The frazzled, frothing, obstructionist Republicans had set aside the date of June 28 as the day they would finally decapitate the Obama administration, but a funny thing happened on the way to the guillotine. The Tea Party dominated GOP had scheduled a House vote to declare Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress just hours after the Supreme Court was due to strike down Obamacare, delivering the old one-two punch to the president's chances for a second term. Minority leader John Boehner had warned his troops that there would be no celebrations, and "no spiking the ball." Instead, they got sacked in their own end zone and the other team did the celebrating. If I say that the conservatives' ace reliever walked in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, I will have made three separate sports analogies in one paragraph.
Everyone on both sides expected the Supreme Court to hand Barry his hat and overturn his major legislative accomplishment, but somehow Chief Justice John Roberts developed a conscience and not only sided with the court's "liberals," but wrote the majority opinion upholding the legality of the Affordable Care Act. It's worth noting that of the five votes in favor of retaining Obamacare, three were from women. The Tea party had set up a battery of microphones to bleat their delight to the lame-stream media, but instead they ran from the courthouse steps screaming, "It's a tax! It's a tax!" like Charlton Heston at the end of "Soylent Green" shouting, "It's people! Soylent Green is made from people!" Later in the day, the GOP-produced Eric Holder passion play was spoiled when outraged Democrats refused to participate in this particular farce and walked out, leaving the right-wing centurions to hammer in the nails alone. Thus, for allegedly withholding documents concerning a botched operation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms called, "Fast and Furious," Attorney General Eric Holder, not John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales, or Janet Reno, became the first sitting cabinet officer in American history to be held in Contempt of Congress.
California Representative Daniel Issa, the leader of this posse, sputtered, "Very clearly, (the ATF) made a crisis and they are using this crisis to somehow take away or limit people's Second Amendment rights." Translating from the overtly hysterical, the ATF supposedly allowed guns to be smuggled to Mexican drug cartels so the resulting carnage would so horrify this country's citizens that the confiscation of firearms would begin, triggering the Second American Revoltion. The nearest equivalency I can think to compare would be if we sold cheesburgers and pizza to the Canadians and became so grossed out over their morbid obesity, our entire country went on a diet. This effort to humilate Obama on the same day that his health care legislation was due to be struck down would have been declared transparent on its face had it not contained a kernal of truth. A Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry, was murdered with a gun purchased by a suspect that the ATF office in Phoenix was tracking. Journalist Katherine Eban has written an article for Fortune Magazine entitled, "The Truth About the Fast and Furious Scandal," which offers a definitive account of the tragic episode. Eban concludes, "The ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels," and quotes IRS Special Agent Linda Wallace, who investigated the case, as saying, "Republican senators are whipping up the country into a psychotic frenzy with these reports that are patently false."
As for the historic decision upholding the Affordable Healthcare Act, I was all set to rail about this overtly politicized Supreme Court and how, once again, a conservative majority did the bidding of the Republican Party. I was going to reference Bush v Gore and Citizens United as the first two nails in democracy's coffin, and overturning Obamacare was the third. I was prepared to draw paralells between the Roberts Court and the courts of the 1930s which thwarted FDR's New Deal and was absolutely convinced another 5-4 decision along party lines was forthcoming. This convincingly proves that I don't know squat. Only, I'm in good company. Constitutional scholars and Court watchers were all expecting the law to be struck down but never imagined that it would be John Roberts that would save the bill. Now, instead of comparing Roberts to Warren Burger in the seventies or Earl Warren in the sixties, he turns out to be more like the conservatives' nemisis, David Souter, who considered resigning rather than serve on a court that could approve Bush v Gore. Judge Roberts' principled stand motivated the Executive Director of Families USA, Ron Pollack, to write, "It has taken close to a century to enact meaningful healthcare reform. Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the law, it will become a living reality for all Americans very soon."
So the battle lines have been drawn. Mitt Romney promises to "Repeal and replace Obamacare," only he doesn't say with what. The individual mandate was, after all, Mitt's baby. Now he treats it like a bastard lovechild. In Massachusets, meanwhile, 98 percent of its citizens are covered because of Romneycare's individual mandate, highest in the nation, and they seem to like it. I don't particularly like the government telling me that I have to buy something either, but health insurance is something I have long tried to purchase, but have been denied. The mandate is the only way within the current system that healthcare becomes affordable and available to all. Let's face it, health insurance is just another racket invented by greedy capitalists to skim cash from hospitals and the lucrative medical testing industry. Ever wonder why your aspirin costs ten dollars a tablet in the hospital but only seven bucks a bottle in the gift store? Insurance companies are the ones that are getting in-between you and your doctor, but it's a revenue producer, so the corporatists have to convince you with lies that, "Obamacare is a govenment takeover of healthcare," and that the government will now dictate your medical preferences. The government is only enriching the insurance companies by providing them with 33 million new customers, but that's better left unsaid. Currently, this is the way the game is played. If you want decent healthcare you need to buy insurance, at least until the people wake up and ask, "Why?"