America: Turn Your Head and Cough
The audacity of the thugs in Washington is astounding. Though it is true that Democrats possess historic majorities in both the House and the Senate as well as the Presidency, the Democrats have taken a tremendous risk passing the Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. Democrats and the President have taken a beating getting this bill passed; namely because it took a full year to pass when Americans were more concerned with jobs and the economy. As of today House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s approval rating is 11% and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s is 8%. Congress has similar numbers and a majority of Americans now disapprove of President Obama. On the specific issue of the health-care bill; a full 2/3 of Americans were against it.
Obama promised both “change you can believe in” and an end to the partisanship that characterized the Bush era. Democrats quickly lost the war to frame the health-care debate and took a pummeling from Republican spin-doctors, which certainly contributed to the anger and the magnitude of the Tea Party Movement. Americans became more and more angry as the truth about how Washington works was exposed in incidents like the Louisiana Purchase and the Cornhusker Kickback. Perhaps, as far as things go, Democrats did America a favor by exposing the cynicism and utter corruption of Washington, which is sure to dramatically affect people’s faith in government do-gooders for a long time to come. To think; Americans just kicked the good-for-nothing Republicans to the curb only to be replaced by equally, or more, corrupt Democrats.
About the Tea-Party; this group represents a vast, grass-roots dissatisfaction with Washington that was first revealed by the Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. The Paul campaign was dispersed and its supporters operated independently. This group’s ranks have swelled, but now also include fiscal conservatives and run of the mill Republicans who seek to co-opt the message and anger of what was once a dispersed protest group. No clear leader of the Tea Party has yet emerged, but I am confident that Republicans will be successful in winning the support of the Tea Party, at least on some level and maybe with the help of “rogue” Sarah Palin. That is unfortunate, but at least Democrat blood will spill in November as the voters, in perhaps as cynical of a move as what characterizes Washington, turn to Republicans they know they cannot trust.
The fight over health-care reform is not over yet. So far 12 states are already preparing to file lawsuits against the mandatory insurance coverage required in the legislation. Congress has the power to regulate in large part due to the Interstate Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, which initially was used to prevent the restriction of trade, but which now is used to justify all manor of injustices. The first question lawyers will most assuredly be asking is how is a citizen that has not purchased insurance participating in interstate commerce, and thus subject to regulation? It will be interesting to watch. Apart from the lawyering that is already swinging into motion, Republicans have vowed to overturn the legislation if they achieve a majority in November in what is already turning into a juicy campaign talking point. In the even that these two options fail, Americans must rely on a state nullification of this certainly unconstitutional law, and states should go so far as to interpose themselves between their citizens and the federal government. Some states like Arizona, Virginia and Utah have already begun that process. Ultimately, the health-care reform as well as medicare, medicaid and social security will all be repealed in the not so distant future when the country goes bankrupt, but this bill will hasten that event.
Of course, government meddling has been a part of American health-care for years, a fact which is conspicuous due to the fact that everything government touches seems to fall apart. Imagine; we do not trust the government to deliver a letter, and we have seen at Walter Reed Army Medical Center what government control does to patient care; yet there are still some people who actually think that this is a good idea. At the core of the debate is the question of whether or not healthcare is a right or a good like anything else. Without going into too much detail on this issue; it can only be defined as a positive right, which necessarily violates a negative right in order for it to be satisfied. To exemplify, for there to be a heath-care right other people must sacrifice their right to their own property to pay for the right to health-care. It is one strategy of government to advocate the proliferation of positive rights in order to undermine the fundamental natural rights to life, liberty, and property, or rights which actually constrain government power. No positive right can effectively limit government power because all serve to expand government power. That is what is at the heart of the health-care bill, and nearly everything else that comes out of Washington: Power.