This is an absolute ass whuppin’!
Betsy McCaughey was the lead conservative who helped destroy Hillary Clinton’s Health Reform effort in 1994. She did that with an article in the New Republic which turned out to be false, and full of deliberately misleading information.
This time around, killing Health Care Reform isn’t so easy –
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The New Republic, in an article entitled No Exit – The never-ending lunacy of Betsy McCaughey, apparently doesn’t like being made fools of the first time around. This time they are doing the background and fact checking – and a really ugly picture has emerged –
Pick an inflammatory, misleading rumor that has sprung up in this debate, and chances are McCaughey had a hand in springing it. She has, for instance, warned that a provision buried in the stimulus bill will soon have computers dictating doctors’ treatment of patients based on government protocols. More notably, she sounded the (false) alarm that the White House aims to ration care based on patients’ value to society–an idea that swiftly morphed into the “death panel” hysteria and then quickly became entangled in McCaughey’s equally outrageous claim that the proposed reforms would force seniors into regular chats with their doctors about how to end their lives. That such claims are untrue in no way dims McCaughey’s zeal. Confronted with conflicting information, she plows ahead with her unique interpretation of reality, leaving critics on both the left and the right nonplussed. One’s only options, they say, are to ignore her and hope that she fades away– or to go negative in the hope of discrediting her.
So it is that Aaron finds himself standing in the Crystal Ballroom of the Doubletree Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, running through PowerPoint slides that detail–quote by excruciating quote–McCaughey’s reputation as among the most irresponsible, dishonest, and destructive players on the public stage. He starts with Politifact.com’s categorization of her commentary as “Pants on Fire,” followed by New York Times articles debunking her assertions, followed by complaints from economist Gail Wilensky (adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign and head of Medicare financing under the first President Bush) that “these charges of death panels, euthanasia and withholding care from the disabled give rational, knowledgeable, thoughtful conservatives a bad name.” Next comes a denunciation of McCaughey’s “fraudulent scare tactics” by John Paris, professor of bioethics at Boston College; AARP executive vice president John Rother’s protest that her statements are “rife with gross–even cruel–distortions”; a scolding editorial by The Washington Post about McCaughey’s characterization of White House health policy adviser Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel as “Dr. Death”; and, to wrap it all up, Stuart Butler, vice president of domestic policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation, expressing dismay that the “personal attacks on good people like Zeke are outrageous. There are real policy issues that should be debated vigorously, but slandering a good person’s name is beyond the pale.” At one point, the debate moderator felt moved to reach over and give McCaughey’s hand a comforting pat. She dipped her chin and stuck out her bottom lip in good-humored appreciation.
Betsy, not surprisingly is the source who was quoted by the Sno’ Ho’, when she cited “Death Panels” in her post goodbye broadside after resigning as Governor of Alaska. Betsy is a favorite of the Tea Bagger groups.
So like the foul-mouthed androgynous “Awful Annie” Coulter, McCaughey’s stock in trade is lies and distortion albeit with a mouth that doesn’t need washing out with lye soap. And it is real hard to generate any sympathy whatsoever for yet another “blond conserva-bimbo” whose stock in trade is lies and fake outrage.