Monday, November 9, 2009

Health Care Reform Passes in House, America Dies

America has survived the Revolutionary War, traitors, the Alien and Sedition Acts, the first ever peaceful exchange of political power between opposing political parties, the War of 1812, slavery, the first death of a sitting president, the Trail of Tears, the Missouri Compromise, Dred Scott, the Civil War, the suspension of habeas corpus, the assassination of our greatest president, Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws, the disputed election of 1876, the corruption of the Gilded Age, the assassinations of a couple more presidents, the Spanish-American War, World War I, the Espionage and Sedition Acts, Eugene Debbs, the Great Depression, the New Deal, J. Edgar Hoover, Pearl Harbor, World War II, the Smith Act, Japanese Internment camps, FDR court packing, desegregation, McCarthyism, the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of JFK, the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Great Society, the Vietnam War, Watergate, Iran-Contra, the Cold War, two Iraq Wars, impeachment of the president, 9/11, and an administration that tortured and started unprovoked wars and illegally wiretapped and spied on American citizens. Just to name a few.

We have been attacked and mauled from without and from within. We have suppressed and brutalized minorities. We have allowed our most basic civil liberties to be trampled during almost every war we've ever fought. We have been so divided we've started an internal war.

Through it all, however, America has remained the greatest nation on Earth and triumphed again and again. It is tempting to call it destiny, looking back, but it is also because of the strength and resiliency of the American people. It is because of the genius of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. It is because, deep down, Americans have a sense of justness and fairness and liberty that no other nation has ever achieved.

But it's all over, folks. We may have endured those difficult times, but we've encountered something greater than them all: The 111th House of Representatives has passed health care reform. This is the end of America. Liberty itself is now dead. The Constitution has been broken. Democracy is failing.

Nothing in our 233-year history could have prepared us for this. The rest of the world may have watched the Civil War unfold and predicted the end of the Great Experiment, but if they could have seen health care reform they would have viewed that war as a mere pittance in comparison. We may be a nation that is strong and resilient and jealous of our liberties and freedoms, but when one house of Congress passes a bill reforming a broken health care system and allowing all Americans essentially to opt in to Medicare before the age of 65, well, that is too much for even the most freedom-loving people.

So goodnight, fair America. You were a beacon of justice and liberty for so long. We will always remember you with fondness. But every great nation must pass away eventually. Because of health care reform.

28 comments:

DMI Dave said...

On the positive side, it will spell the end of Obamaism, at least as a political force. Just ask folks in Virginia and New Jersey. Here's looking forward to 2010.

grayfox said...

I'm a little confused, is this bad satire?

Jacob S. said...

Ouch.

Molly said...

Confused, too. Is this a 'left' blog or a 'right-brained, left blog?' Maybe we've found SOMETHING we all can agree upon?

Jacob S. said...

The Civil War a mere pittance compared to health care reform? Was that really too subtle?

Yes, I was going after the sky-is-falling conservatives and their apocalyptic rhetoric on this issue. I linked to a few of the more egregious examples, and I could have found dozens more. I think it borders on unpatriotic to think that America is so weak that reforming health care and extending it to everyone would destroy our collective sense of liberty, freedom, and democracy.

Is everyone clear now?

Franz said...

It is a shame that people on the right could not see the satire, but then again they aren't very bright.

grayfox said...

Sorry Jacob! I figured that was the case but you never know lol.

Then again, yesterday I read some comments in a hannity.com thread about health care and those had the same effect on me. They could have read as satire but sadly because it was the official Sean Hannity forum I knew they were not...

Momma J said...

Wait.... I'm confused??

I'm confused how anyone could be slightly confused about this post... I had a HUGE smile on my face the whole time!!

You hit the nail on the head!

The world is ending and we're all gonna die.... I love it!! It's just so comical :)

Jacy

Louis DeBroux said...

Jacob and Franz,
I humbly submit that you have revealed far more about your own ignorance concerning the foundation of this nation and what makes it great than the conservatives that you mock. I would suggest that you read the words of such notable Mormon leaders as Ezra Taft Benson, Dallin H. Oaks and even Joseph Smith concerning our constitutional republic and what happens when we are ignorant of the things that weaken its foundation.

