The mind reels at the latest dishonest fearmongering to come out of the far right. Fox and Friends, fresh from warning the world of the dangers of miscegenation, where they sounded for all the world like the villains from a new Harry Potter book, turned their razor-sharp wit late last week to the question of the Obama administration’s planned health-care reforms, concluding thusly:Vodpod videos no longer available.
That’s right — state-subsidized health-care is the moral equivalent (or the actual equivalent?) of euthanasia.
But why? Because, apparently, under the Obama system, if you take the public option, doctors would advise you on the cost and benefit of procedures, before letting you make an informed decision about whether to undergo potentially helpful, potentially useless & expensive surgery. One wonders how this is different than or, if different, worse than the current system, where insurance companies seek to avoid paying for even lifesaving or indisputably necessary treatments on a million independent grounds, either by flat-out refusing (Pre-existing condition! Hope you never went without insurance for one hour, because if you did, it’s not covered!), or dragging their heels until the patient loses the will or the time to put up a fight. Compared to the hoops upon duplicative hoops an insurance company places in your way, a consultation that gives the patient the right to opt in or out of treatment sounds like a luxury, and a reprieve from either days upon weeks of battling with the interminable bureaucracy of modern insurance companies, or a denial of care.
Would this outrageous mischaracterization be more or less offensive if it was unique to Fox and Friends? Thankfully, that’s one question we won’t have to answer. Just ask the Washington Times, TownHall.com, American Thinker (which rolls in a lovely little “Obama’s a Muslim” opener), and Republican Senate candidate Andy Martin, all of whom are making the same baseless argument from fear, to say nothing of John Boehner, whose best argument against the government’s healthcare plan has been to build a purposefully confusing chart that both adds irrelevant factors to create the illusion of complexity (note the chart gives no information about what patients will actually experience), and conceals the true complexity of the current system.
All of this points to one conclusion: the Republican Party, whether by virtue of its base or its leaders, is physically incapable of forming an argument for or against a particular policy that, at its core, doesn’t play upon fear. Gays are destroying marriage, how is irrelevant; Iraq has WMDs, no time to stop and examine the evidence; Obama’s a “radical,” no, it doesn’t matter what that means, just repeat it; he’s going to take your guns, please overlook all statements to the contrary; the Fairness Doctrine is coming, nevermind the multiple speeches expressly disavowing it; the terrorists are after us, now’s not the time for free speech, and so on. The Republican “debate” over health care is just the most recent iteration.
Early in Obama’s presidency, Karl Rove, Bush’s now-unemployed political gun-for-hire, argued that Obama builds the Republican Party out to be something it’s not, just to scare people. Well, I suppose he would know.