A Hollywood Republican

This blog is for an open discussion on politics. My views will be to the right as will be most of the posters. But, we are willing to post alternative viewpoints as lons as they are well thought out. I started this in response to the Obama election and will continue it as long as it feeds a need.

Aug 27, 2009

The Measure of a Man by Ira Schwartz

“Doctor Death”, death panels, euthanasia of our seniors. Those 10 second sound bites have filled the media since the bomb that is HR 3200 was dropped. But let’s step back, back to how all of this started, back to ground zero, back to July 24th. On that day “The New York Post” printed an article by Betsy McCaughey titled “Deadly Doctors”. In this article McCaughey surgically slices and dices Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the president’s new Health Care advisor, on his published writings regarding patient care. I have listed a link to the article below so I won’t go into it too deeply. However I will say McCaughey paints Dr. Emanuel as the devil incarnate. Her only proof of this second coming of evil are the numerous quotes from and references to a number of Dr. Emanuel’s works. At least she properly listed her sources saving me hours of searching the internet for the material. After reviewing her references I discovered every single quote she used was grossly taken out of context. It was also painfully obvious Ms. McCaughey had never read any of Dr. Emanuel’s academic papers, especially the ones she quoted from. If she had she would have read Dr. Emanuel clearly stating in several of these papers, “I am not advocating this.” Can we say, “Yellow Journalism?” But this train wreck doesn’t stop here. Oh no, like a bad dream it gets worse.

On the floor of the House of Representatives Republican Michele Bachmann blatantly used the McCaughey article as gospel in her attack against the white house’s appointment of Dr. Emanuel to his new post. From her speech, which is available on “YouTube”, it is obvious that Bachmann, like McCaughey, failed to do her homework. But this gets better.
The ex republican vice presidential candidate and ex governor of Alaska (A lot of ex’s there don’t ya think) the “late but at least I arrived at the party”, Sarah Palin got her two cents in. And like all the rest before her, she boldly marched into the fray armed only with the facts as told by McCaughey. And I quote from her speech:

“Rep. Michele Bachmann highlighted the Orwellian thinking of the president’s health care advisor, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of the White House chief of staff, in a floor speech to the House of Representatives. I commend her for being a voice for the most precious members of our society, our children and our seniors.

Of course, it’s not just this one provision that presents a problem. My original comments concerned statements made by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a health policy advisor to President Obama and the brother of the President’s chief of staff. Dr. Emanuel has written that some medical services should not be guaranteed to those “who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens....An obvious example are not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.” Dr. Emanuel has also advocated basing medical decisions on a system which “produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.”

Actually Palin’s partial quote was from an article written by Dr. Emanuel for the “The Lancet”. He was discussing the merits of “The Complete Life System”. A system he did not create. The exact quote is:

“When implemented, The complete Life system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between 15 and 40 years get the most substantial chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated.”

It’s a little different once the quote is read in context isn’t it.

So who is Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel? Dr. Emanuel is an M.D. as well as holding a Ph.D.; Wikipedia lists him as an American NIH bioethicist (the study of ethical controversies brought about by advances in biology and medicine) and a fellow at the nonprofit bioethics research institute “The Hastings Center”. He is a leading opponent of euthanasia laws, sometimes called state-assisted suicide, and a proponent of a Guaranteed Healthcare Access Plan. He held the position of associate professor at Harvard Medical School in 1997 and now holds the position of Director of the Clinical Bioethics Department at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Dr. Emanuel is also the brother of Rahm Emanuel, the current White House Chief of Staff.

So what are we left with? No death panels, no Doctor Death no euthanasia’s only misquotes and misrepresentation and a compulsion of stating opinions and suppositions as facts.

Betsy McCaughey was nationally embarrassed by John Stewart on “The Daily Show” when she tried to defend her article. She later resigned from her position on the Cantel Medical board never apologizing for her misrepresentation of the facts. Republican Michele Bachmann remains silent on the issue as does “The New York Post”. Sarah Palin continues on her merry way, blindly rolling along telling everyone she said nothing wrong…again. Meanwhile every reputable medical journal, medical organization, newspaper (no not “The Post”) and magazine has come to the defense of Dr. Emanuel, the only person who seems to have stepped up to the plate. When asked about the rumors surrounding him Dr. Emanuel simply replied, “This is certainly untrue and a distortion of my record.” No biting retort, no complaints, no political rhetoric, not even a mention that his own sister suffers from Cerebral Palsy. He adds later, "We (the Emanuels) are pretty thick-skinned. I am not going to change my colors. I am not going to crawl under a rock."
If he did he would have to share it with the likes of Betsy McCaughey and Michele Bachmann.
After watching the widespread anger currently being aimed at the Democratic Party I would have expected better from the GOP. They need to understand that this tidal wave of dissent can as easily sweep Republicans away as Democrats. With Speaker Pelosi screaming at the top of her lungs how all those not in favor of Healthcare Reform are un-American the people need to see one party take the high road. The party that can achieve this will be the party the people follow.
Speaking of taking the high road I would like to add one final note. On July 25th at a Town Hall meeting in Sun City, Arizona Senator John McCain again showed the country and the world what a true American he really is. Below is a section taken from an article by Paul Lester published on “Deadline USA”.
“During the meeting in the retirement community of Sun City, Arizona, Obama's former rival defended the president after an attendee asked: "Doesn't he [Obama] know that we still live under a constitution?"
"I'm sure that he does," McCain said. After the crowd erupted into laughter, the Arizona senator said: "No, no. I am serious. I am sure that he does and I'm sure he respects the constitution."

