As a moderate, your Uncle Dave and others like me may not like (to be kind) some of the things Obama and the left are doing, but with idiotic things like the birther movement, town hall screamers, death panels, religious wackos, Sarah and all the rest, the right is doing everything it can to ensure we want nothing to do with them or their policies. If they really have any anymore.

Something strange has happened in America in the nine months since Barack Obama was elected. It has best been summarised by the comedian Bill Maher: “The Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved to a mental hospital.”

The election of Obama – a black man with an anti-conservative message – as a successor to George W. Bush has scrambled the core American right’s view of their country. In their gut, they saw the US as a white-skinned, right-wing nation forever shaped like Sarah Palin.

When this image was repudiated by a majority of Americans in a massive landslide, it simply didn’t compute. How could this have happened? How could the cry of “Drill, baby, drill” have been beaten by a supposedly big government black guy? So a streak that has always been there in the American right’s world-view – to deny reality, and argue against a demonic phantasm of their own creation – has swollen. Now it is all they can see.

Since Obama’s rise, the US right has been skipping frantically from one fantasy to another, like a person in the throes of a mental breakdown. […] This tendency to simply deny inconvenient facts and invent a fantasy world isn’t new; it’s only becoming more heightened. It ran through the Bush years like a dash of bourbon in water. […] But the ordinary Republican base believe this stuff. They are being tricked into opposing their own interests through false fears and invented demons.

Read the rest of the article for a lot more of a pretty clear description of how crazy all this looks to the rest of the world.

  1. Uncle Dave says:

    For what it’s worth, while I called myself a moderate, that’s probably the wrong word. I don’t know what the right word is for someone who agrees with some of the Democrat’s policies and some of the Republican’s. I also wholly reject many of the Democrat’s policies and the same for many of the Republican’s.

    And I loath incompetent fools like Bush & Co. were.

    For business, I’m a devout capitalist who believes there need to be regulations to keep companies from straying into harming people and the planet. Think food testing, pollution controls, etc.

    For personal, I’m ultra liberal which is pretty much the same as libertarian in government keep out. No drug, sex, religious (prayer in schools, etc) and other ‘morality’ laws except to protect against harm to another (drunk driving, rape, etc).

    Fed government generally: Military (limited — no neocon fantasies), foreign affairs (no toppling governments to help business buddies, however), adjudicate between states, major projects that are too big for the states (interstate roads construction in the 50’s, space program, etc.) and mutually agreed upon other activities. That’s it.

    Government at all levels should, as an agent of a modern society, help people who can’t help themselves until they can. Compassion plus getting people back to being productive members of society. Freeloaders (including investment bankers bonuses) — fuck ’em.

    I could go on with a lot more, but my point is since I’m drawing from both sides I figure that puts me somewhere in the middle.

  2. bobbo, life's irritations can teach us says:

    #80–Unc Dave==I could draw the same description of myself, which is why I pay close attention to your disagreements.

    I think we are both budding Nazi’s, which is moderate compared to a fully mature Nazi.

  3. Thomas says:

    > Are certain Health Insurance
    > companies not allowed to
    > operate in certain states?

    Absolutely. An insurance company in CA for example, cannot sell insurance to someone in Georgia for example. There are many legal barriers setup by the States which make this impossible. There are a few pockets of States which have collaborated to allow interstate coverage but on the whole it simply isn’t possible for any insurance company to cover anyone from any State.

    The large insurance companies will set up subsidiaries in States in which they want to sell but then can only sell to constituents of those States. If anything, the current system is geared towards larger companies because they are the only ones big enough to setup multiple subsidiaries.

  4. Thomas says:

    Clearly you did not read your own article. There is no question that the Federal government has authority to REGULATE interstate commerce. Regulate is not at all the same as imposing a direct service. I have no doubt the Federal government will find a way of making this stick probably by withholding funds if the States do not accept their “choice”. The real issue is whether it should.

    Looking through the cases…

    Since Medicare was enacted in 1965, the cases of “Gibbons v Ogden” through “Heart of Atlanta Motel v US” have no direct bearing on whether the Federal government has the authority to impose a health care system on the States.

