Sarah Palin closed her debate with Joe Biden by quoting Ronald Reagan:
It was Ronald Reagan who said that freedom is always just one generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream; we have to fight for it and protect it, and then hand it to them so that they shall do the same, or we’re going to find ourselves spending our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children about a time in America, back in the day, when men and women were free.
What was the threat to American freedom that Reagan feared?
Incredibly, it was Medicare, the nation's old age health insurance system.
The quote comes from a a recording Reagan made for Operation Coffeecup — a campaign organized by the American Medical Association to block the passage of Medicare. Doctors’ wives were encouraged to organize coffees for patients, where they would play the Reagan recording, which declared that Medicare would lead us to totalitarianism.
You can't make this stuff up.
Medicare has been around since 1965. Former President Harry Truman was the first person to enroll in the program. Republicans have tried to undermine it through cuts and underfunding ever since, but it remains an efficient and valuable program that provides basic coverage for millions of senior citizens.
Reagan was employing scare tactics in a futile effort to stop legislation that the Republican Party opposed.
What was Palin thinking, or was she, when she resurrected a projection that was so wrong?
Maybe Tina Fey will provide us with an answer Saturday night!