Thursday, October 10, 2013

Willful Ignorance

George F. Will has the remarkable ability to say something really stupid but coat it with a layer of intellectualism.  For example, this interview yesterday morning on NPR.

In an interview with NPR’s “Morning Edition,” host Steve Inskeep asked Will about President Barack Obama’s argument that Republicans are short-circuiting the system by using government funding and the debt ceiling as leverage to dismantle Obamacare, rather than repealing the law outright.

“How does this short-circuit the system?” Will said. “I hear Democrats say, ‘The Affordable Care Act is the law,’ as though we’re supposed to genuflect at that sunburst of insight and move on. Well, the Fugitive Slave Act was the law, separate but equal was the law, lots of things are the law and then we change them.”

Yes, we did change the law… through the legislative or judicial process, not by holding the government hostage with threats of financial ruin.  That’s short-circuiting the system.

There have been ample opportunities to dismantle Obamacare.  The House has tried to repeal it more than forty times, but the bills don’t go anywhere if the Senate doesn’t pass it and the president doesn’t sign it because that’s how the system works.  The Supreme Court weighed in and left it largely intact.  There was a presidential election where one candidate said he would repeal the law on his first day in office — thereby revealing that he didn’t understand the system, either.  None of it worked, so yes, that’s the law and it’s still the law.

We’re not genuflecting at the sunburst of insight of Obamacare; we’re honoring the system of laws and procedure that we’ve had in place for over two hundred years.  (By the way, I’m sure it was entirely unintentional that Mr. Will cited two laws that impacted African-Americans when talking about repealing a law that is the hallmark of the country’s first African-American president.  Right.)