Ed Stein's commentary:
End of life counseling is back as a political issue after the president decided to add it to Obamacare by executive fiat. If you remember, this was one of the things that led to Sarah Palin’s infamous “death panel” fiction that caused such a furor over the summer. What is proposed, in the real world, is that insurance companies pay for helping terminally ill patients and their families make appropriate decisions for their medical care. That this is an issue at all is a sign of how toxic our politics have become. I’ve been involved in those decisions for two of my step-parents and for my father, and I remain forever grateful for the information that helped my family make the difficult decisions about what course the remaining days of our parents’ lives should take. Without the expert advice of doctors and hospice care nurses, I can only imagine what a struggle their last days might have been. To blindly oppose allowing other families to make those choices, solely for political gain, is worse than callous–it’s positively evil.
Can you believe that "death panels" are back? Isn't that nuts? Think about it. Is there anything so dumb that Republicans can't use it - successfully - in political attacks?
Death panels! Shariah law! Obama is a Kenyan! Obama is a Muslim! Obama is a socialist! What does this say about your message, when you have nothing but laughably ridiculous lies to advance your political position? Shouldn't that tell us something, when you don't have an honest argument, a rational argument, to support your cause?
And what does it tell us about the American people? How did we ever get to be this dumb, this ignorant, this... gullible? I can be rolling on the floor laughing at some hilarious right-wing claim,... and then it works! It becomes a major talking point in the news - and not just on Fox, either, though they'll always push it day and night.
Most news sources - other than Fox, I mean - dependably give equal time to "both sides." Republicans could claim that Obama is Satan - and I've already heard claims that he's the Antichrist, for god's sake - and the mainstream media would agreeably give "both sides" plenty of space to debate that point.
But really, so what? It's still up to us, isn't it? We don't have to be that stupid, do we? But apparently we are. It's just incredible. And as an American, I find it horribly embarrassing.