GOP Senator Inadvertently Engages Reality

This is rich:

At the town-hall discussion in New Hampshire yesterday, President Obama addressed the ridiculous “death panel” argument the right has been carelessly throwing round. He noted, “The irony is that actually one of the chief sponsors of this bill originally was a Republican — then House member, now senator, named Johnny Isakson from Georgia — who very sensibly thought this is something that would expand people’s options. And somehow it’s gotten spun into this idea of ‘death panels.'”

The president’s remark came soon after Isakson told Ezra Klein that Sarah Palin’s attacks on this are “nuts.” Isakson added, “You’re putting the authority in the individual rather than the government. I don’t know how that got so mixed up. It empowers you to be able to make decisions at a difficult time rather than having the government making them for you…. And it’s a voluntary deal.”

The problem, from Isakson’s perspective, is that he’s now inadvertently defended reality, when his party is committed to doing the opposite. Republican senators aren’t supposed to debunk nonsensical talking points; they’re supposed to repeat nonsensical talking points.

So, Isakson is left with an awkward task: walking back honest support for his own proposal.

The episode ends with Isakson proposing an essentially redundant amendment so he can claim he’s tried to fix the whole “death panel” issue — an issue that has never existed, since his amendment is substantially the same as the existing bill.

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