AG Shurtleff disappoints

Not to push business to the competition, but there’s a story in the sltribulation today by a reporter (click!) who got her training at the S-E discussing Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s attack on Sen. Robert Bennett for — the horror — applauding President Obama during his recent speech to Congress.

I know there’s a rule against Republicans ever saying anything positive about a Democrat, and a parallel rule that everything Obama says or does shall be assumed to be socialistic and evil, even if it involves saving the life of a puppy.

But Bennett was clapping because Obama had just slammed the former governor a minor state for her “Death Panel” crack which was, and still is, and always will be, a sensationalist lie meant to scare people and make sure that ex-governor’s name stayed in the news.

Kinda pathetic, really.

It’s even more pathetic that Shurtleff, in his effort to gain traction in his race to unseat Bennett, apparently thinks it’s OK to talk about death panels, and scare people, and tell lies, if one is a fellow-Republican, although it is also apparent the courtesy he shows to ex-governors of minor states doesn’t extend to members of that party who happen to be sitting senators.

When Shurtleff was first made attorney general years ago he was a reasonably intelligent guy, said the right things, didn’t seem too extreme, even spoke Spanish and said the right things about minorities in Utah. Now that he wants to be a US Senator he seems to feel the way to do it is go totally idealogically pure, never mind common sense or common decency, or even intelligence.

I’m not Sen. Bennett’s biggest fan, but his health care proposals are at least reasonably middle of the road — certain death in some eyes — and he defends his applaus of Obama because Obama was simply telling the truth: The ex-governor of a minor state was lying when she talked about death panels.

Bennett’s being lied about himself of late because of his own health proposal, so he was saying that it’s time to have reasonable, respectful, discussion, not screaming and lying and all the other stuff. Readers of my column know I’m all for that as well.

If Shurtleff is going to put loyalty to the party, and his desire to get elected, over simple truth, he has no business in the US Senate.

PS: As if to prove my point that the wingnuts are taking over debate, someone brought up the case of the guy who is a Czar that Obama is appointing, never mind that these are “czars” in media name only, they’re really just advisors with no power.

 I said the kerfuffel ranks up there  with criticizing Obama for saving the lives of puppies. There is a discussion here (click) in Slate on the very thing that makes Mr. Beck et al look rather picky, to put it kindly.

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19 Responses to AG Shurtleff disappoints

  1. MacDaddy says:

    It worries me that in the past you thought Shurtleff to be a reasonable guy. It is a worry that if we elect him to replace one of the few republicans who voted for Cass Sunstein’s nomination that once elected he would go back to being someone you like. Then we would be stuck with another RINO for six years.

    Nothing ventured nothing gained: Replace Bennett with a conservative, then get rid of Ted, the pig, Kennedy’s friend Hatch.

    If Sarah was lying why was the provision she was warning us against removed?

  2. Charles Trentelman says:

    because there were no death panels, it’s that simple.

    as to mr sunstein, glenn beck is playing ratings games again — see my note about obama and puppies.

  3. MacDaddy says:

    No. It is not that simple. Sarah was calling attention to a dangerous part of the bill and she used shock language to do it. It worked. The provision that was in the bill had the possibility of setting up panels, maybe not “death panels” but panels that could have the same effect.

    I don’t know what Glenn Beck has to do with Sunstein. I have read Sunstein’s crap and know him to be anti-Second Ammendment, anti-hunting, and a total government is the answer danger to America.

    Maybe you need someone to tell you how to think and what to believe, perhaps it is the NY Times. I don’t.

    Is your shift key broken?

  4. Mark Shenefelt says:

    MacDaddy, Beck is the guy who’s heading up the campaign against Sunstein, just like he did against the truther guy who resigned last week. Looks like’s he’s going after one Obama policy czar after another. (There’s that scary Russian word again!). Every issue is separate, right? Doesn’t seem to be.

  5. Politically minded says:

    It’s amazing how a “political” discussion always brings out the most respectful comments!

  6. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Oh, speaking of applause: Wow, even polite applause in a supposedly august setting can get you pilloried these days. In fact, every hand movement is being watched.

