Why Let Reality Get in the Way of a Good Meme?

When we last left Self-Defeating Left-Wing Zealot Scott, he was making an ethically-challenged fool of himself over abortion.  This evening, while browsing Boots & Sabers (which I really need to get back in the habit of reading more often – sorry Owen!), I came across the following comment from our pal:

Many conservatives eschew expert opinion in the first place, so what’s the big deal?  Everything from CBO reports to scientific opinion—it just doesn’t matter because you can’t trust those eggheads.  Me, I’m a big fan of learning.  I like to acknowledge someone else’s expertise and learn from it.

Again, the only proper response is:

For good measure, background behind his bull about the CBO can be found here & here, and about “scientific opinion” here.

Will Amnesty Torpedo the GOP’s Comeback?

Now that healthcare reform has passed, there’s been chatter about a possible amnesty encore.  Some speculate that “immigration reform could KO health care.”  On the surface, that seems to make sense – the public hates ObamaCare and everything the Democrats did to pass it, and given how much they hated amnesty when President Bush pushed it, trying again could backfire spectacularly on the Democrats.

However, it could also end up killing all the momentum and goodwill the GOP’s built up with the public over health care.  The GOP will have enough trouble maintaining momentum on healthcare going into 2010 and keeping it all the way to 2012, and unlike healthcare, a fair number of prominent Republicans can be expected to defect to the Left on immigration, casting fresh doubts in voters’ minds as to their judgment, responsibility, values, and trustworthiness.

RNC Chair Michael Steele needs to get in front of this as soon as possible by committing to support only anti-amnesty candidates and opposing any pro-amnesty ones.  If the GOP is to regain the public’s trust, it has to make it crystal clear that its defectors – even leaders such as McCain, Kyl, Graham, and McConnell, are just that: defectors.

Educational Malpractice, ObamaCare Edition

Jim Hoft has the story about PBS’s shiny new material to help teachers indoctrinate “educate” children on the “fundamental right” of health care, and government’s “obligation to secure this right for all Americans.”

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: conservatives cannot save America if we don’t take back the schools.  Vouchers aren’t enough.  Home schooling isn’t enough.  As long as teachers & administrators feel free to pull this garbage without endangering their jobs, as long as school boards allow or promote it without fear of electoral repercussions, and as long as local parents and Republican Parties don’t care enough to scrutinize their schools, the long march of the Left will continue to eat our country away from the inside.

ObamaCare Truth & Consequences

Via Power Line, here’s a list of 20 Ways ObamaCare Will Take Away Our Freedoms, and an op-ed on The Real Arithmetic of Health Care Reform (also, here’s a handy summary of what’s in the bill, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, and for you masochists out there, the bill’s full text, courtesy of Open Congress).  Read ’em, print ’em out, and have ’em ready for the next time your lefty friends spout disinformation from the White House or MSNBC.  This recap of the states’ experiences with government meddling in healthcare is required reading, too.

Also, check out my latest NewsReal post for where we go from here.  The short version: we can, and must repeal this bill, but the GOP is really gonna have to bring their A-game.  And for a great explanation of what should actually be done to improve American healthcare, Ann Coulter’s got you covered.

Olbermann Still Spinning “Life Panels”

Keith Olbermann still insists the “death panel” concern is just one big hoax, in doing so using his ailing father as a prop.  I hate to break it to ya, Keith…

Hilariously, Keith can’t seem to figure out why an “honorable organization” called the Special Operations Warrior Foundation would support the dastardly Glenn Beck. Apparently it hasn’t dawned on him that their standards for truth might be a little higher than his.

A Case Study in Republican Rhetorical Incompetence

Robert Stacy McCain has excerpts from a speech by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), in which he goes completely nuclear on opponents of ObamaCare.  In Whitehouse’s alternate dimension, it seems Republicans have filled the debate with lies and distortions all aimed at frightening the American people, all because “The ‘birthers,’ the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militias and Aryan support groups, it is unbearable to them that President Obama should exist.”

Of course, it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the fact that nationalizing healthcare is a really bad idea with an abysmal track record.  Heaven knows the right-wing “lies” couldn’t possibly be true, and that it couldn’t possibly be the Left who’s been lying.  No, no, better to attribute the whole thing to extremists and be done with it.

Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) has responded to Whitehouse’s un-medicated tirade with an explanation as to why people oppose ObamaCare in good faith, along with the following criticisms of his colleague’s outburst:

I don’t know whether it’s frustration or maybe just the lens through which partisans view things and their opponents, unfortunately, that spawned the remarks earlier today from one of our Democratic colleagues…I wonder if my colleagues really believe that our position is animated by hatred. Why else would we oppose this legislation?

