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VA "Death Book" shows what we can expect from "progressive" health reform

After weeks of discussion about the Democrats' proposed health care overhaul, it has become starkly clear that the American people generally have very little faith in what they are hearing. And who can blame them? When President Obama lectures us on the failures of our current health care system, or on the merits of "his plan," he seems to be about as authoritative as Barney Fife giving a lecture on gun safety (and we all know how that usually turned out). Congressional Democrats have demonstrated repeatedly that they know very little about the content of their draft health care legislation, and that they are deathly afraid of discussing it with angry constituents. And the American people seem to be very concerned about the moral and philosophical worldviews of the policy wonks to whom President Obama has given the task of health care reform.

Perhaps there is no better example of the questionable philosophical underpinnings of progressive health care reform than the 1997 booklet "Your Life, Your Choices," (Adobe PDF) published by the Veteran's Administration for use at VA Hospitals and clinics nationwide. Last year, under a directive from the Bush White House, the VA pulled the booklet from its hospitals amid complaints about the way it dealt with complex moral issues. But earlier this year, the booklet's use was reinstated under President Obama.

Here are a few excerpts from the narrative sections of the booklet:

Chris Larsen never told his family what kind of medical measures he'd want if he became critically ill. He is in a nursing home after having suffered a severe stroke 9 months ago. He is paralyzed and unable to take care of himself or communicate in any way. Now he has pneumonia and will probably die unless he goes to the hospital to receive intravenous antibiotics. He also may need to be on a breathing machine for a week or so. The doctor says that his chances of returning to normal are remote, but that he has a fair chance of getting over the pneumonia. His family members disagree about what they should do.

His son Bill says, "Dad was never a quitter. He'd want to fight to the very end, as long as there was the slightest hope." His daughter Trudy disagrees. "Sure, Dad wasn't a quitter, but he wanted to die naturally--he would be horrified to be kept alive this way."

In fact, Trudy's views were the closest to Mr. Larsen's true opinion. But the family never had a way to find this out. They treated his pneumonia and he lived another year in the nursing home without recovering his ability to communicate or care for himself.

This story shows why it is so important to discuss your wishes. Talking with your family and health care providers ahead of time can prevent confusion and help ease the burden on them.

Lily Chen, an elderly widow, was diagnosed 4 years ago with Alzheimer's disease, a common form of dementia. Over time she has gradually been losing her ability to think clearly and make decisions. Now she doesn't remember where she is and she can no longer recognize her daughter who visits her every day. For the last 8 months, she has been completely dependent on nurse's aides to bathe and feed her. Recently, she stopped eating altogether. Her daughter has power of attorney for health care and has to decide whether to have a long-term feeding tube surgically placed into her mother's stomach. The surgery is quick and won't cause much pain, but the real issue is guessing how Mrs. Chen would value her current life. If they place the feeding tube, Mrs. Chen could live for many more years in the same or worse condition. If they don't, she will die in about 2 weeks or less, and probably won't feel hungry or thirsty .

Questions to consider:
Do you think Mrs. Chen's daughter should decide about the feeding tube based on the fact that her mother isn't eating, or based on her mother's memory problems and dependence on others for care? Why?

Last week, in the Wall Street Journal, the VA booklet was discussed at length in an op-ed by Jim Towey, president of Saint Vincent College and director of the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives (2002-2006), as well as the founder of the nonprofit Aging with Dignity. Towey noted:

Who is the primary author of this workbook? Dr. Robert Pearlman, chief of ethics evaluation for the center, a man who in 1996 advocated for physician-assisted suicide in Vacco v. Quill before the U.S. Supreme Court and is known for his support of health-care rationing.

[...]

I was not surprised to learn that the VA panel of experts that sought to update "Your Life, Your Choices" between 2007-2008 did not include any representatives of faith groups or disability rights advocates. And as you might guess, only one organization was listed in the new version as a resource on advance directives: the Hemlock Society (now euphemistically known as "Compassion and Choices").

