A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that President Obama, in the middle of a contentious health-care debate, has a 57 percent approval rating. This sounds pretty good till you get to the spin: it’s 12 points lower than it was in April. Hence, “Polls Show It’s Time for Democrats to Drop Healthcare Reform” (U.S. News & World Reports); “Poll Finds Confidence in Obama Declines” (Bloomberg); “Obama: A One-Term President?” (CBS News).
And that’s from the liberal media, which the rightbloggers nonetheless still think is carrying Obama’s water. “ABC Manages to Find ‘Glass Half Full’ for Obama on Health as His Polls Fall,” says NewsBusters. Presumably ABC should have taken the glass-completely-empty approach of Gateway Pundit, which took Rasmussen’s more dire strongly-approve vs. strongly-disapprove numbers to prove that “The radical leftist has seen his presidential index number drop an amazing 44 points since he took office!”
Rasmussen’s would be the more important reading for rightbloggers, as strongly-disapprove is where they live (“Strongly disapprove does not quite capture my sentiments towards our President, but I guess it will have to do, said Right Coast). It also gives them a fresh reason to believe that the American people, whom they always presume feel as strongly-disapprove as they do (“Congrats America! Its about time you woke up from your kool-aid cult!” — Fire Andrea Mitchell), will turn the pretender out of office, 26 long months from now.
Thus emboldened, they get right on the new talking point: that in addition to trying to kill the old and infirm with his diabolical health care plan, Obama is also encouraging veterans to kill themselves.
At the Wall Street Journal, former Bush White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives director Jim Towey called out a document called “Your Life, Your Choices,” offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs as a guide to help vets figure out when they did and did not want their lives prolonged after serious incapacitation. The Bush Administration suspended use of the ten-year-old document at Towey’s urging because its workbook sections included, Towey says, “guilt-inducing scenarios such as ‘I can no longer contribute to my family’s well being,'” and such like. Towey offered as an alternative a much shorter document called “Five Wishes,” composed by himself.
On his Sunday FOX News show Chris Wallace hosted Towey and Tammy Duckworth, current assistant secretary of veterans affairs. Towey suggested that “Your Life, Your Choices” “supports assisted suicide,” and that his document, unlike that one, is “not pushing [veterans] to hurry up and die,” and is “not saying that if you can’t shake the blues maybe your life’s not worth living.” Duckworth, a disabled former Army pilot, said that “We’ve not used [‘Your Life, Your Choices’] since 2007 when, under the Bush administration, we decided to go ahead and revise it.”
Wallace pointed out that a Veterans Health Administration directive of July 2nd, 2009, suggests that “Your Life, Your Choices” be offered to appropriate patients, which Duckworth disputed, saying that “the only advanced directive that we have is dated February of 2007.” (The current VA web version of “Your Life, Your Choices” says “the document is currently undergoing revision for release in VA” — a disclaimer which critics say was added after the controversy erupted.)
The documents are available for anyone to see and, from our point of view, either could be of use to anyone looking at the possibility of incapacitation and living wills. You’d have to have a very low opinion of the intelligence of our servicemembers to believe they could be suckered into killing themselves against their better judgment by “Your Life, Your Choices.”
Rightbloggers, you will not be surprised to learn, take exactly that point of view.
“You know what would really cut costs?” said Freedom Eden. “Mandatory genetic testing. Why allow the ‘defective’ to be born? The fact is this administration does not respect life.”
National Review‘s Andrew McCarthy said, “‘Grim Government Reaper’ strikes me as more accurate than ‘Your Life, Your Choices'” and, thus inspired, compared the Obama health plan to a cop unwilling to arrest a man standing over a murdered woman with a bloody knife. (The analogy is extremely vague but, you have to admit, emotionally sensational.)
“Barack Hussein Obama and his Marxist/Fascist hybrid Liberal ilk should cut costs to American taxpayer’s by referring themselves to ‘Your Life, Your Choices,'” says Liberally Conservative. “The sooner they take their own advise the better America will be for it.”
“There is a HUGE difference between a family working this out with their doctor, and the federal govt making this mandatory,” said PC Free Zone, which seems to have skipped a step. “When a person is [depressed], they need to be told life is worth it., to get real support from people that care about them, not some death warrant from freaking Obama.” Also, “WAKE UP AMERICA!” “Obama HATES America!” etc.
Inevitably, Israpundit rolls out the Obama-Hitler comparison, saying that “although HR 3200 says nothing about mandatory end of life planning, euthanasia, or anything else similar to Germany’s Aktion T4 program — the euthanasia program that served as a precedent for the Holocaust — we have shown that there is indeed fire to go with the smoke,” providing a link which takes readers back to the same post, which is an ingenious way to drive traffic, if nothing else.
Rightbloggers were not unmindful of the veterans themselves, whom they considered the helpless victims of the evil workbook. Amy Miller of RedState found the document proof that veterans are “the people that the self-righteous bastards inside the beltway want to put to sleep, just as they would an old, lame dog,” and threatened to “take down” its authors, though she regrettably did not name the means she would use. “This guide is one giant ‘Fuck You’ to our heroes, from our Federal Government,” said Weasel Zippers. “This very book,” declares Conservative Girl with a Voice, “is a death sentence to our good men and women.”
They had a little more trouble with the disabled veteran Duckworth. Though some were comfortable denouncing her, like Thunder Tales (“No medical experience. No executive experience. No hospital administration or counseling experience… Will someone tell her who she is?”) and Kirby’s Korner (“Is she simply a fool? A liar? Perhaps both?”), most were quiet about her appearance.
But National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg found a clever way to approach the subject: By portraying Duckworth as the victim of the veteran-murdering Obama. “The death book is doomed, doomed,” he wrote. “It’s obvious Obama will pull the thing… So they sent out Duckworth to stake a position that will be reversed, making her look like a fool.” Thus, said Goldberg, using the favored shorthand of the right, Obama was “throwing Tammy Duckworth under the bus.”
Now that took a lot of nerve. But then, so does the whole schtick. We fully expect “Your Life, Your Choices,” a miniscule component of the federal apparatus, to be jettisoned, and for the good soldier Duckworth to go on about her business, notwithstanding her alleged vehicular homicide. But there’ll always be some other trivial issue with which to sustain the story that Obama is trying to kill American citizens in support of his totalitarian vision. In these parlous times, it’s not enough for rightbloggers to show that the President is wrong; he must also be revealed as a cold-blooded killer. If this lunatic notion is really thought by his enemies to animate the “strongly-disapprove” part of the electorate, the next campaign ought to be mighty interesting.