Will health care reform be the cause of our collapse? Unlikely. But when you look at the long slide into socialism (creation of social welfare programs under FDR's New Deal, removing us from the gold standard and embarking on a policy of fiat currency, expansion of social welfare under LBJ's Great Society, then incremental increases under Carter, Clinton and Bush) to date, and then add health care reform which destroys the private market and institutes government control, plus cap-and-tax energy policy, unfathomable debt (15% of all taxes today go to debt retirement), a weak dollar and on and on...then yes, the country will collapse.

God's laws are immutable, and when we embark on a destructive course then we will suffer the repercussions. We are not immune just because we are America. Our choices bear consequences and we will suffer them.

And finally, I hate to embarrass you by having a dumb conservative correct you, but we do not live in a democracy, we live in a constitutional republic. Our Founding Fathers despised democracy (B. Franklin: "Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what is for dinner"). Also, there has never been a Civil War in the United States. A civil war is a war fought by one or more factions for control of a government. The South fought to secede from the union and created a new government, not to control the old one. And by the way, they had that right under the Constitution.

Have a great day!

Josh said...

No, the world is ending due to Global Cooling...I mean Warming...I mean Climate Change.

Jake, it wasn't too subtle, and I can always appreciate good satire -even about something that I find this repulsive.

I'm not sure who DMI Dave is, but, it seems that I am not the only "freak" posting here (Christy has been a no-show for a while). I, too, am looking forward to 2010, and my travels to Nevada. I will be spending every extra minute and penny to campaign against a dirty mormon down there!!!

Josh said...

hahahaha...LOUIS posted as I was still writing.

Jake, I like the new guy!!!

grayfox said...

Louis I cannot fathom a proper response. You seem impassioned and spend time arguing semantics (e.g. the Civil War wasn't really a "Civil War", we're not actually a democracy etc). Also criticize social programs as universally bad and blame democratic presidents solely but provide a fair and balanced critique by including Bush (I'm assuming jr.).

Josh, same thing. When I asked why you resisted health care reform you stated "government has no right to go into business." I am to blame though as I should have lead with "why do you oppose single payer health care?" so I don't blame you your statement that cannot reasonably be responded to.


As an aside, Louis and Josh, you shouldn't be so self-flagellating. Constantly referring to yourselves as "dumb rednecks". Well, at least Josh does that. Assuming you aren't eating 24/7 at Denny's in full sweat clothes, then going to the tea party rallies with signs that say "Keep government out of my medicare!" then no, you are not dumb rednecks.

Still, your arguments and tone do seem better suited to forums such as these:
http://forums.hannity.com/showthread.php?t=1709341
rather than this blog.

As far as healthcare goes though, I have conceded defeat. All of congress + the whitehouse (that means both parties) are neither liberal or conservative, they are corporatist. We will never see meaningful health care reform so long as so many "vested interests" (that means people who have a right to profit and secure that right via legislation, costs, abuses, efficiency be damned). The 1% that controls 95% of the wealth (with the gap growing, compare executive earnings to growth in the average workers wage, one has risen exponentially and another has remained flat, guess which is which) will continue to and always will shaft the working class (who are everyone that makes less that $1 million / year). Its like 1984 but with less fascism. Unending war, a population that grows less educated and less healthy with each generation, and a government that will continue to work in the interest of a select few to the detriment of the population at large.

Jacob S. said...

"I would suggest that you read the words of such notable Mormon leaders as Ezra Taft Benson, Dallin H. Oaks and even Joseph Smith . . ."

You can find a quote from Mormon leaders from all over the political spectrum. Remember that Pres. Faust was a Kennedy-era liberal and lifelong Democrat.

"concerning our constitutional republic and what happens when we are ignorant of the things that weaken its foundation."

The foundation of America is freedom and justice and due process of law. How do torture, unprovoked war, unchecked monopolies, corporate greed, and the like fit into our foundation?