Perhaps it's a bit hyperbolic to refer to "Your Life, Your Choices" as a "death book," but throughout the narrative sections of the booklet the reader is undeniably edged toward decisions that favor "natural death" instead of prolonging the life of a loved one who is terminally ill or in a vegetative or unresponsive state.

End of life planning is a serious subject. Everyone should make sure that they have a living will that sufficiently addresses issues such as terminal illness, accidents that result in serious injury or brain death, and issues of medical futility where doctors can only restore basic life functions for an indeterminate amount of time, with little hope of recovery.

But do we need the Federal Government "guiding" us toward "wise decisions" regarding end of life care? Do we trust the progressive elites who are now in charge of shaping health care policies? Without question, they will try to direct a national conversation about end-of-life care toward pragmatic solutions, and urge the acceptance of policies based on a more "enlightened," progressive, utilitarian, and ultimately secular philosophy of the value of life and the extent of society's obligation to the welfare of the individual.

The results of such a shift won't be seen right away. The government will never officially order doctors to "pull the plug" on the terminally ill. But after 15 or 20 years, researchers will look back at the data and discover, perhaps, that a significantly smaller number of patients with end-stage cancer were being treated with aggressive chemotherapy in 2025, compared to the number who were treated in 2010. Our values as a society will have changed slightly, just enough for us to have collectively decided that it is more virtuous to conserve resources for the young and healthy, rather than to consume them in the selfish pursuit of immortality.

The United States is still primarily a Christian nation with a collective worldview that is much closer to the Christian principles of charity, compassion, hope offered to "the least of these," rather than modernist or post-modern ideas of collectivism and "the greatest good for the greatest number of people." Until our elites in Washington, DC understand this, they will have a very difficult time convincing the American people to surrender complete control of their medical care to the government. And for that, we should be incredibly grateful.


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Comments (42)

This is a guidebook on draf... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

This is a guidebook on drafting living wills that had been listed in a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) handbook by the Bush administration in 2007.

yaaaaawn,

Wonder if the VA gave those... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Wonder if the VA gave those 1200 vets the 'death book' when they sent letters in error telling them they had ALS (100% fatal).

Yep, the VA that the left holds up as a SHINNING example of government-run health care.

Hey Adrian, why not take yo... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Hey Adrian, why not take your kool-aid drinking bullshit somewhere else? This is just the kind of booklet some needs to read when they're depressed. Don't you just love the 'REFERRALS'
for more help? Oh, just one, The Hemlock Society.

Adrian probably thinks its a new flavor of kool-aid.

"...In fact, Trudy's vie... (Below threshold)
marybel:

"...In fact, Trudy's views were the closest to Mr. Larsen's true opinion. But the family never had a way to find this out. They treated his pneumonia and he lived another year in the nursing home without recovering his ability to communicate or care for himself."

Since Mr. Larsen NEVER recovered his ability to communicate, how did the brochure writer find out the sick man's "true opinion" was closer to "Trudy's views?"
I call complete and utter, and not very well edited, BS.

Here's what's wrong with it... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Here's what's wrong with it: the government has absolutely no business intruding into life choices which are by their very nature the most personal we ever make, either for ourselves or for close family members.

The government's only concern is about cost, which is by definition a disqualifying conflict of interest.

It is perfectly clear.

Of course, I will never know how all this turns out. I have been in a deeply depressed catatonic state since January 5, 2009. Hit the power switch on your way out, will ya?

"In fact, Trudy's views ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"In fact, Trudy's views were the closest to Mr. Larsen's true opinion. But the family never had a way to find this out."

Well, since Mr. Larsen can't communicate, how the hell do YOU know? Oh, that's right, we're making up stories to convince people it's better to pull the plug if they're unsure of their family member's wishes.

I'm telling ya. This government gets more gruesome and ghoulish daily.

