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We don’t need no water

By Amanda Marcotte
Monday, August 10, 2009 22:25 EDT
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During Obama’s campaign, the Fight The Smears website became a useful tool to push back against the right wing willingness to lie their heads off about anything for the slightest partisan gain. So it’s unsurprising that they’re going with the same strategy in pushing back against the scorched earth bullshit campaign against any kind of health care reform: Health Insurance Reform Reality Check. Of course, it’s hard to push back against the exponentially growing pile of complete lies, but it’s at least a good start.

I’m sure you’ve already seen this, but if not, today’s huge honking lie is so big that it may be hard for the wingnuts to top it this week. Investors Business Daily, in promoting the “euthanasia” lie, said:

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

I guess we should blame the National Health Services for not providing Hawking with a voice synthesizer with a British accent, if we’re looking to blame the NHS for something. After all, Hawking has been within the reach of their nefarious plans during the entire stint of his illness, since he was born and has lived in the UK all this time. But I suppose the manufacturers of his voice synthesizer didn’t really see the harm in making one that’s got an American accent, since they didn’t have enough powers of precognition to realize that their non-error would be used to deceive the undereducated about a client’s nationality.

Or perhaps the editorial staff thinks that Hawking is on the run in his homeland? That he’s always outwitting the NHS’s attempts to track him down and kill him. It’s not completely beyond the scope of possibility, since Hawking is both a mega-genius and could figure out how to outwit the NHS, and he also has a lot of friends who are willing to hide him. Still, one would think that being a world-famous scientist whose life is in grave danger at the hands of your government would result in someone making fewer media appearances than Hawking has, and would most likely result in a move to the U.S., which I suspect would be happy to issue political asylum to such a famous man being besieged by such a criminally immoral government. At bare minimum, you’d think there’d be a documentary about the brave Stephen Hawking, always on the move, always evading the NHS in a series of narrow, harrowing escapes.

Now, last time I was in England, it was only for a week, but I don’t recall anyone expressing fear that the NHS was out to get them. On the contrary, I merely said something about an NHS ad that I liked to an English man we were traveling with, and I received, with gratitude, his immense pity that our country thinks so little of its citizenry that our basic health care needs won’t be met. It was regarded with roughly the same attitude you’d have if someone mentioned that they don’t believe in fire departments in their country, and so you just have to let the fire go and hope it goes out on its own before it takes too many houses. Perhaps he was unaware that should he ever do so much as break a leg, they’d take him out behind the barn and shoot him.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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