard repeatedly call with great enthusiasm for major statewide bankruptcies. Part of this is the libertarian approach of “Why should I pay for public employee pensions?” and part of it is a tactical approach – if you kill the public employee unions, you might do some damage to the Dems and thus help GOP candidates win more races.
I also agree that the world could at any time choose to stop using the US dollar as a basis for international trade. We’ve been hearing for years that everything could go to the Chinese Yuan or something like that. And if that happens, I believe the path toward it will have been greatly accelerated by the GOP politicians who chose that “lock step no” approach in dealing with the financial obligations of the U.S. and triggered that credit downgrade a couple of years back. If ever there was a case of obstructionism, that was it. So yes, we could be looking at a disaster there. But the right wing will not be able to stand back and claim innocence. They will need to step up and take some personal responsibility for their behavior.
Personally, I hope that such a moment does not happen. I hope that GOP congresspeople will decide to do the right thing for the country and not keep putting their partisan ideology ahead of the necessary end result of governance.
Can we at least agree that the public school system in the US is failing the most important stakeholder …. the student. If we cannot agree on that any further discussion about why and potential solutions is pointless.
Re politicians standing on principle …. the reason that conservatives are insisting that their representatives stand on principle do not compromise and allow the increase in bureaucracy and deficit and debt to continue is because they see that it is not working. I am uncertain if those that support ever increasing bureaucracy and deficit and debt truly believe that government knows best or if if they naively believe that having honorable intentions and throwing more money at problems work. I say let the left stick to and enunciate their principles and demonstrate how their programs have worked. Where are the successful programs? The war on poverty began with the Great Society in the mid 60’s with 15 trillion spent on programs that originated in that era. I cannot (apart perhaps for head start) think of one success. I want to see success, folks dreaming and achieving their dreams. I know they have it in them. So perhaps this great divide of partisan politics is a necessary step to a new way, but I believe that the founding of a truly free republic and the amazing foresight of founders and framers who gave their lives, property, families as sacrifice is still relevant …. that a restoration of American values and principles rather than a transformation to philosophies,policies and programs that have failed wherever they have been tried. The emerging growing tyranny of government scares conservatives vested in individual freedom and the exercise of personal responsibility, so they are reacting to protect long held life principles. How many Detroit debacles will it take till more folks realize this reality … not too many more I hope. Kevin, if global trader ceases to use the $US as exchange for international transactions the US will be Detroit with no possibility of supporting services as the tax base collapses …. platitudes and good intentions will not suffice in those circumstances.
The U.S. public school system doesn’t focus on failure. They focus on trying to help all of the students succeed, rather than just giving up on the ones who are having trouble. Your account of the “liberal/teacher union/tenured response” is absolutely false. There’s no two ways about it. What’s actually been happening in California, where I live, is that the schools have been laying off teachers and not hiring replacements, because the state has been in a deficit situation for years. The deficit isn’t the fault of the teacher’s union, and it’s frankly offensive that so many right wingers think it’s good sport to attack teacher unions at every opportunity. The one issue that I’ve had with the teacher union in Los Angeles is just that I’ve seen that as bureaucrats have been phased out of the various administrations (as those really have been cut back whether the right wing wishes to admit it or not), those bureaucrats have tried to jump back into the classrooms, thus displacing other teachers who could have done that work. But that’s a very different argument than trying to deny the legitimacy of having the union in the first place.
The scenario you’re portraying where the parents and students are powerless to deal with a bunch of out-of-control administrators and lazy union teachers is a right wing meme that has nothing to do with the reality. And by the way, the parent isn’t always right about what is best in these situations. I can cite repeated cases I’ve seen where the parent is totally blind to what their child is doing. (“My son would NEVER behave like that!”) In those cases, the teacher who has to deal with the misbehaving child winds up having to surmount both their own school administration and a parent who refuses to discipline their own child. The real problem that’s been hitting these schools isn’t that the teachers are bad or even that the students are bad. In California, the problem is that the budget cuts have caused class sizes to go up and have forced schools to take steps (like furlough days) that take more and more class time away from students, while at the same time limiting the resources available to those students. Throwing money at a problem doesn’t solve it, but neither does taking more money away.
