The Right Sharpens Knives for 'Sicko'
Editor's Note: With Michael Moore's new documentary, "Sicko," set for nationwide release, the usual suspects on the Right are sharpening their knives for both Moore and the notion that a national health insurance program should cover all Americans.
In this guest essay, radio personality Jay Diamond writes that Sean Hannity and other right-wing voices are trying to scare Americans with horror stories about "socialized medicine" while ignoring the valuable services performed by VA hospitals and Medicare:
Do a search on "Hannity 'Sicko'" or "Romney 'Sicko''' on any search engine and you will find an assortment of You Tube excerpts of Sean Hannity recycling talking points off the panicked presses of the Heritage Foundation, CEI, AEI, Manhattan Institute, etc., bearing dire warnings of the health care terror Michael Moore and other evil progressives are preparing to inflict on America.
But in all their truculent and fear-mongering invocations of the purported evils of "socialized medicine," there is curiously something that Romney, Hannity, and all the other American rightists consistently omit; and in that deliberate omission is an important lesson in the way America's hard right works their deceptions.
They never mention that there are more individuals right here in the United States who receive their health coverage on what you call "socialized medicine" than there are people in the entire country of France.
Add up all the people on Medicare and the Veterans Administration.
Hey Sean, Hey Mitt, Did you forget about those interesting little nuggets....Medicare and the VA ?
Or is it that you repeat the brainlessly transparent talking points your handlers stuff in your hands assuming nobody will realize that salient fact?
If right-wingers love the troops so much, why do they pick them specifically to be tormented with this horrible "socialized medicine"?
Why do rightwingers hate our troops....to punish them in such an evil fashion...putting them at risk of the evil "socialized medicine"? Why, Why?
While we're at it, can you tell me something about what kind of health care we inflict on all the ardent rightwingers in Congress and the Senate? Yup, you guessed it.
How come all the wonderful, "Freedom" loving dedicated rightwingers in Congress....every last one of 'em...how come they don't give back their "socialized medicine" in indignant protest or at least self-preservation!? How noble they are to suffer so!
And, "Mitt", I dare you to answer this....Do we see in the day-to-day reality of the way Medicare works any of the perils you guarantee in your polemics that would afflict the poor victims of public health care? We don't!
Medicare works fine and you know that. And the Medicare beneficiaries know that too. Compare it to any for profit HMO!
And knowing this, you persistently repeat the lies....purposefully, as a scare tactic, and as rank propaganda.
You deliberately set out to mislead people by repeating material falsehoods. Fine work there....very patriotic indeed. The Founders would be so proud of you!
Our boys dead in Iraq can rest in peace now knowing they died at age 18 to save grandma from "socialized medicine" and to restore what to you is, no doubt, called "freedom".
Moreover, since you're so busy sounding the alarm sirens to "save" us from this "socialized medicine", then how is it you're not writing even one column describing the "horrors" of the already existing Medicare and demanding that the Congress and the President restore "freedom" to Americans by abolishing this blight of Medicare?
And why don't I see you, or any of your Republican colleagues scampering for President, also denouncing Medicare even as they inveigh against the godless assault of "socialized medicine"?
Why are they....and You....silent in the battle to save America from Medicare and the VA!?
How can that be....that you make terror speeches about "socialized medicine" and never even hint at the existence of Medicare and the VA right under our noses!!? I'll tell ya how!!
Because you know....and every single Republican in Congress knows it too....as do the other Republicans vying for the '08 nomination, that the minute even one of 'em would be dumb enough to say they were going to "save" the millions of millions of moms and pops and grand-moms and grand-pops all over America from this dastardly Medicare that is stealing their "freedom", that it would be the end of them!
Don't believe me ?
What happened when Bush tried to play games with Social Security when he was feeling tumescent after his "mandate' which gave him all that "political capital"? Need a reminder?
No one....NO ONE !...Not even the hardest line right-winger in Congress would dare to say he was going to abolish grandma's Medicare to save her from socialism! Wanna bet!
And guess what....neither would you....because you haven't and you won't!
You know better than to make that mistake. You know that if you dare to call Medicare what it is....what Republicans called it back in the mid 1960's when it was being debated....that people would do two things: They would stop the rote association of socialism with everything evil and threatening in life, thereby ending the power over them of individuals like yourself working malignant hidden agendas, and...better still, never fall for that crap again.
That is why neither you, nor any Republican will ever associate Medicare or VA health care with the your detested "socialized medicine".
Because you know well, that you can scare the spit out of them....trick them....fool them.....hustle them....with your dire invocations of "socialism" right up until the minute that somebody telling the truth shows up to remind them that they already HAVE "socialized medicine", they LOVE their "socialized medicine", and that you want to euchre them out of it!
How proud the Founders must be looking down from Joe McCarthy's heaven.
And how proud you must be right down here on earth.....or is it earth?
It's what we make it
Jay Diamond is a radio commentator. He can be reached at [email protected].
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