"But when you look at the long slide into socialism . . . to date"

Socialism is defined as government control of the means of production and distribution of goods. Nothing in your long list amounts to socialism. That is simply a boogie word you are putting out to scare people into believing your political ideas. And even if, say, the New Deal was socialism it has been over 70 years since it was passed and we are still a strong and vibrant capitalistic nation, which happens to feel that supporting the poorest and most vulnerable is a commendable way to use some of our unprecedented wealth.

"and then add health care reform which destroys the private market and institutes government control"

The private market has completely failed to deliver an even adequate amount of health care to the American people. Private insurance companies, if a public option passes, will simply have to compete with a health care provider which will cover people that the private companies were rejecting. The government will still have to negotiate prices like the private companies. The private companies will have a fair chance of competing and becoming a better product. This is more competition, not government takeover.

"plus cap-and-tax energy policy"

This hasn't passed yet but it has nothing to do with socialism. Like with all forms of pollution, we are requiring companies to internalize externalities. We've allowed them to pollute our air for free for too long.

"unfathomable debt (15% of all taxes today go to debt retirement)"

The largest increases in debt in American history came under Republican administrations: Reagan and W. Bush. Clinton balanced the budget and the Senate's health care proposal will lower the national debt over ten years. Also, the initial bail-outs happened under W. Bush's watch.

continued . . .

Jacob S. said...

"a weak dollar"

The weak dollar is mostly a result of the near collapse of the financial system and attendant recession which was largely a result of under regulation.

"God's laws are immutable"

Agreed!

"and when we embark on a destructive course then we will suffer the repercussions."

Agreed! But human politics have little to do with the laws of God. We are to live individually Christ-like lives and encourage others to do so as well. Whether we are Democrat or Republican, support health care reform or not, has little or nothing to do with our standing before Him.

"And finally, I hate to embarrass you by having a dumb conservative correct you"

I've never called conservatives dumb and don't condone it.

"but we do not live in a democracy, we live in a constitutional republic."

Semantics. Democracy is the general proposition that government is carried out by the majority of the people. Whether it is direct (pure democracy) or by elected representatives (republican democracy), it is still democracy.

"Also, there has never been a Civil War in the United States. A civil war is a war fought by one or more factions for control of a government. The South fought to secede from the union and created a new government, not to control the old one."

Yawn. Call it whatever you want, but the entire American population, the entirety of reputable American historians, and every legitimate history book used to educate our children and college students, calls it the Civil War.

"And by the way, they had that right under the Constitution."

They were also slave-owning racist cretins who wanted nothing more than to control and dehumanize an entire race of God's children for their selfish aggrandizement. But feel free to defend them on constitutional grounds.

"Have a great day!"

You too. I enjoy the debates and I never take them personally. I can remain good friends with those with whom I have serious political differences.

Josh said...

GF, here is an example of the reasononing for my "self-flaggelating" from this very post.

"It is a shame that people on the right could not see the satire, but then again they aren't very bright" (News flash to this genius, by the way: it was the lefties that were questioning and complaining of confusion. The dumb redneck got it, and appreciated it.)

Also, I am the ipitomy of what liberals refer to as a dumb redneck. I am a religious gun toting college dropout that makes more money than most of the wacko lefty college professors that so many of you idolize. It has been expressed on this blog numerous times how wrong it is that someone could go to college for 8 years, or more - as if that is a good measuring stick for income potential - and barely squeek out a living as a teacher, while redneck dropouts are living very well on their blue collar salaries.

Now, I can not be any more clear for my reasoning for not supporting this government run health care system. The government does not have the right to run a business. It is simple, yet you continue to question it. There are a billion reasons that this is a bad idea, but it all boils down to that fact. It has nothing to do with listening to right-wing entertainers, since I don't listen to any of them (unless I'm riding with my dad, and am subjected to it).

On top of that, I believe that big actions cause big waves. Big waves don't rock the boat, they capsize it! The appropriate way to respond to problems is by taking small steps. Jumping straight into the government run plan is a huge step. The problem with huge steps, is that they are much harder to take back when it is later found that they were wrong!

winkieburger said...

