Possibly most Orwellian moment in the Supreme Court’s hearing of oral arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare:
In his final minutes before the court Wednesday, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli sought to seize the patriotic mantle from the law's challengers, who have portrayed their effort as a defense of fundamental American values.
Expanding health coverage through the private insurance market or Medicaid, as the Obama law envisions, will extend "the blessings of liberty" to individuals hobbled by disabilities or families decimated by illness, Mr. Verrilli said. "There will be millions of people with chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease" who won't have to worry about medicine, he said.
Some definition of liberty, Mr. Verrilli!
The solicitor general of the United States appears to believe that liberty is forcing citizens to buy a product, no matter their own judgments in the matter. It also appears that the solicitor general's definition of liberty means relieving people who suffer from chronic conditions of any responsibility for managing those conditions.
I’m willing to bet that former speaker Nancy Pelosi would share Mr. Verrilli’s view of liberty. She has said:
Think of an economy where people could be (sic) an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance or that people could start a business and be entrepreneurial and take risk, but not job loss because of a child with asthma or someone in the family is bipolar—you name it, any condition—is job locking.
So liberty, by this definition, is harnessing ordinary, hardworking people to subsidize the artistic fantasies of free loaders. (Sorry, but as much as I love art, I don’t think declaring yourself an artist means that I should take care of your needs.)
Although I took heart from the questions asked by the justices in oral arguments before the Supreme Court, I am not counting my chickens before they hatch. Even if Obamacare is overturned (and this is encouraging), we still have to ask ourselves: How did this happen in the first place?
In addition to contributing to the infantalization of the United States (don’t worry about keeping your day job!), I believe that Obamacare is a manifestation of same. Jay Cost is on the verge of saying something quite similar in National Review’s symposium on the high court’s deliberations on Obamacare:
Obamacare is a symbol of what is wrong with our system. After a 2008 presidential campaign that could have been a season of American Idol, a poorly informed electorate rashly selected a pseudo-celebrity left-winger posing as a bipartisan healer over a war hero with an actual record of bipartisanship. Similarly, the country fell for the rhetoric of seemingly moderate “New Democrats,” never realizing that they are actually led by hack machine pols from the big cities and crusty old Sixties radicals.
In both cases, the people should have known better. None of what has happened in the last three years is a surprise to anybody who paid close attention in 2008.
So in a lot of respects the people have gotten what they deserved. They brought this misery on themselves by their stubborn inattention to even the most basic of civic details. Why should they expect the Supreme Court to bail them out for their indolence? Ultimately, the people are responsible for Obamacare, so let them take care of it. Let them finally start paying attention to the unholy mess that is Washington, D.C., and do the hard work that is required of citizens of a republic.
By the way, Hadley has one of the best summaries I’ve seen of the arguments before the Supreme Court–great reading material for adult citizens!