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A path forks into two options: The correct one, and the stupid one

by: Eric B.

Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:39:06 PM EST

So, Obamacare has now survived a court challenge and a presidential election. What say we stop with the bitching and whining and start referring to it simply as the law of the land?

Speaking of which, last summer when the Supreme Court ruled Obamacare constitutional, our benevolent overlord Rick Michigan took it as mostly good news because it gave him some juice in asking the Legislature to enact the part of it that he liked all along ... enact a state-level health care exchange so that consumers could shop around for coverage.

He was rebuffed by his own party. Despite warnings that failing to enact one at the state level was risking the feds imposing one on us (and turning down federal money to make it happen while doing it), the state House instead banked as a body to put their money into the stupidest of outcomes ... that Willard would win last night and somehow manage to singlehandedly repeal Obamacare. They were led down this path by our attorney general, perpetual candidate for something else Bill Schuette. Let's just keep this in mind if the feds wind up imposing a cookie cutter health care exchange on the state.

A word here on how conservatives conducted themselves this campaign and election. I don't mean how people said mean and untrue things about others. Aside from the tut-tutting from Very Serious Persons, that's how we've always conducted elections. I'm talking about fabricating alternate realities where hard data is unimportant compared to gut feelings (which, by the way, are invariably based on personal biases). We don't elect by national popular vote in this country, and never have. Yet, conservatives and Republicans insisted going right down to the wire that Willard had a good shot at winning because it was close in national popular polls. In short, Nate Silver was right, but it's not as big a feat as we might think because his detractors were foaming at the mouth over what amounts to a political fantasy. I point out that these are the same people who believe that climate change is a hoax, that raising the debt ceiling is the same as spending money, that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, that tax cuts generate more revenue, and who are ideologically related to people who believe that a woman's body can self-terminate a pregnancy after rape. I have to ask, yet again, anyone noticing a pattern developing here?

After last night, these same people are apt to take it as their mandate to move Right to Work legislation. Hopefully, benevolent overlord Rick Michigan will inform them that they have taken the wrong mandate from the election. In fact, Proposal 2 was shot down under an avalanche of advertising that in fact said it had nothing to do with collective bargaining. Opponents of Proposal 2 didn't campaign against collective bargaining; they campaigned against dope-peddling, child molesting teachers.

The real mandate was to move legislation creating a health care exchange. More than a few progressives are uncomfortable about the thing, because it signals the coming end to employer-based health care. Doing that, by the way, means changes in the workplace that will be beneficial to workers since it will mean no longer having to keep a job to keep health care. But, that's not our story here. The House gambled on a national political outcome. It was a stupid gamble to take, but they took it anyway. And, predictably, it failed to come off. Having made a public announcement that they planned to take this gamble, not that it failed them, it's time for them to put it into action.

On the other hand, this is the same Legislature that's failed so badly people think they have no recourse but to move specific legislation via constitutional amendments. So, there is that.

Eric B. :: A path forks into two options: The correct one, and the stupid one
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Term limits
have given us a legislative body composed of political rookies and opportunists looking to secure their next gig. Nobody has any reason to make tough decisions that might look bad on their resume. Is it any wonder nothing gets done?  

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