Frist: Gov't Unwanted in End-of-Life Cases

Frist: Gov’t Unwanted in End-of-Life Cases

However, it seems that when Frist was visited by the Clue Fairy, the Bullshit Fairy was tagging along for the ride:

I’ve always been very critical of Frist, but at least he’s able to admit a mistake, unlike some folks. Yeah, it had to come with some bullshit, but that’s par for the course.

Admitting a mistake after it becomes a political liability is like admitting a crime after you get caught red-handed.

Oh please. Can anyone say ‘political expediency’? Can anyone say ‘damage control’? Can anyone say ‘CYA’? Frist’s turnabout had absolutely nothing at all to do with anything honorable. His position and involvment in the Schiavo debacle hurt him politically, and in order to have any reasonable chance at a run for the presidency in the near future he knows he has to repair that damage.

Ms. Schiavo was simply a tool Frist and other republicans used to try to further foist their agenda onto the American people. They could not have cared less for Terri Schiavo, but clamped onto her case like rabid dogs because they felt the simple and simple-minded in their constituency could easily understand it, and serve to ignite a religeous juggernaut that would help to permanently sway legal opinion their way through public outcry…and it almost worked. After all, the true-believers didn’t even bat an eye when Frist, who, I understand, is a cardiologist, not a neurologist, hadn’t even physically examined Schiavo, yet made a positive determination of her condition from a video recording. It would be laughable if it weren’t so scary.

And is it just me? I don’t consider someone continuing to justify despicable and discredited acts as admitting a mistake.

What SteveMB said. Frist is right this time, but I can’t give him too much credit for it.

There’s nobody in politics who wouldn’t admit a mistake if circumstances dictated they had to. Even Bush did, eventually, when he couldn’t get away from it anymore.

One time on this forum there was a thread where a poster was lamenting the unaccountability of politicians today, and their refusal to be “men of honor” who are up front about their intentions and honest about their mistakes.

I made the claim that men like that would be fools in the modern day world because people don’t give a damn if you admit your mistake, they’ll just use that as more fuel to throw on the fire. I’m glad this post, in some small part, helps demonstrate just this very thing in action.

To actually talk about the matter of gov’t being wanted/unwanted in end-of-life cases… Well, the government may not be wanted but it may need to be there anyways.

Ending life is an irrevocable decision, and since it is an irrevocable decision I don’t think medical professionals should “allow someonw to die” unless it is clear that is what said person wanted. When there is no “living will” I feel we need to err on the side of life. And I think government should be involved to make sure people aren’t being terminated when they may actually wish to still be alive.

Well and good, Martin. But what Frist is saying is that he found out that the majority of the public view the issue the other way.

And it took him this long to figure it out?


What’s that have to do with what government should or should not do?

Part of the reason we have representative democracy is so the innate stupidity of the people doesn’t bring doom to the civilized world.

Of course, Frist will probably also not point out that he will make exceptions in high-visibility cases where he believes his fundie voters would prefer him to intervene.


Maybe his recent enlightenment is a result ofhis wife being ill.

I suppose I should hate myself but I can’t. Frist demonstrated quite clearly that possible damage from playing on others’ tragedy is secondary to his trying to make political points.

So, will your vision of the nanny goverment include gun control?

I’m not sure that completely makes your point.
I think it’s ridiculous that people consider giving politicians credit for admitting their mistakes. It only proves how rarely they admit to doing anything wrong, even when it’s blindingly obvious that they’re screwed up. If politicians made a practice of being upfront about these kinds of things, they’d probably neither be praised nor savaged for it.

To clarify: a video recording that had been edited by an interested party.

I don’t know, I think American cynicism is the rule rather than the exception. We seem to be pretty unwilling to accept that self-interested motives cannot be taken out of action, that no matter what we do there will be something self-interested in it. However, that being said, we can still admit mistakes. You see it here on the dope in microcosm. People admit mistakes all the time, just as people say “I wish I once would see on the dope someone admitting they were wrong.” Politicians admit to screwups constantly, what is reported and what that is reported reaches your ears is a tiny little fraction of that politician’s life. The life of a politician is constant strategy, and that’s a fact of life, nothing is going to change it, it goes with the territory, but I for one am glad to see Frist admit that it was a mistake, because as cynical as we may be about it, his statement does make a difference in how people act in the governance of our fair nation.

For the last century or so, if not longer, we’ve allowed the next of kin to make decisions about keeping their loved ones on life support, and civilization still seems to be here. What makes you think this is going to change anytime in the future?

We’re not even talking about enlightened self-interest in this case, though. We’re talking about self-interest in national politics.

Politicians admit to policy screwups constantly? I have to admit that’s news to me.

Well DUH. That’s exactly what makes people cynical! And I think that cynicism is quite justified in this context.

What difference does it make in how people act? Apologizing for a mistake you’ve been burned for - and doing it way after the fact - is exactly how people act in governance of the country. If there’s anything heartening here, it’s that the people who were on the wrong side of this issue eventually realized that the majority of the public hated what they were doing. Of course, the public felt the same way while it was going on and that didn’t slow them down a bit…

As far as I am concerned, Frist and all his “right to life” buddies took part in a shameful and disgusting sideshow, for political points. When it becomes clear that SOME people were paying attention, he’s “almost” sorry (plus or minus the weasel words and disclaimers). He’s a jerk. From what I vaguely remember, he also certainly did make a diagnosis via the video monitor. So, he’s still a liar and a scumbag in my book.

I’ll give Frist credit for a turnaround on this issue when he actually does something concrete in the area of government support for people who want their lives to end with dignity.

Until then, it looks a lot like pandering for voter support.