Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Conservatives Flip-Flop On Individual Mandate Out Of Political Expediency

So let me see if I have this straight.  The principle most offensive to the TPM ultra-conservative types is the individual mandate.  It is the idea that the government would require an American citizen to buy something she might not want to buy.  I suspect most find the regulation of insurance company atrocities, such as dropping coverage when a person becomes sick, denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and charging higher premiums for women, somewhat acceptable.  It is the mandate that they hate.  HATE.

But what we are learning now is that conservatives almost universally supported the individual mandate as a sensible free-market alternative to the Clinton health care reform.  In fact, conservatives thought up the idea in the 70s and supported it for decades.  Mormon conservative hero and potential frontrunner in the 2012 Republican primary Mitt Romney passed an individual mandate as governor in Massachusetts and had this to say about it:  "We can't have as a nation 40 million people — or, in my state, half a million — saying, 'I don't have insurance, and if I get sick, I want someone else to pay.'"

So when conservatives propose a health insurance mandate it is a nice free-market approach and a furtherance of that bedrock American principle of individual responsibility.  But when liberals propose a health insurance mandate it is socialism?  It is so horrible that they must resort to violence and intimidation?  It is an assault on our personal freedoms and liberties, and an indication of the decline of America itself?

What we are really seeing is that some conservative leaders have learned that appealing to raw emotion is a more successful political strategy than appealing to reason and compromise.  These are people like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin, who are more interested fame and power than in solving real-life problems of Americans.  These are not intellectual conservatives who maintain a certain set of core beliefs and who are attempting to raise the level of discourse in our nation.  There are plenty of them still around, though their voices are being drowned out.  These are con artists who appeal to the lowest common denominator, who lower the level of political discourse, and who will do or say anything as long as the political winds are favorable.

So as I sit and listen to all the doomsday predictions associated with health insurance reform, listen to all the anger and the ignorant use of the words like "socialism," I put no stock in it at all.  They are led by hypocrites who are purposely arousing their emotions and who have no core political principles.  They only know that they will oppose anything proposed by Pres. Obama because it is good for them personally.  They have no ability to compromise and, as a result, they are bad for America.


Clark Goble said...

Your NPR link doesn't work. (At least it didn't for me)

I think it's pretty universal right now among the Right to be opposed to the mandate. While there were some for the mandate back in the early 90's I don't think it at all fair to say universal.

As you might know there was always a tension between moderate Republicans like the two Bushes and more conservative. My understanding is that the more conservative were always opposed to the mandate. Although I think it necessary.

Jacob S. said...

From everything I have read, the opposition to the mandate in the 90s was almost entirely from the libertarian wing of conservatism. I have yet to see anything that shows that any mainstream conservative bloc opposed the idea, but I could be wrong.

The NPR link works for me, so if anyone else has any problems, let me know. And by "the two Bushes" I assume you are referring to H.W. and Jeb? [Insert winking emoticon here.]

Daniel H said...

I have an uncle with whom I was sucked into a debate on Saturday - and despite the fact that he is a staunch Republican supporter (although he claims Libertarian leanings) he'd much prefer that people continue as they have done, and go to the Emergency Room and then default on their bills, rather than have the option open for people to get private health insurance.

I can't fathom the logic - I, as a responsible person abhor the thought that I've had to renege on several Emergency Room bills because my wife couldn't get insurance for a year, because WE COULDN'T AFFORD IT. Now that my company has a good enough rate that we can afford it, I am grateful to pay my insurance premium - but the thought of having to renege on bills like that absolutely haunts me, and I think any self-respecting person would much rather not have to "rob" hospitals.

Clark Goble said...

I'm really skeptical of that Jacob, since conservatives tend to be skeptical of government mandates in general. They'll allow them where they feel them necessary. (And many, like me, feel health care is one place) But I'd be amazingly surprised were it universal.

That's the problem with this debate, some liberals are taking what some conservatives wrote in the 90's as typical. Now with respect to health care I think the view correct. But let's not try and push it too far. It works with Romney because he frankly was a very moderate Republican who has been attempting to back off from that ever since and thus appears to be inauthentic. (I honestly couldn't say what he really believes)

Anonymous said...

