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My Knee-Jerk Reaction

"Hello, and welcome to Capitol Gains, the show you watch when you want REAL analysis.  With us today is our dean of political studies, Peter G."

...nice to be here....

"Peter, you've been staring at the majority opinion since you got here.  It's not going to change."

...I know....

"Well, I understand you're upset.  I mean, you hated Obamacare...."

...correction:  I hated parts of it.

"You mean, you didn't want all of it struck down?"

Of course not!  And here's the dirty little secret -- no one else did, either.  Unlike a lot of legislation, this didn't fall into for or against.  Those who opposed Obamacare, such as I, liked some of it like not denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.  Those who supported it didn't like some aspects like the individual mandate.  And now, the worst thing has happened.

"What's the worst thing?"

Well, the second worst thing is the Supreme Court ruling has turned, "What is the best way to provide health care for all?" into an All Or Nothing proposition.  All of one side has won.  Now, all of the other side is marshaling forces to strike the whole thing down.  Compromise is no longer going to happen.  It will either all stand or all fall.  And the things in there that actually were good and important will get lost in the shuffle.  The WORST thing is is it makes Romney becoming President a distinct possibility.

"But the electorate isn't behind him."

They weren't behind him before because he was nothing they could rally around.  Now, with him constantly saying he will repeal Obamacare, people are looking to him as a knight in shining armor to stop the Big Bad Government.  They may not like him, but he's the only candidate they can choose saying what they want to hear.  It's not like people will throw their support behind a third party candidate like Gary Johnson, they'll just say, "Oh, he can't win, it's a wasted vote," and perpetuate the two-party circle jerk they are in the middle of instead of actually doing something about it.  And the support is there if everyone would get off their asses for a third partier to win.  Gary Johnson for President!

"Peter?  You're supposed to be non-partisan."

I am.

"You just endorsed the Libertarian candidate for President.  We hired you because you hate EVERYBODY."

My bad, I take it back  Twilight Sparkle for President!

"That's better.  I think."

Anyway, my dad told me last Thursday, "Now, we have to get Romney elected and take the Legislative Branch."  What are Romney's qualifications?  What are his stances, and how will they affect our lives?  Doesn't matter, all anyone cares about is that he and whoever they vote for will repeal Obamacare.  Look at the first Clinton presidency, when he said everyone he nominated or appointed would be pro-choice.  A lot of people applauded this, but it overlooked that we knew NOTHING ELSE about them other than they were pro-choice.  A lot of dangerous background gets overlooked when that's the focus.  The same scenario is about to play out, only it's "Repeal Obamacare!" instead of "pro-choice!"  There's an old Polish proverb that says, "Gather 'round like sheep, and ye shall be herd."

"That's not going to work, is it?"

It has an excellent chance of working with the hardliners who are guaranteed to vote.  The South with its largely fundamentalist voting blocks oppose Obamacare for its support of reproductive rights.  Their support is now in Romney's pocket.  Those fucking Tea Partiers can't win, but they can fuck things up enough that people lose.  Their support is now in Romney's pocket.  People who lost their jobs because Obamacare so far has already increased their costs enough that the employer could not afford to keep them (I personally know three people this has happened to)?  Their support is now in Romney's pocket.  The portion of the general populous that opposed Obamacare?  Their support is in Romney's pocket.  David Plouffe of the D's is telling other D's to simply says the Supreme Court ruling is the "clear and final" say on Obamacare and things that specifically target the middle class, where 77% of the money from the penalties is expected to come.  The ruling has only pushed more people into Romney's camp.  No one is going into Obama's because everyone who supported it was already there.  Not a lot of fence-sitters going over to him.

"Wow.  The Supreme Court is deciding the election again."

Please don't say that.  If I have to explain Bush/Gore one more time, I'm going to puke.  Anyway, I pretty much expected this ruling to happen.

"You actually called the Supreme Court ruling?"

Yes.  See, if the Supreme Court accepts an appeal, it means they are thinking of overturning the previous ruling.  If they were fine with the ruling, they would refuse the appeal and let the ruling stand.

"...oh.  Hadn't thought of that.  I thought, given how Obama's people were fielding so many questions, that they would have the tougher time at trial."

That's a common misconception.  The bottom line is, if the Supes agree to hear your case, there is a very good chance the last ruling is going to be reversed.  That becomes your first measuring stick for how things will go.

"Wait...if you expected this, why are you burning a hole through the majority opinion?"

Because I don't follow the logic.  Period.  Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that Obamacare does not fall under the forced commerce clause, but is a tax, and, as such, is permissible.

"Forgive me, but I don't see what the problem is.  I mean, it seems pretty logical to me.  The Supremes make logical judgments."

Corporations are people.

"...touche."

The problem is Obamacare was never formally identified as a tax.  Yeah, it looked and smelled like it, complete with the money brought in from people refusing to participate being used to balance the budget.  But Obama never called it a tax, it was a penalty, and anyone who said it was a tax was spreading lies.  Obama's people never argued it in court as a tax.  Roberts went over the line and reinterpreted something in a way that was never considered.  If the opposition had known that line of bullshit would come up, they would have addressed it at trial.  Roberts redefined the argument at a point where NO ONE could argue for or against it.  In short, he made the decision himself, the hell with everyone else and their silly reason and logic, and the fact that he's the Chief Justice is especially offensive.  He violated how the court system is supposed to work.  He defied American law.  He should be charged with treason.

