January 29, 2011

"A year ago, pretty much all law professors dismissed the argument as frivolous.... The law professors had a failure of imagination."

That's Randy Barnett — talking about the constitutional challenges to the health care law — quoted in Politico's ominously titled article "Right takes refuge in Constitution."

By the way, last Wednesday, I attended a Federalist Society-sponsored panel discussion here in Madison about this topic. One of the speakers was Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who has just taken steps to join the Florida lawsuit challenging the law. Also on the panel were Jon Richards, a state legislator who supports the law, and Ilya Somin, the George Mason law professor who has written that the lawsuits are at least not frivolous.

Scrambling to find 2 of the last few seats, Meade and I sat at a table which seemed to be full of lawyers who supported health care reform. One lawyer haughtily informed me that whatever law professors might think about the Constitution, it's really all politics, and this health care reform represents a big, important political effort and that's why it's going to be upheld in the courts. I said, if it's all politics, then what of all the politics pushing back against the law? What about the polls that show most people are against it and what about the last election? If you're going to say politics determines the outcome, then don't you have to take that politics into account too? The lawyer looked either alarmed or angry, because I, a law professor, didn't simply assert that the Constitution matters, which would have made it easy for him to irritatingly chuckle about naivete. But right then, the panel started, saving him from having to try to wriggle off my skewer.

Van Hollen kicked off the discussion with assertions that he joined the lawsuit not because he's opposed to the health care statute, but because of the rule of law. The litigation is important to test the scope of congressional power. We have a system of a balance of powers, which he likened to a "teeter-totter." The states have to take their position on the other side of the teeter totter or things aren't going to work very well. The idea is to push back against federal power and to give the courts the opportunity to clarify the law. Van Hollen speaks like the well-polished politician he is.

Richards was having none of this abstract rule-of-law business. Economic realities should trump legal jargon, he said. He portrayed constitutional law as a matter of technical conceptions that shouldn't be allowed to stop government from doing the things that need to be done. He focused on the policy reasons for supporting the law and the argument that the law is constitutional flowed naturally from his support of the law. As for lawsuits: "Lawsuits are a real distraction."

Somin said the rule of law is "technical conceptions" — which was the punchline of the day, in my view. He gave a measured presentation, explaining the case law in a professorly style, and assessing the odds that the Supreme Court would overturn the individual mandate. (He said the 4 liberals would stick together and uphold it, that the conservatives were a more "fractious" bunch, so although Scalia, Thomas, and Alito would vote against it, he doesn't know what Roberts and Kennedy will do.)

Here's my page of notes from the Somin part of the panel:

P1060037

After that, there were some questions from the audience. One questioner, trying to get his mind around the notion that the failure to buy insurance is inactivity and arguably therefore not "economic activity" within the meaning of the Commerce Clause case law, said "If you look at a human being as a going concern...." — which I thought was pretty funny. Yes, the government sees us as little businesses, as we sit here ostensibly doing nothing: our hearts pump blood, our gut digests food, and our brain cells spark with resistance to the purchase of products the government knows we should be buying.

ADDED: Video of the panel, via Ilya.

79 comments:

Crimso said...

"He portrayed constitutional law a matter of technical conceptions that shouldn't be allowed to stop government from doing the things that need to be done."

While it's not surprising he's a legislator (governments act in their own best interest not just with respect to other governments but also with respect to their "subjects"), I dearly hope he's not a lawyer. In any case, he clearly knows nothing about the beliefs of the people who founded this nation. I'm tempted to say that they would have hung him immediately with no trial (nuking the site from orbit just to be sure), hoping he would appreciate the irony. But then I'd be sounding like James Hansen.

Wait, that's not fair to Hansen, he does want trials of people like me before being incarcerated or executed. And I know I do go on about Hansen, but I seriously view him as a real danger to me. I'm looking at everybody else and wondering how long it will be before they have their "First they came for the scientists who were skeptics, and I said nothing" moment.

AJ Lynch said...

"Richards was having none of this abstract rule-of-law business. Economic realities should trump legal jargon, he said"

Does that means Richards is against govt Ponzi schemes like soc sec? Is he against bankrupt states continuing to pay pensions to govt workers?