    The Daily Show had a great bit last night showing Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham raising his hands to applaud an Obama remark, but in midclap he switched to a handrub.

    Be correct, be correct. Don’t get caught in a suspect clap, pols. Meantime, pass me a barf bag.

  7. Charles Trentelman says:

    my shift key is just fine
    i m just a fan
    of archie
    and mehitable

    the whole political correctness thing is hilarious — people lambasted political correctness originally because it took away their ability to tell jokes that make fun of minorities and women, but political correctness has become the norm among the so-called conservative types, which will brook no wandering from the true path, as kathleen parker found out much to her amazement when she had the temerity, as sen bennett seems to have had, to not fully support every utterance of the late great ex-gov of a minor state.

  8. flatlander100 says:


    One of the provisions in the bill Palin and her ilk were screaming about provided simply that once every five years, a person could if they wished talk with a doctor about a living will, end of life care, etc. If they wished. It was optional. [Gov. Palin seems unaware of the meaning of the word "optional."] Nothing in the provision required anyone to talk to a doctor about a living will, or end of life care, ever. And the provision was a bill, introduced into the two previous congresses by a Republican House member. It was the language of his bill that was incorporated into the Administrations health care proposal.

    Newt Gingrich, before Palen’s reprehensible demagogy, went on the Sunday talks to praise a particular health plan in Minnesota, I think, that required its members of a certain age to become informed about living wills. And perhaps to prepare one. Gingrich suggested that was a fine example of how to cut medicare costs, and he said that if every medicare patient had a living will, as he thought they ought to, it would save several billion dollars a year for medicare. Or are you going to argue Gingrich is not a conservative?

    Gov. Palin, last year, issued a proclamation encouraging all Alaskans to get information about end of life care options, and to make out, living wills so their care at the end of their lives, if they were no longer able to make decisions would be handled according to their wishes. Yes, Gov. Palin, recommending living wills to all Alaskans. Until she decided to demagogue the same provision in the draft health care bill as creating “death panels.” Or is she not a conservative either by your lights because she recommended that all Alaskans get information about living wills?

    Why was the provision removed from the bill/? That one’s easy: because demagogues like Palin and Limpaw and Beck and the rest had frightened many older people into believing the health care bill would require them every five years to be counseled about suicide, and would create “death panels” to decide if they were to old to be treated or not. None of which it did. It became such a political hot potato because of the demagogy, it was dropped to stop it’s being the focus of the debate over health care reform.

    I am no fan of Bennett. But he is one of the few national conservatives in Congress who is behaving like an adult., actually showing a capacity for leadership. [I remind you he opposes the Administration's proposed health plan.] He understands that health care is a serious issue that needs serious debate and discussion, and that that cannot take place if demagogues like Palin convince people the plan would require her to beg for the life of her Down’s Syndrome child, or would “pull the plug on grandma.” Bennett’s point, that we need to debate the health care proposals, not some paranoid’s fantasy of them, is exactly right. I think he’s dead wrong about what kind of health care reform we need, but he’s right about the importance of debating is seriously. I was beginning to wonder if the Utah GOP had any grown ups left in it. Apparently, still, a few. Unfortunately, they seem to be an endangered species.

    Shurtleff, who I used to have some respect for [though, since he is a conservative Republican, I never voted for him] as a principled conservative, is now beyond contempt for suggesting the Sen. Bennett too would probably like to kill Sarah Palin’s baby and pull the plug on grandma. Sadly, his ambition has undermined his integrity. Though, this being Utah, his demagoguery may well work for him. It depends on just how far gone into whackaloonery the Republican electorate in Utah is. We shall see.

  9. Jim Hutchins says:

    The provision on end-of-life care that got mutated into “death panels” by the radioactive ex-Gov. full-time-quitter Sarah Palin was originally the idea of a Republican Senator from Georgia, who had been trying to get such a provision inserted in legislation for five years before being “discovered” by Palin and her ilk:

    so, MacDaddy, why was it removed?

