Thursday, October 10, 2013

Understanding the Fight against Obamacare

If you are friends with liberals on Facebook and Twitter, or read a lot of liberal sites, very often you will find them parroting certain words and phrases.  This week, I saw this on my very liberal brother-in-law's FB page.





So my ears perked right up when I heard Andrea Mitchell use some of the same lines in the video I shared here yesterday.   You can hear her launch into it at 5:26 on this video.

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And it's all kind of mind blowing because although the talking points are correct - sort of, they don't really encompass how Obamacare really came into being. Luckily, Charles Krauthammer wrote a very good piece on Sunday that answers all of these points. I will attempt to summarize:  1.  "It's settled law, get over it." Krauthammer rightly points out that if the law is so settled, why has the Executive branch amended it five times, including extending the implementation for big businesses by one year.  And why is it that the Executive branch is making amendments anyway when that is rightly the job of the congress? I would also point out that bad laws, settled or not, get changed all of the time.Anyone remember slavery? 2.Who's the bad guy? It's debatable whether the GOP should have chosen government shut down as the way to address Obamacare.  Nonetheless, they have passed bills that would fund veterans, the parks, and Washington DC - but Reid won't bring them to a vote and Obama has said he would veto them.  So who is really interested in helping Americans?
The reason is obvious: to prolong the pain and thus add to the political advantage gained from a shutdown blamed on the GOP. They are confident the media will do a “GOP makes little Johnny weep at the closed gates of Yellowstone, film at 11” despite Republicans having just offered legislation to open them. The reason is obvious: to prolong the pain and thus add to the political advantage gained from a shutdown blamed on the GOP. They are confident the media will do a “GOP makes little Johnny weep at the closed gates of Yellowstone, film at 11” despite Republicans having just offered legislation to open them.
3.  How did we get here anyway? A trip down memory lane:
  •  The Tea party came about in the first term and it is a grass roots effort by fiscally conservative Americans to stand up for fiscal responsibility and individual freedom. 
  • Obamacare is the only major piece of legislation to be enacted via straight party-line vote. Not a single Republican member voted for it.  And although President Obama did indeed get 51% of the vote in 2008, that is hardly a mandate for such a huge change in our system.  Also this could only have been done in his first two years, before the mid-term elections, when the house turned back to the GOP in response to the passage of Obamacare. 
  • But, if the Democrats won the Presidency and both houses of congress, they still passed the thing fair and square right?  Not quite. 
But is this really where the causal chain ends? The Tea Party was created by Obama’s first-term overreach, most specifically Obamacare. This frantic fight against it today is the fruits of the way it was originally enacted. From Social Security to civil rights to Medicaid to Medicare, never in the modern history of the country has major social legislation been enacted on a straight party-line vote. Never. In every case, there was significant reaching across the aisle, enhancing the law’s legitimacy and endurance. Yet Obama-care — which revolutionizes one-sixth of the economy — passed without a single GOP vote. The Democrats insist they welcomed contributing ideas from Republicans. Rubbish. Republicans proposed that insurance be purchasable across state lines. They got nothing. They sought serious tort reform. They got nothing. Why? Because, admitted Howard Dean, Democrats didn’t want to offend the trial lawyers. Moreover, the administration was clearly warned. Republican Scott Brown ran in the most inhospitable of states, Massachusetts, on the explicit promise to cast the deciding vote blocking Obamacare. It was January 2010, the height of the debate. He won. Reid ignored this unmistakable message of popular opposition and conjured a parliamentary maneuver — reconciliation — to get around Brown. Nothing illegal about that. Nothing illegal about ramming it through without a single opposition vote. Just totally contrary to the modern American tradition — and the constitutional decency — of undertaking major social revolutions only with bipartisan majorities. Having stuffed Obamacare down the throats of the GOP and the country, Democrats are now paying the price. I don’t agree with current Republican tactics. I thought the defunding demand impossible and, therefore, foolish. I thought that if, nonetheless, they insisted on making a stand, it should not be on shutting down the government, which voters oppose 5-to-1, but on the debt ceiling, which Americans favor 2-to-1 as a vehicle for restraining government. Tactics are one thing, but substance is another. It’s the Democrats who have mocked the very notion of settled law. It’s the Democrats who voted down the reopening of substantial parts of the government. It’s the Democrats who gave life to a spontaneous, authentic, small-government opposition — aka the Tea Party — with their unilateral imposition of a transformational agenda during the brief interval when they held a monopoly of power. That interval is over. The current unrest is the residue of that hubris. - See more at: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/opinion/op_ed/2013/10/roots_of_impasse_rest_with_dems#sthash.gsvgqzna.dpuf
Moreover, the administration was clearly warned. Republican Scott Brown ran in the most inhospitable of states, Massachusetts, on the explicit promise to cast the deciding vote blocking Obamacare. It was January 2010, the height of the debate. He won. Reid ignored this unmistakable message of popular opposition and conjured a parliamentary maneuver — reconciliation — to get around Brown. Nothing illegal about that. Nothing illegal about ramming it through without a single opposition vote. Just totally contrary to the modern American tradition — and the constitutional decency — of undertaking major social revolutions only with bipartisan majorities. Having stuffed Obamacare down the throats of the GOP and the country, Democrats are now paying the price.

 That all means that Obamacare passed - on a technicality.  Want to know more about it? - read here.

4.   The Supremes. Yes, the supreme court upheld Obamacare.  They also gave us the Dred Scott Decision and Roe v. Wade.  A supreme court decision does not make a law morally correct.  And if you really want to put your liberal friend back on his heels, remind them that the Supreme court also helped GWB get the White House - they'll suddenly rethink their position on that point. But a little history lesson is worth it here too.  The law was upheld 5 to 4. Surprisingly, it was Justice Roberts who voted with the left-leaning justices and he only did that when he determined that the Obamacare penalties were indeed a tax, and passing taxes was constitutional. Ironically the Obamacare side had argued that it wasn't a tax - so go figure.

Roberts re-argued their case for them and then voted for it.   One can only wonder why.  Hope he has to sign up for it too.

Liberals come up with their talking points and on the surface they have a little bit of truth sprinkled with just the right amount of righteous indignation.  But even a rudimentary bit of digging will reveal the depth and perspective these points are always avoiding, and then it's really not that hard to overcome them. When in doubt - keep replaying the Mitchell/Duffy debate for inspiration.

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