Reprising his nightly role as suck to Barak Obama, Keith Olbermann used his MSNBC show to blast the surprisingly well argued article Sarah Palin posted on Facebook yesterday about â€œdeath panels.â€ Thanks to her and to all of her lunatic comrades haunting town halls everywhere, according to Olbermann, end-of-life â€œcounselingâ€ will be missing from the health care bill, whatever else that nasty work in progress actually turns out to be. As a result of the malice of Palin and her ilk, Olbermann was forced to break the sad news to his viewers, â€œNow you will face death on your own!â€
The idea that some innocently idealistic and entirely voluntary provision involving nothing more than a soothing chat had been stripped from health care legislation simply because of a scare campaign by the right was typical Olbermann mendacity. In fact, as the Washington Postâ€™s Charles Lane, whom Palin quotes in her piece, has pointed out, this little end-of-life talk for the elderly and the terminal, would be â€œnot quite voluntaryâ€ because physicians would get paid for it and therefore would have an incentive to make the chat happen. And, Lane added, if this counseling was only about palliating physical and emotional suffering, why was it in a measure that was all about â€œhealth care costsâ€?
Laneâ€™s colleague at the Post, Eugene Robinson, himself a well-known Obama megaphone, amplified on Laneâ€™s point in an op-ed this week when he admitted that â€œcitizens are not delusionalâ€ when they conclude that a bill setting out to control costs obviously has the goal of reducing â€œend-of-life spendingâ€ when it pays doctors to give advice about hospice and refusal of treatment. (Olbermann brought Robinson on the show last night and gave him an opportunity to distance himself from himself, not by denying he had made this observation, but by bashing Palin, an act that has become the last refuge of the scoundrel in todayâ€™s political discourse.)
Obama got himself in this scrape by letting others write a bill that he is forced, with rising incoherence, to try to defend. And when it comes to the matter at hand, he has been especially cavalier, dismissingÂ the concerns raised by many, including, yes, Sarah Palin, as simply more bad energy fromÂ the right-wing rumor machine.Â He wouldÂ “pull the plug on grandmaâ€?Â Him? Heaven forfend!Â Â The denials, coming fast upon each other,Â become ever less convincing.Â The BarackitesÂ obviously thought no one wouldÂ would take exception toÂ theirÂ commonsensical intention of sweet-talkingÂ the old and the infirm into doing the right thing and acceptingÂ the ultimate form of health rationing, thus freeing up scarce resources for healthy taxpayers.