Adrian, you'd look less foo... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Adrian, you'd look less foolish if it weren't for the fact that Bush discontinued the use of this book and the only reason it is news is because Obama reinstated it.

It does have a wonderfully ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

It does have a wonderfully progressive/1984ish title to it: Your Life, Your Choices a book about planning to die in the most expeditious manner

The Democratic Party, bring... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

The Democratic Party, bringing a whole new dimension to the phrase "cost cutting".

Or as they might like to say, "We think outside the box that we're planning on putting you in."

OR

"For elderly Medicare and VA patients, dying for your country is now PATRIOTIC!"

OR

"Hey veteran, since you didn't die on the battlefield, how about pulling that plug now.
We need the bed space and the money, no use wasting it on you."

The Democratic Party, ushering in a brave new world of compassion and civility!

Has Obama sent a copy to Te... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Has Obama sent a copy to Ted Kennedy yet?

After all--if he wants the best for our troops wouldn't he want the best for Teddy too? Either way if he doesn't it shows him to be a heartless SOB.

Just think of the green hou... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Just think of the green house gas that would not be produced in Adrian followed the advise of the "death panels", moved to Oregon and was assisted in his suicide. There would be more food for everyone. And unemployment claims would be reduced by one. I hope AB you did not spend a lot of money on education. If you did, you would have been better served by buying drugs.

This is an opportunity for ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

This is an opportunity for us to give Adrian a "teaching moment". He'd like that I'll bet... a teaching moment, something his Lord and Master espouses.

Here's the deal, I have Adrian figured for something of a mooch among other things. So, we have Adrian post his snail mail address here for us, and we in turn print out copies of the VA pdf file and mail them to him.

He in turn can give these to his family members on special occasion: like birthdays, before a colonoscopy, or after being admitted to the hospital. He must agree to pay particular attention to his oldest relatives (after all, that's where 80% of the medical costs are according to the Lord Hight Obama).

Then Adrian can get back to us with quarterly updates on how his gifts are being received, and if any of his family members are still talking to him. Wha'da'ya'tink? Is that a plan?

I love how they pose their ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I love how they pose their questions. Mr Larsen may be on a breathing machine for a week or so. As if that were a reason to let somebody die! I have seen countless patients go on a respirator and come off and be fine. Is this to suggest that the possibility of needing a respirator should mean that we don't give him the antibiotics? What if it turns out that he doesn't need a respirator? What if we just let him die and never find out?

Then there's the lovely question about Mrs Chen. Should we decide whether or not she should receive food based on her need for it or the fact that it might inconvenience somebody? Well I'm sorry work is inconvenient. Perhaps we should just let all the patients die because it is SOOOO much easier to not treat them and just take a longer coffee break.

What kind of sociopath determines the value of another person's life based on how convenient that person is to them? I guess we already know. They're called Democrats, since that's who published this monstrosity in 1997 and just republished it this week.

I suppose it's the same kind of person who is so broken up about their Grandmother's deteriorating condition that it takes them 10 days to 'rush' to her side. If he wasn't campaigning and people weren't watching him would he have ever bothered?

Makes me mad.

"If he wasn't campaigning a... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"If he wasn't campaigning and people weren't watching him would he have ever bothered?"

Hell no he wouldn't have bothered. Too inconvenient. Just like taking care of his poor 1/2 brother in Kenya. No skin off Barry's nose.
Only reason his "auntie" is still in the US is because she's somehow on the public dole. If Barry was paying her way, she'd be on the next plane home.

Liberals = Nazis.... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Liberals = Nazis.

Re #4 and #6:The w... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Re #4 and #6:

The writer is using something called "the omniscient narrator." It's a literary device, geniuses.

See, Mr Larsen and Mrs Chen AREN'T REAL PEOPLE. They are hypothetical characters made up to illustrate his point.

Sheesh.

Bruce - How thick can you g... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Bruce - How thick can you get?

