The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

What a crock!

Norman Ornstein wrote an article, dated July 24, on the National Journal site entitled “The Unprecedented — and Contemptible — Attempts to Sabotage Obamacare” The main burden of the article is in the following excerpt:

When a law is enacted, representatives who opposed it have some choices (which are not mutually exclusive). They can try to repeal it, which is perfectly acceptable—unless it becomes an effort at grandstanding so overdone that it detracts from other basic responsibilities of governing. They can try to amend it to make it work better—not just perfectly acceptable but desirable, if the goal is to improve a cumbersome law to work better for the betterment of the society and its people. They can strive to make sure that the law does the most for Americans it is intended to serve, including their own constituents, while doing the least damage to the society and the economy. Or they can step aside and leave the burden of implementation to those who supported the law and got it enacted in the first place.

But to do everything possible to undercut and destroy its implementation—which in this case means finding ways to deny coverage to many who lack any health insurance; to keep millions who might be able to get better and cheaper coverage in the dark about their new options; to create disruption for the health providers who are trying to implement the law, including insurers, hospitals, and physicians; to threaten the even greater disruption via a government shutdown or breach of the debt limit in order to blackmail the president into abandoning the law; and to hope to benefit politically from all the resulting turmoil—is simply unacceptable, even contemptible. One might expect this kind of behavior from a few grenade-throwing firebrands. That the effort is spearheaded by the Republican leaders of the House and Senate—even if Speaker John Boehner is motivated by fear of his caucus, and McConnell and Cornyn by fear of Kentucky and Texas Republican activists—takes one's breath away.

What he seems to ignore is the fact that this law — enacted after the people of such a blue state as Massachusetts chose Scott Brown to the Senate primarily to prevent Obamacare from becoming law, by using a parliamentary maneuver to bypass the Senate's rules — is, in the mind of the Republicans who are trying to derail it, a terrible law that will ruin the economy (and, in fact, has already hurt it seriously). Why should anyone do otherwise than to sabotage it, given a President and Senate which will resist repeal? Suppose the shoe were on the other foot, Dr. Ornstein: there were a law on the books that you felt was seriously going to hurt the economy, and there was no way to patch it to eliminate its flaws. Would you simply acquiesce? These Republicans were elected for a reason, and that reason was that the voters trusted them to do right by the country. And, in their opinion — and that of the majority of the country, according to polls — the bill hurts the country, and it should be repealed, not strengthened.

If President Obama, or the Democrats in the Senate, had been willing to allow the repeal of Obamacare, and the construction of a new act, the Republicans would be remiss if they did not go along. But this is not the case, and sabotaging this act is the only course possible.

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