Almost Ali said...

Maybe I'm just hoping that this is all political, and the mandatees will respond accordingly. And in the process, spare the intellectuals.

lemondog said...

Chapters 2 & 3 with Epstein and Yoo on Constitutional Challenge to Healthcare Mandate/ General Welfare and Encroachment Arguments

Total 14 min video

Ann Althouse said...

"Maybe I'm just hoping that this is all political, and the mandatees will respond accordingly."

Mandatees? Do you mean manatees?

Quayle said...

So that last person was at least willing to admit that a dead person is outside the scope of the Commerce Clause?

We'll that's a start, I guess.

PatCA said...

"He portrayed constitutional law a matter of technical conceptions that shouldn't be allowed to stop government from doing the things that need to be done."

I thought the constitution was designed exactly for the opposite reason: to stop the government from doing things.

Skyler said...

Of course it's politics. Your skeweree was correct. But politics by its nature seeks more power and the entire purpose of the Constitution is to limit those that seek to expand their power.

If this law is upheld, then there will no longer be any pretense that we have a Constitution.

Julius said...

One lawyer haughtily informed me that whatever law professors might think about the Constitution, it's really all politics, and this health care reform represents a big, important political effort and that's why it's going to be upheld in the courts. I said, if it's all politics, then what of all the politics pushing back against the law? What about the polls that show most people are against it and what about the last election? If you're going to say politics determines the outcome, then don't you have to take that politics into account too?

That's a fascinating anecdote. It seems you were talking about "politics" in the sense of majority-rule democracy, and he was talking about the new politics where the ruling class rules.

Yes, it's all politics. But "politics" now means continuing on with an unpopular plan toward a goal that most people don't want because the ruling class knows better. The political Establishment will pay attention to its "experts" but will ignore the opinions of the unqualified masses.

...just like the Republicans and W did when they were the top dogs of the ruling class.

Trooper York said...

Well of course they would think that the Constitution is a "mattter of techincal conceptions" instead of a sacred text to be defended with the last drop of our blood and treasure.

These are lawyers after all.

The only thing worse than a journalist is a lawyer.

Trooper York said...

I wonder what Sam Adams or Patrick Henry or Nathan Hale would say to these worthless douchnozzles?

edutcher said...

Interesting idea about the lawyer who said, since it's all political, it would be upheld.

English translation - since there are more Democrat-appointed Federal judges, they'll ram it through, Constitution be damned. The idea that he didn't consider some Republican-appointed judge might blow it out of the water just blew his little baby mind.

Ann Althouse said...

Yes, the government sees us as little businesses

Considering The Zero views private enterprise as The Enemy, that's not very comforting.

Steven said...

If "constitutional law [is] a matter of technical conceptions that shouldn't be allowed to stop government from doing the things that need to be done", then isn't it about time we got rid of, for example, the exclusionary rule? Isn't getting guilty criminals convicted something the government needs to get done, and doesn't throwing out legitimate evidence over Fourth Amendment concerns get in the way of that?

rhhardin said...

Frivilous is a master category; it includes serious as one of its subcategories.

Hagar said...

I thought the constitution was designed exactly for the opposite reason: to stop the government from doing things.

Not exactly. It was reluctantly agreed upon in order to enable the Federal Government to do things that had to be done, but no more.

Michael said...

We would learn a lot about this wonderful law if we did two things immediately: 1. Rescinded all exemptions. 2.required congress to drop their super duper plan for life in favor of the splendid obamacare. All would be revealed

Leo Ladenson said...

Well, I guess a Federalist Society-sponsored panel discussion is closer to a law professor's job than cross-country skiing.

Hagar said...

Was Somin speaking in a professorial or a professurly manner?

Or both; thus professorly?

But I think I refudiate this word.

Richard Dolan said...