    RE: Maryland v. Wirtz (1968)

    This has nothing to do with challenging the Federal authority to regulate health care and in fact contains an interesting statement:

    “Thus, appellants’ characterization of the question in this case as whether Congress may, under the guise of the commerce power, tell the States how to perform medical and educational functions is not factually accurate”

    RE: Daniel v. Paul (1969)

    This case has nothing to do with whether the Federal government has the authority to provide direct health care services. It is entirely about civil rights.

    RE: Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority (1985)

    This case is about regulation of the State authorities and thus not relavant.

    RE: Gonzales v. Raich (2005)

    This relates to the Federal government’s authority to regulate drug traffic with this telling decision remark”

    “Respondents in this case do not dispute that passage of the CSA, as part of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, was well within Congress’ commerce power. Nor do they contend that any provision or section of the CSA amounts to an unconstitutional exercise of congressional authority. Rather, respondents’ challenge is actually quite limited; they argue that the CSA’s categorical prohibition of the manufacture and possession of marijuana as applied to the intrastate manufacture and possession of marijuana for medical purposes pursuant to California law exceeds Congress’ authority under the Commerce Clause.”

    And this from Judge Thomas:

    “If the Federal Government can regulate growing a half-dozen cannabis plants for personal consumption (not because it is interstate commerce, but because it is inextricably bound up with interstate commerce), then Congress’ Article I powers — as expanded by the Necessary and Proper Clause — have no meaningful limits.”

    Indeed. Anyway, this case has nothing to do with Medicare.


    Has nothing to do with questioning the Federal authority to enact Medicare. This has to do with whether illegal immigrants under the existing law can sue.

  5. Thomas says:

    RE: Landslide

    So, by your definition, 1992 was a landslide right? Even though more than half the people in the country voted against Clinton. Your sense of “landslide” is entirely warped by CA, NY and TX. If those States apportioned their electoral votes by population, the vote in 2008 would have been much closer. In fact, if just CA had done that in 2000, Bush would have won handily without Florida. As someone said, if you only win by 3%, that is not a landslide. When you win by 18% of the popular vote, THAT is a landslide.


    RE: Ad hominemn

    You do realize that was in reaction to ad hominem, right? Context m’boy, context. Learn to recognize it.

    > Nice fantasy, but the U.S.
    > hasn’t been a loose federation
    > in at least 140 years.

    Jefferson is rolling over in his grave. This is the reason the EU countries should be scared. This is where the EU is going: a single monolithic government imposing its will over local interests. As I said, it is time for a Constitutional Convention. First change, yank the elastic clause.

  6. Mr. Fusion says:

    #83, Thomas,

    I have to agree with Bobbo that your comments are very hollow. Totally without substance.

    Every case I noted has to do with the upholding of the Federal Government use of the Commerce Clause. Most of those cases end up stepping on the toes of local governments. You may not like it, but there they are.

    Oh, and if you were to challenge a Universal Health Insurance Plan in the Supreme Court, you would find those cases quoted by the Solicitor General as evidence that the Federal Government has the authority.

    As For Judge Thomas, his was a minority opinion. It really is of interest only to legal scholars.

    The cases directly referring to Medicare demonstrate that the Supreme Court recognizes that Medicare exists and may make its own rules. That means Medicare and all its frameworks is legitimate and quite Constitutional. I assume that somewhere, someone tried to convince a court that Medicare was unconstitutional but that argument has so little traction that it would never make it to the Supreme Court.

    Your problem is you only read the first paragraph and think the case is irrelevant. That is rarely the case. Most cases, especially appeals, contain far more than mere blunt answers. The best are thought out and explained.

    But don’t let any facts get in your way.

  7. Mr. Fusion says:

    #84, Thomas,

    I realize you are having a hard time dealing with reality right now. Unfortunately, Obama had more people vote for him than any other President in American history. 62,438,115 voted for Obama. That is over seven million more than voted for McCain (55,380,169).

    3%? phuptptpt. Try 52% to 46%. That makes a 6% difference between them. Call it a significant win, a landslide, a sqeaker, or what have you. Obama won big.

