By @BginKC

In the midst of the Shutdown Cruz that has held us all in it’s thrall for the last three days, some important things may have been missed. For instance, the thing that pissed me off most of all practically got past me, but didn’t. I snagged it with the long hook and pulled it back.

Ted Cruz’ daddy, Rafael Cruz, a Cuban immigrant and an evangelical preacher who cynically figured out that collection plates never run dry like oil wells do after making a lot of money in the ‘awl bidness,’ then going broke, was out there stumping about the evils of Obamacare at a Colorado republican fundraising dinner on Friday night, breathing new life into the “death panels” bullshit.

The good and tireless folks at ColoradoPols caught audio of the elder Cruz on Friday night, in all his foam-flecked, vein-throbbing, eye-twitching, pulpit-pounding glory:

RAFAEL CRUZ: So Barack Obama said: If the winds shift, I will side with the Muslims.

IN CROWD: He is Muslim!

CRUZ: [Exclamation] McCain couldn’t say that, because it’s not politically correct. It is time to stop being politically correct! [Pols emphasis]

CRUZ: Our lives? Well, look at what’s happening with our lives. From the cradle, 55 million babies have been murdered by abortion since 1973. At the other end, Obamacare, with denying care to the elderly, with care being rationed, with care being postponed for 12 to 18 months, with care being controlled by a group of bureaucrats, that on the basis of cost/benefit, will decide whether you get a medical procedure or not, they’re destroying our end of life. As a matter of fact, one of the things in Obamacare is that the elderly, every five years you must have end-of-life counseling /[Italics BGs]/. Translation: suicide counseling! [Pols emphasis]

CRUZ: I know I am in a Republican Party meeting. If you want to throw tomatoes at me, throw tomatoes at me. But unfortunately, you cannot say that the Republican Party is without blame. We have too many RiNOs in the Republican Party!

CRUZ: They have their minds made up, and basically their idea is this: you’re too stupid and I know what I’m doing. Well I’ll tell you what, we the people are not stupid. We the people ought to be smart enough to throw them out of office, or primary them, and put constitutional conservatives in their place!

I gotta say…that just burns me up. It would have a year ago because I was a healthcare professional and I advocated for my patients in that role.

Now it infuriates me as a patient.

One year ago today, I had the worst headache of my life. One year ago tomorrow, I had a subarachnoid hemorrhage when the vertebral aneurysm that caused my headache ruptured. I lost consciousness, fell to the bathroom floor and broke my four front teeth and fractured my maxillary bone (I literally broke my face) but that was the least of my worries.

I spent the next three weeks in ICU. I had three cerebral angiograms and a stroke. Since then I’ve had three more MRAs, three more cerebral angiograms. Early on, I made regular visits to the GI clinic, to physical therapy, to speech therapy, to occupational therapy, and to the dentist to restore my smile.

For the last year, it has been my life, but I’ve just been along for the ride.

There was one point in the whole process where I felt like I had control…and that was when I did my advance directive.  Did the hospital social worker who did that paperwork with me participate in “suicide counseling” when she sat down with my husband and I and answered and reanswered questions and went out of her way to put our minds at ease with the decisions we were making?

I don’t think so. It sure did’t feel that way to me, anyway, and I was, after all, the one who was, yanno, there.

The decisions that I made in that room, with my husband and that social worker, were the only time in the whole fucked-up process that I had any measure of control over what was happening to me, and making it clear about under what conditions I would prefer to call the game wasn’t about suicide. It was about empowerment and taking back and exercising control, and fuck anyone sideways who says otherwise.