"Not Literally a 'Death Panel'"!

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AUGUST 10, 2009

"Not Literally a 'Death Panel'"!

Arguing (cheekily, one hopes) that "Palin had a point," Mickey links to this guy, a Cornell Law Professor named William Jacobson, who offers an embarassingly lame defense of Sarah Palin's use of the phrase "death panel," in quotation marks, in her Facebook attack on Obama's health care plan. Quoth the legal scholar:

Palin put that term in quotation marks to signify the concept of medical decisions based on the perceived societal worth of an individual, not literally a "death panel."

Oh! Not literally a death panel! Funny how some people misunderstand quotation marks as indicating precision and literalism. So, when I write that William Jacobson is in favor of a new "greedy insurance industry price-gouging scheme," people should understand the nuanced concept signified therein.

P.S. Jacobson doesn't even bother trying to defend the other phrase Palin puts into misleading quotation marks--"level of productivity in society"--which as far as I can tell has no connection to any proposal authored or even imagined by any Democrat currently in a position of power. Presumably that's another concept the currently-unemployed Palin didn't have time to spell out.

[Cross-posted from The Plank]

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posted in: health, labor, social issues, facebook, person career, cornell, professor, sarah palin, william jacobson

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