The Obama administration has been attempting to win the favor of Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley in its quest to garner his support for health care reform. This is perplexing! Having previously mused about how well versed President Barack Obama seems to be in counter-insurgency strategy, it seems weird to me that the White House would work so hard to court a non-persuadable dead-ender. Because that's precisely what Grassley is -- and a lying one at that! Let's recall that Grassley, whose vote Obama seems to think is critical, said this to his constituents:
"There is some fear because in the House bill, there is counseling for end-of-life," Grassley said. "And from that standpoint, you have every right to fear. You shouldn't have counseling at the end of life. You ought to have counseling 20 years before you're going to die. You ought to plan these things out. And I don't have any problem with things like living wills. But they ought to be done within the family. We should not have a government program that determines if you're going to pull the plug on grandma."Of course, he's absolutely right that "we should not have a government program that determines if you're going to pull the plug on grandma." And that's why nothing of any kind has been proposed, except by people like Grassley, who just make this stuff up.
Still, the White House wants Grassley, so Grassley remains part of the media's health care conversation. The thing is, with every media appearance, he only makes it clearer and clearer that winning his favor is an exercise in futility. Here's how he explained himself on Dylan Ratigan's Morning Meeting, today:
RATIGAN: Senator Grassley, welcome to the program. On the phone as it may be. What's going on between you and the President, if anything, as it pertains to these death panels?What Grassley is doing is called "denying his own agency." Yes. We probably should be talking about a host of "real issues." But "death panels" is most definitely a fictional issue, and it's not the "far left" telling people that "grandma" has "every right to fear." It's Charles Grassley who is explicitly telling his constituents these lies and who is making it very hard to believe that he will, at any time in the future, be voting for health care reform, ever.
GRASSLEY: Well, listen. I see that as nothing more than a distortion from the far left bringing up these end-of-life concerns, which are not the issues we ought to be talking about. We ought to be talking about government takeover of the health care system. We ought to be talking about the exploding deficits. We ought to be talking about the failure to get on top of high health care costs, and all of these things are in the Pelosi health care bill. And it seems to me they don't want to talk about the real issues.
Exclusive: New Poll Finds Majority Of Republicans Either Believes Or Isn’t Sure About “Death Panel” Claim
Wow. A forthcoming poll by the nonpartisan Research 2000 for DailyKos finds that a majority of Republicans either believes, or isn’t sure about, the claim that the Dem health care proposal will create “death panels” to determine whether the sick or injured get health care depending on their “productivity in society.”
I’ve gotten an advance look at the relevant question from the poll, which will be released tomorrow, and here’s how it asks the question:
Do you think the health care reform plan being considered by President Obama and Congress creates “death panels” which have the authority to subjectively determine whether or not a gravely ill or injured person should receive health care based on their “level of productivity in society”?Here are the numbers on how Republicans answered that question:
So a startling majority of 57% of Republicans either believes or is uncertain about the veracity of the “death panel” claim, versus only 43% of GOPers who don’t beliveve it.
Not sure: 31
The key here is that the question was specifically worded to mirror Palin’s assertion that Obama’s death panel will evaluate a person’s right to medical care based on whether they’re productive in society. More than a quarter of Republicans believe this, and nearly a third are not sure.
And lest anyone be tempted to dismiss this poll because it was commissioned by DailyKos, keep in mind that Research 2000 is nonpartisan. Just astonishing.