We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The main reason Maggie's Farm exists as a 25-30% political site instead of as a 0% political site is to assert what we consider our Yankee views of freedom. We assume that governments, having nothing better to do, will seek to accumulate power and money. That's what organizations tend to do.
For each smidgen of accumulated government power, a smidgen is lost to the citizen. Power, unlike wealth, is a zero-sum game. It only seems to ratchet in one direction with the State as the beneficiary. We had a revolution about that sort of thing against our (then) democratic Parliament.
Variously attributed to Tom Paine, Tom Jefferson, and Tom Hank Thoreau: “That government is best which governs least.” Indeed, We The People are not retarded, and many of us do not have the submissive genes which the benevolent welfare state welcomes or requires.
The Obamacare argument is, or will be, that medical insurance is a uniquely "necessary and proper one." However, I could make the same argument for legal care, or housing-repair care, or auto insurance, or anything else that seems important at a given moment.
The argument that government power grabs are well-intentioned, or "good," or "for the greater good" is a non-argument to me as an American. We were designed to be a nation of sturdy and proud people, unlike our European ancestors. They think we're rubes: we think they are lame.
As we often remark here, the Libs, the Progressives, and the Left never introduce freedom arguments into debates (unless it involves sex). We put freedom factors into policy equations, and they do not. That's the basic difference.
For the Court, and especially Kennedy, this issue of healthcare being "different" is indeed the essence. By now, we've all heard his comment from yesterday saying this power grab by the Federales requires a showing that the need for the power is both extraordinary and unique. Somehow the government forgot the fig leaf of a limiting principal in building their argument, and so there was a lot of back and forth on where the Feds are willing to limit themselves for the nonce, but he sounded ready to accept the claim that health care is different.
Why is it different? I mean, other than because it's the chosen lever, what about the industry makes it so different from food production, or industrial management, or political party management? Nothing looks different to me, but maybe the Court has had the government explain what is so damn special about healthcare and the explanation escaped my notice. I hope they aren't just accepting the characterization, untested! This same rationale can be seamlessly applied to a total undoing of all our freedoms, as far as I can tell. After all, everyone needs food to live, jobs to earn income, nd politics does on occasion roil the citizenry. If the gov controls the one, healthcare, why should it not control them all?
Aren't we seeing an argument for totalitarian government, calmly laid out and seriously being considered?
"what about the industry makes it so different from food production, or industrial management, or political party management? Nothing looks different to me"
Precisely right. Some on the Court are desperately seeking more "penumbras" and "emanations" in the Constitution in order to save Obamacare from the rejection it richly deserves if one has the good sense to adhere to the plain words of our nation's founding documents. It's a damn good thing the oral arguments before the Court are not being televised. I've heard more perceptive, piercing back-and-forth argumentation at my local pub. It's almost embarrassing to be witness to these proceedings, if only through second-hand reports.