t’s unclear if this is what Sarah Palin had in mind, said Mark Sappenfield in The Christian Science Monitor, when she pledged to “effect change” from outside the governor’s office. But Palin's Facebook comment that her parents and son Trig, who has Down syndrome, would have to face “Obama’s ‘death panel’” to decide whether they deserved treatment under the Democrats’ health-care plan certainly “put her in the national conversation” on health-care reform.
And not in a good way, said Timothy Egan in The New York Times. Not only is Palin’s “lunatic fringe” charge about ObamaCare “death panels” just “pure fantasy”—apparently a distortion of a provision in one House bill to fund counseling for terminally ill patients—it’s also “poison” for the free exchange of honest information that’s crucial to democracy. Palin “should know better.”
No, Sarah Palin’s right, as is ex–House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who’s backing her up on this, said Warner Todd Huston in Stop the ACLU. Gingrich points out that Obama is “asking us to ‘trust the government’” to use “communal standards” in determining who’s “worthy enough” to get health care—and that “euthanasia is a likely outcome” of such bureaucratic meddling. That’s a “dangerous road,” no matter who’s in power.
The problem is, there’s nothing like that in any of the proposed legislation, said Jazz Shaw in The Moderate Voice. Look, there’s “more than sufficient ammunition” to oppose the Democrats’ ObamaCare plan on its merits. These “pointless bits of screaming hyperbole” about “death panels” only discredit those doing the screaming.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- What would a U.S.-China war look like?
- Pics or it didn't happen: Millennials are a bunch of selfie-loving skeptics
Subscribe to the Week