At the end of the day yesterday, the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation sent a dispatch from its president, Brook Rawlings, reacting to the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act.
"Make no mistake," Rawlings wrote. "This outcome is a net negative for every Texan -- and every American -- concerned with liberty and prosperity." Never mind that many of the millions of Texans who will have health coverage because of the law presumably also value liberty and prosperity. This is an ongoing battle for freedom.
We are in for the long haul. We understand what the Supreme Court has done. But we are not defeated. You see, we've been here before. We are Texans. We know what it's like to be in the most dire straits. Our forefathers held the line -- and lost -- at Refugio, San Patricio, Agua Dulce, Coleto, and the Alamo.
So, the fight against the health care law equivalent is being compared to an armed insurrection? Others used language that was slightly less martial. Rick Perry called the decision "a stomach punch to the American economy." Comptroller Susan Combs called it an "attack on personal liberty."
Tyler Rep. Louie Gohmert, "visibly angry," at least steered clear of overtly violent imagery on the steps of the Supreme Court.
When in the course of human events it becomes clear that you have people who will not follow the law, it's time to use orderly methods set forth in the Constitution to remove them from their offices, and get people who will abide by their oaths.
Then he called Obama and Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan liars and called for an investigation of the latter.
The overblown rhetoric isn't particularly surprising given the tone of the debate over the past two years, but I was naive enough to expect that the Supreme Court's decision on health care would inspire a brief round of bloviation but ultimately quiet the debate, allow Texas to get around to implementing the insurance exchanges it's been dragging its feet on and deciding whether to implement.
Instead, it looks like there will be an concerted and painfully prolonged effort by Republicans to repeal the law despite the fact that, with the makeup of the Senate what it is, the chances of that happening are nil.
The Affordable Care Act is deeply flawed. It's a messy compromise that completely satisfies no one, it doesn't really solve ballooning healthcare costs, and it's a windfall for insurance companies. But it's not a step toward communism, it's not going to kill the economy, and it's not an assault on personal liberty. So it's time to take a deep breath and move on.
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