Saturday, September 17, 2011
September 17-18, 2011 [Guest Post of Sorts]: Life Support
Much has been made, to my mind rightly so, of one particular moment from the most recent Republican presidential debate, when it seems as if the audience was making light of, even cheering for, the death of a hypothetical fellow American due to his or her inability or unwillingness to pay for health insurance. As the difference between inability and unwillingness suggests, there are various points of disagreement about what exactly was asked (and to what contexts the question and moment could be connected) and thus what exactly the audience was cheering for. I’ll link to some video of the moment below, in the interest of fairness (and of course it would probably be ideal for you to watch it before reading any of these thoughts, including my own). But my main goal here is to highlight the exceptionally brave and powerful, tragic and terrible, and most of all righteously angry DailyKos diary that was written by the sister of a man (Steve Patience) who died in similar circumstances. Please consider it a guest post and check it out:
This Balloon Juice post in response to the diary also includes a MoveOn.org ad that features both some video from the debate and interview footage of the diarist herself (Susan Grigsby):
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to separate this debate moment from an even more unequivocally appalling moment in the prior Republican presidential debate, where the audience cheered for the extremely high number of executions that have taken place in Rick Perry’s Texas. And why should we separate the two? Both reflect a callous disregard for the sanctity of American and human lives, a disregard that not only reveals the hypocrisy of a party that defines itself as pro-life, but that also reflects a stunning lack of empathy and compassion. It’s one thing to support the death penalty (a complex topic to be sure, as I wrote in this post) or to believe that universal health insurance is impossible or etc; it’s quite another to celebrate the deaths that such beliefs and policies ultimately and inevitably produce.
PS. Two links to start with:
1) This post contains Andrew Sullivan’s thoughts on the moment as well as the 70-second video of (some of) it, but of course you can watch the video and draw your own conclusions before reading Sullivan (or me or anybody else): http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/09/indecent.html
2) OPEN: What do you think?