Re: Louis....yawn indeed. How many times must we all suffer through another conservative commenter??? The comments are somewhat entertaining but it feels so redundant.

grayfox said...

Note this is basically rambling, skip to paragraph 3 if you wish:
Why don't you just say your reasoning instead of pointing to what Franz said? I still don't get it. I'm just saying it's kind of counter-intuitive to refer to yourself as a "dumb redneck" though if you honestly believe that go ahead or are trying to make a point in doing so go right ahead.

You're marginalizing yourself with phrases like "wacko lefty college professors", mostly the first two words in what I quoted. More interesting than measuring education as income potential (countless studies show there is a big correllation of education to income and it really should not be a topic of debate) is that you are implicity using income as a measure of personal/societal worth. As an aside, I personally believe all teachers are vastly underpaid and required to work in awful conditions many times (outdated or no teaching material or aides, labs, field trips, 30+ student class sizes) so that all we get are the people who really want to teach, like a friend of mine who is a very smart and hard working guy and has a passion for history, he is going to be a great teacher and it is sad he will be paid peanuts; and those who get a worthless liberal studies degree and decide to do it figuring they won't be able to get a "real" job. While education is not a silver bullet it is effectively the foundation that next generation will be built upon and sadly we continually undercut their opportunties. Whoa ok, way off topic but anyway back on track.

Paragraph 3:
Ok we're both back on topic! You say "government does not have the right to run a business". I will take the child approach here, "Why?"

Really no offense but that is a lame analogy and could be applied to anything or nothing all at the same time. However I will read into it a little as "rocking the boat" is another way of saying changing the status quo. Regarding health care in this country, the status quo does not work, the market has failed. I frame it as a moral argument, it is unacceptable in the supposedly richest nation in the world for even 1% of our population to be without easy access to health care. We rank below Slovenia in actual health care outcome metrics. That is shameful.

Offtopic 2:
Jacob and staff! Please get a new commenting system! Something that supports actual topic threading! Oh and please change the stylesheet to take up more of the screen, these skinny comment columns drive me bonkers!

Shawn O. said...

Just an aside on the "Civil War" or whatever we are calling it now. Lincoln's major argument the duration of the war was that the southern states did not have the constitutional right to secession.

Grayfox - we'll work on the format. Thanks for the suggestions.

grayfox said...

Thank you. I like to see my rants in wide profile!

Josh said...

As another side note...Lincoln was wrong!

grayfox said...

When arguing about the Civil War, this is what I hear and what I think:

"The Civil War was about slavery."
"No, it was about states' rights."
"Yeah, states' rights to own slaves."

Louis D. said...

Sorry for the long delayed response, but I have spent most of the last two weeks in the hospital with my oldest daughter.

Grayfox, you said that my points about America being a constitutional republic and not a democracy, and the fact that we have never had a civil war in this country was "semantics". I assume that is your way of saying that you can not refute those points, and so I thank you for being big enough to admit that (otherwise I would assume you would have countered the argument instead of dismissing it out of hand).And just to be clear, I am an equal opportunity critic of our presidents' failures to abide by the Constitution. On balance, Democrat presidents are more egregious violators, but by no means are Republicans without blood on their hands. Teddy Roosevelt used his power to whip up populist anger against corporations and tried to increase government power over the free market, Nixon gave us the EPA, affirmative action and an expansion of social security. Nixon and Ford largely continued the policies of LBJ with a philosophy of "We can do big government too, just better!" Following the devastation of the Carter years, Reagan made great strides in returning government to a true constitutionalist philosophy, but was limited by a Democrat-controlled Congress. Bush Sr. gave in to Democrats and raised taxes, and Bush Jr., while doing well by cutting taxes, refused to reign in spending by the Republican-controlled Congress, and in fact encouraged it. He also gave us NCLB, Medicare Part D, TARP and Bailout 1, and other "compassionate Conservatism" nonsense, effectively alienating the true conservative base of the Republican Party. He even signed McCain-Feingold even after admitting that it was a law that violated the First Amendment, which was written to specifically protect political speech.