I’m gratified to hear that you had a good upbringing and that your children have done well. Would that all parents could say as much. There are thankfully many parents in the US who could provide similar examples. But that doesn’t address the issue of why we have public schools and why we all contribute to them. In any system, there will always be very good students and very good parents. We look to them as good examples for the rest of us. But the notion of a social contract, particularly as applies to schools, is that we all support a system that works for everyone. We don’t just opt out and withdraw from society when we disagree with one element or another.
And getting back to the topic of this thread, we still have the problem that so many politicians in this country think it’s acceptable to opt out of the process and shut everything down if they don’t get their way. That’s not standing on principle – it’s being childish.
Fact is that focusing on failure in the US public education system ain’t working …. the results are sad and cannot be disputed. The liberal/teacher union/tenured response is more money, more taxes, soak the rich …. doing more of the same thing and expecting a different result is insanity. So let’s take a different approach …. let’s focus on the the critical stakeholders in this process … students, parents, teachers and educational administrators. I think the order stated is correct in terms of weight of importance of the stakeholders kids first, give parents opportunity to exercise real choice and control over where and how their kids are educated, support teachers who exercise personal responsibility, have enthusiasm and passion for their vocation and get results. Administrators may not even be teachers, but skilled at attending to details of running the business of keeping the lights on, keeping the school assets fully functioning etc. This a different emphasis to the current model where the conditions of administrator and teacher employment take precedence. Harder to create a direct correlation of results and rewards for the important stakeholders … kids, parents and teachers, but I willing to bet shifting emphasis in that direction will generate dynamic and sustainable gains and improvement in the quality of education. What are the barriers to such change …. entrenched inertia of unions tenure and cronyism … support of Democratic political candidates by these institutions. The change in direction I propose here is not about selfishness or no sense of community. I know as the level of success increases pride and commitment to school community will expand …. not because of a social contract, but because the system allows stakeholders to exercise personal responsibility and passion to get better results and lift the fortunes of all the stakeholders. Kevin we are the product of our experience. I was blessed to have parents who believed in me and supported the choices I made. I have five children who have never given me or their mothers one minute of concern re their life choices or behavior. Why? I believe because they all took responsibility for their choices and were confident they had the tools to accomplish whatever they chose to do. Eldest daughter a veterinarian managing a UN program in Asia married with children and doing great things. Daughter two a world class athlete in extreme sports (takes up a page on google) and passionate about caring for the environment and children. 40 yo son with a PhD in Geology and about to receive a second doctorate in Astro Physics. 21 yo son 4th dan black belt martial arts, and studying to be a primary (elementary teacher) and my baby girl a senior at an Oregon HS planning a degree at RMIT in Australia and pursuing a successful modeling career. If you were to ask any one of them what they learned from me and their mothers they would tell you they allowed us to believe there is never a situation we cannot handle or a dream we cannot achieve. Others may say my kids are special and they are to me …. but I see so many others endowed with the same passion and belief that the world is their oyster …. every child has this potential just needs to see and grasp the opportunity for this glorious journey of life. Don’t think that energy or ethic is present in the US public school system, and it never will be until all the stakeholders in the process believe that is sol.
You’re rejecting the notion of a social contract. I understand your position, but again, that’s a libertarian idea that assumes that we’d do better if everyone just acted on their own to fulfill their own wishes. The problem with that entire idea is that in reality, it doesn’t work that way. The notion of a social contract is that we all work together for our mutual benefit. Some people may be better off than others, some people may be able to contribute more than others – that’s all part of the greater equation of how societies pull together.
