Mike Huckabee has always had a really nasty streak, but I think he may have outdone himself with this one:
The 2008 Republican presidential candidate suggested during his radio show, "The Huckabee Report," on Thursday that, under President Obama's health care plan, Kennedy would have been told to "go home to take pain pills and die" during his last year of life.
"[I]t was President Obama himself who suggested that seniors who don't have as long to live might want to consider just taking a pain pill instead of getting an expensive operation to cure them," said Huckabee. "Yet when Sen. Kennedy was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at 77, did he give up on life and go home to take pain pills and die? Of course not. He freely did what most of us would do. He choose an expensive operation and painful follow up treatments. He saw his work as vitally important and so he fought for every minute he could stay on this earth doing it. He would be a very fortunate man if his heroic last few months were what future generations remember him most for."
As it happens, Huckabee made his remarks shortly after he derided Democrats for using Kennedy's death to make the pitch that "Congress must hurry and pass the health care reform bill and do it in his memory,"
"That not only defies good taste," said Huckabee, "it defies logic."
You'll note that Huckabee said "he freely did what most of us would do, he chose an expensive operation." "Most of us" must be referring to those who are lucky enough to have insurance like Kennedy had --- paid for by the government and among a huge choice of policies --- because "many of us" would have to fight our insurance companies to get that "expensive" treatment or would face bankruptcy. That's if "we" were lucky enough to have insurance at all.
Huckabee has properly defined the problem but he doesn't seem to realize that it's the problem with the current system, not the proposed one. It's an excellent way to confuse people, of course, if you're trying to scare them, but it's a bit rich to speak of logic in the same breath.
And to evoke "good taste" in the same moment you are lying through your teeth with an outrageous claim that President Obama said seniors should consider going home and taking pain pills instead of getting an operation is just plain sickening and in a perfect world would disqualify him from ever holding public office again.