"If you do not obtain confessions from the doctors, we will shorten you by a head."
- The only interesting thing Stalin ever said about government medicine, one way or the other
I'm one of those people who likes to hear a lot of voices in a health care debate. I especially like to hear the voices of people who hear voices. That's what's made the town halls such a rich experience, even though I haven't been able to get to one personally, what with having a job.
(What's that poem? Something, something... and after they came for the Birthers, there was no one left to shriek nonsense for me? Something like that.)
Another voice that's been curiously absent from the debate? Joseph Stalin's.
Oh sure, there's the occasional "socialism" scrawled on a sign, and a hammer and sickle or two, often backwards, like the "R" in Toys R Us. But the man himself? Nowhere to be seen.
For some reason, when it comes to health insurance, and genocidal 20th century European tyrants who Obama is exactly like, it's always that other guy.
Maybe it's just an easier mustache to draw. You draw a toothbrush mustache on anyone, we generally get what you're saying. (And that your parents weren't very bright.) You draw a pencil mustache on a picture of Obama it looks like you're protesting Billy Dee Williams.
And making it thicker doesn't help. It just looks like you're protecting Medicare from Fred The Hammer Williamson.
The other problem is that Stalin, who you'd think would be your go-to bogeyman for socialized medicine, didn't give a shit one way or the other. He spent very little time thinking about your grandmother's co-pay. It wasn't that he wasn't a very bad man. He certainly was. It's just that rationing care, or not rationing care, wasn't his thing. And you'd think it would be, because he was bad, and universal health care is bad too.
Which is where the health care reform equals socialism equals evil equation breaks down. The problem with Stalin's Soviet Union wasn't too much access to end-of-life counseling. The problem was systematic homicidal neglect. Sort of like what America's uninsured have now.
Wait, I'm not being completely fair. Stalin did make one sweeping change to health policy. Just like Obama. And it cruelly took a medical decision away from citizens and physicians and handed it over to the state, too. In 1936 he outlawed abortion.
And now a cartoon from Lyndon LaRouche.
No, I don't know what the queen and windmills have to do with it either. Maybe we'll find out in Sarah Palin's next twitter.