One of the benefits of the Tea Party phenom is a rekindled interest in constitutional debates among non-lawyers. A year or two ago, I attended a judicial conference featuring various historians of the early Republic (Gordon Woods, Joseph Ellis, etc.). Both talked about how, when they give talks around the country on the books, many ordinary folks come up to them and want to discuss details of early American history. The professors were duly impressed by the interest and effort that many non-academics have shown in their work. One of them (Woods, if I remember correctly) described a conversation he had had with his mailman about Woods' then-latest book -- detailed, showing a depth of knowledge that Woods wished his students at Brown might someday acquire. The point of the anecdotes was that an interest in early American history had caught on with the public.

Perhaps the unintended gift of Obamacare will be a renewed interest in the Constitution among the citizenry. It's perhaps not surprising that, from Ann's description of yesterday's health care conference, the folks least interested in the subject were a lawyer and a legislator. If he keeps it up in Wisconsin, the legislator may well be in for a surprise, like the one many of his (former) colleagues received in Nov.

virgil xenophon said...

The mind-set of those who believe it within the Govts power to compel everyone to buy health insurance is best/EXACTLY seen in the example of the Borg collective.."we're all little Borgittes/Borgettes now.."

Trooper York said...

If George Washington walked into that room I would hope that these fools would hang their heads in shame and slink away to hide under the rocks from where they came.

madAsHell said...

failure of imagination

Is that a euphemism for swimming in denial?

Skyler said...

One of the problems with the government's tentacles is we really have little means to resist. They have so thoroughly controlled the medical industry that we can't see a doctor without going through federal controls.

We can't travel without being groped. We can't pay for a doctor without their permission.

When do we get the freedom we are supposed to be so proud of?

How do we do civil disobedience if we can't do anything without the government?

Julius said...

@Skyler-

National security!

Or, if you prefer: Think of the children!

Whatever logical route you use, the end-point is the same:

Stop your fucking complaining!

Aren't you putting your life at risk for our political regime, Skyler? If so, it seems a little strange that you don't share their beliefs. Perhaps folks like you will soon be identified as security risks.

roesch-voltaire said...

AA I think your claims are a bit off because according to the latest : The poll finds that 40 percent of those surveyed said they support the law, while 41 percent oppose it."(AP story) As far as the last election giving a mandate to repeal that also seems to exaggerate the results-- often when folks are informed as to what is in the law, except for 1099 and a few other provisions which should be removed, they find extending coverage for college aged children and not losing their insurance because of pre-existing conditions to be positive things. And if nothing else this law is inspiring states such as Vermont, and others to follow, to set up fairer insurance systems that will cost less than the current systems controlled by the for profit insurance companies. But then I guess it is fun to claim you have skewered a haughty liberal lawyer.

Trooper York said...

"with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

Do you think any of these lawyer douchenozzles have any concept of what it means when you say "Our sacred Honor?"

PaulV said...

roesch-voltaire, you are repudiated by election returns of November. As well as the testimony of auditor of Medicare. The massive proganda of supporters of OBAMACARE is being exposed as fraaud it is.

raf said...

Was Somin speaking in a professorial or a professurly manner?

You mean, perhaps the professor-like speaker was disgruntled, and letting it show? I guess I can imagine a leftish professor being surly about having to talk about the constitution seriously.

Fen said...

The only thing worse than a journalist is a lawyer.

If the walls ever come down, there will still be a few things to look forward to.

Brian said...

"wriggle off my skewer"?

Miss Althouse, that's the kind of violent, eliminationist rhetoric I thought we had all abandoned. In the event of any actual human skewerings in the next 20 years, I'm afraid I'll have to hold you responsible.

Fen said...

I doubt most lawyers can run faster than journalists.

John Burgess said...

Somin a liberal? News to me and probably even bigger news to him!

You might want to read some of his stuff over at Volokh Conspiracy, where he's one of the core Conspirators. He's libertarian to the core, as might be expected of one who fled the Soviet Union as a child.

Hagar said...

I cannot imagine even Congress needing 2700 pages to write about insurance regulations, especially when the law just gives an overview of the purposes to be achieved and leaves the details to be promulgated by the several Secretaries of Whatever.

