I find the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America outlet extremely entertaining in their capacity as the Obama White House's fluffy attack chinchilla -- not just because they clearly work so hard at such drudgery, but because they are so oblivious to their incredible irrelevance within the ongoing online conversation. In this case, I sadly didn't even notice their long, drawn out response last week to my piece on CMS nominee Donald Berwick until just today. It's a classically impotent MMFA attack post, in the sense that it spends an incredible amount of effort to rebut absolutely nothing I wrote. Donald Berwick has expressed his support for a health care plan which "redistribute[s] wealth from the richer among us to the poorer"; he does talk about how he's "romantic" about Britain's National Heath System; he expresses his strong support for "rationing with our eyes open." In fact, in quoting at length trying to provide some wiggle room or context for these quotes, MMFA actually makes Berwick seem worse!
In any case, normally I'd just let MMFA continue on their merry way until the Obama White House calls them up to tell them who needs to be squeaked at tomorrow. But their naivete when it comes to health policy is so evident in their choice of sources, I have to point out one aspect of their response to me: their reliance on a rebuttal, and a support for health care rationing, from one Dr. Peter Singer.
You may recognize the name, and not know why. The MMFA author, who evidently didn't, quotes at length from Dr. Singer's piece in support of health care rationing in the New York Times: "The debate over health care reform in the United States should start from the premise that some form of health care rationing is both inescapable and desirable. Then we can ask, What is the best way to do it?"
Dr. Singer is, of course, most well known for his support of non-voluntary euthanasia and infanticide for disabled infants, or just because the parents feel like it. I'm not exaggerating -- he makes no bones about his support for infanticide and has written multiple books and essays on the subject, arguing essentially that while animals are self-conscious beings, newborns and people who suffer from diseases such as Alzheimer’s aren't -- so they lack the quality of personhood which prevents us from killing them. In Singer's 1993 book, he wrote:
To take the lives of [self conscious people], without their consent, is to thwart their desires for the future. Killing a snail or a day-old infant does not thwart any desires of this kind, because snails and newborn infants are incapable of such desires.
In Singer's 1996 book, he wrote:
Human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons. Hence their lives would seem to be no more worthy of protection than the life of a fetus.
Would you kill a disabled baby? KAREN MEADE, Dublin
Yes, if that was in the best interests of the baby and of the family as a whole.
Just to be clear: Media Matters for America has no problem quoting, in defense of rationing health care, a person who has bluntly advocated the right to kill newborn babies. From his 1988 book, "Should the Baby Live?":
It does not seem wise to add to the burden on limited resources by increasing the number of severely disabled children.
I wonder if Donald Berwick agrees with Media Matters that Dr. Singer is a person we ought to listen to when it comes to rationing your health care?