I had a history teacher who used to say that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to—but you should be prepared to face the consequences. He was usually talking about homework assignments, but there was always an implied message of the responsibility of rebellion: Defy the powers that be if you must, but always be aware of the results that will follow. In the wake of all of the nationwide protests over Obamacare, my teacher’s words remain prudent advice.
A number of GOP governors have publicly stated that they will ignore the recent Supreme Court Decision or refuse to implement the bill in whole or in part. I’m not yet buying it. You see, there’s a cynical little man that lives inside my skull that’s telling me this is nothing more than election year posturing designed to gin up their constituents. I doubt that any of these politicians have seriously thought this through.
Frankly, I would support such a defiant move, but I’d also suggest that a few governors put their heads together and discuss some strategy, tactics and a full range of possible scenarios. I’m not convinced that anything like that has occurred yet. Take a stand, yes, but make sure you completely understand the consequences before you refuse to back down.
A strong leader knows the difference between battles worth fighting and battles best avoided. And such leaders must choose wisely in deciding when to fight. I hope to heck that there are a few GOP leaders that are willing to see a bigger picture beyond cheap campaign gimmicks.
20 years ago, I recall predicting that if the US ever had a political crisis that threatened the integrity of the nation, it would begin at the Supreme Court. The Constitution devoted only a small portion of the overall document in defining the judicial branch. Only three paragraphs (Article Three) out of roughly a half a dozen pages specifically cover the duties and function of the Court. I reasoned that this lack of detail would allow the Supreme Court to alter and enhance its powers. The Founders might have been astonished to find the extent to which the Judicial Branch has evolved over 200 years.
The recent SCOTUS decision on Obamacare is stark evidence that the judicial branch has pushed the envelope toward a national crisis. While I’m not yet convinced that we’re witnessing the proverbial straw that breaks Uncle Sam’s back, we could very well be watching a preview of coming attractions.
I can envision a flashpoint scenario that begins with a Supreme Court decision of a magnitude so outrageous that a number of states choose to defy it. Should the situation remain unresolved, government entities on both a federal and state level will be compelled to consider extraordinary and unprecedented measures. Political factions will join the conflict, and citizens will begin to choose sides— in short, civil war.
It’s too early to fully grasp the ramifications of the 6-28-12 SCOTUS decision. Reasoned analysis will take days, weeks, and months. For now everyone seems to be asking, “How bad was this decision for the future of America?”
My first reaction was a flash of history. In Germany, March 1933, Parliament passed the Enabling Act, by a vote of 444–94. It changed the Weimar Constitution to allow Hitler’s government to pass laws without parliamentary debate. From that point onward the country was a dictatorship, and Hitler’s regime was now the law of the land. And it all happened under the auspices of German law.
Thankfully, we haven’t gotten to that point yet. But we’re certainly one step closer. And keep in mind that totalitarian regimes don’t have to take the form of a blustery military coup, marching into the capitol to the tune of glorious revolution. Should the US become a genuine tyrannical regime, it will evolve in subtle increments, appearing benevolent all the while, welcomed with smiles and open arms. Then one day we’ll wake up, look around and say, “Wha hoppin?”