I think this law should be repealed in toto, because I do not want to find out "what else" is in there. After that Congress can perhaps start working on formulating just medical insurance provisions, one by one or an omnibus bill, but just medical insurance provisions.

For the record, I am "going bare," not even Medicare, because I neither can afford, nor want to, pay for pre-paid medical care for all, and while it is too confusing for me to tell, I believe they have got the existing "medical insurance system" so FUBARed that I cannot get medical disaster (which is what "insurance" is for) insurance at any price I can afford, or at all, or for that matter, that their medical "system" would pay any attention to.

Luke Lea said...

On the really big issues judges do vote their political prejudices -- oops! I meant their most deeply held values. The Gore-Bush 2000 decision is the best recent example. But you could just as easily reference Roe v. Wade.

This is one of the realities of our human (political) nature and a lesson in life which it is naive to disregard -- even if they don't teach it in law school.

JAL said...

Like PatCA said.

As I poke around our founding history (must be one of those people described in another comment) I am so impressed by how *smart* the founders and early leaders were. Holy cow!

And how really, really stupid our politicians and leaders sound (and are) these days. Really. Harvard? Yale? Princeton? What a bunch of jerks. They have no vision. They are a bunch of community organizers. (What's that Buckley phone book analogy?)

The purpose of the various branches is to make sure the tree stayed pruned so Liberty would be available to be enjoyed by Americans.

Julius commenting about Skyler Perhaps folks like you will soon be identified as security risks.

Janet Nap took care of that already. Remember? When Skyler gets out, he's already on The List.

Skyler -- hang in there an support an defend the Constitution -- (that collection of technical conceptions. What is this with the trivialing of the Consitution and the rule of law (@lucid in previous thread.) We'll clear out the weeds and invasive species in the next couple years.

Thank you for your service.

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;.... (Of course if the President and the Congress don't ....)

JAL said...

Luke - you need to revisit the actual SCOTUS decisions on Bush-Gore.

TosaGuy said...

"Yes, the government sees us as little businesses"

If that is the case, then I guess all the female folks clammering about keeping Gov't hands off their bodies probably shouldn't support this interpretation of the Commerce Clause.

Trooper York said...

The government sees us a sheep to be shorn.

They are rapidly reaching the point where they have lost the consent of the people to be governed in this dictatorial manner.

They are jackels and poltroons of the first water. Republican and Democrat alike.

Jay said...

technical conceptions

Ah yes. That silly constitution is just made up of technical conceptions, and we need to ignore them to get you on crappy government run health care.

Got it?

Jay said...

We have a system of a balance of powers, which he likened to a "teeter-totter."

The problem is that Obama and his ilk are all teeter and no totter.

PaulV said...

Luke Lea. original SCOTUS decision to stop the count was 7-2. The 5-4 decison on Dec 12 was on whether there was enough time to resart vote. The FL legislature had chosen that date as when they had power to choose electors under the
law passed by US Congress when democrats stole election from Grover Cleveland. SCOFL in a later decision agreed with5-4 decision.

Alex said...

rv - at the very least Americans are 50/50 on Obamacare. But you still want to shove it down our throats.

Fen said...

at the very least Americans are 50/50 on Obamacare.

And that stat includes the millions that were given exemptions as a political favor.

Florida said...

"Maybe I'm just hoping that this is all political, and the mandatees will respond accordingly. And in the process, spare the intellectuals."

You intellectuals had better think about this sentence and know this: we have no intention of sparing you motherfuckers.

You think you can force people to buy shit from your political backers? And then be spared the consequences of such utter fucking arrogance?

That is a laughably ignorant concept and commentary on basic human nature.

You fuckers will not be spared.

I encourage you to look throughout all of history and see if you can find one instance where the intelligentsia has ever been spared once it decides to fucking YOKE a people.

I defy you.

And I warn you: We will not go quietly into that good night and you will not enjoy one moments peace as long as this abominable modern-day slavery exists.

Not a fucking moments peace.

damikesc said...

R-V, any poll asking "Would you like the government to cover this?" without ALSO asking "what if it costs (x) amount of money?", it's an irrelevant poll.

