The Power of Fox News and Palin

Last Saturday was just beautiful. Sunny, warm, and with the promise of rain on Sunday, everybody on my block was out doing chores. Steve mowed the lawn. I directed where I wanted the new shrubs stuck in the ground. For a while, I scraped paint on the front porch and picked away at the rotting wood to assess the damage. (Looks like we need a new floor for the porch. Ugh. House = Money Pit.)

While I scraped, I watched Old Bill pound his front steps with a sledge hammer. Others came to watch him, but kept a respectful distance. Men don't interfere with another man's projects.

Sal: Whatcha doing there, Bill?

Old Bill: I got a quote on putting in new front steps and the guy wanted 2,000 bucks for it. I figure that I can do it myself.

Hank: You're going to do this on your own, Bill? You're going to end up hurting yourself.

Crazy Sue: That's what I told him, Hank. We're not poor. Get the guy to do it, Bill!

Sal: Yeah, you're going to end up in the hospital and with Obama Care. They're going to end up killing you.

There was much grumbling about Obama Care and death panels. Three of the four people grouped around the stairs were either on Veterans Insurance or Medicare. They already benefited from socialized medicine.

Now, I don't have any problem with a reasoned discussion about health care, but "death panels" don't qualify as reasoned discussion. It's sad that the lowest and dumbest conservative arguments have made the biggest impact on the public.

Some, like David Brooks, has argued that Palin and Fox News aren't going anywhere. They are the cream puffs of the conservative movement and don't have a chance to make any real changes.

Others are much more frightened of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. Andrew Sullivan writes another long rant about her. I was fascinated to learn that most Tea Party supporters got all their news from Fox News. John Quiggan despairs about having a reasoned discussion with the anti-intellectualism strand of the conservative movement.

6 thoughts on “The Power of Fox News and Palin

  1. Three of the four people grouped around the stairs were either on Veterans Insurance or Medicare. They already benefited from socialized medicine.
    But isn’t much of the opposition to expanding government health care coming from people who already have government health care and do not wish to see it decline in quality if resources are pulled to care for others?
    And, veterans do not get socialized medicine. Veterans have a specific benefit that is tied to a service they have performed. They may be irked by the idea that the government is just going to give everybody what they had to serve to get. (I realize the details of the current health care plan don’t involve much “giving” except to the poorest, but people misunderstand that point for reasons that have more to do with supporters of HCR than Fox News.)

  2. “But isn’t much of the opposition to expanding government health care coming from people who already have government health care and do not wish to see it decline in quality if resources are pulled to care for others?”
    Right. It’s like saying, the canoe that you’re in is floating so nicely. Why do you object to adding 20 new passengers? Objecting may be selfish, but it is perfectly logical.
    Also, I know a couple of young active duty military families, and I don’t know that they are so awfully happy with their care in the military healthcare system. One of the moms was so irritated by the condescension that she is boycotting their base clinic and waiting until their next posting to make medical appointments for the family. Hopefully, the next base will be better, but I can imagine that having a captive audience of patients is not so great for a doctor’s bedside manner.

  3. I’m pretty sure that the VA system is run distinctly from the regular military health care system, Amy, so that example is at best only slightly connected with Laura’s. My understanding is that the VA system, which was long pretty bad, became a model of efficiency and satisfaction under Clinton and declined some under the neglect and incompetence of the Bush years, but that it’s still better than the normal military care system in terms of satisfaction, and compares quite well to most private health care plans.

  4. I’d respond, but I’m too busy washing the goo off my feet from having to walk through the rotting corpses produced by the Canadian medical system…

  5. “I’m pretty sure that the VA system is run distinctly from the regular military health care system, Amy, so that example is at best only slightly connected with Laura’s.”
    I don’t see why we shouldn’t mention all federally-provided health care in this context, up to and including the Indian Health Service.

  6. About the VA, they do get angry when somebody at Walter Reed or something makes a mistake and the paper makes it look like they did something wrong. The information infrastructure is seen as a model (though a bit dated now) for good reason. They were the first big player to do anything that comprehensive across more than a few sites. The care of course varies by locality, but in most urban areas, the specialists are the same people you’d see if you went to the big hospital in town.
    There is a culture of continuous training and improvement, which seems to work about as well as most of those things work. However, I’ll never understand who had the brilliant idea of putting reminders for the staff on little stands in the cafeteria where both the staff and patients eat. When I sit down to eat and I see a notice on how to prevent surgical fires, my first thought isn’t how nice it is they are taking steps to train everybody in safety. My thought is “How many people have you lit on fire recently?”

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