Thursday, March 11, 2010

Command and Control

This morning, I had the odd experience of agreeing with Larry Elder for upwards of three seconds, thanks to the first line of his latest column:

The most disturbing part of the ObamaCare debate is not about where Republicans and Democrats disagree, but where they agree.
I'd been pondering a post on the very same topic, so imagine my chagrin when I found that Elder had beaten me to it.

After reading a little further, though, it became clear that Elder and I don't quite see eye to eye.
Take this issue of those with pre-existing illnesses. Many Republicans actually support government action to prevent insurance companies from refusing to insure them.
"Many"? If you say so.

What should these apostates be doing instead? Insisting that "free market competition" will solve every problem worth solving, natch. 'Cause when you're wondering how to provide affordable health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions, the logical solution is to cling tighter than ever to the very ideology that forbids it. And if that doesn't pan out for some reason, there's always charity, to say nothing of prisons and workhouses and a tough but fair cleansing of the gene pool.

Elder knows all this as well as he knows anything, so it's no wonder he recoils from the grudging concessions a few Republicans have made to our common humanity as though he's being sprinkled with Holy Water.
On the 10th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law by his father, Bush bragged about the law's importance and effectiveness. That such an assault on private employers engenders praise says much about the GOP's acceptance of federal government's command and control.
Yes, an assault! What else would you call it when the Nanny State won't let you discriminate against some useless fucking cripple in favor of a hot chick with plenty o' thems 'n' those? That able-bodied citizens should find themselves squirming in the cold prosthetic fist of "Americans with Disabilities" is a crime not just against Teh Constitution -- which clearly prohibits stuff like this, somewhere or other -- but also against Nature itself. Besides, if Big Government rewards this sort of carelessness with gainful employment, what's to stop cynical opportunists from sawing off their own feet, in order to outmaneuver honest people who demand no special privileges other than those bestowed upon them by fate?

You probably remember being driven stark raving mad, over the last few months, by the Right's mandrake shrieking about death panels and socialism and the deficit and Obama's secret plan to boil Grandma down into Patchouli-scented soap. Curiously, Elder seems to have missed all that, perhaps because he was down in his bone-strewn subterranean lair, torturing puppies with an oxy-acetylene torch.
Are Republicans sounding the alarm about government's present intrusion in health care and its counterproductive effect on quality, affordability and accessibility? Government, they should argue and persuade, grows at the expense of the productive.
Interesting idea. I wonder if they'll take his advice?

In summation:
A collectivist, whether an active or passive one, is still a collectivist.
The most disturbing part of the debate is not where Republicans and Democrats disagree, but where they agree.

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