Sunday, August 09, 2009

Delusional Conservatives Join Reality

I understand that conservatives have different theories about government than I do. I want one that provides services that aren't properly being provided, and they don't. And I understand how easy it is for them to only hear what they want to hear. After all, the only time I go to conservative blogs is to debunk them; so I'm sure they think my fact sources are as screwy as I think theirs are.

But what's truly scary is when someone can see the same facts that I'm seeing, yet imagine great evils that clearly don't exist. And so it is with conservatives who have apparently gotten around to reading some parts of the actual legislation; rather than the evil paraphrases they were fed before. Yet all the same, they continue to see evil bogeymen which clearly don't exist.

And as evidence, I have American Power blogger, Donald Douglas, who is once again channeling his superiors and finally read the legislation he so fiercely opposes. Oddly, he was doing so in an attempt to defend Sarah Palin's "death panels," yet only quoted the parts regarding end-of-life counseling, which has absolutely nothing to do with babies being denied health care. But hey, it got him to read the damn thing, so I guess that's a start.

The Evil of Living Wills

Now, in reality, this part of the legislation is just making it so doctors can be paid if they help their patients create a living will and gives a general explanation of what those services are.

But in crazy conservative land, this is part of a nefarious plot to bribe doctors into pressuring you into euthanizing yourself. And by itself, that's quite a breakthrough. Conservatives are now admitting that doctors might act unethically to make extra money, which is such a rampant problem that we should forbid them from mentioning end-of-care services to their patients. Apparently, conservatives now want the government to get in-between you and your doctor. Brilliant.

Yet all the same, there's nothing here that suggests that doctors make more by convincing you to limit your end-of-life care. In fact, doctors will make much much more money if you decide to stay on life support indefinitely, so if they're unethical about making you sign a Living Will, I can only imagine they'd also pressure you into holding on to your ghost as long as possible. But that's the sort of contradiction that conservatives can never appreciate.

BTW, one commenter of Donald's is so wacko that he insists that "this is NOT the federal government's business." In this guy's reality, it's better to make old people pay for their own counseling. Or perhaps he just opposes end-of-life instructions and thinks it's best to force everyone to stay on life support indefinitely, even if that wasn't what they wanted. And to think, these guys once hated Medicare.

Gruesome Legislation

And so Donald looks at the legislation and somehow imagines that it's "gruesome." Yet, I'm reading the same words he does and see nothing gruesome about it. I mean, it sounds like typical legislation to me. Like this passage, which he highlighted:
(4) A consultation under this subsection may include the formulation of an order regarding life sustaining treatment or a similar order.
Oh, no! A consultation of life sustaining treatment! Disgusting!

And sure, I suppose the content is a bit morbid, but that's just because it's dealing with terminally ill patients and death, and that sort of thing tends to be morbid. I recently had a close relative pass away and we were dealing with end-of-life orders and power-of-attorneys and all that stuff. And it was morbid and many in my family wanted to avoid dealing with these issues for that very reason. But all the same, it was necessary. We're not children and pretending that these situations don't exist only makes things worse. Even now, I'm using particularly lighthearted words to describe a heart-wrenching situation; just because it was so awful.

Donald even quotes a passage which mentions that these wills can show "an indication for full treatment," which should dismiss any concern that this is about killing old people; yet Donald doesn't get it. He's been told endlessly that this legislation is evil by people he trusts who claimed to have read it, so he tries as hard as he can to find that evil; yet fails miserably. Seriously, he never explains what the problem is.

And needless to say, he quoted nothing about the government trying to deny health care to people with Downs Syndrome. As I've said before, no one is seriously defending Palin's claims.

Obama's Evil Answer

Donald also copies Ann Althouse's idea of showing a clip of Obama discussing these issues and determines that it shows that Palin's conclusion was "cool-headed and manifestly sane." And yet, I'm watching that clip for a second time now and can find absolutely nothing wrong with it. And that scares me. What video were they watching?

The clip shows a woman talking about her elderly mom and how an arrhythmia specialist said her mom was too old for a pacemaker, but another arrhythmia specialist said that because she was so full of life that she could have one. And the lady wanted to know if Obama's plan would also take such things into consideration, or if it would instead have a "medical cut-off at a certain age."

And that's a fair question, which Obama answered by saying that the legislation can't make all these decisions and that people need to make them for themselves. He then says that we need to cut waste out of the system and find out which procedures are best for people. And honestly, I find nothing wrong with that. If anything, Obama didn't directly answer the question, but I take it as implied that it wasn't necessary because we aren't planning to make any sort of age limit to medical care. Perhaps I'm wrong and Obama was hiding something, but in no case did he say anything remotely scary.

Yet Althouse and Douglas see something evil about this, which they imagine justifies Palin's attack against "death panels." At best, I suppose it's possible they're taking the word "waste" as to refer to the old people themselves; but that's such an absurd stretch that I have a hard time believing either of them could be that dumb. And outside of that, I see nothing even remotely odd about Obama's answer. Yet to Douglas and Althouse, the answer was so self-evidently radical that they don't even bother explaining the problem.

Out of Fantasyland

And again, I find this all a bit scary. These people can see exactly what I'm seeing, yet somehow delude themselves into seeing something evil. Legislation which pays for Living Wills and a discussion about families making medical decisions is somehow evil to them. I can make nothing of it. But all the same, I'm just glad that we got them talking about the actual legislation, instead of the fantasy one they were talking about before.

Debating this stuff is fine, but it was simply impossible when they're discussing legislation that only exists in their heads. To even suggest that government bureaucrats weren't going to knock on your door to request that you euthanize yourself was considered an Obamabot lie unworthy of response. It's good to see that they finally entered some form of reality that coincides with our own.

And on a final note, I suspect that this is the beginning of the end of their outraged opposition. Sure, they'll never be happy about any of this, but I think Palin went too far with the outrage, and now that they're reading the legislation, the worst is over.

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