Sunday, June 24, 2012

Obamacare: The groundhog day

I've recently re-read an old novel by the very popular Russian science-fiction writers, the Strugatsky brothers. The name of the novel is "The details of Nikita Vorontsov's life". It's a story of a man, who keeps reliving his life over and over and over. You may ask - how is this different from the "Groundhog Day"? Well, for starters, "The details..." was published in 1984, while the "Groundhog day" was shown to the public in 1993. Secondly, Nikita Vorontsov has to relive his life from the age of 14 to 54. Unlike Phil Connors, who was busy taking piano lessons, eating dinners and seducing women, Vorontsov spent 40 years in the USSR - from the year of Big Terror of 1937, through the Great Patriotic War with Germany, another bout of Stalin's horrors after the war, the rule of Khrushev and Brezhnev. One can easily guess that Connors had a somewhat more comfortable, although shorter life. But more importantly, the Russian novel was written by the Russian authors - and that resulted in one important difference - the complete absence of American optimism.

I remember long time ago, maybe in 1989 or whereabouts, I was reading a review of an American movie in a Russian newspaper. I will try to quote the relevant portion of the article him my memory as closely as I can - but mind you, it was many years ago. It went something like this: "The main characters find themselves in a situation with no way-out. But it's an American movie, so a "situation with no way-out", simply means the main hero needs to work hard to find the way-out - while in Russia, "no way-out" means there is no way-out, and there is no point in looking for one."

The novel offers no happy ending to Nikita Vorontsov - he is destined to repeat his life over and over again, and there is no way-out for him. He is permanently stuck in the horrors of the communist regime for all eternity - and he has to relive the dread of knowing about the coming war, as well as the future deaths of his friends and close relatives. There are, of course, what you would call "romantic episodes" - which actually start rather early - a 14 year old boy with all the knowledge and experience of an adult is bound to wreak havoc in high-school, but it's not a happy story.

There was one episode in the book that made a particular impression on me. Nikita's high-school friend recounts that they were routinely bullied by a group of "youths", who would take they money and beat them up for sheer fun. This was going on for about 2 or 3 years. One day the "youths" meet them on the way from school - and suddenly Nikita Vorontsov (an adult who relived his life for thousands of times, and who is now trapped in a 14 year old boy), instead of escaping, turns around and punches the group leader right in the nose. The "youths" are startled, and Nikita kicks another youth in the groin, grabs the third one by the hair and hits his head over the knee. The attackers finally regained their composure and beat him up to a bloody pulp - but this was the day when everything changed. From that day on, Nikita would try to ambush the "youths" when they were alone and beat them up. And this time it was different - Nikita was not fighting as a boy, his goal was not to insult them with his punches or show his superiority. Instead, he was "working on them" - inflicting as much physical pain as humanely possible. He caught the group leader in the lavatory, and was beating him up the entire lunch break - after the boy fell on the floor he continued kicking him with his feet, punching him in the face - the whole nine yards. Even the kids much older than Nikita were too horrified to try to stop him. Nikita's friend said that "such an ice-cold cruelty I have only seen later in the gangster movies - no-where else".

And this brings me to Obamacare and the Supreme Court deliberations. For the last half a century (if not even longer), the liberal judges treated our Constitution as toilet paper. They made decisions according to their own personal preferences with zero regard for people's opinion, precedence or the Constitution. But today, the situation has changed, and at least 4 of 9 judges care for the Constitution, and one judge is a liberal Republican - which is a far cry from a conservative, but still, better than the liberal alternative. The Court is supposed to announce its decision on Obamacare in the next few days, and the liberals are whining about the need for "judicial restraint", to be "moderate", to "follow the binding precedents" and the like. Patricia Williams, a law professor at Columbia University, described it thus:

"In the face of seven decades of precedent, the Supreme Court’s grant of certiori to six cases attacking the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act is an astonishing display of judicial activism. The decision to do so seems alarmingly consistent with the extremist philosophy of Clarence Thomas, who flatly does not believe in stare decisis. That the federal government’s power to regulate commerce is even being questioned is virtually inexplicable as a legal matter: the law deals with the $2.7 trillion health insurance industry, in a country in which 62 percent of all bankruptcies are occasioned by medical debt."

It goes without saying that the statistics on connection between bankruptcies and medical debt is utterly bogus - but that is a small peanuts, and I don't expect that Williams, who would be flipping burgers had she not benefited from racial preference policies our of colleges, to know the details. But most importantly - she never attempts to explain how can a person doing nothing be legally described as engaged in the "interstate commerce". As is customary, the left wants the Obamacare to be declared constitutional, and it does not matter what the logic, facts or the Constitution says.

Barack Obama, the self-proclaimed "legal scholar", and arguably the dumbest president in the US after-war history publicly announced that "
Ultimately I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.

All in all, this is the good old rehashing of the Brezhnev's principle - "What's mine is mine, what's yours is negotiable" - and the precedents be damned.

When I am reading the histrionics of the liberal class, my first instinct is that it won't be enough for the Supreme Court to declare the entire Obamacare unconstitutional. What I want is a hard blow, an ice-cold cruelty to make the American left understand their place. A simple 5-4 decision, based on a long and reasonable explanation why the "individual mandate" cannot be possibly considered to be part of the federal powers to regulate the "Interstate Commerce" is not sufficient. I believe the smack down of the Obamacare must be short and to the point, written in the language that the liberal can understand. Here is something that I think would send a message to the liberal class:

The right not to buy a medical insurance is a fundamental human right due to the penumbras which result from the emanations radiated by words of the 14th Amendment's Due Process Clause as well as the federal enumerated powers listed in the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) which are the Constitutional limitations on the federal powers. It is the decision of this court that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and is thus declared null and void. The pro-ACA side acknowledged that the "individual mandate" is inseparable from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and this Court has no choice but to declare ACA to be in violation of the Constitution and thus null and void.

If liberals thought that penumbras and emanations were a sufficient reason to declare abortions a Constitutionally protected right, if this sloppy legal reasoning is considered to be the binding legal precedent, then by God, conservatives must use the same argument to declare Obamacare unconstitutional. Obama is known for using violent rhetoric during his presidency. Here are just a few examples of his fascistic rhetoric:

If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard.
If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.
I want you to argue with them and get in their faces.
We’re gonna punish our enemies.
Our job is, keep our boot on [their] neck.

Well, it's time for conservatives to get in the faces of their enemies and punch back twice as hard. That's the way of the world. The only way we can make liberal elites to be more "empathatic" for conservative causes is to make them live with their own sloppy arguments.