During the summer’s debate over health care reform, right-wing activists and lawmakers latched onto former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s false claim that President Obama and congressional Democrats were proposing government “death panels” that would “pull the plug on grandma.” While Republican leaders largely abandoned this myth, Palin revived it on Friday during a speech at a Wisconsin Right to Life fundraising banquet. In her remarks, Palin “repeatedly suggested that liberal social policies could lead to de facto euthanasia.” The speech was closed to the press and audience members were not allowed to bring cell phones, cameras, or any recording devices, but a few reporters still managed to sneak in. Politico reports that Friday’s speech was less than inspiring:
Palin had remarks prepared but frequently wandered off-script to make a point, offering audience members a casual “awesome” or “bogus” in discussing otherwise weighty topics.
As in: “It is so bogus that society is sending a message right now and has been for probably the last 40 years that a woman isn’t strong enough or smart enough to be able to pursue an education, a career and her rights and still let her baby live.”
Other Palin touchstones included: praise for the military, jeers for the “the liberal media” and a general manner of speaking that often veered into rhetorical culs-de-sac.
While she drew applause during her remarks, Palin’s extemporaneous and frequently discursive style was such that she never truly roused a true-believing crowd as passionate about the issue at hand as she. Not once during her address did they rise to their feet.
Palin warned on her Facebook page last night that the “death panel” provision is in the health care bill that just passed the House.