Ezra Klein of the Washington Post Hoists the Jolly Roger and Opens Fire on the Post's Editorial Section--on Fred Hiatt and His Bizarre Decision to Publish Danielle Allen
Ezra Klein: It Is Democracy, Not Health-Care Reform, That Is Sick: As Josh Marshall says, we've reached a point in the health-care reform discussion where logic has fallen apart. Consider, for instance, Danielle Allen's op-ed this morning. Discussing the insistence of some that health-care reform will result in rationing and death panels, Allen chides those who respond with an accurate description of the legislation. "One can't answer them by saying: 'These policies won't ration; there will be no death panels,'" she writes. Instead, reformers must detail the "institutional checks that will prevent the emergence" of death panels and rationing.
In other words, the questions reformers have to answer is not "when did you stop beating your wife?" It's "what will prevent you from beating your wife?" Given that there is no such thing as a "death panel," nor any policy provision that would establish such a thing, it is hard to explain the institutional checks that would prevent a "death panel" from coming into being. When you have to explain why your bill won't create death panels, and what will make sure that it doesn't, you've pretty much lost the argument.
The fact that an idea as loony as death panels has found even the slightest purchase in the public consciousness shows how distant the minority feels from our democracy...