Also, while you seem oddly dismissive of a strict interpretation of the Constitution while discussing the corruption and "corporatism" of both parties, you seem oblivious of the fact that this state of being could not exist except through flagrant violations of the Constitution. We the People have allowed politicians of both parties to pass laws which are unconstitutional, allowed the executive to enforce them, and failed to impeach and remove the judiciary when they used twisted logic to uphold them (i.e., Kelo v. New London, Roe v. Wade, etc.). Politicians love to get up in election years and demand for closure of tax loopholes for "greedy corporations". And yet how often does someone point out that loopholes are nothing more than earmarks and exceptions placed in the tax code by politicians who received money, power and influence for those little revisions to the tax code. You want to get rid of loopholes? Then get rid of the politicians who insert them. The best thing we can do to reduce political corruption is repeal the 16th Amendment (income tax, which would take away politicians' power to grant special favors), the 17th Amendment (restore federalism in government by restoring the adversarial relationship between the federal government and the states so that there is a check on that power) and educate people on the power that they wield under the 10th Amendment.

Louis D said...

Jacob,
As to your comment "They were also slave-owning racist cretins who wanted nothing more than to control and dehumanize an entire race of God's children for their selfish aggrandizement." While I readily admit that slavery was a horrific practice, I would remind you that America was the first country to abolish slavery, and that it was the African tribal leaders that sold their POW's into slavery to European traders. It was our Founding Fathers that instituted the 3/5 compromise in an attempt to eradicate slavery. This policy is often misunderstood and used to support claims that they considered blacks as only 3/5 of a person, when the reality is that this was done to reduce the voting power of the slave owning southern states so that they would have incentive to free the slaves.

Were these men perfect? No. Were the stated beliefs and outward actions of these men sometimes at odds? Of course. Aren't we all guilty of that at some point? That does not make them evil, just imperfect. Your denigration of these men as racist cretins exposes your abject ignorance of both the history of this nation and of both the words of the prophets and the revelation in the D&C that describes them as inspired men raised up by God. Were it not for these great men this nation would not have been founded, and the gospel of Jesus Christ would have been unable to come forth.

Jacob S. said...

If by "first country to abolish slavery" you meant "one of the last countries to abolish slavery," you are exactly right:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abolition_of_slavery_timeline

I wasn't talking about the Founding Fathers, by the way. We all know they were flawed, but inspired. At least, though, they created something and struggled with the concept of slavery and sought to lay the foundation for its demise. I was talking about the traitors that seceded from the nation in order to keep slavery alive at all costs. They didn't create anything, they only sought to destroy something. They deserve no praise for their actions and we can only be grateful that the Union won, that Pres. Lincoln (the greatest of all presidents) abolished slavery, and that the nation was preserved.

Louis D said...

Jacob,
Don't believe for a minute that the Union cared for a minute about the rights of slaves, much less cared enough to go to war over it. The War Between the States (there I go with my semantics again) was fought over what wars are always fought over...money and power. Lincoln himself was an abolitionist, but very few of his cabinet or senior military staff were. The slavery issue was just a way to bludgeon the South into submission and gain economic supremacy. The South controlled the bulk of the raw materials and the North controlled the means of production. As the economic posturing grew more contentious, the South increased the flow of materials to Europe, negatively impacting the North. This was the root cause of the war. That is also the reason why the Emancipation Proclamation was not issued until 1863, as the attempt to break the back of the Confederacy. With most of the able-bodied men at war, the release of slaves would break their ability to generate revenue to fund the war. Lincoln had refused to issue the proclamation prior to this because he retained hope for a reconciliation with the South.

The fact is that, even though he abhorred slavery, Lincoln considered whites superior to blacks. That is why he pushed for the founding of the island nation of Liberia.It was meant as a place to send the freed slaves. Said Lincoln, "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And in as much as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."

