There are times when I start to think that maybe the Left is right, that the real problem with the United States of America is that pesky old thing called the Constitution. That maybe President Obama and the rest of the triumphalist “progressives” are right and that what this nation really needs, beside a good five-cent cigar, is “fundamental transformation.” That perhaps the dream of the cultural Fifth Column known as the Frankfurt School may well come true, that “critical theory” is not the prolonged, juvenile temper tantrum those of us who came to maturity in the sixties assumed it was. And that maybe the best place to start swinging the wrecker’s ball on what the Founders wrought ought to be in the halls of Congress.
What else to make of this story in the Wall Street Journal:
The torrents of Affordable Care Act monsoon season aren’t letting up, so Democrats are scrambling to help the victims: namely, their own careers. The Senators up for re-election in competitive states in 2014 are starting to panic, though they still aren’t offering solutions for anything other than their own growing political jeopardy.
Fifteen Senate Democrats plus Colorado’s Michael Bennet who chairs the Senatorial Campaign Committee sat down at the White House Wednesday, and they want all and sundry to know that they let President Obama have it. Alaska’s Mark Begich put out a statement saying he chewed out the big cheese for “absolutely unacceptable” mismanagement and “an understandable crisis in confidence.” He must have drafted it in advance.
Oregon’s Jeff Merkley chimed in to report that even after the two-hour encounter session that was not on the public schedule, he was still “very frustrated” and “I remain deeply convinced that this is a ‘show-me’ moment.” Asked by Politico if Democrats were losing credibility, an anonymous attendee said, “You got to have it, to lose it.”
Now, I realize that contempt of Congress is and should be the natural order of things. “The best Congress that money can buy.” “The only native American criminal class.” “No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while Congress is in session.” And that’s just Mark Twain and Will Rogers; the rest of us no doubt have even more pungent observations regarding the collective entity known as Congresscritters.
But the notion that “lawmakers” (stop, enough already!) are worried about “careers” at the public trough ought to be contemptible to every taxpayer. And, if Congressthings had any sense of shame, to the Honorables Themselves. But, of course, they don’t. Only someone with a soul as dead as Little Nell, a hide as thick as Joe Biden‘s noggin, and the moral conscience of Bill Clinton has the effrontery to run for Congress these days, and every attempt to “reform” the system — from the disastrous 17th amendment to term limits to McCain-Feingold (nothing like a “reform” to “get money out of politics” written by the “most reprehensible” of the Keating Five) — has resulted in complete failure.
By now, even the Feds had pretty much given up enforcing Prohibition, and Hoover trumped up a typical Goo-goo commission, this one named after some clown called Wickersham, to prove that what they thought had been such a swell notion just ten years earlier that they went and amended the Constitution was now a rotten idea and what they needed to do was, of course, amend the Constitution again. This, I thought, was the true genius of Goo-goos and reformers everywhere; that they never had to admit Reform was a mistake, and if it was, then all it took was more Reform to set it right.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose… now it’s the Patient Deflection and Unaffordable Care Act the Congresscads want to amend or delay, in order to save their own wretched skins —
New Hampshire’s Jeanne Shaheen is leading a coalition asking for an unspecified extension of ObamaCare’s March 15 enrollment deadline. Mr. Begich (Alaska), Mark Pryor (Arkansas) and Mark Udall (Colorado) are among those on this bus, though Ms. Shaheen has special cause for alarm given that New Hampshire’s joint state-federal exchange enlisted only a single insurer, whose narrow network excludes 10 of the state’s 26 acute-care hospitals.
But her idea would merely draw out the technical agony, and the exchange premiums are based on assumptions of a full year of coverage. Premiums may not cover claims if people delay or forgo signing up in 2014, and then rates will spike the next year. All of this would also give the exchanges a stigma as untrustworthy, more so than even Health and Human Services incompetence.
It’s true that not a single Republican voted for Obamacare upon its forced passage. But neither has the appetite for repeal been very strong since. The House can pass all the repeal bills it wants, secure in the knowledge that the Senate will never go along with them, and that the president would veto any such legislation. Moral preening is, after all, one of the attractions of the racket, and “safe” votes are strictly for domestic consumption. Speaker John Boehner’s sandbagging of Senator Ted Cruz said all that needs be said on that subject.
So I say it’s spinach and I say the hell with it. If you think Obamacare is bad now — and it’s very, very bad, a direct assault on the most fundamental freedom Americans used to enjoy, which was the freedom to be left alone by the federal government — wait until the “employer mandate” kicks in. Already illegally “postponed” by Obama, it will destroy, by design, the insurance market in the U.S., send the economy into an even worse tailspin than it’s in now, and disrupt the lives and budgets of untold millions of Americans.
For John Roberts was right: in the law’s practical effect, it is a tax, only a tax, and nothing but a tax — and if you think it’s going to fund “health care” for the lame, the halt and the blind, you’re out of your mind. The gullible, naive and the mendacious may not be able to discriminate between “health care” and “insurance,” but that was exactly what Obama was counting on when he sold — barely — his apparatchiks in Congress on the notion that Barrycare would only add to the sum total of human happiness by taking care of the neediest and blah blah blah your doctor, period. That doesn’t make Roberts’ cowardly decision good — he had a chance to put a stake through the PPACA’s heart once and for all, and he choked. It’s a decision that will live in Supreme Court infamy until the day the act is repealed.
As the dissent (which, recall, apparently was for a time the majority opinion) noted:
What the Government would have us believe in these cases is that the very same textual indications that show this is not a tax under the Anti-Injunction Act show that it is a tax under the Constitution. That carries verbal wizardry too far, deep into the forbidden land of the sophists…
The Court today decides to save a statute Congress did not write. It rules that what the statute declares to be a requirement with a penalty is instead an option subject to a tax…
In other words, the entire flim-flam was a bright, shining lie all along, made possible by the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party and its GOP wing’s continuing complicity in perpetuating the fraud. Remember, “universal health care” has been dream of the Regressives since Bismarck and Woodrow Wilson were pups, and now they have it. Make them own it, and destroy them with it.
We used to think that changing Congress meant changing which party controlled it. Now we know better. Real change can’t begin until the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party is gone. Fundamental transformation works both ways, and two can play at that game.