Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Barack Obama, whose friend and advisor, Cass Sunstein, wants to "regulate" freedom of speech, seems both in a hurry to get started with and eager to broaden the scope of that "regulation." Specifically, he wants to "encourage" the debate over socialized medicine in much the same way that socialized medicine will "encourage" our good health and continued existence.

Jeff Emanuel quotes from the White House web site:

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can't keep track of all of them here at the White House, we're asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov. [his emphasis]
This is interesting, since many "members" of Congress (to use John Conyers's unintentionally apt self-description) and the President seem so eager to make such "health insurance reform" law without even reading the bill. How the hell would they even know what "disinformation" was?

Does Obama regard the bill itself as "disinformation?" After all, it does address government control of end of life care:
(B) The level of treatment indicated under subparagraph (A)(ii) [i.e., "life sustaining treatment" --ed] may range from an indication for full treatment to an indication to limit some or all or specified interventions. (430)
This paragraph clarifies what Conyers and Obama hope will go on during "advance care planning consultations" which will become more frequent once you are admitted to "a skilled nursing facility [or] a long-term care facility" according to the previous page.

Enough of a "limit" in such a case will make this an "end of life" issue. And so we see that one needn't look very hard nor must one exactly make one's head hurt while connecting the dots in order to find examples showing that this bill is exactly what the White House is afraid you might realize it is -- if you value your life and do not regard it as government property.

Emanuel rightly adds:
[A]s we've seen in the health care debate to date, the term "disinformation" is used by the Obama White House as a catchall to describe any opposition to the President's push for single-payer, government-run health care...
When I first heard that Obama is hoping to enlist the aid of free-lance informants, I saw this as a symptom of his pragmatism. He obviously thinks he can get away with claiming that arguments against his "reforms" like the one I posted yesterday are not "factual" because they rely on abstractions and are thus, in such a view, not concrete enough to be factual.

I still think that this is true, but there's more going on here than a pragmatist's disdain for principles. This move is also an implicit admission on the President's part of the basest emotion there is, envy, or, as Ayn Rand famously described it, "hatred of the good for being the good."
Hatred of the good for being the good means hatred of that which one regards as good by one's own (conscious or subconscious) judgment. It means hatred of a person for possessing a value or virtue one regards as desirable.

If a child wants to get good grades in school, but is unable or unwilling to achieve them and begins to hate the children who do, that is hatred of the good. If a man regards intelligence as a value, but is troubled by self-doubt and begins to hate the men he judges to be intelligent, that is hatred of the good. (from "The Age of Envy," Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, 152.)
To exaggerate only slightly, if you just read the bill, you can see that if it is passed, your life can be forfeit at the government's convenience. There is nothing to "disinform" about.

This move is all about and only about you selfishly valuing your own life. Obama claims to regard selfishness as immoral, but another quote from Ayn Rand should illustrate why I think he does envy the spirit of the nation he hopes to rule:
Isn't that the root of every despicable action? Not selfishness, but precisely the absence of a self. Look at them. The man who cheats and lies, but preserves a respectable front. He knows himself to be dishonest, but others think he's honest and he derives his self-respect from that, second-hand. The man who takes credit for an achievement which is not his own. He knows himself to be mediocre, but he's great in the eyes of others. The frustrated wretch who professes love for the inferior and clings to those less endowed, in order to establish his own superiority by comparison .... They're second-handers ....

They have no concern for facts, ideas, work. They're concerned only with people. They don't ask: "Is this true?" They ask: "Is this what others think is true?" Not to judge, but to repeat. Not to do, but to give the impression of doing. Not creation, but show. Not ability, but friendship. Not merit, but pull. (605, and more here) [bold added]
Does that last paragraph not sound familiar? And does it not almost perfectly characterize the form which Obama hopes political "debate" will take? Obama does not really have a self, and he hates those of us who do.

Obama, as this bill clearly shows, could care less about the quality or length of your physical life. It's your spirit that he's really after. And he expects to break it by making you afraid to speak your mind.

-- CAV


: There is more on the subject of Obama's recruitment of informants over at Titanic Deck Chairs.


Joseph Kellard said...

Very insightful post, Gus.

Thank you,
~ Joseph Kellard

Gus Van Horn said...

Thank you, Joseph!

C. August said...

I agree! I added a quote from your post to my own, because we both came to similar conclusions, but you hit a really important point that I didn't.

And because of your post, I saw that Ayn Rand described Cass Sunstein's modus operandi 30+ years ago. As I've identified him as my Moby Dick, seeing such a thorough debunking is extremely useful. So thanks!

Gus Van Horn said...

I'm glad you found what I had to say useful, and thanks for the link.,

Also, thanks for pointing to your post. Being in a rush today, I'd missed it.

Jim May said...

A nitpick:

It's "could NOT care less". That he "could care less" implies a degree of caring sufficient that he, well, could care less than that. And I'd say that gives him too much credit, seeing as caring, properly construed, is a selfish thing.

Gus Van Horn said...


Quite true. I'm leaving it as is here, but you have made me reevaluate my adoption some years back of this (American?) idiom.

I used to notice the same thing, then learned of the idiom, and made an uneasy peace with it.

But in the future, I see that using the correct non-idiom affords a way to bring this very issue up.

(That said, the Jane Ausen quote does show a context in which saying this phrase can be correct.

Thanks for pointing this out.