This is not about literary criticism. This is about a piece of PROPAGANDA that attempts to persuade people that the correct decisions are ones that will end life. Mr Larsen and Mrs Chen are your parents or your spouse you dimwit!

I don't really care if this is written in first person, or third person or comes replete with references to Shakespeare. It's got nothing to do with the style. It has everything to do with content.

But then that is the problem with liberals. Always confusing the two.

Reform? Death book? R... (Below threshold)
Deborah Calvert:

Reform? Death book? R

ight now Sun Healthcare Group out of New Mexico, who operate over 200 nursing homes commits elder abuse and manslaughter for profits for their shareholders and brag to families about it (Fernando Rodriguez, Reg. Mgr).

My mother experienced hell in a Sun Healthcare nursing home:

Even with double pneumonia they forced her up and dressed by 5:30am, I found on a surprise visit, as she was made to sit in her wheelchair in the hallway waiting for the dining room doors to open at 5:45, b cuz SUN understaffed and simply put, 5-7 CNAs that arrive at 7am cannot dress 59 patients in one hour. Thirsty? Back in an hour; Need bathroom? Not enuf help to walk u to toilet, we use diapers here -if you weren't bedridden when you arrived you will be before you leave! Hungry? Taste the food;Need a doc? Call 911;Fever? Sorry r thermometers broke;Hot? HVAC condemned; Cold? HVAC condemned; Can't breathe from lack of ventilation? Did I tell u the HVAC is condemned? BTW ur oxygen ran out, b cuz oxygen tanks aren't monitored becuz we understaff;OMG looks like u had a stroke, did I tell you r b/p monitors broke? so sorry that caused you to never swallow again. opps now you catch the superbug MRSA from us? So sorry now you die. We will cheat ur family out of wrongful death and elder abuse 'cuz we know your attorney real well and we'll use ur disabled brother against u. we are cut throat profiteers and proud of it.

Opps ur medical director, Dr Scott Stoney has a a conscience and wants to testify SUN KILLED PATIENTS? Death cases against SUN will surely lose. Ten million is the price they pay for a willful misconduct death?

Sun Healthcare's board of directors has been made aware this is how their CEO and board member Dr Hunker treated a legal case recently. Criminal behavior? Corporate corruption?

Deborah Calvert Newport Beach, Calif.

Or more to the point Bruce,... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Or more to the point Bruce, this is the government telling our military personnel when it believes that they no longer have value as human beings and when their family members would really prefer that they snuff it. The purpose is to get them to give a directive that potentially cuts their life short so the VA can save a few bucks.

No, I get it, Mr Jim. And I... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

No, I get it, Mr Jim. And I agree that, at least from what's been excerpted here, the booklet seems to be steering folks in one direction. And it kinda creeps me out, too.

I just couldn't resist pointing out that Commenters 4 and 6 thought they had an "Aha!" moment on their hands, as if the writer was purporting to be telling literal gospel truth and they had oh so cleverly exposed him.

Bruce I took comments 4 and... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Bruce I took comments 4 and 6 to be responding reasonably to the story. Frankly, while many people might not want to continue on in a state where they could not communicate with their loved ones suggesting that your family members should withhold basic medical care such as antibiotics for the purpose of forcing death upon you is barbaric.

I don't believe in the use of assisted suicide but this is disgusting.

And look at the venom on th... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

And look at the venom on this thread! We have UOG somehow divining someone else's employment status as unemployed, Field Marshal von Ragshaft drooling over Adrian's proposed death, Michael calling people Nazis, and you breathlessly anticipating Sen Kennedy's demise.

Breathe, folks.

My point was that Sen Kenne... (Below threshold)
jim m:

My point was that Sen Kennedy will be passing soon. He is already anticipating it by trying to change the law so his successor (probably another Kennedy) can be appointed rather than having to be elected by a vote of he people.

