Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Harkin, Health Care, the Constitution and Sith

Usually, I avoid listening to much in the way of politics on the weekend (as they tend to rerun shows from the week during the afternoon.  But I was on my way home from a family gathering, including my uncle who was up from Texas for a visit, with the warm glow of my father's coveted deer stew in my belly (and more in a container which fed me today), when I flipped the radio on to hear Glenn Beck who, due to the fact that the weekday roster on my local FM talker is full already, is only run on weekends.  So since the kids were bundled and settled in, the drive home was only 20 minutes, and I was too lazy to turn the dial (and hear mostly crap) or break out a CD (as I was all drowsy all day (until I tried to go to bed)), I relented and listened in for a bit.

Now despite my assessment that Beck ain't quite right in the head no matter how right he may be on any particular issue (of course, I ain't quite right, but that's what makes me cute), I was absolutely tuned in to the point I was finishing his sentences on this.  And I don't even listen to him often enough to be that keyed in.  Here was the clip that did it:

(Note to Beck: You don't have this clip (the right one) on your site. And the best I could find is a serious lip sync nightmare.)

Let's just get that clip in print so we can chew on it:

(another note:  While I listened to Beck go off on this on Sunday, I haven't read past pulling the quote and correcting it.    And like I said, I was firing off my thoughts two days ago as Beck blasted out his.  So what follows, I do with only a bit of memory of what I heard then while driving.  Any similarity is because he's almost 1/10th as smart (and egomaniacal) as I.)

What this bill does is we finally take that step. As our leader said earlier, we take that step from healthcare as a privilege to healthcare as an inalienable right of every single American citizen.

*big-assed loud buzzer*

Wrong-o. And if you missed it, the problem is with the use of the term "inalienable right." An inalienable right is a right that has always existed since the creation of Man, and the responsibility of the government to secure. In other words, a government does not grant the right. If you look at the rights outlined in the Bill of Rights, they are merely codification of the inalienable rights: life, liberty pursuit of happiness (property). You have the right to seek health care now. You don't have the right to take from others to pay for that health care. To make health care a "right" you have to take the rights of another away. The problem is that we've been doing this in other places for most of the last century (starting with FDR).

And as I said before, this bill is not complete. I've used the analogy of a starter home in which we can add additions and enhancements as we go into the future...

Note to Joe Lieberman (who killed the government option), Ben Nelson (who killed abortion funding), and every other Democrat that was bought off to pass the travesty: The point of this bill is to get the framework in place to eventually pass the government option, then give the government absolute control, which includes paying for those reproductive rights.  So if you tried to strip the bad stuff out of the bill, you merely delayed it. So if you're not a fan of Imperial government health care, you can't justify voting for this, because it's that step.

...but like every right that we've ever passed for the American people...,

Whoa, Nelly!  You can stop right there, because you just pissed on the concept of an inalienable right.  YOU DO NOT PASS (CREATE) RIGHTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!  If you missed your Constitutional history lesson (something we should force members of Congress to sit through every two years), the inalienable rights were so self-evident that they didn't even write them into the Constitution.  They just specified the few powers that resided with the federal government.  And when they did amend it to codify the rights secured by the government for the people, there were ten Amendments that were all about protecting the rights of the individual from the federal government.  In fact, the Tenth Amendment was specific in securing all powers not specified in the Constitution or the amendments to reside with the states or with the people.

That doesn't mean that the only rights that exist are those specified (Ninth Amendment), but that the role of the federal government is to secure the rights that people have always had as free individuals.

...we revisit it later to enhance and build on those rights...,

Ditto the above you asshats!  The purpose of the federal government is NOT to create and add to rights.  It is merely to secure those rights that already exist.  And it is in creating "rights" that require the government to take the rights of others away (in the form of property (money)) that we move from the model of a limited federal government with the purpose of empowering individuals to the Imperial federal government that adds powers as they see fit.

This brings me to my Revenge of the Sith part of the post (because everything I learned, I learned from Star Wars (except writing dialogue that doesn't suck ass)).  I broke out Episodes I-III this weekend (saving the best (original trilogy) for last.  And one thing that I am reminded of is the ascent of Emperor Palpatine.  For clarification, I don't believe Obama is a Sith Lord pulling every string to gain absolute power over everything because he's a big evil dude (despite the fun with photoshop that a Google image search for 'emperor obama star wars' produces).  But one thing that always struck me was that, despite being called the Republic, every character referred to it as a "democracy."

If you missed it, this country is not a democracy!  The Founding Fathers were damned intentional in not creating a democracy.  Because today's democracy is tomorrow's angry mob rule.  And democracy always eats itself alive.  It's the same with socialism, which futilely strives toward a "classless society."  A nice sounding goal, but in a classless society, how do you decide things?  Majority?  And if the majority decides that one minority is a cancer on the world (Jews, blacks, etc)?

This is why we were set up as a Constitutional representative republic.  We were set up to elect leaders who work within specific limitations to handle those things that we as individuals or communities or states could not handle (defense, interstate commerce, etc).  We lost that idea somewhere along the way, and now we have politicians who believe they are the the source of all rights (as exemplified by the inaccurate Sen Harkin above.).

In essence (and to get back to the comparison to Sith), we continue to let our representatives invest more and more power in the Imperial Federal Government (whatever flavor (Dem or GOP) is running the show), and soon we may find that "the 'democracy' we thought we were protecting no longer exists and we become the very thing we are fighting." (note: a quote from Sith that I'm pulling from memory, so if it ain't exact....)

And also unlike the movie, a hottie senator isn't going to squat out a couple of Jedi rugrats to save the country in 20 years.  Of course, knowing the Star Wars extended universe as I do, it's not as easy as letting Ewoks kick the Empire's ass.

In other words, it would be best not to keep giving the government emergency powers (like Imperial control over our health care) in the first place.


Name: Soapboxgod said...

Hmmm. A right you say? Perhaps it is time for Harkin to be educated on what exactly defines a right.

A right cannot be violated except by physical force. One man cannot deprive another of his life, nor enslave him [in an attempt to get him to provide a service (i.e., healthcare)], nor forbid him to pursue his happiness, except by using force against him. Whenever a man is made to act without his own free, personal, individual, voluntary consent—his right has been violated.

dmarks said...

Harkin and those like him are so uninformed. They do not defend actual rights, such as the freedom to do things, and instead make up fake "rights" to be greedy and steal from others.