Tuesday, December 10, 2013
It has gotten to the point where Republican pundits and politicians are saying so much that is absolutely contradictory it has to be pointed out on a case-by-case basis.
A girl holds a photo of slain U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens at a vigil outside the Libyan Embassy in New York on Sept. 13. When Stevens was killed, Republicans soon doled out blame, but following the Newtown massacre, conservatives said that talk of new limits on firearms was an effort “to ‘capitalize on a tragedy,’” a reader says.
2012 File Photo/The Associated Press
The latest example is the total disconnect in conservative dogma between the Benghazi, Libya, consulate attack and the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in New Jersey.
The fires at the Benghazi compound were not yet extinguished before Republican lawmakers and pundits were leaping at the opportunity to make political hay at the expense of a then-campaigning President Obama. Promises of "answers" and "accountability" were made by Republican politicians, and the president and his Cabinet officials were branded in conservative media as just as much to blame for the attack as the terrorists.
There is no denying that the Benghazi attack was a tragedy. An ambassador, a veteran Foreign Service technician and two former Navy SEALS working security died in the service of their country. As a nation, we should never understate their sacrifice and the peril they willingly undertook on our behalf working in one of the most dangerous places on earth.
Fast-forward to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
In the immediate aftermath, conservative lawmakers and pundits moved quickly to quash any talk of new firearms regulations at the behest of their National Rifle Association underwriters. We were told not to "capitalize on a tragedy for political gain" and that "now was a time to mourn, not play politics."
According to conservatives, when 26 helpless children and teachers die in Newtown, Conn., any meaningful legislative response or national dialogue is grossly inappropriate, but immediate, baseless and unending innuendo tied to the Libyan tragedy is perfectly reasonable.
Maybe so many years of reality-detached propagandizing have left the conservative spin masters deaf, but more likely they know, pathetically, that their "base" will always buy it.
Old Orchard Beach
You quoted Sen. Susan Collins in a recent article ("Collins blasts U.S. government over Benghazi," Dec. 31) as stating: "The fact is Benghazi was awash in dangerous weapons and extremists and yet the State Department either ignored or responded incompletely to repeated pleas for more security, for more assistance from those on the ground in Libya."
I would like to paraphrase her pronouncement right back to her:
The fact is the United States is awash in dangerous weapons and yet the Congress either ignores or responds incompletely to repeated pleas for more security, for more assistance from those on the ground in our towns and cities.
Methadone funding rules disregard facts on addiction
Re: "Some MaineCare patients will still have access to methadone" (Dec. 28):
It is difficult to comprehend the thinking behind the guidelines you cite for continuing MaineCare coverage of methadone (or buprenorphine) beyond an arbitrary two-year time frame.
The consistent, documented, worldwide experience for almost half a century has been that when addiction treatment ends (any treatment, whether with or without medication), relapse to illicit, destructive and potentially fatal drug use is the rule and not the exception.
Furthermore, the guidelines you report would deny further treatment to those who need it the most: those who are unemployed, not socially connected, etc.
Finally, the notion that the presence or absence of a "spiritual component" to the lives of patients will be a factor in approval or denial of a potentially life-saving treatment seems inconsistent with our Constitution.
Even in the absence of compassion and with a focus exclusively on state finances, this new legislative mandate is unfathomable. Whatever the cost of providing treatment, the cost of disease, family disruption, crime (and punishment!) will be far, far greater.
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