This week, Liz Cheney penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal so full of inaccuracies, that a team of scientists working with Politifact 24/7 still are trying to come up with a category that comes after “pants on fire” broad enough to encompass all that she is. I mean from the so-called war on 2nd Amendment rights to how the President has supposedly “diminished American strength abroad” with malice of forethought, I could write individual blog posts on almost every paragraph in her diatribe. Apparently, background checks, which almost 90% of Americans support, are considered an attack on the 2nd amendment theses days. And despite the fact that the US outspends the next 15 countries combined in defense, not threatening to bomb and then invade every country from North Korea to Iran means diminished American strength. However, if I spent that much time thinking about Liz Cheney, I may start cutting myself. Besides, it’s Liz Cheney we’re talking about here. It’s basically a younger, blonder version of the Prince of Darkness himself. What was interesting about the piece as the Ronald Reagan quote she began with.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it and then hand it to them with the well-taught lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same. And if you and I don’t do this, then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.
Taken completely out of context, that’s a pretty strong statement. Conservatives love throwing this one out there. Most recently, it was used by Sarah Palin during the Vice Presidential Debates back in 2008. The date of this speech is March 30th 1961. One would think with the seriousness of the tone and the date, Conservative Jesus there would be talking about some sort of threat of great magnitude. We were well into Vietnam at the time. Its a couple of weeks before the infamous Bay of Pigs incident. The Cold War was in full swing, perhaps Nikita Khrushchev hatched a daring plot to invade Boca Raton.
But nope. The number one threat to freedom as we know it according to Ronald Reagan was…Medicare.
Here’s the full speech from 1961.
That’s right. The most often quoted conservative speech was based on the presumption that were the horrible program of Medicare ever to pass, freedom in America would cease to be. If you think about it, it makes perfect a sense for Liz Cheney to quote Ronald Reagan, even as hilariously wrong as he was. The people from the Bush Administration still think invading Iraq was a great idea ten years into the war. So why not have your mythic conservative standard-bearer get each and every possible thing wrong about the Medicare program?
Let’s get back to that hilarity:
The doctor begins to lose freedoms, it’s like telling a lie. One leads to another. First you decide the doctor can have so many patients. They are equally divided among the various doctors by the government, but then the doctors are equally divided geographically, so a doctor decides he wants to practice in one town and the government has to say to him he can’t live in that town, they already have enough doctors. You have to go some place else. And from here it is only a short step to dictating where he will go. …
From here it’s a short step to all the rest of socialism, to determining his pay and pretty soon your son won’t decide when he’s in school where he will go or what he will do for a living. He will wait for the government to tell him where he will go to work and what he will do.
As all of you readers may have noticed, this is still a free country. But not only is America still free, we also have the benefit of not subjecting our elderly population and those with end stage renal disease to the private insurance market. A market that until very recently didn’t play well with those with expensive diseases or pre-existing conditions. But hey, it’s not like Liz Cheney nor Ronald Reagan ever let facts get in the way of a good diatribe.
People like this are the reason that’s it’s so difficult to even try to fix our broken health care system. But happy anniversary of being totally, unequivocally, categorically wrong about a major shift in American policy, Mr. President. It seems that decades later, your legacy in that arena is still alive and well.
Categories: Politics Fix