Does it seem that the GOP is stumbling around like a bull in a china shop? Well, actually no, because a bull in a china shop actually does something even if destructive. The GOP just seems ineffectual – whether we are looking at immigration, national defense, impending financial disaster, or medicine. And I finally get the reason. Whereas the DNC pushes its agenda forward unencumbered by the principles of the Constitution, the Republicans mouth words and pretend to be constitutionalists, then fail to apply the principles.
When I hear "Repeal and Replace" applied to Obamacare I scream at the Internet screen, "No! Just repeal! Don't replace!" Because the truth is, the federal government has no authority, no enumerated power to regulate, pay for, or involve itself in medical care in any way whatsoever. And therein lies the problem for the GOP.
If you believe, as does the DNC, that the "General Welfare" clause allows the government to do anything it wants in the name of the people (especially for the children), then neither Obamacare nor Medicare/Medicaid gives you a moment of pause. But if you are the GOP and you even mention the lack of constitutional authority for Obamacare, you are on thin ice. For years you have been authorizing all sorts of other federal government medical programs – e.g., Medicare and Medicaid – founded on theft and redistribution, which are also unconstitutional. That's a problem the GOP doesn't want to face.
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In medical politics and hospital governance, we have a saying. "If you have a policy, follow the policy." The way hospitals get into legal trouble with staff is to have a policy and then make exceptions or act contrary to the written, stated policy. So, too, the Constitution. The government started out with a good document. It may not have been perfect, but it is consistent with the preservation of individual liberty. However, when you consistently violate the principles in any way, you have no recourse to reign in others' violations. You can't maintain liberty in big ways when you violate the principles, even in small ways.
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To be fair, the GOP did not originally give us government medicine. That credit goes to the '60s Dems led by President Lyndon Johnson. But since the 1960s, Republicans, almost to a man/woman, have consistently voted for Medicare/Medicaid funding, lending credibility to these programs. And as years have passed, both elected representatives and the American people have accepted government medicine as the norm. Most young people today have no memory of free-market medicine with $4 office visits and house calls. Americans no longer remember how we built the world's finest medicine without government, nor how we took care of the poor more cost effectively prior to Medicaid.
Imagine for a minute a different world in which a GOP with backbone and sense of history had consistently stood its ground and voted "no" for any funding of government medicine (and hopefully all other tax-and-spend theft). Where would we be now? We probably would not have Obamacare – we probably wouldn't have Obama – but I digress. But if Obamacare did exist, the GOP would, today, be perfectly consistent in opposing it on constitutional grounds. Instead, after violating the Constitution for so many years, it rings a little hollow for the GOP to suddenly invoke the Constitution (not to mention the principles of American liberty) on Obamacare today. The Republican Party has become like a Prohibitionist from the '20s who preached against liquor but ran an illegal "speakeasy" because, on practical terms, he needed the income that came from alcohol sales.
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I've always wanted to ask my GOP senator, Charles Grassley, what goes through his mind every six years when he takes an Oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. As a Navy officer, I took that oath, and I meant it. Do these guys just robotically mouth the words? Do they even think it means anything? What a disservice they have done to all the brave men and women like Chris Kyle who risk their lives daily for those principles.
Lenin, Kaiser Wilhelm and others believed that medicine was key to solidifying government power. This issue is not just about medicine. This is about the future of America and our liberty. I don't expect the Democratic Socialists of America and others in the DNC to support individual freedom, but how sad that the party that purports to stand for American liberty is selling it out at every turn. As Charlie Reese once wrote, "There's no dishonor in being forced by a superior power into slavery, but it is an eternal disgrace to voluntarily surrender one's liberty for a filthy bowl of oatmeal and promise of security by liars."