Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Politicizing disease

*Update: The folks over at Gateway Pundit explain that it's not just "America's Anchorman: that harmless, loveable little fuzzball el Rushmo" who's railing against the M.J. Fox ads.

When we politicize diseases, this is the kind of debate we get...

As I was skimming the blogs this morning--as I do nearly every morning--I came across several entries regarding comments by Rush Limbaugh on Michael J. Fox entering the political arena by doing ads for senatorial candidates in Maryland (Cardin) and Missouri (McCaskill ). The debate seems to be over what Limbaugh said--that Fox either acted well or had stopped taking his medication to make his condition look as bad as possible for the purpose of misleading people who suffer. The bigger debate--and the one which I think Limbaugh was trying to frame--is that the Democrats think that they can use 'victims' in political attack ads without any reprecutions. From Limbaugh:

Then you bring forth a person who's suffering the disease, and you illustrate the disease and the ravages and the suffering on TV to create sympathy and infallibility, because you're not supposed to be able to attack somebody or criticize somebody in any way or in any regard if they suffer from the disease. It's considered cold-hearted and cruel. What's happening here is that Michael Fox has entered the political arena with his attack, which includes false information about Senator Talent and Michael Steele in Maryland. That's fair ame, and I am not going to follow the script that says we're not allowed to comment on the things said by participants, "victims," what have you, that the Democrats put forth as infallible in the middle of a political campaign.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what Limbaugh said. Sister Toldjah covered the debate here and here. She says that Limbaugh's comments about Fox possibly acting 'disgraceful.' I disagree. The comments may have been distasteful, though I think even that's a stretch, but he is not somehow insulated to say whatever he wants about this issue with out some sort of backlash from those who oppose his political views

Rush clearly outlines what the Dems are trying to do in this. They are painting conservatives as "for Parkinsons" for opposing stem cell research. We've seen it before. Conservatives are "for incest and babies born from rape victims" if we oppose abortion. We are for...well I'll let Rush explain:

That's what the Democrats are doing, politicizing diseases and illnesses, damaging what has traditionally been a bipartisan effort at addressing and curing illnesses, and the same time they claim if you don't embrace their political and cultural agenda, then you're for Parkinson's disease, and you are for spinal paralysis. It's no different than the way they do it in the environmental movement. They talk about dirty water and dirty air, and if you oppose the environmentalists, why, you must be for dirty water and dirty air! You don't want clean water and clean air, and this is a script that they have written for years. Senate Democrats used to parade victims of various diseases or social concerns or poverty up before congressional committees and let them testify, and they were infallible. You couldn't criticize them.

The bottom line is that celebrities, victims, disease patients etc. are not any different than anybody else once they enter the political arena--the are open to insult, debate and rebuttle just as anywone else. And so it should be. Rush's main point is simply that we cannot sit by and let somebody spew disinformation simply because they are victims etc. More:

The truth is, all stem cell research is legal today in Missouri. Jim Talent does not seek to criminalize it, as Michael J. Fox asserts in his television commercial. Stem cell research is legal today in Missouri, it is happening at universities across the state. The truth is Amendment 2 would put human cloning in the Constitution. Now, the Michael J. Fox ad says that Talent wants to criminalize research, and this is false. It is already legal and it's already happening. Senator Talent and other opponents of Amendment 2 are not touching stem cell research in any way. What they want to do is stop human cloning from becoming a new right in the Missouri Constitution, and so they have named the pro-cloning bill the stem cell research and cures initiative so that people will go to the polls on November the 7th and think they're voting for stem cell research, which is already legal.

Michael J. Fox is participating in this disinformation campaign. Folks, I don't care what anybody says, it is unseemly, it is exploitative, and it is downright mean to mislead people who suffer from incurable diseases at the moment or horrible diseases, that there is a cure around the corner if only, if only Republicans could be defeated. There has been a tradition in this country of bipartisan efforts to cure all of these diseases or to come up with vaccinations for them, but never mind that, we're in the process here now of damaging what has traditionally been this bipartisan effort in addressing and curing illnesses by politicizing them. We're now politicizing diseases and illnesses.


So the Michael J. Fox Foundation currently, with its namesake, doing commercials misleading Missourians and Marylanders on the effects of stem cell research and the idea that Republicans want to criminalize this research and stop and prevent a cure for Parkinson's disease has actually funded a follow-up study to this virus research that involves gene therapy. Do I need to say more? They're still not sure about this but it shows promising results, far more promising than anything that has come from embryonic stem cell research to date, ladies and gentlemen. Now, this has to be known by Mr. Fox since his foundation donated $1.9 million for a follow-up study on this and yet he still is producing these commercials.

But Rush doesn't blame Fox. He blames the candidates:

Now, who do you want to blame, you want to blame Fox or do you want to blame the candidates for running them? Robert George, the professor at Princeton, blames the candidates. They're the ones who are disgraced by exploiting and using the sufferers of this disease to politicize the illness and for political gain.

And so, love him or hate him, Rush is right yet again. Kudos to Rush for seeing--yet again--through the liberal trap.

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At 9:50 AM, Blogger GrannyGrump said...

I don't care how sick you are, that doesn't give you a right to bear false witness and mislead the public. Michael J. Fox ought to be ashamed of himself. But he's already advocating killing children in medical experiments to look for a cure that will help him, personally. A person like that already has no shame.

At 10:07 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

I must admit that when i saw the name "grannygrump" i instantantly thought "Oh no, i'm under attack." But i was wrong. You make some very valid points that needed to be put just as bluntly as you put them. hats off to you. (By the way--just took a minute to glance at your blog, keep up the fight. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said "Abortion: The supreme court also approved slavery. Were they right about that one too?" One of these days this murder will end...


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