"No!" the attendees shouted. McCain responded: "I am absolutely convinced of it. I just believe, my friends, that there is a fundamental difference in philosophy and about the role of government. That is why we have competition for public office and competition amongst parties, and competition about different ideas and vision for the future of America. I'm convinced the president is absolutely sincere in his beliefs."
McCain pleaded for a more civilized debate on healthcare: "He is sincere in his beliefs, we just happen to disagree. And he is the president. And let's be respectful.”
I wish more of our representatives on “The Hill” had the honor and courage Senator John McCain showed by crossing party lines to defend his ex rival and his president. He is the essence of what it means to be a true America.
As a footnote to all of this several senators have decided to exclude a provision on End-Of-Life care from the House version of the Healthcare Reform proposed bill. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement on August 13th that the provision had been dropped from consideration because it could be misinterpreted or implemented incorrectly. Someone is listening.
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12 Comments:

Blogger bruce nahin said...

Frank, I read Ira's memo- well written but I totally disagree with both his arguments and conclusions- but that is what makes free speech so great- dialogue and discourse. Something the left seems to lack tolerance for- Their view is agree with us or we will villify you.I am a Palinite( my term) and have read Ezikiel's documents in their entirety and spent far to much time reading HR as well and conclude much as the Governor that the bill creates commissions, commissioners, rationing and yes a state official whose job it is is to inform me of my right to die when as the President says, it is illogical to give me a hip replacement when I have a certain disease, better to give me a pain pill( or cyanide){that came from a discussion he had about his grandmother a few months back} Any way- it was good reading as I continue to job hunt in our wonderful entertainment industry.

August 27, 2009 at 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Ira said...

Bruce...It seems we agree on much more than we disagree. Thanks for the comment and feel free to disagree anytime. Oh If you find a job let me know.

Ira

August 27, 2009 at 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ira, I loved your piece here because it was revealing and truthful. I wholeheartedly agree with the whole spin on Dr. Death, and the idiocy surrounding it. Thankfully reasoned minds see through it and discount it for the vitriolic nonsense it really is. I wish I possessed your skills at "cutting to the chase" the way you do. Well done my friend and VERY well said!!

August 27, 2009 at 12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ira, this piece was excellent!!!

August 27, 2009 at 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets also remember that when all this yelling and screaming at town hall meetings and so on is in progress that not millions but billions of dollars are as usual being stolen through our currently corrupt health care system. And that all these rich and incredibly greedy dirt bags that are doing the stealing are not just sitting at home twiddling their thumbs saying "Oh, no...I wonder what's going to happen". They will spend millions of dollars of your money to continue to be able to steal billions of dollars in the long run. The forces of corruption and evil are not only deceptional and without morals but very well funded also!

Bruce Carson

August 27, 2009 at 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Ira said...

Thanks George...it took A LOT of research. But I also learned a lot.

August 27, 2009 at 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Ira said...

That's why Bruce we can't afford to be apathetic anymore. We need to be informed and involved and together.

August 27, 2009 at 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gammy Sparkles here! I head McCain on This Week with George Stephan. And I too was really impressed with what he said. But, I did support, work for, and vote for McCain. In my deepest heart spot, I still believe he would have been a much better President! I am very very uncomfortable with the sound of what I see. Too far to the left for my taste. And, I was in the extreme left when I was young.

August 27, 2009 at 8:44 PM  
Anonymous Ira said...

Gammy...I didn't vote for him but he as I said is a cut above the rest. He is a very honorable man.

Ira

August 27, 2009 at 10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ira;
With all due respect I don't think it fitting to use the word "honorable" towards anyone who is currently a member of either house. While I will admit he seems to have stepped up to the bar in terms of saying the right thing a few times when the vitriol has been flung in the past, that only serves to make him a little better than the rest. He's still a member of the party, who when in power, not only turned a blind eye on this problem but supported an initiative which added to it.

August 28, 2009 at 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Ira said...

D,

We have to start somewhere with this and he seems to be the only one who is really thinking outside the box.

Ira

August 28, 2009 at 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Links from the New York Post -- Hilarious that anyone considers them factual. LOL

September 3, 2009 at 2:52 PM  

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