I have a 6 yr old. I'd love to take him to Disney World this year. But, financially, it's too much to do right now.

damikesc said...

Has any action in the last few decades been more of a guarantee of massive lobbying money being spent than Obama exempting groups/entities from Obamacare?

Why don't progressives get that lobbying is done because there are major benefits for companies in spending a little money on Presidents/Congresspeople to get millions in savings?

Hagar said...

When your boss have to give you time off for medical appointments and medical treatments are "free," i.e., they are paid for by payroll taxes that are deducted whether you make use of the service or not, you don't have to be an insurance actuary to see where this is headed.
They can take care of the expensive treatments by triage, or "death panels," but what is really going to bankrupt the system is treatments for the common cold and headaches.

Original Mike said...

"[The state legislator who supports the law] portrayed constitutional law a matter of technical conceptions that shouldn't be allowed to stop government from doing the things that need to be done."

That right there is why we need the Constitution.

Fen said...

I knew the system was doomed when Hover Chairs were offered to the Boomers at Medicare expense.

madAsHell said...

It's worse than that, Fen.....

The Hover chairs are offered, Medi-Care is billed, and the chair is never delivered.

It's an open loop system.

Almost Ali said...

Althouse asks...
Mandatees? Do you mean manatees?

No. Too docile.

Maybe man-debtors, or man-debtees. Screwed/Screwee also seem to fit.

But don't mind me, I've been arm wrestling editors for a long, long time. Fortunately, readers tend to get the gist.

sunsong said...

The States, especially the GOP led States, have a fantastic opportunity right now to take back power by taking responsibility. They have to take the responsiblity, though, and to date they have been woefully irresponsible.

If you honestly don't want the federal government stepping in to deal with true human need and suffering - then the States need to take care of their own - in their own way.

State's rights don't come without responsiblities, imo.

Alex said...

The States, especially the GOP led States, have a fantastic opportunity right now to take back power by taking responsibility. They have to take the responsiblity, though, and to date they have been woefully irresponsible.

It's not going to happen. America has decidedly lurched left-ward the last 15 years or so.

pst314 said...

"Maybe I'm just hoping that this is all political, and the mandatees will respond accordingly. And in the process, spare the intellectuals.

You intellectuals had better think about this sentence and know this: we have no intention of sparing you motherfuckers."

I emphatically agree with that sentiment. Most of today's intellectuals are enemies of freedom, and should be treated as such.

bgates said...

Economic realities should trump legal jargon, he said.

U.S. Code Title 18 Part 1 Chapter 51 § 1111 has a lot of jargon in it, and the economic reality is that the measure he's defending will make me worse off, so Mr Richards is fortunate I completely disagree with him.

Politico's ominously titled article

Indeed. Makes one wonder what all the fuss was about Bush shredding that 100+ year old collection of technicalities if only a fringe on the right has any use for the document anyway.

pst314 said...

"He portrayed constitutional law as a matter of technical conceptions that shouldn't be allowed to stop government from doing the things that need to be done."

Ann Althouse,
Here's a question to pose to these people: If they feel that their political ambitions should not be hampered by a mere Constitution, then why should their opponents feel hampered in any such way?

I'd like them to think about tumbrels, and what ultimately happened to the Jacobins. Is that the world they want?

DK said...

"It's all politics..."

And, ultimately, all politics is decided under the auspices of Rule-7.62, if not earlier.

somefeller said...

I emphatically agree with that sentiment. Most of today's intellectuals are enemies of freedom, and should be treated as such.

I'd like them to think about tumbrels, and what ultimately happened to the Jacobins. Is that the world they want?

Oh, look, a little angry mob member wannabe. (I'll show them how smart they are, when the revolution comes! And they'll be sorry!) How cute.

Fen said...

"Little Eichmanns had it coming" - Leftist Intellectual.

Methadras said...

