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Old 08-17-2009, 04:56 PM   #361
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Can we get a grip?

David Frum, National Post
Robert Spencer, Getty Images

The comparison on the website is arresting. A photograph of President Obama in unattractive blue jeans, preparing to throw the first ball at a baseball game. The caption: "You know who else wore funny pants?" Place the cursor on the image and it shifts to an older photograph, black and white, of a familiar evil figure clad in lederhosen. "Hitler!"

Nearby is a photograph of Barack Obama with Henry Louis Gates and Officer James Crowley in the White House garden. "You know who else had beer summits?" Fade to an image of a Munich beer garden. "Hitler!

The website (ObamaIsLiterallyHitler.tumblr.com)is obviously joking. Or rather: One wishes it were obvious. The unfunny fact is, however, that Obama=Hitler analogies are spreading like wildfire on the political right.

"Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate," said Rush Limbaugh on his Aug. 6 radio program. That same day Limbaugh itemized "similarities between the Democrat party of today and the Nazi party in Germany." Among them: The Nazis mistrusted big business, worried about pollution, initiated make-work projects and condemned smoking. Limbaugh concluded: "It is liberalism that is the closest you can get to Nazism."

Fox News's newest star, Glenn Beck, has insisted repeatedly that Obama wishes to lead the United States to a "fascist state."

The House of Representatives' version of health care reform offered coverage for "end of life counseling." This legislation inspired Sarah Palin to accuse Obama of planning "death panels" to extinguish the old and the disabled -an accusation seized and repeated by Sean Hannity on Fox News.

My NewMajority.com sent a reporter to a health care town hall in Maryland, hardly a conservative state. He wrote: "Twenty minutes into my two-hour wait to get a seat at Senator Ben Cardin's town hall event, I started keeping a 'Nazi tally' by counting references I overheard to Adolf Hitler, Germany, or the Nazi Party. ... 'This is exactly how Nazi Germany began!' was a standard echo heard in line." There's a lot wrong with Barack Obama's health care plan, but no, this is not exactly how Nazi Germany began. Not even a little bit close. In fact, the analogy seems so self-evidently crazy that it may baffle outsiders as to how any conservative, no matter how irate, could possibly imagine such a thing.

The answer begins with the declining impact of the word "socialism," the seemingly more obvious term to apply to big, expensive government programs. Recent polling in the U. S. has found that voters are reacting less negatively to the word than they did a generation ago. Plus, support for Barack Obama from people like Warren Buffett and Paul Volcker has rendered that particular charge less credible. "Fascism" packs more voltage.

The Nazi talk also reflects the impact on Republican politics of supporters of Ron Paul, the libertarian Texas congressman who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. For their own internal ideological reasons, Paulistas use the term "fascism" very promiscuously. Paul did not win
many votes, but he raised a lot of money and inspired intense enthusiasm.

The Paulistas make a natural activist base for an opposition party -and an eager audience for angry talk radio. In order to gain their support, many Republicans have begun to talk their inflammatory language. The man who attended President Obama's Portsmouth, NH, event carrying a placard endorsing assassination and bearing a -legal -firearm strapped to his leg was a Ron Paul supporter.

Contra Rush Limbaugh, history's actual fascists were not primarily known for their anti-smoking policies or generous social welfare programs. Fascism celebrated violence, anti-rationalism and hysterical devotion to an authoritarian leader. To date, the Obama administration has fallen rather short in these departments.

Perhaps uncomfortably aware of the shortcoming, the hardliners have developed -okay, invented really -their own mythology about Obama "brownshirts." (The popular conservative website Red- State.org literally uses the term.)

The complaint rests on a single case -- that of conservative activist Kenneth Gladney, who got into a scuffle at a town hall in St. Louis, Missouri. The altercation was captured on video and you can watch it on YouTube. What you'll see is a man, already on the ground, and another man stepping back in order to avoid tripping over him. The man on the ground is Gladney. Gladney walked away from the confrontation and later went to hospital, where he was treated for light injuries and released the same day. Whatever happened and whoever started it, this happily bloodless encounter bears not even the most glancing resemblance to the brutality that made Hitler's brownshirts notorious.

