Nocturnal battle

Monday, April 2, 2012

Screw you, I got mine.

I watched Van Jones on Bill Maher the other night and he alleged that Judge Scalia made some pretty awful comments during the recent health care testimony.

"You know what’s worse and I’m surprised no one has made a big deal about, Scalia himself said maybe the idea that we help people when they’re sick we should get away from. He joined the let them die caucus.”

Now I tried to find a record of Scalia saying anything like that and I can not. He said some pretty noxious and ludicrous things but I think that Jones' paraphrasing takes certain liberties with the truth.

There was an instance I found when Solicitor General Verrilli tried to explain the need for the provision that is revealing.

"Free riders, Verrilli explained, will refuse to pay and still get treated at a much greater cost because we have “obligated ourselves so that people get health care.” Scalia responded, “Well, don’t obligate yourself to that.”

I would like to point out that there were several moments in the debate that really gave me cause for concern. This is one of them. The other was when it became apparent that the justices didn't understand that the way insurance works is the healthy people's premiums pay for the sick people's. You pay and hope you don't get sick. Sounds socialist and all but that is how the insurance game works. You don't just pay a high premium right before you walk  in the hospital door. That is why we call it insurance.

It appears that we are fundamentally challenging the notion of what it means to be an American when we start asking these questions, they threaten the very fulcrum of the American society that we have grown up in.  Reset to the Ron Paul debate where the crowd cheered when he said that we ought to let people die. The conservative thrust is to try to tear down every last fibre of the safety net that protects not only the moochers but also our very young and very old, all the while cutting revenue from the rich and giving more money to defense then they even asked for, you know the generals can't be telling the truth.

One of the questions in the bible that is left open and never really adequately answered is the question asking us if we are indeed our brother's keeper? I thought that it was one that we had actually maybe figured out.  The court and the conservatives in our society are trying to tear down ever facet of the New Deal and the Great Society that has ever been instituted post great depression.

The reality is that the smart money says that all of these haves or someone in their immediate family will happen to find themselves on the outside looking in some day, maybe through no fault of their own. Welcome to the side of the havenots, what was that you said about dishing out that tough love?

This carnal, feudal, vicious world that they long for is a denigration of our humanity, against our sense of fairness and compassion and much of the basic tenets of what I thought it meant to be an american. Back to dog eat dog. A great society is one that takes care of the weakest amongst us. I know that I am screwed up but I just can't stop believing that.

No comments: