Words of Wisdom - Jump, Little Children (mp3)
Can't Nobody Love You - Solomon Burke (mp3)
Baby Alligator - Red Pens (mp3)
Here's what we know and what I believe after the Supreme Court's decision, handed down Wednesday, supporting the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
FACT: A vast majority of people in our country have no clue about ObamaCare. Most couldn't even tell you what the actual act's name was, what it does or doesn't do, or when and how it will be implemented. Most people seem only capable of parroting back whatever they were told by their favorite political talking heads, yet they manage to do so in even more dumbed-down and inaccurate ways.
A stroll through my Facebook stream is like swimming in a sea of blissful ignorance coupled with rabid judgmentalism. People decrying or celebrating something they know painfully little about, something that for the most part has yet to even taken effect. More Americans could tell you about the NCAA's new approach to determining a national football champion and when it's scheduled to take effect than they could accurately describe even five key facts about ObamaCare.
BELIEF: The odds have increased that ObamaCare will cost the President his chance at reelection. Anyone who believes the decision was a victory for Obama or elected Democrats in the legislative branches is thinking woefully short-term. More than a handful of Presidents promised to address our nation's healthcare problem but never could. Obama got a ball rolling that many thought was impossible. Rarely does such an accomplishment come without serious political cost.
FACT: Republicans created the notion of the "individual mandate." Republicans supported the idea right up to the point when Obama "reached across the aisle" and incorporated it as the centralizing concept of his own healthcare plan.
BELIEF: The Affordable Care Act is highly flawed, and our country will be better off if our bipolar assclown politicians can work together to drastically improve or redirect it in ways that builds greater support, both from healthcare professionals and the millions of citizens struggling to afford basic care. What history will acknowledge, in the long run, is that the Affordable Care Act was the crucial first step, the lynchpin, in fixing a system everyone recognized as breaking if not broken.
FACT: If Obama is a "liar" -- Sarah Palin's words, although plenty of others have parroted them -- for saying ObamaCare is not a tax, then Romney is equally a liar for having implemented the same thing in Massachusetts while claiming to have never raised taxes. Both are liars. As opposed to all other politicians, who are upstanding, honest, and sincere in all ways and at all times, none moreso than Sarah friggin' Palin.
Only one person won a decisive and indisputable victory in the Supreme Court's decision about the Affordable Care Act: Chief Justice John Roberts. I don't say this to gloat, or because "my side" won. I celebrate for the forest's victory over the trees.
The Supreme Court was on the verge of being considered a mockery, just one more part of the political machine. If your side loses in legislation, then so long as your side selects a majority of those nine judges, you can still control the biggest outcomes. Every election cycle, both sides say just that in their commercials: The Judges Are Everything, politically speaking.
But most of us know that our entire system depends on these judges not being steered solely and absolutely on the basis of political ideology. The system needs one of the three branches to be above the whims of voters, to be above the whims of opinion polls, to be above the lobbyists and special interests and elected officials. Unlike the Attorney General, who serves first and foremost the President, the Supreme Court serve the Constitution and the United States as an entity. The system over the people.
Chief Justice Roberts split the proverbial baby. He sided with the generally liberal judges, but he did so with a ruling, which he got to write, that was brilliantly nuanced. And what it ultimately said was that legislators created this problem; legislators would have to fix it. Stop looking to the Supreme Court to fix every last frappin' political hurdle the other side constructs. But he did so in a way that prevented the educated liberal from claiming "total victory."
FACT: This is the first time I ever recall landing in the same boat, philosophically or politically, with Charles Krauthammer. It's not a word-for-word agreement by any stretch, but I'm going to celebrate this miracle moment by linking to his Washington Post column.
BELIEF: I'm probably going to hell for agreeing in any way with Charles Krauthammer. I must now go pray for my eternal soul.