If why Democrats routinely engage in hate-mongering still mystifies you, then maybe you shouldn’t be entrusted with a seat in the US Senate.  It’s not that complicated: THEY DON’T CARE WHAT THE TRUTH IS.  To the Left, it’s all political—tell any lie, ignore any evidence, shoot any messenger, all in the name of doing maximum damage to their opponents and intimidating as many as possible into silence.  Punks like Whitehouse keep doing it because they know there’s no price to be paid.  At most, they’ll get a timid, bumbling response like Kyl’s.

The GOP’s problems are many, but one of the biggest is that there are virtually no Ann Coulter types—people willing to talk frankly about the severe consequences of liberalism and honestly about the motives and character of their opponents—in Congress.  Every time some liar pipes up about racist Republicans or conservatives hating poor people, he should be met with such a firestorm of condemnation that the very thought of trying it again should make him wet himself in terror.  The Democrats understand that contemporary American politics is a knife fight—it’s time for Republicans to stop bringing pillows.

ObamaCare: ‘Cuz It Worked So Well Before

Question: What do Washington State, Hawaii, Tennessee, Oregon, Maine, South Dakota, Kentucky, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, California, and Massachusetts all have in common?

Answer: In all these states, liberal government-focused healthcare ideas have all been tried—and they’ve failed, as Karl explains in this essential post at Hot Air’s Greenroom.  Check it out, and spread the word.

Healthcare, Hatred & Hypocrisy

The Reporter has published my latest flagrant act of speech.  Here’s the Director’s Cut:

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Barack Obama’s national healthcare plan [PDF link] has met tremendous opposition—polls show ObamaCare becoming less popular the more America learns about it, and townhall protests have many politicians cowering under their desks.

It’s easy to see why—the Congressional Budget Office contradicts Obama’s cost predictions almost as soon as he makes them. His promise that you can keep your current plan contradicts his campaign-trail desires to use a public option as a bridge to single-payer.  Despite claims to the contrary, FactCheck.org says ObamaCare will cover abortions, and the Congressional Research Service says it’ll likely end up covering illegal immigrants.  Countries like Canada are moving away from government and towards the free market to remedy their disastrous nationalized systems.

The Left is retaliating as they always do: demagoguery.  House leaders Nancy Pelosi & Steny Hoyer call the protesters “un-American.”  Pelosi makes blanket statements about protesters “carrying swastikas.”  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calls them “evil-mongers.”  The media routinely insinuates that anti-Obama sentiment is really just anger over a black man in the White House.

As usual, liberals are lying—most of the Obama-Hitler comparisons have come not from conservatives, but from followers of Lyndon LaRouche, a fringe figure who supports a single-payer healthcare plan even more extreme than ObamaCare.  MSNBC pondered the racism of those bringing guns to townhalls—while running selective footage hiding the black skin of the armed person in their video.

And lest you think their anti-hatred sentiment is sincere, recall the antiwar protests of 2002 onward, where Bush-Hitler comparisons (plus plenty of anti-Semitism) were all the rage (no pun intended).  Pelosi felt differently about “shouting down” opponents then—she told a group of Code Pink extremists: “I’m a fan of disrupters.”  As the Sweetness & Light weblog recently noted, there are over 16 million Hitler references at the liberal weblog Daily Kos—an organization embraced by Obama, Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Barney Frank.  Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Robert Byrd, Rep. Keith Ellison, and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann have all compared Republicans to Nazis.

Indeed, it was the “Lion of the Senate,” the late liberal icon Ted Kennedy, who arguably did more to debase modern political discourse than anyone in recent memory, with his famous screed that ““Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of the government.”

Former Democratic National Committee Chair Terry McAuliffe endorsed Michael Moore’s fanatic, lie-filled Fahrenheit 9/11, whose DC premiere was attended by “Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, Montana Sen. Max Baucus, South Carolina Sen. Ernest Hollings, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, New York Rep. Charles Rangel, Washington Rep. Jim McDermott, and others.”  Moore also attended the 2004 Democratic National Convention as the personal guest of President Jimmy Carter, who called Fahrenheit 9/11 one of his favorite movies.

Obama himself saw no problem exposing his children to the bigoted Rev. Jeremiah Wright for years, or numerous relations with unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist Will Ayers, including a 1995 political “coming-out” party, a favorable review of one of Ayers’ books in 1997, and more.  In 2008 he routinely said his opponents would say Obama “doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency.’”

Have some protesters acted badly?  Sure, every movement has its loons.  But so what?  It’s ridiculous to think the conduct of some conservative in Vermont should reflect on another in Wisconsin, and as anyone who’s ever tried to calm down Crazy Uncle Billy at Thanksgiving dinner should realize, it’s insane to expect that Michael Steele or Rush Limbaugh can somehow enforce behavioral lockstep among every member of a movement comprised of millions of people.