If government views you as nothing more than property, then they can think they have the law and the will to tell you what to do when they want you to do it. In that case, if this is occuring in America and therefore this statement:

"One questioner, trying to get his mind around the notion that the failure to buy insurance is inactivity and arguably therefore not "economic activity" within the meaning of the Commerce Clause case law, said "If you look at a human being as a going concern...." — which I thought was pretty funny. Yes, the government sees us as little businesses, as we sit here ostensibly doing nothing: our hearts pump blood, our gut digests food, and our brain cells spark with resistance to the purchase of products the government knows we should be buying.

implies that this is not the United States of America governed by the people anymore.

Crimso said...

"then the States need to take care of their own - in their own way."

Which can then give us 57 individual disasters instead of 1. See: TennCare.

Bill said...

AA: "Yes, the government sees us as little businesses, as we sit here ostensibly doing nothing: our hearts pump blood, our gut digests food, ..."

Reminds me of a slogan: "It might look like I'm doing nothing, but at the cellular level I'm really quite busy."

pavlova8 said...

No you all don't want publicly funded health care that provides health care to all regardless of how poor. You would rather have a country in which the poor have to sell their houses to fund their health care, and then in the same breath you quote scripture. What ever happened to caring for the poor, loving thy neighbour and all that other lefty pinko commie oh, hang on, Jesus - shit!!!!

Alex said...

No you all don't want publicly funded health care that provides health care to all regardless of how poor. You would rather have a country in which the poor have to sell their houses to fund their health care, and then in the same breath you quote scripture. What ever happened to caring for the poor, loving thy neighbour and all that other lefty pinko commie oh, hang on, Jesus - shit!!!!

More proof that socialism is directly derived from Christianity. Fuck Jesus.

Mick said...

What a bunch of nonsense. The Constitution was designed to prevent an overreaching government from enforcing it's power over the electorate. It DEFINES the limits of the the power of government. Technical perceptions!!!?????
That's the problem w/ lawyers, so smug in their perceived intelligence that they think they are smarter than the founders, and think that court decisions and stare decis override the plain meaning of the US Constitution. The Constitution is the LAW not Lawyers playing Telephone w/ it for 230 years. Stare Decis was never conceptualized by the founders. It is self grandizing BS.


If the government can tell us to by Health Insurance (forced subsidization of Insurers) in order to "lower costs" (which is TOTAL BS), then they can also tell us we must by a bike to reduce costs by staying more healthy.
That this is even being considered shows what a SHAM the law profession has become. YOU should be LEADING the charge to prevent this Unconstitutional Bill, that is NOT WANTED by the public, from being enacted. But no, like the Usurper, you want to have a "debate". My God.

This is why an Unconstitutional Foreign Usurper sits in the White House. A bunch of No Nothing, self important lawyers have run this country into the ground.

Mick said...

pst314 said,


"I emphatically agree with that sentiment. Most of today's intellectuals are enemies of freedom, and should be treated as such."


HERE HERE.

Mick said...

Trooper York said...

"If George Washington walked into that room I would hope that these fools would hang their heads in shame and slink away to hide under the rocks from where they came".


Awesome.

Mick said...

pavlova8 said...

"No you all don't want publicly funded health care that provides health care to all regardless of how poor. You would rather have a country in which the poor have to sell their houses to fund their health care, and then in the same breath you quote scripture. What ever happened to caring for the poor, loving thy neighbour and all that other lefty pinko commie oh, hang on, Jesus - shit!!!!"


This is what our young generation has become. So willingly they put on the chains of Tyranny. Lord help us.

Synova said...

"No you all don't want publicly funded health care that provides health care to all regardless of how poor. You would rather have a country in which the poor have to sell their houses to fund their health care",

Well, other than the unique notion of the "poor" having a house to sell and still being classified as "poor"...

I would rather not have a country where the poor have to sell their houses to fund *my* health care.

Because really... is it better that someone sell their own house to pay for their own needs, or for them to sell someone elses?

What use is compassion when the demands are to confiscate from some to support others and while doing so destroy the human motivations that support the economy and general welfare? Things like incentives to work and produce beyond what you need, expectations of personal responsibility for your extended family or even unrelated poor?