Further if this is really intended to help people, should not the president be showing some compassion and giving to him? After all he is giving it to our service men and women out of compassion is he not?

So either he is screwing Teddy or this really isn't about compassion and he is screwing the military personnel. take your pick.

And yes the Nazi comment was stupid. After all, the Nazis made their economy work and the Dems haven't demonstrated that they can do that yet. ;)

Some of you well-informed c... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Some of you well-informed conservatives might want to take a gander at the Texas Advanced Directives Act of 1999. It permits a panel of experts to overrule the wishes of family members for heroic life-sustaining measures, if they determine those measures would be futile.

Passed by a GOP legislature and signed into law by George W Bush in 1999!

Oh, and Bobdog: "The government has no business intruding into life choices ....."
I agree. But how did you feel about government intrusion when Bush called Congress into Special Session to deal with Terri Schiavo?

My reading of it says hat i... (Below threshold)
jim m:

My reading of it says hat if the attending physician refuses to continue with life sustaining measures on the belief that they are medically unnecessary and inappropriate, that an ethics committee (something every hospital has and not a state sponsored board) would rule as to the doctor's refusal. The patient would continue to receive care until the committee could hear the issue. If the committee finds that further treatment would be inappropriate it does not mean that the patient would be cut off from treatment, but that the family would have to bear the burden of the treatment financially and that the hospital might fairly request hat the patient be moved to a more appropriate facility.

I see nothing in it that sets up a government board determining life and death issues like HR3200 proposed.

Frankly this is pretty noncontroversial legislation. It provides for advance directives that they can be voided at will, that out of state directives should be honored etc. There is nothing in it that promotes people being killed or provides for committees to make decisions for patients against their will and the will of the next of kin.

Bruce the NAZI were very li... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Bruce the NAZI were very liberal
They loved Labor Unions, hated capitalist , wanted Universal Health
Care.
Look at the Planks of the party and you find maybe 15 or 25 Planks to be the same as Liberals.

Conservatives like small limited government. Liberals need totalitarian because they need the force of government to impose their will on people for their own good. That why Marx said that you need a dictatorship of the proletariat on the way to the Worker Paradise.

The problem with a large invasive government that is doing things for the greater good is that the individual citizen becomes a cog. Once you can not produce for the Government you are of no value so it time to die.

22. Bruce Henry "And look a... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

22. Bruce Henry "And look at the venom on this thread! We have UOG somehow divining someone else's employment status as unemployed,"

Bruce Henry, can you read and comprehend? Do you have any idea as to the meaning of words, or is it all just new-speak for you now, son? The word mooch is a reference to someone who is unemployed? Perhaps you should take your own advice and just breathe for a while.

On the other hand, it's nice to know you read my earlier post and that something in it struck so close to home. Thank you.

Many of us have been waitin... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Many of us have been waiting a long time for Teddy's demise, probably since he left Mary Jo to drown.

Forget the Left saying we n... (Below threshold)

Forget the Left saying we need a public plan to compete with private insurances. Forget the Right and the "death panels" and abortion money. Only one thing matetrs int this whole debate, any everyone seems to be forgetting it:

The government should not be running ANY business. None. And healthcare is a business. And, last time I checked, healthcare was NOT a constitutional right. You are not entitled to healthcare under law, and if you choose to purchase it, you do.

End of story people: Healthcare is not a right, and the government should not be running business. Two facts that can not be argued.

I know, I know, the government already hasits fingers in all sorts of businesses. Fine, work behind the scenes. But it should not be running a business that competes with anyone. Why? What keeps businesses healthy is the need to show a profit. the government does NOT need to show a profit, and therefore can unfairly run businesses that NEED to show a profit because of shareholders out of business. If a government business fails, all it has to do si raise taxes or print more money.

Helathcare needs to be fixed. But lets start with tort reform to clean up this medical malpractice that wastes 10 billion dollars a year. Lets allow people to buy medical insurance across state lines to increase competition. There are a dozen ways to refurbish the system without tearing it down, and I don't understand why it is so hard to understand this.

