In a one-line blog post, "Health Reform: Euthanasia and Other Rumors," Time magazine's Karen Tumulty pointed readers to a blog post at The New Republic's Web site set on "Exposing the Euthanasia Scare" that has cropped up in the debate over health care reform:
Harold Pollack dispenses with them (and their sources) here.
Tumulty failed to mention the liberal bent of either TNR or Dr. Pollack (Ph.D., not M.D.), which would have been helpful considering her terse blog post practically amounted to an unqualified stamp of approval of Pollack's August 4 item.
Albeit in kinder, gentler language, Pollack posited that opposition to socialized medicine among American senior citizens was due to racism, xenophobia, and homophobia (emphasis mine):
At a deeper level, these talking points go beyond the usual Medicare politics and pander. Seniors comprise right-wing talk-radio's core audience, but the anxiety extends beyond retired ditto-heads. A conspicuous number of scare stories pitched to seniors suggest that the main beneficiaries of health reform will be various frightening others. These listeners have endured dizzying social change, ranging from gay marriage to the rise of immigrants (legal and illegal) as a powerful political and demographic force. This predominantly white group watched an unprecedented youth vote fuel the unlikely ascendance of a black president with an Islamic middle name.
For millions of older people, America suddenly seems very different from the country they once knew. So when President Obama asks seniors to trust him as they trusted many Democrats before him, even his remarkable persuasive powers sometimes fall short.
In a July 29 blog post entitled "What We Lose When We Get Wonky," Pollack lamented how liberal advocates of government health care sound like coldly technocratic number-crunchers, not the morally superior activists they see themselves to be (emphasis mine):
In conceding ground to a dry policy discourse that downplays the moral urgency of collective obligation, we unilaterally surrender some of the best moral and political arguments for health reform. It’s a genuine dilemma. We must legislate in the society we actually have, not in the society as we wish it to be. So we present a rather cold-hearted calculus to sell humane policies. This isn't a stupid calculation, but I’m starting to think it is the wrong approach.
Of course, if the alternative is dismissing critics of socialized medicine as bigots, Pollack might want to re-crunch his "calculation."