Why are my American Republican friends so upset tonight?
For years we have heard stories of “liberal activist judges” who legislate from the bench to overturn the will of the people and their elected representatives on everything from medical marijuana to gay marriage. Today the conservative Supreme Court showed great judicial restraint and upheld the law rather than try to rewrite it.
Since St. Ronald of Ray-guns we have heard tell of the great supply side Jesus who will trickle down an economic golden shower upon all. Today big insurance got 30 million new customers boosting their profits to unheard of levels – will this gift of more money to the very rich not help everyone as we have been told?
Since the days when Rush Limbaugh was sober and Glen Beck was not we have been warned of the scourge of welfare queens. Of freeloaders who do not pay their share. In the US hospitals cannot legally turn away the sick and injured who show up with no insurance or other way to pay for care. Everyone in the country enjoys the benefit of universal care if they become sick. If you are healthy and uninsured you sleep well knowing you will not be left to die in the street in the United States, if some health crisis besets you. Today it was affirmed in law that everyone must now pay their fair share.
What argument is left? That the states should decide for themselves? Personally I view that anachronism somewhere close to the British monarchy. The only difference being after our civil war in Britain we relegated the concept of some entity (the crown) having authority over a federal government to a role supporting only tradition and tourism. In the US the bizarre notion persists that somehow being from Alabama trumps being from the US. This path leads to mumbling about the war of Northern Aggression and vowing that the South will rise again. But the conservative Supreme Court even gave a tip of the hat to the advocates of state’s rights by allowing any state that would prefer not to receive money for Medicaid from the federal government to opt out of the proposed Medicaid expansion.
Is it simply that politics in America has devolved to a sports bar style argument where the referee’s call is only good when it favors your team? Where ideas, principles, and ethics take second place to keeping score? If the President proposing the law had a red jersey instead of a blue one would it be a good clean play?
In 1989 the very conservative Heritage Foundation wrote a health care plan that mandated everyone buy private health insurance. In 1993 the conservative senator from Oklahoma, Don Nickles (R) , introduced this plan. In 2006, current GOP nominee Mitt Romney passed a slightly modified version of this plan in Massachusetts. In 2009 President Obama proposed this same plan on a national scale.
A plan written by and advocated by conservatives that massively boosts the profits of one the largest industries in the US and puts an end to freeloaders who get benefits that other hardworking people pay for; A plan that was upheld by a conservative court which was exercising conservative principles of judicial restraint. A plan that makes liberals annoyed because it is not anything like socialized medicine.
What could my conservative friends possibly not like about that?