And yet, look up Gladney's name online and he's suddenly a poignant martyr.

Can we get a grip here? It is possible to express opposition to a president's policies without preposterous name-calling -without diminishing and disparaging the unique experiences of those who did actually suffer from actual persecution by actual Nazis. After all, you know who else trafficked in hysterical exaggeration? That's right: Hitler!
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:00 PM   #362
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the Nazis also worshiped nostalgia and violence like the Republicans do.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:09 PM   #363
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It's kind of sad and scary that the only train of thought the right has is to compare Obama to Hitler.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:10 PM   #364
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I said this earlier in the thread, and I think it bears repeating:
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The more I think of this issue, the angrier I get. What I want to know is this: the grassroots supporters that got Obama elected in the first place, where are they all through this? Why is the right allowed to set the tone of this discussion/distort the facts/manipulate discourse? The left needs to get out there and dispel the myths, and basically out-shout the right.

I'm not saying you're all doing nothing, of course, but you need numbers, just like you needed (and had) during the primary and election season. Mobilize, just like you all did then! Don't let this chance slip away without being heard, because who knows when it'll come up again.
Please, make yourselves heard. Write letters. Write to the White House, there's an e-mail address on their website. Tell Obama you don't want the public option dropped. Call or write to your senators. Don't let profit win over quality of life. Don't let Rush and Glen et al spread their lies and fear.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:11 PM   #365
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This is the sort of bullshit being propagated by the GOP:

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As chairman of the House Republican Health Care Solutions Group, Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield, knows a thing or two about health care. But some of what he knows just isn’t true.

“I’m 59,” Mr. Blunt said last week during a meeting with Post-Dispatch reporters and editors. “In either Canada or Great Britain, if I broke my hip, I couldn’t get it replaced.”

We fact-checked that. At least 63 percent of hip replacements performed in Canada last year and two-thirds of those done in England were on patients age 65 or older. More than 1,200 in Canada were done on people older than 85.

“I didn’t just pull that number out of thin air,” Mr. Blunt said in a subsequent interview. It came, he said, from testimony before the House Subcommittee on Health by “some people who are supposed to be experts on Canadian health care.”
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:13 PM   #366
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Hey, VP, are you going to the U2 shows in Toronto? I'll be there and I'm bringing my hammer and sickle, and I'll be wearing red from head to toe. We can all have a great big communist socialist party, complete with propaganda, songs, and lots of marching around the Rogers Centre.

What do you say?
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:15 PM   #367
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^^Please. My former father-in-law had his hips and knees replaced so many times, he was practically bionic.


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Hey, VP, are you going to the U2 shows in Toronto? I'll be there and I'm bringing my hammer and sickle, and I'll be wearing red from head to toe. We can all have a great big communist socialist party, complete with propaganda, songs, and lots of marching around the Rogers Centre.

What do you say?
Ha. Yes, I'll be there. I'll get out my communist socialist songbook and practice. I look forward to it. Can we also get medical personnel to be there so we can all receive free, unnecessary care that other people have to pay for?
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:17 PM   #368
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It's funny that the same party that has for decades been trying to horn in on women's medical decisions is now shitting themselves about rumors of having to submit to the same kinds of treatment.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:20 PM   #369
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It's funny that the same party that has for decades been trying to horn in on women's medical decisions is now shitting themselves about rumors of having to submit to the same kinds of treatment.
There was a woman they showed on one of the news channels, either CNN or MSNBC, protesting at a town hall, and I kid you not, her sign read "Get your laws off my body!"

Yeah, I'll remember that next time they're marching for life or whatever they call it.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:22 PM   #370
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There was a woman they showed on one of the news channels, either CNN or MSNBC, protesting at a town hall, and I kid you not, her sign read "Get your laws off my body!"
Holy shit. Unbelievable. Does she know where that comes from?
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:25 PM   #371
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This is the sort of bullshit being propagated by the GOP:


Quote:
Overhauling health-care system tops agenda at annual meeting of Canada's doctors
By Jennifer Graham (CP) – 2 days ago

SASKATOON — The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says this country's health-care system is sick and doctors need to develop a plan to cure it.

