Saturday, 8 August 2009

Every Time I Think We've Reached Rock Bottom...

Is there a word to describe a mother who drags her baby with Downs Syndrome into a political fight in order to defend a system that denies heathcare coverage for babies with Downs Syndrome? I mean, it's not like I have a small vocabulary, or a tendency not to call it like I see it, but I'm genuinely struggling to not agree with straight-up "evil". Taking your own family's suffering and exploiting it to make other families in the same position suffer more?

I'm not saying her situation requires she back reform, og of course. Palin could tell the public why she opposes the proposed health care legislation, despite the fact that it will help families who are dealing with children with Down Syndrome. That, at least, is a mature stance; if the good the bill would do over this one subject would be overwhelmed by problems elsewhere, then by all means let's hear about it. Failing that, she could have just kept her mouth shut.

Someone once said that the interesting thing about liberals and conservatives (as the terms are understood in America right now) is that conservatives tend to take liberal positions on issues that directly affect them. Say what you want about Cheney (and God knows a more hideous example of humanity is not easy to find outside the realms of fiction), but having a gay daughter meant he never played ball with the GOP over gay-bashing (if only he'd had three other daughters, one black, one Muslim, and one the anthropomorphic representation of law and Constitutionality). The link between this observation and wider discussions on the subject of empathy are left as an exercise to the reader, but my point for now is that this particular conservative has gone the other way; she is currently experiencing first-hand the exact sort of struggle that liberals point to when they argue health-care insurance should be easier to acquire, and she is deliberately using it to make that argument harder (in a way that makes no fucking sense, of course, but her total disconnect from reality is one of her least crimes at this point). It make me long for the good old days when all Palin was doing was telling people her daughter had chosen to keep her baby, as though that somehow made it OK that the potential McCain administration would have attempted to deny her the right to make that choice from the very moment they got to the Oval.

The more I think about what could have happened had McCain taken the White House, the harder it is to sleep at night. The fact that the TPM article linked to above suggests that this might be a trial balloon for 2012, much as I doubt that such is the case, makes my head hurt.

No comments: