The government shutdown engineered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama has led to consequences neither envisioned. From watching centenarian World War II veterans storming the “Barrycades” to enter the World War II Memorial on the National Mall, to seeing Leader Reid respond “Why would we want to do that?” to a question about helping kids with cancer, to watching the Obamacare enrollment website forcibly be taken offline to address a swarm of bugs and glitches, to the publicly released Obamacare hotline phone number: 1-800-FUCK-YO.
The problem of course is a simple one. No one wants Obamacare. It polls well below 50% in nearly every single poll. Democrats, especially committed Liberals and Leftists love the idea of Obamacare- The Federal Government taking charge of 1/6 of the American economy, making decisions on behalf of citizens, imposing judgement based on ideology. But they don’t want to actually have to live under it. That’s why they’ve had to change it half a dozen times since it passed into law. That’s why a 2,700 page bloated tumor of legislation metastasized into a 20,000 page undead monster. That’s why the Democrat-led Congress took steps to ensure it was exempted from Obamacare.
When Republicans, led by Senator Ted Cruz tried to take steps to de-fund, delay and repeal Obamacare from being implemented, those same democrats rose up, shrieking like harpies that the sky was falling. As Brandon Crocker states so elegantly and simply in his recent piece, “His Imperial Presidency“:
According to Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, no one in the legislative branch has any business trying to change anything regarding Obamacare because “it is the law.” Obamacare would not pass today. It would not have passed two years ago. It only became law because Obama’s election in 2008 ushered in short-lived Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate including a “super-majority” in the Senate, which allowed the Democrats to ram the legislation through even though no one was given a chance to read it, let alone understand it (in Nancy Pelosi’s famous words, Congress had to pass it in order to see what was in it). Even then, it only made it through Congress due to political gamesmanship. As a direct result of public opposition to this legislation, Democrats promptly lost the House and nearly lost the Senate. Yet Harry Reid says this piece of legislation is so sacrosanct that Republicans are “insane” to try to change it?
Even Labor Unions don’t want Obamacare as it stands now. They have come to the exact same conclusion as Conservatives: Obamacare is really, really bad for middle-class, 40-hour-a-week workers, the kind of people on whom the Obama administration turned its backs during the 2012 election.
Obamacare waivers are a dime-a-dozen, with Congress, many businesses, organizations and even states having been exempted from the law, it becomes clear rather quickly that were the law applied indiscriminately, the country would collapse in a smoking ruin. In defense of the effort by Republicans to delay, de-fund or repeal Obamacare, the great Thomas Sowell offers the following words of wisdom from his recent article, “Who Shut Down the Government?”:
Obamacare is indeed “the law of the land,” as its supporters keep saying, and the Supreme Court has upheld its Constitutionality.
But the whole point of having a division of powers within the federal government is that each branch can decide independently what it wants to do or not do, regardless of what the other branches do, when exercising the powers specifically granted to that branch by the Constitution.
In short, the Republican-led House of Representatives doesn’t just a right to challenge the legitimacy and permanence of Obamacare. It is their Constitutional duty. Not only were they in the right to fight against its implementation, they were doing the will of the American people.
Obamacare is a poorly-crafted piece of legislation, dictated by one ideologically-driven party and imposed inequitably upon a citizenry that did not ask for it, does not want it, and is actively campaigning to overturn and eliminate it. That scenario is the definition of tyranny. The choice facing America is a simple and stark one. Do we allow a self-imposed collapse to continue, or do we turn around and find a better way?
If the choice is up to Reid and Obama, it may well be too late.
Vladimir Davidiuk | University of St. Thomas | @VladDavidiuk