Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Conservatives Fear the Sandmen

Conservative blogger Donald Douglas, who hasn't had a thought he hadn't cut-and-pasted from someone else, is still in a desperate bid to defend Sarah Palin's "death panels." But as with everyone else trying to defend Palin, the best he can do is to continue talking about euthanasia of the elderly, completely ignoring the part of her claim involving her son Trig being denied healthcare.

And so he has this post titled ObamaCare and the Elderly: Don't Entrust 'Sandmen' Technocrats With Deathly Medical Directorate Authority. And in this post, he provides a link to let us know who these "Sandmen" Technocrats are, which I clicked on, expecting to see some scare-mongering blogger ranting about some innocuous part of the legislation. But lo and behold, it was far scarier: A Logan's Run website.

Yes, these "Sandmen" Technocrats he fears are from a work of science fiction. And hey, why not? I mean, everything else Donald links to is fictitious, so I think it's a good sign that he's finally linking to something intended to be fake. If only someone would tell Donald the good news.

Coincidentally, Josh Marshall mocked that very idea while I was writing this post.

Orders v. Directives

As usual with Donald, unable to actually defend anything he writes or even provide any hint of evidence to support his increasingly outrageous claims, he's forced to mind-read hidden motives based upon semantical points. Check this crazy out:
And the legislation is clear: It requires "orders" for end of life decisions, a choice of language which is totally at odds with traditionally individualistic "patient's directives" terminology - and which is thus typically authoritarian in tone. That is fact, not opinion. It's explicitly set forth as such in the key sections of the House bill I cited last night. And why "orders"? Well, the Democrats hate private autonomy and personal liberty.
That's right. Because the legislation uses the word "orders" instead of "directives," this is proof that Obama is planning to deny health care to old people, as well as an authoritarian tone; which he describes as "fact." And needless to say, Donald is completely wrong for saying the legislation "requires" these orders. Yes, they're "required," but only if the doctor wants to get "paid" for providing them. Perhaps Donald likes spending tax dollars on services that aren't provided, but I don't.

Of course, it should be noted that a search of "patient directives" only yields 4,070 results; one of the top which is an article mentioning Obama's support for "patient directives" in this legislation. And here's a Fact Check from AARP which clearly states that these are directives and that doctors are FORBIDDEN from discussing physician-assisted suicide as an option.

Of course, they use the term "advance directive," which a Google search suggests is the more widely used phrase and not "patient directive," as Donald suggested. In other words, Donald's individualistic "choice of language" wasn't strictly correct.

The Hard Lefties of Georgia

And of those Donald labels as "hard left radicals," we must include Senator Isakson, a conservative from Georgia who received an 88.4 lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union (in contrast, my liberal congressman got a 6.73 lifetime rating).

As Senator Isakson says (emphasis added):
I just had a phone call where someone said Sarah Palin's web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end of life directive or a living will as that is nuts. You're putting the authority in the individual rather than the government. I don't know how that got so mixed up.

It empowers you to be able to make decisions at a difficult time rather than having the government making them for you.... And it's a voluntary deal.
And so it looks like I'm in good company when defending this "monstrosity," which Donald assures us will lead to "ObamaCare technocrats empowered with life-and-death authority to 'order' treatment limitations for the elderly."

In our reality, these "orders" are decided upon by the individual patient and not a technocrat, while in Donald's reality, this is an entirely different concept than "directives" and will lead to authoritarian evil. And again, he insists that this is "fact," while Senator Isakson thinks this is "nuts." I think I've got to side with the Senator on this one.

Donald's Directives v. Obama's

And of course, here's the kicker: The legislation DOES use the word "directive." Five times, in fact. As in (emphasis mine) "(B) An explanation by the practitioner of advance directives, including living wills and durable powers of attorney, and their uses" on page 425, or this passage on page 433:
(A) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall update the online version of the Medicare & You Handbook to include the following:
(i) An explanation of advance care planning and advance directives, including—
(I) living wills;
(II) durable power of attorney;
(III) orders of life-sustaining treatment; and
(IV) health care proxies.
And it's quite clear from this passage that "directives" and "orders" are slightly different things, with "orders of life-sustaining treatment" being part of the "advance directives."

And all this in the same legislation that Donald quoted from. I'm sure he read the whole thing and wasn't just re-quoting what he was given by others, so I'm not sure how he missed this. But I suppose since they used the phrase "advance directives" and not Donald's "patient directives," these must be different things. After all, his phrase talks about "patients," while the legislation talks about "advances," which is clearly more evil and authoritarian.

Wrong About Everything

And if there's any consistency to Donald's argument, it's that he got it all wrong. And seeing as how he's just repeating what he's told, I'm sure he's not the only one. These people can read the same legislation we do and see something "gruesome" that I can't find. And when Donald's pressed to explain his point, the best he can do is play semantics games and insist that Obama is evil, based upon the use of one word. And again, the legislation repeatedly uses the word Donald thought was missing.

And just so you know, the section Donald quoted from wasn't the section which detailed the actual counseling, which begins five pages earlier in the section titled "SEC. 1233. ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION." Instead, he was quoting from the section on how to get counseling more frequently than every five years; as he would have known if he had bothered reading the preceding paragraph. Typical. But again, I'm sure he knows all this, as he's "read the bill."

And get this, in his post, he not only repeats the bogus suggestion that Obama is making an "enemies list," but this time, he's crazy enough to suggest that Obama might punish these imagined enemies by denying healthcare to their imagined relatives. I shit you not. And yes, it's the "Sandmen" from Logan's Run who will carry out these technocratic decisions to punish Obama's enemies.

For as much as Donald's words scare me, it's not Obama I'm scared of.


ex DLB said...

WTF? The accusations of Obama being another Hitler or Stalin and the references to Nazis weren't enough? Now they have to bring in Logan's Run.

It sort of makes sense. Once you're comparing someone to the greatest mass murderers of the 20th century and it doesn't have an effect, there's nowhere left to go other than to science fiction.

Green Eagle said...

You do Donald Douglas a disservice. He was in the very forefront of the Conservative movement in publicizing the naked films of that female sportscaster.

Doctor Biobrain said...

DLB - I think it's just a cop-out. They could have gone for the Kaiser, or maybe really gone old school with references to the Huns or the sacking of Rome by the Vandals. There were still many historical examples available before they needed to go sci-fi on us.

Beyond that, a better choice would have been Kurt Vonnegut's short story Welcome to the Monkey House, in which old folks are encouraged to euthanize themselves at HoJo's. But perhaps that just wasn't well known enough, as there wasn't a cool film version with people in awesome future clothes.

Either way, I predict that this is the beginning of the end for the more absurd elements of this debate. I'm thinking that an addendum to Godwin's Law is in order, stating that once you're relegated to evoking silly science fiction movies to make your point, you've lost. It can be called Logan's Law.

ex DLB said...

I read that Vonnegut story when I was much younger and it had crossed my mind during all this stupidity. It was a great collection of shorts.

Hope the monetizing goes well. You've been quite profoundly prolific lately (in your writing anyway, don't know what you're producing otherwise).