June 27, 2009

"Socialized medicine redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in all the wrong ways..."

"... and, if you cross that bridge, it's all but impossible to go back. So, if ever there were a season for GOP philanderers not to unpeel their bananas, this summer is it."

Mark Steyn opines on Gov. Sanford's unfortunate foray into Argentina and more.


Bruce Hayden said...

I was asked the other day about the difference between American and British sex scandals. In its heyday, Brit sex was about the action – Lord Lambton's three-in-a-bed biracial sex romp; Harvey Proctor's industrial-scale spanking of rent boys; Max Mosley's Nazi bondage sessions, with a fine eye for historical accuracy and the orders barked out in surprisingly accurate German; Stephen Milligan's accidental auto-erotic asphyxiation while lying on a kitchen table wearing fishnet stockings…. With the exception of the last ill-fated foray, there was an insouciance to these remarkably specialized peccadilloes.

I will admit that the British sex scandals would be a lot more fun that what we get. The closest I can remember here was Barney Frank's boy friend's gay prostitution ring run out of his (Frank's) Congressional offices.

Bruce Hayden said...

But that would take the light off the fact that Frank, after being one of the prime movers in creating the subprime lending scandal, and then in crafting the legislation to "clean" it up, is now asking lenders to loosen up on condominium lending.

peter hoh said...

shorter Stein: Sanford is no true Scotsman, and it's the fault of big government.

Rob said...

The Brits sure know how to party.

"By contrast, American sex scandals seem to be either minor campaign-finance infractions – the cheerless half-hearted affair with an aide."

It must be our Puritan heritage

"Small government,narrow responsibilities, part-time legislators and executives, a minimal number of aides, lots of days off: Let's burst the bubble."

If only it was possible

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

As for Sanford, better now than later! Now his wife might be a strong choice for a future elected office.

However, for Marxists, it's always yesterday's news, doesn't matter!

Pogo said...
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Pogo said...

Subjects of the realm will be satisfied with their bowl of medical porridge, and no, you cannot have more.

As always, it's been a pleasure to serve you. And I am obliged to inform you that those over 70 years of age will be offered comfort measures only.

traditionalguy said...

Steyn is such a talented writer that he discourages mere good writers. His style does communicate precisely his messagealong with his witHis message is a prophecy of doom that has been 90% right so far. And his reviews on songs and movies is the best you will find. If the NYT ran Steyn's column, their readership would awaken and start to think again and the Paper could make money again. But what's the chance of that happening?

XWL said...

Given Sanford's age, and his being born in the United States, I would think it likely that his banana had its peel surgically removed while he was but an infant.

Otherwise, excellent metaphor.

Fred4Pres said...


I remember an interview with Joe Pantoliano about the Sopranos. He said the most violent episode of that show in his opinion was not the murders or beatings, but when Tony and the boys dismantled the Ramsey Outdoor store when the owner got behind on gambling debts. The owner of the store was a former friend of Tony. When the owner asked why Tony did that to him, Tony got defensive about the victim/owner being a degenerate gambler (which he was) and then in a moment of clarity Tony admitted--"It is what I do."

And you thought the Sopranos would only be back in reruns.

PatCA said...

I agree with Steyn, but I think we have already crossed the Rubicon. It is pretty much believed by all that government is supposed to deliver services to us; the only argument seems to be which party can deliver goodies better and faster.

I don't think this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind.

Joe said...

The problem with any huge organization is that they end up spending more time servicing itself than the people and/or customers they are intended to serve.

The biggest problem with state and federal governments is that they are seizing power because they can and because they need to do so to maintain the Ponzi scheme of power that they already have.

Deborah said...
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traditionalguy said...

Good bye medical care, hello incompetant administrators screwing up everything as fast as the have the government schools all for themselves alone.

kentuckyliz said...

El Rushbo theorized that Sanford lost hope and related it to a story about growing hopelessness in the country. I know I'm depressed. Obamacare will be dangerous to me. Just waitin' for Jeeeebus now.

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, kentuckyliz! We were worried about you. How are you?

hdhouse said...

won't it be amazing when we find out that the "long waits" and "no choice" we assign the brits and canadians and evil socialism we brand scandanavia is mostly a load of bullroar foisted on us by the healthcare lobbying community?

I've lived overseas for a number of years in countries where there is free access to healthcare and you know what? i never had to wait, got to see any doctor i chose for any thing, got sick, got well and paid only for the morning paper.

this debate is just stupid. our health care system sucks. our national general health sucks. we use hospital emergency rooms for family doctor visits.

it would be helpful if some didn't just panic and listen to elrushbo who should be the poster boy for bad health and he has all the health care money can buy. such tawdry anecdotal "evidence" belongs in 8th grade debate.

Jennifer said...

That may be true, hdhouse. But I've lived under an American government run healthcare system for years and my experience has been the opposite. Good luck trying to get an appointment within a reasonable time frame. God help you if you need a significant procedure. And, wouldn't it be nice if you or your kids ever get to see the same doctor twice. Or a doctor at all - surely we should all be happy with a PA or nurse for most any visit.

In the six months before I delivered my daughter, the government run hospital killed off my neighbor, paralyzed and subsequently killed another mother in childbirth and reduced a perfectly healthy child to a vegetable by accidentally applying CO2 instead of oxygen, persistently and determinedly.

My kids have received the best care only at posts where the system was overcrowded and we were allowed to opt out and seek civilian care. When my daughter broke her arm, I rebelled and took her straight to a civilian hospital, costs be damned. Free is nice, but competent is better.

I agree that the system needs some change, but handing it over to the government is the worst possible option.

Penny said...

Nice to see you back kyliz.

House, I think it is high time we see more panic in the USA. We all like "free stuff", of course, eventually we learn that nothing is really free. There are always ties that bind.

In the 70's the government REQUIRED all businesses to offer HMO's as an alternative to their company plan. The carrot was "free doctor visits", and a supposed focus on wellness. As expected, the young folks flocked there, skyrocketing the costs for company plans. Does any of this sound familiar? I think I heard Obama giving the same spiel the other night without mentioning ultimate outcomes. Soon enough there will be NO competition to the government plan, because they will design it that way. When I hear him say "choice", I want to gag. When I hear him talk about "wellness", I know he means "fees" for behaviors not in line with government defined "best practices".

This is scary stuff, hdhouse. Please be sure you read up on both sides of the discussion before you make up your mind.

hdhouse said...

penny...i do "read up" before i post here.

call me when we break the top 30 in least infant mortality rates. how about when we break into the top 40 in life expectancy. when medical bills don't enter the top three reasons for bankruptcy give me a call. i'm also sure that medicare has administrative costs over the stated 2-5% range commonly reported...but is it still significantly under private insurers (13-23%).

government is the only entity that can sweepingly change what ails us in this matter...who else? or do you just want people to die at birth or have life expectancies rivaling the underdeveloped countries..or perhaps you want people to go broke in higher record numbers?

if you have a problem you fix it but don't blame the cure for the issue.

Joe said...

call me when we break the top 30 in least infant mortality rates.

Once again, how the US counts infant mortality is very different that most the rest of the first world. This also affects life expectancy.

Life expectancy for Hawaii, Wisconsin and Utah are very "competitive" with the rest of the first world.

Joe said...

our health care system sucks. our national general health sucks. we use hospital emergency rooms for family doctor visits.

Completely untrue. You take a handful of anecdotes from a handful of inner city neighborhoods and extend them throughout the country.

I have excellent health care. Most Americans have excellent health care. Most rich people world-wide use the US for their medical care because it's the best in the world.