The philosophy you’re espousing, frankly, is the sort of thing that’s actually tended to result in phenomena like “white flight” from US cities, or the formation of gated communities for wealthier people who don’t want to mingle with more common folk. It’s the philosophy that allows a wealthy person who puts their children in private school to demand that they not have to pay taxes for anyone else to have their kids in public school. (Because this is one of the primary motivators behind the whole school voucher argument in the first place) It’s an extremely divisive philosophy, and it’s quite strange to hear libertarians accuse other people of being divisive – I would think we’re looking at a case of extreme projection here.
I’m heartened that you’ve accepted the notion of compromise, or at least that there are “circumstances that demand compromise”. What we’ve been hearing from Fox News and from many GOP congresspeople is that compromise is inherently an evil, and that people like Ted Cruz should stay with the “lock step no” approach.
You’ve quoted a popular right wing anti-government meme that assumes that government programs “usually speak to the lowest level of success”. You assume that schools’ focus on trying to help the students who are having the hardest times means that they aren’t looking at what leads to successful school work. That’s patently untrue. School policies are designed to help ALL students succeed. Lower level students may be dealing with all kinds of issues that don’t plague more successful students, whether it be dyslexia or other learning disabilities. Some students don’t pick things up as quickly as other students – which is why we have different levels of classes. Schools regularly have the most successful students in advanced classes where they can continue to do well, and the lower level students in classes where they can study at an appropriate pace for them. This doesn’t mean that all students should be in the advanced class, and it doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with a student who isn’t in that class. It just means that the schools work to help all of the kids learn.
You present a false right wing argument about “equality of outcomes vs equality of opportunity”. Any decent school is trying to present equality of BOTH ideas. The school and the teachers want to see all the kids pass with flying colors. And they want to make sure all the kids have the same opportunities. Nobody is trying to get the better students to fail, and it’s a strange right wing position to imply that anyone would.
The comparison to addictive behavior is frankly, a bit offensive. A struggling young student with various issues is NOT the same thing as a drug addict. The former is a person who really is trying to succeed and may need more help than someone who has a greater skillset or a greater natural ability. The latter is a person who is abusing themselves, hurting not just themselves but others.
I don’t believe anyone is arguing that people shouldn’t take personal responsibility for themselves and their actions. On the contrary, I have repeatedly urged for GOP congresspeople to take responsibility for their behavior and stop trying to obstruct everything just to score political points.
You reference that “progressive politicians rely on division, pitting one group against another”. I actually agree with you that there are MANY politicians who do this. This includes some progressive politicians. It also includes some conservative politicians. Neither side of the aisle has a monopoly on divisiveness. But I have to acknowledge that the progressives I have seen stand up for the rights of various ethnic groups, for the rights of women to have a say over what happens to their bodies, for the rights of the poor and the sick not to be trodden upon, have been doing an important service for all of us. There’s a popular right wing meme that unions are somehow inherently a problem and that workers would be better off without them. Right. Without unions, workers would be suffering through horrible conditions and horrible pay. The notion that the better employees would automatically be paid more is frankly ridiculous. The better employees would be more likely just to work, but they wouldn’t be paid any more. Not when companies can say that they can find another ten guys who can do the same job just as well.
I really wish that right wing pundits and the GOP congresspeople they support would be straightforward about their actions. It becomes tiresome needing to constantly untangle the reality of these various feints in the name of “personal responsibility” and “freedom” when the results are very different.
