Until now, I have successfully resisted the temptation to write anything about Sue Lowden, a Republican candidate for a Nevada seat in the U.S. Senate who says she wants a return to the days when people used chickens and such to barter for health-care services.
But I find Gene Robinson’s COLUMN on Lowden worthy of passing along.
A few excerpts:
Last week, in a television interview, Lowden insisted that no, she hadn’t misspoken, she meant actual bartering. “Let’s change the system and talk about what the possibilities are,” she said. “I’m telling you that this works. You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. They would say I’ll paint your house. . . . I’m not backing down from that system.”
Lowden’s campaign even passed along a testimonial from a doctor who claimed he had “bartered with patients — for alfalfa hay, a bathtub, yardwork and horseshoeing in exchange for my care.” But on Tuesday, Lowden finally gave up and retreated to the taken-out-of-context defense, which is where politicians go when they realize they said something stupid. Bartering was “never a policy proposal,” the campaign said. End of story, Lowden hopes…
Lowden’s gaffe was part of a disturbing current in American politics these days: nostalgia for a Golden Age that never was.
UPDATE: Steve Benen offers THIS TAKE on Lowden’s political problems.
UPDATE II: Now Lowden is LYING about her barter proposal.