From everything I have read...... here's a note Jake, stop reading liberally biased materials as your only source for information. You crazy liberal nut job..... you're just silly.

Rebecca said...

Jacob, I have really enjoyed reading this blog. Jamie pointed me to it a few days ago. I have been pretty frustrated with all the lies propegated by Rush, Glenn, and Sarah (among others) and no responsible republican's attempts to correct those lies or stop them. I thought you might like to check out this link. http://www.patheos.com/Resources/Additional-Resources/Why-Im-a-Mormon-Democrat.html

GreatWhiteHope said...

Looks like you've been assimilated by the Borg as well Rebecca. Ever wonder why there are so few Mormon democrats? It's because they're wrong. I will say it again, supporting a party which advocates homosexual unions, abortion to include infanticide, socialist policies to include the restriction of individual liberty in the name of equality, and the propagation of secular over religious thinking is, to be cut and dry, Satanic.

GreatWhiteHope said...

No seriously, the items proposed by the Democrats are along the same lines of the ideas proposed by Satan in the pre-existence. I'm not Republican by the way, the two party system has put this country in the predicament we are in today. I support what is best for this country which is Faith in God, and individual responsibility. Neither party adhere to that. One just happens to be further from the truth than the other. So I just wanted to clarify that when I say Satanic, I mean literally that it is of Lucifer and not the cliche' version of Satanic.

Jacob S. said...

GWH, you are wrong, dangerous, and not welcome here. You are a troll, nothing more. I've made it a point of not responding to you, but I do what to make a couple of points and then never interact with you again.

You don't understand the scriptures. There is nothing in the scriptures that shows that Lucifer wanted everyone to be economically equal, nothing about the redistribution of wealth, nothing about the more righteous being saved at the expense of others. The scriptures, in fact, over and over, command us to be equal in temporal things. Lucifer was a totalitarian, not your incorrect view of a socialist.

That doesn't mean that I am a socialist, it just means that politics have nothing to do with it, and your mixing the two up in your mind in order to try to find some political high-ground is not Gospel-based in any way. You are allowing your politics to inform your religion, not the other way around.

I've written about this before, but how can you support a conservative ideology that encourages torture, unprovoked war, illegal spying on American citizens, and the like? Those seem Satanic to me, to use your term. The answer is that every party is equally good and equally bad. They all have admirable points and unadmirable points. If you just blindly follow a political party you aren't thinking critically, you are just a sheep. I'm glad you aren't a Republican sheep, just like Mormon liberals are not Democratic sheep. If I believe that, in general, I like the things liberals propose I will vote for them even if there are some things I don't like. I am not a single issue voter, and I also don't see a need to impose my religious beliefs on the nation. I'll believe what I want to believe and allow others to do the same. I believe in agency, which you seem to want to restrict my making illegal anything that doesn't conform with our religion.

Finally, speaking of agency, pure capitalism is just as restrictive of agency than pure socialism. Under capitalism the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. All the power and opportunities go to the rich while the poor get none. If you are born to a rich family you will have wealth, the best education, the best jobs, all without showing any particular positive trait that could help society. If you are poor you will not have access to an equal education, equal health care, equal opportunities. Your agency is restricted by your economic position.

That is why American liberals, who are not socialists but I know you can't understand that basic distinction, want to regulate markets and give opportunities to the poor. We want to expand the choices for all Americans, in other words, give more agency.

Useful Entropy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

HA! You crack me up Jake! Well.... from what I have read you crack me up. Silly.

GreatWhiteHope said...

GWH, you are wrong, dangerous, and not welcome here. You are a troll, nothing more. I've made it a point of not responding to you, but I do what to make a couple of points and then never interact with you again.

Very Christlike of you Jacob S. You're still welcome over at a website where all the mormons haven't left - pun intended - Thespiritofthelaw

Jacob S. said...

Says the person who wrote:

"You, Jacob, are an idiot and I have nothing further to say to you."

You've also called me insane, retarded, nut case, stupid . . .

Am I missing anything, GreatWhiteHypocrite?

GreatWhiteHope said...

Likewise Jacob. How does it feel to receive of your own hypocrisy calling me names like: A Toad, Radical, Violent Conservative, ad nauseam....? and then claiming Christlike attributes in yourself....

