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Devil Went Down to Georgia

Ed Kilgore is managing editor of The Democratic Strategist, a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, and a frequent contributor to a variety of political journals.

My, it's been an interesting week for the two Republican senators from my home state of Georgia. 

Johnny Isakson has been tying himself in knots trying to reconcile his present opposition to voluntary end-of-life counseling under Medicare with his prior advocacy (as reported here at The Treatment by Jonathan Cohn) of mandatory end-of-life medical directives under Medicare.

Meanwhile, his colleague Saxby Chambliss spent some time suggesting that "death panels" might be exerting their evil influence closer to the cradle than to the grave:

After showing an audience a number of health care charts, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss displayed a large photograph of his twin granddaughters.

The Georgia Republican told members of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday the children were born two months premature in February and weighed a little more than 3 pounds. They were delivered at Georgetown Hospital in Washington.

"The first time I saw them they had all kinds of needles sticking in them," he said.

Chambliss then said how glad he was the physician and the babies' parents were able to decide the proper medical care without "some government bureaucratic board" doing so.

That's not the way it is in places with government-run health care programs such as in Canada and England, he told the group. He doesn't feel such a program is needed in the United States.

Ol' Saxby really has mastered the pack-of-lies approach to health reform, complete with a Palinesque family reference and even photos. No need for him to get down in the weeds of bioethics like Isakson; it's easier to just make up stuff about bureaucrats and foreigners.

--Ed Kilgore