Monday, August 5, 2013

Lines in the Sand

There is much to discuss this early August, perhaps the largest story at the moment being the weeklong shut down of US embassies in the Muslim world. Related is the tentative resumption of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and the inauguration of Iman Rouhani as Iran's new President. I'm going to set these foreign policy issues aside for the moment to discuss further developments in the deployment of Obamacare.

Nancy Pelosi, who reminds me of Eric's sister, Nora, in True Blood in the sense that her centuries of age seem to be manifesting themselves through her limitless efforts to deny the natural effects of time, has announced that members of Congress and their staffs will continue to receive substantial taxpayer support for their insurance programs. That move seems to be in violation of the law and a power not enabled by the law. The same could be said about Obama's deciding on a summer Friday afternoon when no one's paying attention that the employer mandate would be suspended for a year. The acting director of the IRS testified before Congress that, like the union which represents Treasury employees, he, too, would prefer his current insurance coverage than to switch to a different program required by Obamacare.

Putting aside the notion that it remains baffling that public employees are permitted to unionize, could it be any more ironic that those charged with policing the enforcement of Obamacare do not wish to participate in it themselves? Further, how can Pelosi and her colleagues rationalize a continuing, inordinate level of premium support for those in government? She claims it's an appropriate way of "thanking" staff for their tireless work in support of the American people's agenda, blah, blah, blah. It has come to pass as many suspected it might when this bill was proposed: there is a program for "us" and a program for "them". While socialists through history have preached income and outcome equality, it has never applied to the elite class that charges itself with administering that equality.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, many "Republican" pundits are slamming those who argue in favor of defunding Obamacare, claiming that it would be a disaster for Republicans when Obama refuses to approve any continuing resolution and the government shuts down. Chris Matthews, perhaps the looniest leftwinger on TV(oh, wait, there's Al Sharpton and Martin Bashir and Piers Morgan - never mind), calls Ted Cruz a "terrorist" who's aim is to bring down the US government.The media will calls us terrorists and racists no matter what happens with the continuing resolution. Obamacare has been wholly illegitimate since its inception - I do not buy this "it's the law of the land" business. It was crafted in secret, its passage gerrymandered by budget reconciliation, its constitutionality defended on the back of an argument even the government's solicitor general would not make.

I don't want this "line in the sand" to be as ill defined as the one Obama allegedly drew on the use of chemical weapons by the Syrians. This horribly unpopular legislation must be opposed and defunded. Congress has the power of the purse and that power ought to exercised. Let the administration bring legal action to try to compel the Congress to provide funding. In the meantime, Congress should approve a continuing resolution (in the continuing absence of a budget) to be sure the government meets its financial obligations despite any objections from Obama. If the Republicans simply cave silently on this matter, the law will become impossible to undo. 

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