April 1, 2011
Teflon LiberalsBy J.R. Dunn
It will come as news to no one that conservatism often has a difficult time getting the word out. This doesn't simply refer to questions of policy or issues of the moment, but also to liberal scandals, improprieties, and missteps, stories that you'd think would tell themselves with little in the way of effort. While a conservative needs only to misspeak about a small town to have the heavens rent in twain, liberals can loot every orphanage and convent in the country without anybody taking notice (I'm told that this actually occurred on several occasions), conservatives above all.
Much of this material does not need digging up; the information is in plain sight, requiring little in the way of research or investigation. But for reasons that I for one don't understand, it's often overlooked, if not actually swept aside or covered up, by the very people you'd expect to make it their business to reveal it. As a result, American liberals have consistently gotten away with things, to the point where they now take it as an ordinary condition of business. It's a shock to them when it happens any other way. (See Rangel, Charlie.)
Consider the involvement of George Soros in the Holocaust. That story was far from unknown -- it was first revealed on 60 Minutes in the early 90s. It provided real insight into the character and motivations of one of the more enigmatic and influential figures on the left. And yet Soros was allowed to carry on his various political machinations for nearly twenty years without ever being challenged over it. If you'd asked most active conservatives, they'd have had no idea any such thing had ever occurred until Glenn Beck revealed it on his Fox News program.
That's only one example. There are plenty of others. While serving as Bill Clinton's EPA chief Carol Browner put serious effort into ridding the earth of CFC asthma inhalers on the grounds that Mother Gaia didn't like them. This action -- the first time in history a lifesaving item was banned by treaty -- created needless suffering for asthma victims and other pulmonary disease sufferers while placing the lives of no small number of them in serious jeopardy. Yet where was the uproar when she was appointed czarina by Obama? (I forget of what -- arranging cheap housing loans for polar bears, I assume.) Jamie Gorelick, whose infamous insistence on a "wall" between intelligence and law enforcement made her the non-Muslim individual most responsible for 9/11, not only succeeded to a quite lucrative appointment to Fannie Mae but is even now being considered for chief of the FBI, presumably to allow the Jihadis a fair shot at LA and Seattle. Can you hear the outrage? Sure you can. Just listen real, real close.
If more evidence is needed, what would you say to George Soros, the Sequel? It seems that a man guilty of questionable behavior during WWII, a financial criminal in countries such as France, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, was involved in a ten-year attempt to create a national euthanasia program in the U.S. This story was a keynote revelation of my book Death by Liberalism. In my fundamental innocence and sense of civic spirit I believed it would have quite an impact. But what do I know?
In 1994, Soros gave a speech to the collected faculty and administration of Columbia University. It was not your typical academic speech. In large part, it was devoted to death -- in particular the deaths of Soros' parents. He'd learned a lot from the experience. What he'd learned was that Americans knew nothing about death and needed an ultra-wealthy immigrant to explain it to them. His next project, he told the collected Columbia savants, would be to change the American culture of death.
In cooperation with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a health-care advocacy group closely linked with Johnson & Johnson, Soros established the Project on Death in America, supposedly embodying the mission of promoting palliative and hospice care. Both were legitimate medical techniques, palliative care developed to control extreme pain and hospice care established to provide terminal patients with a homelike, relaxed atmosphere for their final weeks. Dr. Kathleen Foley, a longtime proponent of these methods, was appointed head of the project.
In prospectus, the project appeared perfectly straightforward. But odd things tend to happen when George Soros is involved. A considerable amount of funding was provided, $48 million from Soros and $148 million from the RWJ Foundation. Grants were made to a number of health-care groups such as the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, along with hospitals and individuals, not forgetting artists and photographers.
One of the organizations involved was the Partnership for Caring. Prior to connecting with Soros, it had been known by another name: Choice in Dying. Its agenda was promoting "patient's choice," that is to say, euthanasia, in the U.S. health-care system. (Just to put things in context, this was the same period when Kevorkian was gassing people with impunity in the back of his van.)
Partnership for Caring's preferred method involved a procedure innocuously termed the "third path," in which food and water was withheld from dying patients, who were instead subjected to "double-effect" pain medication -- shots from which they weren't supposed to wake up. This technique will be recognized as essentially identical to the British Liverpool Care Pathway, in which the same methods are used on patients under the care -- if that's the word we're groping for -- of the National Health Service.
It's hard to say how far this went -- most the Death Project's records are unavailable. But it seems clear that "patient's choice" and the "third path" became familiar topics in health-care establishments taking part in the program. Cases occurred where terminal patients in hospices with weeks to live died within a matter of days. What it came down to was that Soros was promoting euthanasia under the cover of "waking America up" concerning the reality of death.
(The RWJ Foundation also attempted, with evident encouragement from Soros, to influence rewriting of end-of-life regulations to encourage third-path procedures in 23 states though a program of indoctrinating state representatives. )
In 2003, Soros and the RWJ Foundation suddenly dropped the Death Program. No precise reason was ever given beyond a specious claim that the "work was finished." Was the program out of control? Were people starting to balk? (Dr. Foley, for one, was an inveterate enemy of euthanasia.) Were voices of protest getting a little too loud? As with most affairs involving Soros, it's impossible to say for sure.
It seems to me that the fact that one of Obama's chief sponsors was once pushing a national euthanasia program would cause an eyebrow or two to go up, particularly in light of ObamaCare and all its little oddities. But it hasn't happened yet. I'd be willing to bet that the first word most AT readers have had of this scheme is right here.
Recall the uproar that greeted Sarah Palin's comment on "death panels." Consider the beating the Koch brothers have taken for the crime of funding programs they believe in. Then take another look at this.
The Soros death program may be history. But there are plenty of other liberal schemes that could use a little sunlight. They're not going to get it from the legacy media. Which leaves who?
Conservatives have let way too many strikes zip past, strikes that could easily have been blasted over the fence and out of the park. We've got to do better.
J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker, and author of Death by Liberalism.