This should not be about Right and Left, Dems and Rep. It should be about understanding that as Americans, we DO NOT want the government running businesses. It is not their place, and it is not their right.

Health can be fixed- but putting it in the government's hands (how did cash for clunkers work? Not enough money, and then not paying dealers because one signature was missed on one of a dozen pages of paperowrk that had to be filled out) should not be the direction we look.

I challenge anyone to dispute this: you can't. Because it is fact, not opinion. Once again, government does not have the right to own a business, and we Americans should not want them to.

If you have adult children without insurance, or you lost your job and no longer have insurance, I'm sorry. And I'm sure right now you think something is better than nothing. But you're wrong. A bad fix is worse than no fix at all.

@Deborah Calvert...What? Co... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

@Deborah Calvert...What? Couldn't tell if you were for or against or even what the topic was.

@Michael...Nazi's would be Progressive not Liberal, and anyone who wants to Nationalize Health Care and Business and proceed along Social Programs and Socialist Ideals, is by definition a Nationalist Socialist (as in Nationalist Socialist Party or NAZI). Pay attention lefties, there is no way that those of us on the other side of this issue are Nazi's so stop trying to call us that. It just makes you look stupid.

Please stop calling them Liberals, they are Progressives. They dropped the name and became Liberals when Progressive became a bad word, making it look on paper anyway, like they had moved toward the center.

Progressive: favoring or advocating progress, change, improvement, or reform, as opposed to wishing to maintain things as they are, esp. in political matters:

Liberal:
1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.
2. (often initial capital letter) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.
3. of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism.
4. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.
5. favoring or permitting freedom of action, esp. with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.
6. of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.
7. free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners.
8. open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.
9. characterized by generosity and willingness to give in large amounts: a liberal donor.
10. given freely or abundantly; generous: a liberal donation.
11. not strict or rigorous; free; not literal: a liberal interpretation of a rule.
12. of, pertaining to, or based on the liberal arts.
13. of, pertaining to, or befitting a freeman.

Conservative: disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.

I am a proud Liberal thank you very much. Don't let them ruin the dictionary definition.

BH, You telling othe... (Below threshold)

BH,
You telling others to breath? My husband is a
disabled veteran, he deals with many challenges
every day. Reading literature alluding to the
Hemlock society is not positive or compassionate.
If some posters put down words in righteous anger, who are you?

BH, No government, f... (Below threshold)

BH,
No government, federal to local has any
business sticking their noses in the most
intimate areas of any person.
Terri Shiavo was a crime by all
involved.

"Re #4 and #6:"...It's a... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Re #4 and #6:"...It's a literary device, geniuses.

Oh, I see, Bruce. The fact that I wrote this:

"Oh, that's right, we're making up stories to convince people it's better to pull the plug if they're unsure of their family member's wishes."

...was not the faintest clue to you that I got it about the story telling.

Genius.

1. "No questions in the boo... (Below threshold)
Robin:

1. "No questions in the book like: Does a sunrise still give you hope for a better day? Does time with your children make you realize that life is not about disabilities?"

2. This book is nothing but doom and gloom at a time when vets have returned from war etc.

3. ...but requiring a patient be fully informed by way of an ultrasound before an abortion is pressuring her decision?

Anyone who thinks that the ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Anyone who thinks that the Nazis were liberal; or progressive; is a fucking idiot. Sorry, Russ. Using the word "Socialist" in the full name of their party did not make the Nazis socialists. Socialists don't try to exterminate vast proportions of the population based on ethnicity. Authoritarians do that. You should read more, and shriek less.

Every comment thread that I slog through here makes me more and more ambivalent to how fucked up so many of you people are.
depp=true
notiz=You think? Have shovel will travel hyper...

