Operation Coffeecup

From Paul Krugman’s blog:

Unbelievable. Sarah Palin finished her closing remarks by quoting Ronald Reagan:

“It was Ronald Reagan who said that freedom is always just one generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream; we have to fight for it and protect it, and then hand it to them so that they shall do the samINSERT DESCRIPTIONe, or we’re going to find ourselves spending our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children about a time in America, back in the day, when men and women were free.”

When did he say this? It was on a recording he made for Operation Coffeecup — a campaign organized by the American Medical Association to block the passage of Medicare. Doctors’ wives were supposed to organize coffee klatches for patients, where they would play the Reagan recording, which declared that Medicare would lead us to totalitarianism.

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

It’s not really unbelievable; it’s just not remembered.  Conservatives bitterly opposed Social Security and Medicare when they were proposed, and still do.  They’re just not quite so… ummmm…upfront about it anymore.  But it’s very instructive to know exactly what threat conservatives perceive when they talk about defending freedom.  The other astonishing thing about this is the belief that social insurance programs lead to totalitarianism—this isn’t some eccentric belief unique to Reagan.  It’s straight out of Friedrich Hayek, one of the heroes of conservatism.

Does Sarah Palin actually buy this idea?  Of course not!!  She knows not of what she speaks—and proud of it!!


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Filed under elections 08, radical right

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