Sarah Palin’s claim that the Democratic healthcare reform proposal will set up death panels continues to be roundly refuted. On ABC’s This Week today, Howard Dean said, “About euthanasia, they’re just totally erroneous. She just made that up.” Conservative columnist David Brooks and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) have also refuted Palin.
Friday on her Facebook page Palin posted, “The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”
The criticism started on Friday night on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher when GOP Rep. Jack Kingston distanced himself from Palin:
Kingston said, “I agree. It’s rhetorical. It’s a scare tactic. There’s no question about it.” Rep. Kingston also said that there are no death panels. On Meet the Press today David Brooks called Palin’s claims crazy, “Yeah. Again, that’s crazy. If–the, the, the crazies are attacking the plan because it’ll cut off granny, and that–that’s simply not true. That simply is not going to happen.”
On ABC’s This Week Newt Gingrich became the only Republican to defend Palin, while former DNC chairman Howard Dean said, “About euthanasia, they’re just totally erroneous. Just like the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ that she supposedly didn’t support.” This is new reality for Sarah Palin. Since she resigned as Alaska governor, she no longer has a platform for her message, so she now has to make outrageous claims on Twitter and Facebook in order to get attention.
The problem for her is that although these statements will get her the mainstream media attention she craves, there is also the possibility that she will marginalize herself and lose potential supporters for 2012, if she goes too far to the fringe. It will be interesting to see how she deals with the backlash from Republicans over her statements. Her decision to resign took the bloom off of her political rose. I think more Republicans are going to criticize her in the future.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association