The notion of a “social contract” leads to “it takes a village to ….” do whatever. It is my contention that decisions made by individuals who are committed and passionate lead to better outcomes than decisions made by committees, groups etc which usually blunt passion and drive. Committees have their place in circumstances that demand compromise, but again in my experience when a committee decides to act it is usually one or two individuals exercising personal responsibility and passion that create a successful committee outcome. Current government programs and policies in the west usually speak to the lowest level of success … for example concern for failing students causes bureaucracies to focus on the symptoms of failure Vs what causes successful students to succeed. Bureaucracies attempt to create equality of outcomes vs equality of opportunity and allow individuals to succeed or fail according to their drive and level of personal responsibility. The result is that education of American children is failing by any objective measure largely because the focus is on failing Vs successful students. Ultimately one has to take personal responsibility to succeed, for example until an addict decides to eliminate addictive behavior in spite of intervention, care and love of others. It really is a very simple and sound principle, and it does not preclude compassion, care and love for those with whom we come in contact and interact with … in fact in my experience those who exercise personal responsibility are often more successful in supporting and caring for others because personal responsibility unleashes individual passion and drive. It is unfortunately true that progressive politicians rely on division, pitting one group against another (the rich, race, gender etc.) Vs knowing that individuals free and exercising their freedom and personal responsibility will eliminate and solve differences without regulation and compulsion
You want death panels? Look at that “voucher” crap. Voucher is a euphemism for eugenics, because it’s a free pass on playing God with who gets what amount. Furthermore, it’s the health care equivalent of a cop telling a rape victim she can vote for his guy, or he says he smells whiskey on her breath. In fact, that comparison is probably a little too apt, consider that Ryan admitted without exact words that vouchers were a way to blackmail people’s vote with their health.
She’s also a liar. When has the ignorant one ever listened to “librul” pundits? Her self-imposed overblown ego won’t allow her to listen to anyone.
David wrote: “Not just with Obamacare but every nation that has instituted a government run health insurance system has to ration care with “death panels” , bureaucratic regulation that determines the “usefulness” and “value” of a treatment…”
I would add, actually, that it’s the private insurance companies who apply a cost-benefit analysis to the delivery of health care and that their aim is to maximise profits to a bunch of individuals called investors or whatever. Public systems aim rather to make the best possible use of scarce resources. The solution to abuses is not to scrap the system but rather to improve its administration.
I’m over 70 and I’ve never but ever heard of an insurance company that decided not to terminate coverage because the patient needed the care. On the contrary, they terminate it as soon as the law allows them to, as soon as a long-term case comes up. Terry Schiavo is a good example: the insurance company closed the tap, leaving the family on its own. Wasn’t that the decision of a “death panel”? Why pile up on the family instead of the insurance company (or hospital)? Weird.
You also wrote: "…that becomes scarce because it’s “free”. Nothing is ever free except perhaps the love of one’s dog. Those national insurance schemes you decry on principle (I doubt that you know much about them, actually) are paid for through taxes and/or contributions. It’s true that people will abuse of a system if they are allowed to. Scraping the system is like throwing the baby out with the bath water.
What you don’t seem to care about is the fact that national systems cater to everybody, not only the people who can afford health care. The less wealthy in the USA have always been at the mercy of “death panels” in the shape of insurance companies, politicians and individuals with a truly un-Christian attitude: those who constantly act as though they wanted to say: “I got mine and I couldn’t care less about others”.
If push comes to shove, I’ll prefer any system that is equitable and not based on making as much profit as possible for investers. The system that once characterised America for far too long was inhumane. Best health care in the world? Perhaps, but only for those who could afford it. In Europe, even the less wealthy have access to health care and a struggling parent does not have to watch a kid die because he or she couldn’t afford the cost of treating an abcessed tooth.
Totally inhumane … and – I would add – most unChristian.
My issue is with this notion of the libertarian philosophy being presented as something kinder and gentler than what it truly is. My issue is with the notion of rejecting the social contract that we all agree to honor in any community.
And while I understand your agreement with the GOP congresspeople’s positions of “lock step no” to anything that President Obama or the Democrats propose, I simply don’t think that it’s constructive. You may believe that these people are acting out of their “deeply held beliefs” but as I pointed out, it’s a false choice. EVERYBODY is acting out of their “deeply held beliefs” if we’re going to take it from that perspective. But the reality of the U.S. House of Representatives deliberately triggering a downgrade in our credit rating or bringing repeated pointless votes on “killing Obamacare” isn’t to demonstrate anyone’s strong principles. They did these things to try to score political points. They did it because they wanted to be able to campaign on their refusal to work with President Obama and the Democrats. I understand how they feel – I wish the Dems had stood up when it counted during the Bush administration. But they don’t get to say that their obstruction is just them “standing on principle”. Not when people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are openly stating their intentions here.
