Quotes of the day

“There are dozens of these, altogether. They are Obama’s ‘shadow cabinet,’ with the advantage over his more presentable official cabinet that they can avoid congressional scrutiny in almost everything they do. They didn’t need to face the Senate confirmation revelations that lost Obama so many of his earliest cabinet appointments. A mere Internet search for quotes reveals that many of them are capable of great candour, at least in the radical leftist environments from which most of them came.

The mainstream media focus is nevertheless not on them — rich and easy pickings had they been Republican appointments — but instead on Sarah Palin’s appalling characterization of Obama’s health-care agenda as not merely ‘socialist’ but ‘evil’; and on her use of the term ‘death panels’ to describe proposed bureaucratic arrangements for deciding who should be entitled to medical treatment, and how to advise the old, seriously handicapped, and ill on euthanasia options.”

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“The main reason that the bill isn’t sold as civil rights is that most Americans don’t believe there’s a ‘right’ to health care. They see their rights as inalienable, and thus free, which health care isn’t. Serious illness is an abstraction (thankfully) for younger Americans. It’s something that happens to someone else, and if that someone else is older than 65, we know that Medicare will take care of it. Polls show that the 87 percent of Americans who have health insurance aren’t much interested in giving any new rights and entitlements to ‘them’—the uninsured…

The core principle behind health-care reform is—or should be—a combination of Social Security insurance and civil rights. Passage would end the shameful era in our nation’s history when we discriminated against people for no other reason than that they were sick. A decade from now, we will look back in wonder that we once lived in a country where half of all personal bankruptcies were caused by illness, where Americans lacked the basic security of knowing that if they lost their jobs they wouldn’t have to sell the house to pay for the medical treatments to keep them alive. We’ll look back in wonder—that is, if we pass the bill.”