Looks like the deathers got to Johnny Isakson, the Georgia Republican who authored Senate legislation providing Medicare coverage for end-of-life planning.
Yesterday, Isakson slammed deather claims about the House bill:
I just had a phone call where someone said Sarah Palin's web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end of life directive or a living will as that is nuts. You're putting the authority in the individual rather than the government. I don't know how that got so mixed up.
Today, after President Obama pointed to Isakson's comments while refuting deather claims such as Sarah Palin's imaginary "death panels," Isakson went ballistic, releasing a statement from his office:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today denounced comments made by President Obama and his spokesman regarding Isakson’s alleged connection to language contained in the House health care bill on "end-of-life counseling."
Isakson vehemently opposes the House and Senate health care bills and he played no role in drafting language added to the House bill by House Democrats calling for the government to incentivize doctors by offering them money to conduct "end-of-life counseling" with Medicare patients every five years.
In the statement, Isakson himself bent over backwards to please the deathers:
"The House provision is merely another ill-advised attempt at more government mandates, more government intrusion, and more government involvement in what should be an individual choice."
It's yet another example that if you're a Republican and you criticize
Rush Limbaugh Glenn Beck teabaggers birthers deathers, there's only one thing you can do if you want to stay in the party: you flip-flop as fast as you can.
Update (5:04PM): John Cole wraps it up nicely:
In for a penny, in for a pound. There is simply nothing these guys will not lie about, and they have no problem reversing course hours after publicly stating something completely different. The facts are just optional with these guys. They just don’t care if they tell the truth, they are not ashamed to lie at will, and no one in the media will hold them accountable.
Isakson is up for re-election in 2010, and he knows how wingnutty the base is. He has to play to the Palin wing or he will get primaried. That is how crazy the GOP is these days.