Let me guess….‘David’ is young, white and healthy. And ‘David’ has neither compassion nor empathy for anyone other than him(?)self. His world consists of exactly what he has seen or experienced. He reads only what supports his narrow world view. (comparable to viewing the world through a soda straw.) It’s very easy to be right when one has no comprehension of how painful wrong can be.
Kevin, you’re much more patient than I. Personally, I have no use for such people and their libertarian, cheap and hackneyed philosophy. Oh, did I forget to mention selfish?
And the issue we face with libertarian philosophy is that it undermines exactly the notion of “unconditional love” you’re referencing. Libertarian philosophy says that this concept is irrelevant – all that matters is that every man is out for himself and the heck with anyone else. As I’ve stated, it’s a very selfish notion – one that stands in contradiction with people’s supposed Christian beliefs.
It’s interesting that you chose to quote John Adams’ letter from October 1798, written to the officers of the First Brigade of the 3rd Division of the Massachusetts Militia. We should note that this letter wasn’t a formal declaration of policy but instead a discussion of many of the same issues I’ve been raising here. Adams was saying in this letter that it won’t work for a country to assume “the language of justice and moderation while it is practising iniquity and extravagance…” He was, in the line you quoted, discussing that the Constitution wasn’t written for a hypocritical society. Which calls into question the libertarian challenge to a social contract, and means that his quote may have a different connotation than you were thinking. It’s interesting that this quote of Adams regularly gets used by people trying to suggest that there is somehow no division between Church and State in this country, when Adams would never have countenanced such a position.
“Sarah Palin cannot possibly be as shallow, petty, inarticulate, and ignorant as she appears to be. Therefore, she must actually be quite brilliant, and the rest of us are simply too stupid to realize how brilliant she is.”
Sorry, but that’s just a load of disingenuous rhetoric composed of two parts spin-doctoring and one part psycho-babble.
Stupid is as Sarah does.
personal responsibility includes treating others with unconditional love …. regardless of their perceptions and behaviors. My personal responsibility is derived from my moral compass, that wee small voice within, that some call intuition, some call conscience, some call God. Every person is a perfect individual expression of universal truth. Sometimes it’s harder to recognize, but it is always present. I do not need a social contract, just constant awareness of my thoughts and actions and their impact on others, and a desire to express unconditional love in every moment. Do I always succeed? No …. but I try to be aware of moments not filled with love and move into a loving space … it is a dynamic eternal process. Perhaps it is why John Adams said “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” I would perhaps substitute “spiritually centric” for “religious” …. but this unifying dynamic universal force is ever present and is unconditional love … the rules of mere men presume too much.
This shows how absolutely clueless and ignorant Sarah Palin is.
Other gNOpig honchos, like Peter King,
Peter King Warns GOP Not To Shut Down Government: Americans ‘Turned Off By Terror Politics’
as well as Gokkun star Sean Hannity who just let her babble on.
The libertarian philosophy would have us believe that we have no obligations to anyone other than ourselves, and that there is no such thing as a social contract. Or, in simpler language, it’s everyone for themselves. Like I said, it’s a brutal philosophy, and one that encourages selfishness over community.
I could say it another way …. what gives you or any other person the right to assume that you know what is best for others whether it’s health insurance, education or anything else … you have a responsibility to take care of yourself and your kids or others you make a personal choice to take care of … you can ask me to help you and I may decide to do so …. but you have absolutely no right to force me to do so
But that doesn’t change the fact that a libertarian approach will not result in people having health care or decent schools. And it doesn’t change that turning our backs on our fellow citizens doesn’t make us better, more responsible people – it just means that some people are being selfish.