I thought I perhaps was cherry-picking in my last post on Chuck Colson’s idea that health-care reform would lead to government-sponsored eugenics. A couple of days later, it looks like a trend: there’s Tony Perkins laying out “The bottom line is that health care rationing isn’t coming — it’s here. And until euthanasia is specifically prohibited in the legislation, the only thing that should be humanely killed is the plan to encourage it.”
And there’s the FRC claiming reform will deny care to “our greatest generation.”
Then there’s Randall Terry and the talk-show hosts.
And the Christian Worldview Network.
Even Fred Thompson tries to get in on the game, though he says he’s just trying to make sure there won’t be “undo consideration given to cost-cutting” in any reform package.
Seems like everywhere you turn somebody’s saying that Obama wants to snuff your Granny.
The motherlode of crazy, though, was surely struck by none other than Pat Buchanan, a man who has been huffing fear and paranoia from a spray can since the Nixon administration at least.
Buchanan thinks Obama has it in for your Grandpa, actually, based on…well, I’m not entirely sure. Something about back pain in England or something. But he’s pretty sure he knows what the bottom line is:
Now, twin this story with the weekend Washington Post story about Obamacare’s “proposal to pay physicians who counsel elderly or terminally ill patients about what medical treatment they would prefer near the end of life and how to prepare instructions such as living wills,” and there is little doubt as to what is coming.
The Post portrayed the controversy as stoked by “right-leaning radio” using explosive language like “guiding you in how to die” and government plans to “kill Granny.” Yet, is not the logical purpose of paying doctors for house calls to the terminally ill, whose medical costs are killing Medicare, to suggest a pleasant and early exit from a pain-filled and costly life?
Let us suppose the NICE plan in Britain is adopted. And an 80-year-woman, living alone, with excruciating persistent back pain, is visited by a physician-counselor. What is he likely to advise? What conclusion would Grandma be led to by a doctor who sweetly explains what treatment she may still receive, what is being cut off, and what her other options might be?
What other options are there?
Examples of how to “die with dignity” are at hand.
In other words, Buchanan wants you to fear health care reform because it might use standard end-of-life care. Millions of Americans have living wills or other legal documents directing the medical care they wish to receive. There are nursing homes that won’t admit residents without them. But according to Pat Buchanan, they are instruments of kill-happy government bureaucrats.
Wait, it gets crazier from there. After a brief detour through Swiss euthanasia practices, we hit this:
This is the way of de-Christianized Europe. For years, doctors have assisted the terminally ill in ending their lives. Indeed, it has been reported that indigent, sick and elderly patients who could not make the decision for themselves had it made for them.
This is deeply, richly, nutty, sort of like if you’d taken a Salted Nut Roll, slathered it in peanut butter, caramel, macadamias and cashews, then deep-fried it in coconut oil. This is wingnuttery on a stick, the kind of batshit insanity that can only be found at the State Fair wedged in between the sheep pens and the carnies’ after-hours bar.
This, my friends, is the kind of craziness that you just can’t buy in stores. And we’re not done yet.
Because Buchanan, God bless his black little heart, thinks that this sorry state of affairs reveals the greater war on Judeo-Christian values, as evidenced by — I crap you negative — Nazi Germany:
In Weimar Germany, two professors published “The Permission to Destroy Life Unworthy of Life,” which advocated assisted suicide for the terminally ill and “empty shells of human beings.” Hitler’s Third Reich, marrying Social Darwinism to Aryan racial supremacy, carried the concepts to their logical if horrible conclusion.
Revulsion to Nazism led to revival of the Christian ideal of the sanctity of all human life and the moral obligation of all to defend it. But the utilitarian idea — of the quality of life trumping the faith-based idea of the sanctity of life — has made a strong comeback.
And the logic remains inexorable. If government intends to “bend the curve” of rising health care costs, and half of those costs are incurred in the last six months of life, and physician-counselors will be sent to the seriously ill to advise them of what costs will no longer be covered, and what their options are — what do you think is going to be Option A?
Now, we might note, as Ed Kilgore does, that Weimar Germany was hardly of a piece with the Nazi regime.
We might also note — as Kilgore does — Buchanan’s neat trick of setting up the most reactionary of Christian ethics over and against a strawman concept of “secularists and atheists,” as if there were no moral ground between Bishop Lefebvre and Peter Singer.
We might also agree with Steve Benen that it is remarkable that this intellectual thug will probably be back on MSNBC spewing the same crackpot theories in days, if not hours.
But most of all, we will note, as does Fred Ward, that if you have to set yourself up as better than an elder-murdering Islamocommunist Nazi regime, you have set a pretty low bar.
Because what Buchanan’s column demonstrates at the last is how weak a hand he and Colson and Perkins and Terry and all the rest are playing, politically, socially, even theologically. These tinhorn dysangelists have proclaimed a God of fear and brute authority for decades, and now, at long last, their protection racket is about to run dry. It reminds me of the scene late in the run of the Sopranos where two of Tony’s goons try to shake down a coffee franchise, only to be turned away with the message that all the money is accounted for at headquarters down to the last bean, and even if the manager cooperated, he’d just be fired and replaced with someone else who wouldn’t. The lead goon staggers out of the shop baffled and wondering what the neighborhood has come to. That’s Pat Buchanan’s God rammed up against the immovable object of health care reform.
If Democrats can’t see that two-bit deity for the idol of hollow men that he really is, they have no business running the nation. But if they do, it will surely turn out to be the holiest and most satisfying of irony.