    I have specific areas of disagreement with Sen. Bennett, but I will say this. I spoke with his legislative aide some 5 years ago about the Bennett plan for health care reform. Sen. Bennett is a legislator, not a demagogue, which is more than I can say for the AG Shurtliff.

  10. flatlander100 says:

    He’d been at it trying to get it adopted for five years? Didn’t know that. Thought it was two. Thanks for the update.

  11. MacDaddy says:

    I appreciate the responses to my response to the original post. You all gave me something to think about.

    Flat guy you are verbose but usually make good points; just try to cut the word count a little (Read; a lot.)

    Jim H – NPR Blogs? No I don’t think so. I gave a full explanation and any further look into “Death panels” will be a waste of my time.

    Charlie – Your articles are corrected by computer programs, minimum wage editors, or both. Then you reply to those of us who at least make an honest attempt to be grammatically correct in our impromptu postings, with your childish dislike of using the shift key. Or is it the fact that you are just plain lazy?

    Either way, it is impossible to take you seriously.

  12. flatlander100 says:


    Verbose? Probably. But then, some arguments take time [space] and evidence to develop. Consider the verbosity my contribution to the fight against a twitter-and-sound-bite-obsessed world. [grin]

  13. ctrentelman says:

    macdaddy — as I understand it, the internet blogsphere is a wild-west “no holds barred” atmosphere, where spel-czeck is iffy at best, and capitalization is optional.

    Having said that, I told you, I’m not lazy, I’m an Archie and Mehitable fan. Google Archie & Mehitable and you will see the very clear, and very valid, literary reference in my writing style.

    the real question is comma
    is it art question mark

    I swear, I despair of educating you people.

  14. Jim Hutchins says:


    There are numerous sources for that information. I just happened to grab it from NPR.

    You will note that they are quoting Sen Isakson directly.

    If you immediately discount everything you hear from all news sources except those you “prefer”, then you’ll be missing out on a lot of interesting things in life.

  15. flatlander100 says:

    Archie and Mehitable are fun. But can’t hold a candle IMHO to F. P. Dunne’s “Mr. Dooley,” who led off so many of his deft puncturings of political pomposity with “I see by the papers….”

  16. laytonian says:

    MacDaddy – there’s one little detail that no one’s mentioned.

    We could have scary things like THIS:

    “WHEREAS, Health-care Decisions Day is designed to raise public awareness of the need to plan ahead for health-care decisions, related to end of life care and medical decision-making whenever patients are unable to speak for themselves and to encourage the specific use of advance directives to communicate these important health-care decisions. WHEREAS, in [State], [State] Statute 13.52 provides the specifics of the advance directives law and offers a model form for patient use”
    “WHEREAS, the Foundation for End of Life Care in [State Capitol], and other organizations throughout the United States have endorsed this event and are committed to educating the public about the importance of discussing health-care choices and executing advance directives”.

    Pretty shocking stuff, isn’t it? Urging people to be educated on living wills and end-of-life care! Who’s going to educate those people? I guess it would be those scary death panel members.

    BUT……are you curious which Governor made that proclamation?

    It was Sarah Palin. April 16, 2008. Alaska Health Care Decisions Day.

    Practically the ONLY difference between her proclamation then and what was proposed in the health care bgills, was that doctors could be paid for their time to discuss those things. Right now, the doctor has to bill you for something else (maybe more expensive!) when he takes his time to discuss medical decisions with you.

    You can twist anything, politically, if you are desperate to make money. You can create conspiracies (they’re great money-makers) or you can get paid millions to rant on television about political theories that your audience doesn’t understand…..or you can use your past political position to keep your name in the news by scaring the vulnerable.

  17. Flatlander100 says:

    On Shurtleff, the SL Trib has a good Babley political cartoon up this morning.

    [I know, I know. Sending people to the paper that as a matter of policy ignores Ogden news except for fires, car crashes and murders. But this time, it's worth it. Sorry, Charlie. ]

  18. flatlander100 says:

    Good Lord…. It’s much worse in live action than in stills.
    Only sign I agreed with was the one near the front of the clip saying “Stop the Madness!” But I don’t think they meant by that what I took it to mean.
    Thanks for the link.

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