Because forced charity does that. It no more encourages "Christian" impulses than any other forced activity and it actively excuses people from seeing themselves as responsible. It's all the government's job, after all. And they don't have to give their own time or financial support, they can just vote to force other people to pay for it, thus protecting their own wealth. Not having to take any responsibility or suffer any hardship to help others once they've voted to spend other people's money.

This is not *Christian*... it is outright harmful, hurtful, damaging and destroys any normal impulses of charity.

But the scolding undoubtedly makes some people feel righteous.

Synova said...

Also, just wanted to say, Mick...

Nice to see you branching out a bit, comment-wise.

Mick said...

* The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on Earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but only to have the law of nature for his rule.
o The Rights of the Colonists (1772) Sam Adams


The Law of NATURE is our law.

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776 Sam Adams

The time is coming

Synova said...

"What ever happened to caring for the poor, loving thy neighbour and all that other lefty pinko commie oh, hang on, Jesus - shit!!!!"

Old Testament... 10% tithe... that was *taxes*.

New Testament... It's all voluntary giving, preferably in secret, responsibility for your family first and hand-outs limited to "true orphans and widows" meaning people who don't have *other* relatives who ought to support them, and if you've pledged support to give what you promised to give. Harsh words for those who don't take care of their parents.

I have no notion what sort of reading of scripture comes to the conclusion that Jesus (Shit!!) ever told anyone to care for the poor by shaking down their neighbor for the funds.

Synova said...

In other words, my dear pavlova, encourage charity, but not with a gun.

Mick said...

Synova said...

"Also, just wanted to say, Mick...

Nice to see you branching out a bit, comment-wise."



That other issue is THE most important issue. The rule of law of the Constitution is being scuttled, and it starts w/ the very eligibility of the POTUS.
Lawyers in Congress have done this to us, aided by a fawning media, a haughty intellectual class, and a dumbed down younger generation.

Whatever happened to Marbury v. Madison (laws against the Constitution are Null and Void), and the Citizens Grand Jury?
This HC Bill is pure unmitigated Government power beating the electorate over the head, on par w/ King George. A new Declaration of Independence is coming.

pst314 said...

"What ever happened to caring for the poor, loving thy neighbour and all that other lefty pinko commie oh, hang on, Jesus - shit!!!!"

Utter bullshit.

Socialism and Christian charity are entirely different things.

Do you have anything intelligent to add to the discussion, or just more communist propaganda?

Another View said...

Ah, yes. As one of those with reservations about mandating purchase of insurance from private insurers - let me be clear. Congress should have gone for the single payer system from the get go. This compromise is simply a bonanza for the lawyers and has pulled th entire discussion off target.

I know it's cold, but personally I think the whole issue could be easily resolved by allowing doctors emergency rooms to refuse service to anyone without insurance. See where that leads?...

gk1 said...

I think Howard Dean has already waved the white flag by commenting that obamacare can survive without the insurance mandate. I wonder what else obama and the democrats are willing to toss overboard to keep this clunker alive. They don't seem to want to talk about what will happen when the mandates get bench slapped by SCOTUS.

Richard said...

Karl Llewellyn:

"There are two American traditions. They war with each other. Each is American.

"American politics reaches beyond the patter of Fourth of July speeches. It covers what happens. American law is not exhausted by with paper rules on books. It extends to what goes one, to what officials do about disputes . . . The American Constitution is not limited to a venerable document prepared a century and a half ago with [twenty-seven] passages on paper added since; the American Constitution is the actual frame work of our government as we are governed. And when the Fourth of July patter does not square with the influence of the machine . . . then we have two lines of phenomena and not one. And anybody who like either one of them can point to it as American. . . . . I see not clarity to be gained by denying that these are an established American tradition. If years and repetition make dignity, they are an "honorable" one.

"There is, thank God, another and opposite American tradition"

Calvin Dodge said...

The law is "a matter of technical conceptions that shouldn't be allowed to stop government from doing the things that need to be done"

Huh?

Cool, if others can apply that principle. Like, if I ever need lots of cash quickly, and decide to sell narcotics to get that cash, I can just explain to the cops that "the law shouldn't be allowed to keep me from doing the things that should be done".