i was much less surprised than most people, it seems, when the Supreme Court, in one of its notorious 5-4 decisions, upheld the so-called “national health care plan” that has become known, among both its revilers and defenders, as “Obomacare.” My lack of surprise came from two considerations: what this law mandates, and where it originated. What is surprising to me is the seemingly complete lack of public awareness of the broader context of this struggle. But hey, this blog is called “Deep Green Perspective,” not “Shallow Green Snap Judgement,” so if you’ve been following me for a while, it’s because you expect the long view. Here goes.
Obamacare was upheld by the widely unexpected swing vote of Chief Justice John Roberts. It makes perfect sense to me that Roberts would vote to uphold this godsend for the private insurance industry. The Bush-Cheney stacked Supreme Court has never turned down an expansion of corporate power, has it? So, in a sense, this decision was an extension of “Citizens’ United.” Not only do “corporate citizens” have the “right” to spend freely in order to influence elections and legislation, those of us who are mere flesh-and-blood citizens must give them our money so they have plenty of funds to expand their prerogatives.
But the really bizarre part of all this political drama is that everybody seems to have forgotten where the basis of “Obamacare” originated. Republicans denounce it as “socialism,” Republican governors vow to do what they can to block its implementation in their states–which they can do, since part of the Supremes’ decision struck down the part of the law that mandated expansion of Medicare, and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney vows to repeal the law if he is elected. On the other side, Democrats cheer the Supremes’ decision, viewing it as a somewhat unexpected “liberal” victory.
All this sturm-und-drang conveniently ignores, or forgets, the actual origins of Obama’s health plan. May I remind you that Obama got the basics of it from the plan Mitt Romney passed when he was governor of Massachusetts? It should be called “Romboma Care”–credit where credit is due! And may I remind you that Romney received the plan from the Angel Moroni–oo;s, no, that’s the Joseph Smith story–but, by the way, what does it mean that the Founding Angel of the Mormon faith has a name so dangerously close to a derogatory term for a person with a dull intellect? But I digress….The plan Romney passed in Massachusetts originated with the deeply reactionary Heritage Foundation, spiritual home of Newt Gingrich, founded by Joe Coors, Paul Weyrich, and Richard Mellon Scaife. The Heritage Foundation, whose patron saint is Margaret Freaking Thatcher. Moloch!
And so, all America’s Democrat Party “liberals” are celebrating a Democrat President’s implementation of a reactionary, corporatist “health care plan,” as if it were a great victory. And somewhere, Spiro Agnew, who is reputed to have predicted, “This country is going to swing so far to the right that you won’t believe it,” somewhere Spiro Agnew smiled. Read the rest of this entry »