Hyper -You're comp... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Hyper -

You're completely right that authoritarian regimes are the ones who imprison and murder their populations. Democracies simply don't do that. Governments which have ceased to function as democracies do that.

Having said that it should be obvious as to why the concern for a government:

* Nationalizing industry after industry (banks, autos, health care potentially energy)

*Acting to compromise the vote (ACORN, letting off the New Black Panthers etc)

*Seeking to muzzle opposition (Fairness doctrine/localism, calling out union thugs, "if you get hit, we'll hit back twice as hard)

* Refusing to appoint people to government positions requiring Senate confirmation, but appointing 30+ czars who are responsible to no one other than the president.

* Conducting political witch hunts and trying previous administration officials for conducting legal policy (CIA prosecutions)

* Cozying up to leaders such as Chavez, Morales, and Ortega who rule former democracies and have destroyed those countries (and trying to protect Zelaya who wanted to be a member of the club)

These are not emblems of a healthy democracy. They are the signs of a dying democracy. Obama spends a lot of time pandering to his base, a base which has called for imprisoning opposition, imprisoning members of he previous administration, curtailing freedoms of opponents...

Choose to ignore his authoritarian aspirations if you like.

If Cheney et al did commit ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

If Cheney et al did commit crimes, then they should be imprisoned. As for the rest of it, liberals frequently produced lists of why Bush was turn America into a corporatist, fascististic hell-hole, and were scoffed at.

Fret not, jim, the sun shall rise in the east tomorrow morning.

I'm not worried. The sun s... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I'm not worried. The sun still rose in Siberia too. ;)

The difference is that the libs worried based off of no evidence other than their own diatribes. On the other hand we can point to substantive action and statements on the part of Obama and his administration.

The problem is that the Dems want to criminalize policies hat they disagree with. Conservatives don't view the world that way. We understand that people can hold varying opinions (right and wrong) and are prepared to deal with the fact that sometimes those whose outlook differs from our will be in power. The left does not see it that way. They want to make dissent or differing political views illegal so others cannot act on their beliefs. This goes back decades.

Vic,Calling a Prog... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

Vic,

Calling a Progressive a Liberal doesn't change the part at all either. I will conceed the fact that though the original Nationalist Socialist German Workers party may have had socialist ideas of equal pay/land/etc for all, Hitler didn't really do things that way. But the Nationalism was definitely there.

You totally missed my main point in any case, Republicans and Conservatives in general are not for Nationalizing anything but the military (in the Constitution) or for Socialist ideals. Therefore only an idiot actually believes they could be Nazi's. I expect my politicians to be smarter than to use Nazi as a joke like calling someone a car nazi for not letting you eat or drink in the car.

I read a lot man, but I also take my nose out of books long enough to observe the real world. It's all good to read about Marxism because it sounds great on paper. In a utopian world everyone WOULD be equal and we wouldn't have money at all. We would all hold hands and sing Cumbaya but this is the real world. In the real world Power corrupts and there will always end up being a governing class that holds itself above the little guys.

Hyper,not vic..sorry my kid... (Below threshold)
JustRuss:

Hyper,not vic..sorry my kids were distracting me :)

No prob, Russ. But I disagr... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

No prob, Russ. But I disagree with this:

It's all good to read about Marxism because it sounds great on paper.

I disagree. I think it sounds horrible. I like having nice things and I understand that, even on paper, my things will not be *nice* if everyone has them. I'm a selfish person, but then that's part and parcel of being a person, perhaps excepting certain faiths and clergymembers.

And Hitler didn't think everyone should be paid equally. His political philosophy was in line with Mussolini's--statist, for sure, but not egalitarian. Socialists are not 'statists', but are 'humanists', which allows for the belief that the state ought to be manipulated for the good of humans. Socialists do not exalt the state, but see it as a powerful means for delivering social goods that we all make use of (or ought to make use of).

Have you ever been??... (Below threshold)

Have you ever been??




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