Indeed, if you think only bad movements have extremists, look up abolitionist John Brown sometime.

What matters is the character of the majority and the responsibility of the leadership, and here conservatism leaves liberalism in the dust.  For instance, a few fringe conservatives embrace the Obama birth certificate conspiracy, but most—the Republican National Committee, National Review, Human Events, the American Spectator, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, John Hawkins, and more—have rejected it.  Can the Left say the same about “blood for oil” in Iraq, or President Bush’s National Guard service?

Savagery is at the Left’s core (as a stroll through the comment threads on fdlreporter.com can confirm).  It’s all about intimidating dissenters into silence.  Yesterday’s cherished hallmark of democracy is today’s intolerable act of treason.  Don’t fall for their lies—and don’t let them get away with their own sins.

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Once again, the comment section is a merry menagerie of missives from morons & malcontents (with a couple much-appreciated exceptions)—you’ve got the inability to distinguish between sweeping generalization and specific statement of fact, or between ordinary expression of disagreement and genuine hate speech; the standard-issue big business boogeyman (sorry, guys, but not quite), blurring the distinction between “reform” and a specific plan of “reform,” a groundless insult toward Hillsdale College (a conservative school, yes, but I daresay you’ll find more ideological diversity—both among faculty and students—here than the average state school) and my personal favorite, Marvin49’s suggestion that I’m a plagiarist.  Again we see that Internet anonymity does wonders for the dissemination of slander.

Government Healthcare Across America

Followers of healthcare debates are well aware of the dark side of government healthcare in countries like Canada and Great Britain, but what’s about its track record when it’s been tried here in the United States?  As it turns out, we have plenty of examples.

Department of Veterans Affairs

It seems like there’s a new horror story about VA medical care every week.  Exposing “10,000 veterans to the AIDS and hepatitis viruses” and a Pennsylvania facility giving “botched radiation treatments to nearly 100 cancer patients.”  “Often fail[ing] to provide adequate medical care to female military veterans.”  Walter Reed.  “More than 600 veterans wrongly told they had ALS.”  And, of course, a “death book for veterans” which was reinstated by the same administration that insists we have nothing to worry about from death panels for the rest of us.  It’s bad enough when anyone suffers due to bad policy, but that we treat those who take up arms to defend our country this way is especially disgraceful.

Indian Health Service

Things aren’t so great on the Indian reservations, either.  There, federal government’s IHS provides care “in one of two ways. It runs 48 hospitals and 230 clinics for which it hires doctors, nurses, and staff and decides what services will be provided” or “contracts with tribes,” in which “case, the IHS provides funding for the tribe, which delivers health care to tribal members and makes its own decisions about what services to provide.”  Predictably, the disastrous effects of the former method (“the common wisdom is ‘don’t get sick after June’”) are leading tribes to turn toward the latter, which is a step up but “still frustrated by funding constraints.”

Maine

Maine has a plan not unlike ObamaCare.  How’s it fared? “The program flew off track fast. At its peak in 2006, only about 15,000 people had enrolled in the DirigoChoice program. That number has dropped to below 10,000, according to the state’s own reporting. About two-thirds of those who enrolled already had insurance, which they dropped in favor of the public option and its subsidies. Instead of 128,000 uninsured in the program today, the actual number is just 3,400. Despite the giant expansions in Maine’s Medicaid program and the new, subsidized public choice option, the number of uninsured in the state today is only slightly lower that in 2004 when the program began.”

Tennessee

Launched in 1994, TennCare was supposed to “save the state money, reduce costs, and increase coverage.  Instead, in a decade, the program went from a budget of $2.5 billion to nearly $8 billion, became mired in litigation, and was forced to make major cuts.”

Massachusetts

Cato’s Michael Cannon writes that “Massachusetts reduced its uninsured population by two-thirds — yet the cost would be considered staggering, had state officials not done such a good job of hiding it. Finally, Massachusetts shows where ‘ObamaCare’ would ultimately lead: Officials are already laying the groundwork for government rationing”…“ The Legislature also plans to leverage its power under the individual mandate to require ‘evidence-based purchasing strategies,’ which is another way of saying government bureaucrats may soon be deciding who gets medical care and who does not.”

Further Resources

Please take the time to read these reports in their entirety, especially the full profiles of the three state healthcare plans.  For further resources in the healthcare debate, please see:

The YouTube page and Telegraph blog of British MEP Daniel Hannan

Independence Institute: Patient Power

Consumers for Health Care Choices

Free Market Cure

Faces of Government Healthcare

Hands off My Health

Association of American Physicians & Surgeons