Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Difference Between a "Prop" and an "Example"

We spend the first couple decades of our lives collecting experiences. The people we evidentially become is a mish mash of those experiences.

I have mentioned my parents, particularly my father, when writing about health care. I don’t want the government involved in health care in general, but when it comes to certain provisions in the bill it is my parents that make this fight personal for me. So do I use my father as a “prop” when I write on the subject?

I ask because both Prof. William Jacobson and Jim Treacher have written today on Pres. Obama’s grandmother as a prop. Prof. Jacobson takes the position that we all use personal experiences to explain our positions and that Obama’s grandmother is no more a prop than Trig, Sarah Palin’s son is a prop. Treacher on the other hand, points out that Obama trots his grandmother out when ever he needs to make a point.

Both pieces are really about hypocrisy. Jacobson concentrates on the hypocrisy of the Left who have eviscerated Sarah Palin for not keeping her son Trig out of public view (though can you imagine the reaction the Left would have had if Palin had kept her son under wraps?). Treacher points out Obama’s own hypocrisy.

By envoking his grandmother, Obama has shown the inconsistencies in his own position and unintentionally added fuel to the fire. His “typical white person” comment started the ball rolling back in the campaign. He threw another log on the fire when he said:

"I don’t know how much that hip replacement cost," Obama said in the interview. "I would have paid out of pocket for that hip replacement just because she's my grandmother."

Obama said "you just get into some very difficult moral issues" when considering whether "to give my grandmother, or everybody else's aging grandparents or parents, a hip replacement when they're terminally ill."

Like it or not, Obama words when combined with the writings of his chosen advisors, caused the public to believe that older people would be denied treatment. The implication of his words; it is not morally justified to spend on an elderly person.

Yesterday Obama spoke of his grandmother again and honestly, ticked me off:

"I just lost my grandmother last year. I know what it's like to watch somebody you love, who's aging, deteriorate and have to struggle with that," an impassioned Obama told a crowd as he spoke of Madelyn Payne Dunham. He took issue with "the notion that somehow I ran for public office or members of Congress are in this so they can go around pulling the plug on grandma."

That remark was cheap. Up until then, Obama had used his grandmother as an example. In that remark, his grandmother was a prop.

I haven’t heard anyone say that Obama ran for office to have the opportunity to pull the plug on anyone. It was a gratuitous slap at the legitimate concerns of millions of Americans and beneath the dignity of the President of the United States. I’ll let Jim Treacher have the last word:

And thus, we have a new definition of chutzpah: A President of the United States who complains about the expense of alleviating his dying grandmother's suffering, and who then uses her death as evidence of his compassion.

You may not have run for office specifically to pull the plug on grandma, Mr. President, but you're obviously not going to let her get in your way

A bit of sarcasm from Dan Riehl:

Update: Well, due to the extreme criticism from the "Laura killed her high school sweetheart, Cheney shot his friend, Bushitler" Left - I felt I should update and bump this post. I'm sorry if my sarcasm regarding the pillow reference came across as too unkind. I am certain Obama is a kind man. Consequently, I don't actually believe he would "smother" his Grandma with a pillow.

I imagine his compassion would compel him to use a plastic bag. But as that is so environmentally unsound, I didn't want to even suggest it in case it might damage his reputation among the faithful, so many of them being Green and all.

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