Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – March 30, 2012

The very existence of the Affordable Health Care Act, known in Teapublican circles as “Obamacare”, is being argued before the United States Supreme Court. It appears that the G.O.Tea Party and its amen corner on the Court is ready to dismantle a system designed to enhance and save lives, with no alternative proposal. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney got all overheated and stuck in a Cold War time warp as he declared Russian the “number one global enemy of the United States”. And finally, as controversy surrounding the death of Trayvon Martin continues some people are speaking words that need to be spoken – for too many young black men the enemy is young black men.

Going Through the Motions

The Supreme Court of the United States had a reputation of being a nonpartisan forum for the resolution of legal issues of import. Ever since 2000 when the Supreme Court was explicitly complicit in the theft of a presidential election, there has been no doubt that on many issues jurisprudence has been swept aside in the name of naked partisanship.

But even in this era of supercharged bipartisanship the Teapublican jihad against the Affordable Healthcare Act is difficult to understand. The legislation itself is based largely upon a comprehensive healthcare proposal originally drafted by the very conservative and very Republican Heritage Foundation. And it was a Republican governor, none other than Mitt Romney (who was for universal healthcare until he was against it), who implemented the first (and only) universal healthcare plan in the country in the state of Massachusetts.

What is also difficult to understand is that the opposition to the Affordable Healthcare Act provides no alternative to solution. It is not as if 45 million uninsured Americans who will be covered by the current law will go away once they are stripped of the assurance of coverage that the law provides. And it is highly likely that without the mandate of law medical insurance companies will return to their practice of denying coverage for pre-existing illnesses and setting caps on benefits for Americans with catastrophic illnesses. And then what?

The fat and happy RobertsThomasAlitoScalia right wing of the right wing of the Supreme Court tosses out hypotheticals about mandatory funeral cost coverage and health club memberships as if this issue is some kind of moot court competition. And all the while they and their families have access to the best healthcare coverage on the planet. Meanwhile the game is already fixed and we know exactly how the RobertsThomasAlitoScalia gang will vote just as this gang (minus Roberts) knew that they were going to steal the 2000 presidential election.

The Teapublicans swear that their alternative to the Affordable Healthcare Act is not “let them die”. I wouldn’t bet my life (or yours) on it.

The Return of Dr. Strangelove

One of the great works of director Stanley Kubrick was “Dr. Strangelove” which featured a title character who was obsessed with the notion of going to war with the Soviet Union. In a Strangelovian reprise, Mitt Romney took time out from his trudging march towards the Teapublican nomination to refer to Russia as America’s “number one geopolitical enemy” – shades of the “Evil Empire”.

It would be a good idea if someone reminded Mr. Romney that the year is 2012 and not 1962 and that Russia, while not always a cheek and jowl ally, is hardly the “enemy”. It is one more country with competing interests to those of the United States. If every country that has competing interests is an “enemy”, the United States under President Mitt Romney is going to be an isolated, friendless and seriously weakened nation.

The Plague of Black Death

The killing of Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch vigilante highlights the precarious existence of young black men in these United States. Some commentators have focused on issues of racial profiling and the proliferation of weapons. And it is important that these concerns receive serious and continued attention.
It is, however, also important that a fact is recognized – young black men are killing young black men at genocidal rates in this country. The George Zimmermans and rogue police of this country can be clear and present dangers for young black men. Tragically, young black men are an even greater danger. It is a fact that must be acknowledged and addressed.

For every Trayvon Martin tragedy there are countless cases of nameless young men who are dying at the hands of their brothers. Fratricidal genocide must be addressed by any 21st century progressive agenda.

Have a great weekend!

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One thought on “Weekend Edition – March 30, 2012

  1. Wally,

    Thanks for making the point that we are most at risk from our own brothers. It is noteworthy that little is being done by the various institutions, e.g., schools of social work, altruistic foundations, to evaluate or otherwise work to alleviate this.

    JR

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