Dr. Anne Doig says patients are getting less than optimal care and she adds that physicians from across the country - who will gather in Saskatoon on Sunday for their annual meeting - recognize that changes must be made.

"We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize," Doing said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

"We know that there must be change," she said. "We're all running flat out, we're all just trying to stay ahead of the immediate day-to-day demands."

The pitch for change at the conference is to start with a presentation from Dr. Robert Ouellet, the current president of the CMA, who has said there's a critical need to make Canada's health-care system patient-centred. He will present details from his fact-finding trip to Europe in January, where he met with health groups in England, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands and France.

His thoughts on the issue are already clear. Ouellet has been saying since his return that "a health-care revolution has passed us by," that it's possible to make wait lists disappear while maintaining universal coverage and "that competition should be welcomed, not feared."

In other words, Ouellet believes there could be a role for private health-care delivery within the public system.

He has also said the Canadian system could be restructured to focus on patients if hospitals and other health-care institutions received funding based on the patients they treat, instead of an annual, lump-sum budget. This "activity-based funding" would be an incentive to provide more efficient care, he has said.

Doig says she doesn't know what a proposed "blueprint" toward patient-centred care might look like when the meeting wraps up Wednesday. She'd like to emerge with clear directions about where the association should focus efforts to direct change over the next few years. She also wants to see short-term, medium-term and long-term goals laid out.

"A short-term achievable goal would be to accelerate the process of getting electronic medical records into physicians' offices," she said. "That's one I think ought to be a priority and ought to be achievable."

A long-term goal would be getting health systems "talking to each other," so information can be quickly shared to help patients.

Doig, who has had a full-time family practice in Saskatoon for 30 years, acknowledges that when physicians have talked about changing the health-care system in the past, they've been accused of wanting an American-style structure. She insists that's not the case.

"It's not about choosing between an American system or a Canadian system," said Doig. "The whole thing is about looking at what other people do."

"That's called looking at the evidence, looking at how care is delivered and how care is paid for all around us (and) then saying 'Well, OK, that's good information. How do we make all of that work in the Canadian context? What do the Canadian people want?' "

Doig says there are some "very good things" about Canada's health-care system, but she points out that many people have stories about times when things didn't go well for them or their family.

"(Canadians) have to understand that the system that we have right now - if it keeps on going without change - is not sustainable," said Doig.

"They have to look at the evidence that's being presented and will be presented at (the meeting) and realize what Canada's doctors are trying to tell you, that you can get better care than what you're getting and we all have to participate in the discussion around how do we do that and of course how do we pay for it."

Copyright © 2009 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.


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Old 08-17-2009, 05:26 PM   #372
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Ha. Yes, I'll be there. I'll get out my communist socialist songbook and practice. I look forward to it. Can we also get medical personnel to be there so we can all receive free, unnecessary care that other people have to pay for?
Well, this being Canada, are we really guaranteed to get the sub-standard health care we all know and love up here?

I mean, let's look at this scenario: We're waiting in the GA line and Elfa says something to set me off (Hi, BoMac, how are you?) and I just obliterate him. He'll be clinging to life, but because of our third world health care system, he'll be even lucky to see a doctor that night, let alone a week from then.

On second thought, maybe living in a communist socialist paradise does have its perks.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:28 PM   #373
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Yeah, that article definitely says that 59-year-old men and women in Canada can't get hip replacements. Thanks so much for posting it!!!
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:31 PM   #374
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It's also funny that the party who used to be concerned only with the rich and the businesses they own, now suddenly is all about the common people and the state of their health.

And their idiot constituents are buying it.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:32 PM   #375
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Can someone please find me a health care system in the world that doesn't have its problems?

Does Canada have issues with its system? Yes. If I was poor and was unfortunate enough to get brain cancer, could I get free and excellent treatment expeditiously? The answer is also, yes.

I'll stick to our system, thank you very much.
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