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Monday, December 13, 2010


The occasional anamoly of GOP-appointed judges not ruling as one would expect, in terms of deviations from the conservative political class, can be explained by the conservative-libertarian fusionism of the late 70s/80s that served to pepper the conservative legal universe with a certain element of "libertarian activist judges." I explained this phenomenon in old post, Libertarian Judicial Activism, in discussing Judge Vaughan Walker's overturning of Prop 8 in California.


I'm glad that this is playing out in this manner. I was the only person I know (in real time, not on the net) who was happy that the Republican attorneys general were challenging this forced purchase plan, which struck me as obviously unconstitutional.

What you would hope would happen is a realization among the dimmest of "liberals" that single payer would actually be constitutional in addition to being the only realistic way of giving poor people access to a human right.

Response to [a story on] the Reid Report:
What would happen if we got over our knee-jerk responses to political theater and actually looked at the implications of the original bill as passed by the Congress, the President and the Health Care Industry?
We migh...t see that to overturn the ‘private mandate’ would be a clear way to repudiate the fatal flaw in the overall bill, which is that it establishes in Federal law that health care is a commodity ~ a product governed by the quite visible hand of the manipulated marketplace.
We might see that, yes, the rest of the bill provides some benefits to some who need them, but at the cost of not addressing the actual problems of escalating costs for reduced services that are the inevitable and unavoidable result of private industry making a profit on health care.
We might see that, rather than ‘the good falling victim of the perfect’ and excoriating those of us advocating for a comprehensive solution as vain ‘purists’, the behavior of the President in this case might look like political expediency; taking anything that could be claimed as a victory for the people while greatly benefiting the industry partners in the deal.
We might see that the Federal Government mandating a private economic transaction is, in fact, a dubious maneuver, while the levying of taxes in return for services is a legitimate, well-established and generally welcomed function of all government bodies from the VA, Medicare, and the highway system to the libraries, fire departments and rescue services at every level.
That kind of function in the health care sector is commonly known as single-payer. And as far as purity goes, if we purists need to negotiate with the Presidency and its cohorts, then a public-option will do for now.
But no. Fucked-up health care bill concocted by handsome Democrat and industry shills; good. Any ruling by Republican judge; bad. Knees still functioning well, political brand identity intact, allegiance still prominently displayed, and no actual ossified ideas were harmed in the making of this reaction.

Very good, Stephen Malagodi. Thanks.

Yep, thanks for that, Stephen--very well said. And that's the sense in which I meant that Republicans are trying to save universal health care.

One thing I didn't say in the posting (except indirectly) was that it takes a Democratic president to produce this kind of high-quality political cognitive dissonance. Who else could have convinced someone like Michael Moore to support passage of a bill that basically undermines everything he's spent years fighting for?

I've given up trying to fathom what goes on Moore's head.

The best part of this whole spectacle though: if this PoS bill really does get scuttled, the "Special Liberals" can spend hours entertaining themselves by finding a way to blame Nader for it. Think of what a splendid holiday gift that will be for them!

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