Another little known fact...Lincoln was within weeks of securing enough votes for a bill that would have peacefully phased out slavery. The 10-year plan would have the federal government purchase slaves from slave owners at a set price, with the price paid reduced by 10% each year until the 10th year, when the slaves would be freed with no compensation for the owner. An excellent book on this subject is "The Confederacy" by Charles P. Roland (University of Chicago Press, 1962).

And while I agree that Lincoln was one of the two or three greatest presidents, I don't think any surpasses Washington in service to this country. He led a rag-tag military to victory over a far superior foe, he alone kept the Constitutional Convention from falling apart, he served two terms as president during the first critical years when the cohesion of the nation was greatly in question, and rejected the demand by many that he accept an appointment as king. I think none has ever done more to secure the longevity of the United States...

Louis D said...

...By the way, it is simplistic and narrowminded to wed slavery with states rights. States rights were the central sticking point at the Constitutional Convention. The states (colonies) had suffered greatly under King George, and after independence was won, states were adamantly against a strong central government. This was the reason for the failure of the Articles of Confederation...it had no power to compel the states. One of the brilliant aspects of the Constitution was the careful balance that split power between the federal government and the states. If you look at the original document, the "u' in united States is not capitalized. That is because it was not a title, it was a description. "United" described the confederation of states that had formed a union for purposes of commerce and mutual protection, and delegated a purposely narrow (enumerated) set of rights to the federal government, with all other rights reserved to the states respectively, or to the people (10th Amendment). In the Declaration of Independence Jefferson clearly delineated the reasons for secession from England, and stated that the right to overthrow oppressive government and form a new one.

How could it be wrong for the southern states to peacefully secede from the union when there were Americans living then that remembered the colonies doing the same concerning England?.

Jacob S. said...

The Civil War was about slavery, and most of the north wanted it abolished while the south wanted to hold on dearly to the barbaric subjugation of other human beings as slaves. The north had been clamoring for years for abolition and the south saw it coming, so they traitorously seceded. Their entire economic structure was based on the abhorrent practice of slavery and they were not going to let go without a fight. States rights and economic factors are merely sugar-coated euphemisms for the real issue: slavery.

I understand that you are a Southerner, and you are proud of that. I have no qualms with that. But please stop justifying those traitors and slave-owners from generations ago. They don't represent the modern south and they are not a group that any Americans and Christians should feel comfortable siding with.

Louis D said...

Jacob,
I'm sorry, but you are wrong. Not on the abhorrence of the practice of slavery, not on the fact that many that practiced it were truly wicked people, but on the root causes of the War Between the States. The problem is that too many people believe the revisionist drivel that passes for historical scolarship over the last 40 years. I have made a point of seeking out old books to see what was taught prior to the era of political correctness.

The Mason-Dixon line was not a line of demarcation with the above and the wicked below. The fact is that the vast majority care about the abolition of slavery not on moral grounds but on economic grounds. Abolition was a tool to be used to gain economic advantage over the south. Some in Lincoln's cabinet were against abolition. Very few in the south actually owned slaves. When slaves escaped to the north many there happily returned the slaves for the reward, not exactly indication that there was a moral imperative at work in the north.

Look, I am not arguing that slavery was not abhorrent, nor am I arguing that the south was wrong for practicing it. What I am arguing is that slavery was a constitutionally (if not morally) justified practice, and the north, unable to abolish it legislatively despite having a majority of representation in the Congress, relied instead on force to accomplish it. This was a war about states rights, with slavery as a secondary issue. Slavery had been practiced for scores of years without resorting to bloodshed, but the south refused to accept through force what could not be legally accomplished through the ballot. THAT is why they seceded. Constitutionally, they had the right to secede. Just because you don't agree with it does not mean that it was traitorous. Washington and Jefferson both practiced slavery. Were they racist cretins? They practiced it but also laid the foundation for it's destruction through the legislative process.

States rights were a volitile issue at that time. The southern states looked at the efforts of the north to abolish slavery forcibly as being no different that being forced to pay heavy tax burdens to King George. The colonies had formed a new nation in response, and less than 100 years later, the southern states would do the same.