    Ya, so don’t let no stinking facts get in your way.

  8. Thomas says:

    > Obama had more people
    > vote for him than any
    > other President in American history

    He also had more people vote against him than anything other President in American history.

    Obama won a typical election in terms of margin. Not a landslide. Not a squeaker.

  9. John C. Qwerty says:


    “Labels===for idiots only. Like John C who wants to pre-qualify opinions by hanging Country of Origin Labels as part of his evaluation. Done mostly for humor, but still telling.”

    Yes, it’s telling that your sense of humor is lacking. 🙂 Sarcasm and irony are difficult to read on the page I suppose. If I have to explain the joke then perhaps I didn’t do my job well. Oh well, it happens.

    Labels are useful. They are for purposes of classification and of easily communicating with others as we human beings tend to be cognitive misers. They are also potentially limiting and error-laden. However, consider the usefulness of labels when applied to music, art, science, philosophy, politics, religion etc.

    And yes they may be used for humor too…for one not to use labels to associate and define is idiotic.

  10. Rick Cain says:

    I think republicans have been in the looney bin for quite some time, we just considered them harmless at least until they destroyed our economy.

  11. Mr. Fusion says:

    #87, Thomas,

    I never denied that the Federal government has the authority to regulate interstate commerce. Never. So, showing USSC that support that is a strawman.

    In #56 you wrote,

    No, the “tough titties” result is that the Constitution does not give the Federal government the authority to centralize the health care industry (just like it does not have the authority to impose direct taxes)

    First, to dispense with it, The XVI Amendment,

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

    The Federal Government has the authority to regulate interstate commerce. The courts have ruled that includes anything from doing nothing to taking over the industry. Provided they do not confiscate anything, they can nationalize all the business sector and put the previous owners out of business. For example, The Volstead Act prohibited the sale of alcohol even in States where it was legal. Banking regulations put loan sharking out of business. Pure Food and Drug laws killed the snake oil industry.

    The Federal Government does have the authority.

    The question is whether the interstate commerce clause gives the Federal government the authority to impose a health care system on the States and you have shown nothing in your examples to support that.

    There is no way I can present a case showing the exact thing you argue against BECAUSE IT HASN’T HAPPENED YET. The courts can only rule on questions of law. There is no law to rule on.

    Every case the Supreme Court ruled on in my examples dealt with the Commerce Clause. The Supreme Court upheld the Federal Government’s intrusion into local areas of jurisdiction in all those cases. It won’t matter how much you deny it, the Federal government has the authority to implement a National Health Care Plan.

    Your arguments are the same as the “birthers” denying Obama’s birth certificate is valid. You (and the “birthers”) just won’t accept the facts.

  12. Thomas says:


    RE: Income tax

    You are barking up the wrong tree (again). The 16th Amendment has nothing to do with the discussion as to whether the Federal government has the authority to impose an income tax. To wit, in Stanton vs Baltic Mining Co, “provisions of the 16th Amendment conferred no new powers of taxation” No, the fundamental problem is that the concept of what exactly is meant by an indirect tax has been warped over decades and essentially forgotten so that Congress can tax people’s income. The fundamental question is whether the Founding Fathers intended for the Federal government to ever have the authority to tax income directly and the answer to that is no.

    > The Federal Government
    > does have the authority.

    I agree that that the Federal government has the *power* to tax income. So much so that the authority is irrelevant.

    RE: Health care and constitutionality.

    Of course you cannot claim it to be Constitutional because no one has challenged it. That is precisely my point. So, stop claiming that Medicare is Constitutional. There are many laws that are probably (or absolutely) not Constitutional but we’ll never know until someone takes the case to the Supreme Court *and* they hear the case (the later being more problematic than the former).

    RE: Commerce Clause

    You are confusing the issue. There are absolutely situations where the commerce clause is needed. The interstate highway system for example. I’m not questioning that so to mention it is a strawman. The question is whether *health care* qualifies as something that the Federal government can take over whole cloth via the commerce clause and that is far more questionable.

    You are big on espousing the benefits of facts but poor on analyzing the entirety of them.


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