"Peter!"

And Obama, too.  During deliberations, Obama was using the press to try to sway the Supremes' votes.  Then he was quiet, and just a few days before the ruling, was back to saying the Supremes were about to undo generations of American law.  That is tampering with judicial procedure.  That is destroying the system of checks and balances.  That is a violation of how the American government is supposed to work.  Obama should be charged with treason and impeached.

"Some might say you are just saying this because Obamacare passed and got upheld."

Let me explain to you why that's bullshit -- bad laws get passed all the time.  And you know what?  They also get revoked all the time.  Jim Crow laws.  Hell, we modified the entire Constitution for Prohibition and revoked it later.  I hate Obamacare.  And you know what?  There are plenty of other laws I don't like that get passed.  The Patriot Act, for example.  And not once have I said the people behind them should be impeached and charged with treason.  Those laws passed by the procedure spelled out in the Constitution.  They can be changed or modified or revoked the same way.  But they were still done WITHIN THE RULES.  Obama and Justice Roberts have defied and ignored those rules to get their way.  That is treason.

"...is there anything that came out of this that you liked?"

Yes.  The people of the United States.

"How so?"

The agenda-based news organizations like MSNBC and Faux News?  They've been doing all they can to whip people up.  "Be good little sheep and react to this the way we want."  They are trying to con people into becoming their personal armies.

"Would you please show your work?"

Gladly.  I've brought a slide with.  Harry?  Please put up that image...ah, here it is.  This was taken in the House Of Representatives.  For those who don't know, that is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of the D's on the left, and on the right is House Majority Leader Boehner.  The news reports have been saying since Thursday that this image perfectly captures the reactions of the parties to the Obamacare ruling.

"I have to admit, I agree with that."

Ah, but here's the problem -- this picture is not a reaction to the Obamacare ruling.  In fact, it was taken THE DAY BEFORE!

"...wait, what?"

Yeah.  All the news reports branding this a microcosm of party reaction are misrepresenting what was happening at the time.

"Are you sure this happened Wednesday and not Thursday?"

Check the Twitter feeds.  It started spreading on Wednesday, but went viral on Thursday.  As Richard Nixon once said, "I didn't lie to you.  I just economized with the facts."

"Aren't news stations supposed to tell the truth and not make stuff up to serve an agenda?"

Have they ever?

"Point taken.  So the usual suspects are drumming up anger and resentment along their lines."

Yes, but here's the thing -- it's not working.  Since the ruling passed, I've been checking in with others.  There isn't anyone going I told you so.  People who support Obamacare are not being branded as Communists out to destroy America.  People who oppose Obamacare are not being labeled as heartless bastards who just want the poor to die.  People are expressing their opinions, but they are treating opinions they disagree with with respect.  They are treating each other with humanity.  They aren't falling for it.

"News reports suggest otherwise."

Oh, I won't deny there isn't a push to make it happen.  The news was reporting Romney's campaign got a spike of $300K in the moments after the ruling.  Of course, they didn't say if that was just when the system updated or if it really was a reaction to the ruling, they just say that and let everyone make specific conclusions.  But everyone is keeping calm.  Even the people I work with.  On break, at 914, I checked my phone, and it said the individual mandate had been struck down.  Everyone was talking simply about it until someone pointed out the TV was saying it was upheld.  It took a couple of refreshes before I saw the truth.  But even then, everyone was still talking normal and exploring the issue.  EVERYONE IS TALKING.  NO ONE IS FIGHTING.

"...that's...that's amazing!"

Yes.  And that is the hope for the future.  We the people understand we are in this together, and not only do we have to live and let live, we WANT to live and let live.  We have a golden opportunity here to craft health care legislation that is inclusive, that gives everybody what they want and need without denying anyone.  People were willing to concede my point that it guaranteed health insurance but not health care, forcing people to participate in a protected market just as Medicare and Medicaide fall into financial danger.  Others feel parts of the law don't go far enough.  We are cooperating.  Tort reform.  Out of state competition.  Allowing differences on religion.  All that stuff.  Everyone is currently willing to work together.

"But can it be done?  We've seen a lot of political movements like this fall apart."

Yes, we have.  But if you look at history, you also see plenty of times where the citizenry did force the change, did bring their leaders to heel, did make things right.  Ultimately, when it comes to government, we the people are the ones to blame.  We elect them.  We apologize for them.  We protect them.  The result is we are in a republic run by the special interests and for the special interests.  The system has failed us, and it is our responsibility to fix this.  And people want to.  It's what got Obama elected.  What gets anyone elected.  The Founding Fathers made sure the people had the ultimate power as long as they want to use it.  We want to use it, and we want to use it responsibly.  This is the time to sort this out for ourselves and make truly good law that protects us and helps us instead of rewarding a private business.

"A peaceful revolution."

People should not be afraid of their governments.  Governments should be afraid of their people.

"Well, thank you again for coming in.  Let's hope you are proven right."

Time will tell.  It always does.....

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