Obama Healthcare Bill (Not) Defeated

BLT shared this wonderful remake of a famous scene (when the media reported prematurely and incorrectly that “Dewey Defeats Truman”:

It was inspired by this bit of misreporting, which Jim West shared a screenshot of on his blog:

If you have been hiding under a rock somewhere and still don’t know what this is about, the news broke earlier today that the United States Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Obama healthcare reforms, known as the “Affordable Care Act.”

Most liberals – and pretty much everyone not indifferent to the situation of the poor – are pleased with the ruling – as are those who embrace mainstream science and medicineMany (but by no means all) conservatives are dismayed, and some will continue to rant about “socialism.” But if those conservatives actually knew anyone even merely with socialist leanings, they would know that such people will say that these reforms do not go nearly far enough.

Joel Watts kindly shared a link to the entire ruling.

Let me conclude with an image that puts this whole matter nicely in perspective:

Except, of course, that the new legislation does not in fact nationalize health care – a more thorough solution that the United States still seems not to be ready for.

  • Jim West

    you didn’t even read my ‘i hate government mandates’ post did you? you assumed the headline was the content. i think you should give it a real look.

    • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I was actually hoping that dismayed conservatives seeking a shoulder to cry on would click through to your blog and… Mwah ha ha!

  • Gary

    Cartoon should include 1935, Social Security, and 1965, Medicare. Grandma needs to go back to work to pay for her “pre-existing condition” of 80+, and get off the government dole. She might be able to get a job as Romney’s secretary. I am sure all the churches will be willing to pay for her healthcare, if Medicare didn’t exist. There is good socialism, and bad socialism.

  • Straw Man

    You’re entitled to your opinion! However, not everyone who objects to this legislation is a conservative, and nor is everyone who objects to this legislation “indifferent to the situation of the poor.” You’re setting up the false dichotomy that one must either share your positive opinion of this legislation, or else hate the poor and want to serve them for barbecue.

    • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Not at all. I said explicitly that some of us think that more radical change would address the issue of equal access to healthcare in a more effective way.

      • Straw Man

        I’m saying that some people oppose government healthcare who (1) are not Republicans, and (2) are very conscious of the plight of the poor, and believe their interests are harmed by this. In very broad terms, consider the VA hospital scandals, or the long waits for life-saving surgeries in Canada or the UK, but the case is more detailed and nuanced than this.

        Your reply ACCENTUATES what I’m talking about. You’re saying that one either wants government health care, or MORE government health care, or eats poor children on toast.

        • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

          I’m guessing you have not lived in the UK or Canada?

          Where did I say anyone eats poor children on toast? For someone whose nickname is “Straw Man” either you are missing the irony or your pseudonym is very appropriate.

          • Straw Man

            “Eating the poor on toast” is more colorful than “indifferent to the situation of the poor,” but captures the spirit: the only way to be absolved of the charge of being “indifferent to the situation of the poor,” without endorsing this legislation, is by complaining that it didn’t go far enough. To suggest that it’s completely the wrong sort of legislation, and something very different is what should have been done, makes one a “Republican” who is “indifferent to the situation of the poor.”

            I find it interesting that you are arguing the details rather than the larger concern that prompted this: you are saying that anyone who isn’t delighted by this is “indifferent to the situation of the poor,” unless his complaint is that he wanted even stronger legislation. That’s a significant charge against a large swath of humanity. It would seem more open-hearted, not to mention more aware of the complexity of others, to accept that some of those who oppose the legislation do so not because they are “indifferent to the situation of the poor.”

            Demonizing and dehumanizing the opposition is a good technique for winning conflicts, but it is not a good technique for coexisting at peace with your fellow man. As a liberal Christian, who has certainly heard plenty of times that by virtue of your position you “despise the Lord,” or variations on that theme, one would think you’d have a little more sensitivity.

            In a very small nutshell, the false tricotomy that you set up sounds like fundie-speak. Are you a theological liberal but a political fundamentalist?

            • Straw Man

              If it wasn’t clear, I’m not interested in arguing the pros and cons of the legislation. As one of the people who has objections to it, and NOT “that it doesn’t go far enough,” I’m only looking for respect as a fellow human which includes not being smeared as “indifferent to the situation of the poor,” based on a view that is sincerely held and that you can’t possibly know my reasons for without knowing me personally and having an extremely lengthy conversation.

              Sort of the way you want to be able to accept the truth of evolution, or the falsehood of young-earth creationism, or the hypothesis that the Pentateuch was redacted in Babylon, without being dismissed as a non-Christian.

              Indeed the path that led me to bump into your blog is that, within my own church, I am advocating “that brothers and sisters who believe common descent to be a fact, are no less Christian than the rest of us.” Simply that. I never asked for common descent to be added to our “doctrines to be believed.” I never even asked for a platform–I’ve advocated compromises where the subject is avoided in our major publications and venues. I never even asked for tolerance of people ADVOCATING evolution from the platform. I accept all sorts of repressive aspects of the church atmosphere, asking ONLY ONE concession: acknowledge that this view doesn’t make them “non-Christian,” nor is it evidence that they disbelieve in God, disrespect His word, or disbelieve that Genesis in particular is part of His word.

              I’m finding that it’s too much to ask for. Such brothers and sisters are expected to keep absolutely mum, sit through lectures that effectively demonize them as unbelievers, and in some cases are required to affirm that their belief in a six-day creation. Even in discussions geared at extracting an admission that everyone in the room is a Christian, the ones who accept common descent are described as unbelievers and worse. It’s not unlike watching women ask for equal rights in an organization, constantly fielding questions like, “So, what makes you girlies so unsatisfied with the way we run things around here?” I observe a complete lack of respect for one’s opponents as human beings.

              • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                I appreciate your effort to defend the acceptance of mainstream science among Christians, and I apologize if the intentionally provicative way I put things in this post seemed to simply close down discussion. I would very much like to hear your perspective on the health care issues facing our country, and what you feel that Christians ought to stand for in terms of health care and access to it. I am sure that I allowed my dismay at some of the hyped rhetoric about the “Obamacare” legislation among conservatives to provoke me to write in a manner that may not be entirely helpful. I would genuinely welcome hearing from a conservative whose reaction is not mere weeping and gnashing of teeth, but a vision of a better alternative.

                • http://www.patheos.com/community/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  Let me add that there is no way that I will intentionally attack you, since I know that it is fundamentally problematic to attack a Straw Man. :-)

  • http://digestofworms.blogspot.com/ admiralmattbar

    Americans knew what socialism was before there was socialism? That’s pretty impressive.

    • Straw Man

      I’m not specifically sure what legislation in 1790 is referred to. Compulsory education was not common in the US at that time. Massachusetts made it compulsory for towns to build a school and pay a teacher, starting around 1647, but did not make attendance mandatory. The purpose of the compulsory (to operate, but not attend) schools was of course to indoctrinate the kiddies with Puritanism. A secondary goal was to prepare the bright ones to go to Harvard and become divinity students.

      Not a bad illustration, actually: it’s possible to object to this law of the Massachusetts colony, without therefore being an advocate of child illiteracy.


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