You sir, are no longer welcome on this blog and I have nothing further to say to you..... well I feel that way based on what I have read. You're an idiot Jacob S, but I'm just kidding you're still welcome on this blog, see we practice what we preach which is freedom of speech and we aren't afraid to defend our perspectives when challenged because the conservative perspective is sound and can hold up to any arrow thrown at it by libtards like yourself. Go cry then come back to the bloggernacle so we can continue the discussions posted and not petty stuff like calling each other names, dork.

Jacob S. said...

Where, exactly, did I call you a toad? And I called you "ad nauseam"? I apologize, that must have been truly humiliating. By the way, you should look that phrase up.

Anyway, I miss the old GWH that would come and shoot the breeze with us about the Boise ska scene, not this more edgy version that calls me a dork.

Shawn O. said...

GWH and the "silly" man. I think my main frustration with both of you has been no sensible discussion or debate from your side, but only trite or fanatical remarks.

Perhaps it's my own fault. I tend to be fairly sarcastic and ambiguous, and maybe you've misunderstood some of my comments. For example, this one from a recent "discussion":

"Just walk away and let us burn ourselves in peace. We are already in control of half of the country. Resistance is futile. Line up, or get out."

I was actually trying to respond to the barrage of incendiary wisecracks that had been posted by several people. I got sick of it, and thought that my obtuse polarization would actually illustrate how the extremism was out of control.

Seeing that the Star Trek allusion popped up again here makes me wonder if I was actually taken seriously/literally. I'll try to stay away from tongue-in-cheek and camouflage from now on and speak more plainly and directly. Likely I will mess up let some sarcasm fall along the way, but be patient with me.

With that said, I am continually frustrated by some of the statements from both of you (or more, or maybe less - I don't know how many Anons there are). If you think that a party member must support every decision or idea of that party, then you are a fool. If you think that by not being a member of either party you are above individuals that do support one of the "big two", then you are a fool.

I have no idea why you feel the need to lump things into polarized groups, i.e. that you believe the "conservative perspective" can stand up to any kind of attack, or that any liberal idea is innately wrong. Have you ever stopped to think about Christ? He was probably the most liberal individual of his time - everything that He did was in contrast to the status quo. He fought and died for social equality and individual freedom.

Claiming that there are so few Mormon Liberals because we are "wrong" is just inane; especially when you go on to support your claim with topics that not supported on this blog. I'll something here to clarify my point. Sorry to make you wait. I'm sure you all are chomping at the bit to reply (if you've been able to maintian focus and read this far.

When I say that "those" ideas have never been supported on this blog, this is what I mean. We have never condoned homosexuality, although we support individual freedom. We have never condoned abortion.

Shawn O. said...

Obviously we have strongly different opinions about "individual liberty". I don't care a lick about guns. I don't think the founding fathers could have conceived the idea of citizens owning small firearm depots and packing concealed weapons everywhere they went. If I had it my way, guns would disappear from this planet (this is obviously an overtly exorbitant wish. I imagine that you also claim the right to buy, or not buy, some product as an individual liberty. I agree to a point, but disagree that you should be able to choose whether or not to pay taxes. The old adage "No taxation without representation" is completely true - we need to have input into what taxes we pay, and where that money goes; however, the adage did not read "No taxation." A government can not function without tax. Much like a church can not function without tithing. In both cases, there should be oversight into how the funds are distributed and used, there should be checks on redundancy/waste, and there should be punishment for misuse and waste.

So if you have something of substance to say, something more substantial than childish catchphrases, something more interesting then "silly", or something more specific than "the items proposed by the democrats are along the same lines of the ideas proposed by Satan in the pre-existence", then by all means say it.

These comments make you both look like tiny, immature, egotistical, narrow-minded fools that are stereotypical products of the very society that "we" are trying to improve.

Frankly, people like you scare the hell out of me.

Laurel Nelson said...

I'm glad you told GWH to go away, he made me mad because he doesn't understand what he's talking about. One thing that I honestly don't get. With the comment about suppporting a liberal party and how it's Satanic - does that mean the Saints in more Liberal European countries are Satanic because they abide by the Articles of Faith and honor, uphold, and sustain the law? I think not.