Wednesday, March 24, 2010

On boxes...

Many of us believe that the recently passed Health Care Reform bill is disastrously ill-advised, will severely compromise the quality of health care available to Americans, is unconstitutional, and will create an over-reaching and authoritarian bureaucracy.

As Americans, our response is anger and to recall our national antecedents. We are, after all, a nation founded by freedom-loving rebels that were anything but peaceful, ghandi-esque, protesters. They shot folks, blew them up, and wreaked seven different kinds of havoc upon the British and their sympathizers.

Repeatedly, when the people of our nation have felt they were ill-represented by their elected officials, we have seen uprisings and rebellions with the little dispute in the 1860's known as the "Civil War" simply our most enthusiastic attempt at the project.

That is our heritage. When push comes to shove, we don't just roll over. We fight back, and we don't play particularly nicely when we do. Tar and feathers aren't just a myth, and I somehow suspect more than one congress-critter over the decades of our nations existence has been subjected to one form of rather grim "constituent appreciation party" at one time or another.

That said, tempting as it may be, going for the gusto is a bit premature. Social and business shunning of congress-critters and their families - all good. Refuse to speak to them beyond the absolute necessities, refuse to do business (even so slight as selling them food or beverage) with them, fire their spouses and children without notice - all fine.

They knew, or should have known, that politics is a rough game and they were putting their families in the pot even as they climbed in. In short, their own damned fault. Hire the kids and spouses back only if they repudiate the offending critter, publicly.

Even show up at their houses, wave picket signs, and under no circumstances set foot up their expensively manicured lawns.

But violence is a tad premature. Violence and threatened violence done clumsily and ill-timed definitely does more harm than good, and is iffy even when done right. Little sub-rules like "don't telegraph your punches" and "dear god, use anything except a gun" also pop to mind.

I hearken back to the old meme "soap box, ballot box, bullet box". I'd add a couple of more boxes, important ones - make it "soap box, ballot box, judicial box, con-con box, bullet box" and I'm a fair amount happier.

As far as ObamaCare goes, the soap box has (at least for now) failed us. The ballot box is next, come November, and it's our next hope of avoiding major badness.

At the same time, a fair amount of litigation against various elements of ObamaCare is firing up and in the current judicial environment there's no small reason for hope on that front. And it's not like Obama and SCOTUS have been holding a love fest of late.

Should both the ballot box and judicial box fail us, there remains one more obscenely high risk non-violent approach before it all turns to slime. The Constitutional Convention. The mere threat of such a convention persuaded Congress in 1933 to generate an Amendment repealing Prohibition - because the alternative was so horrible to contemplate. The problem with a Con-Con is that you throw the gates wide open - it's ALL up for grabs, and nothing is sacred - a master reset switch, if you will. Ask yourselves...would you like a Constitution written by either Obama or Fred Phelps? Or Rev. Jeremiah Wright? Con-Con is a scary bad thing, only marginally better than armed revolution.

The worst-case scenario, revolution, is best saved for "all else has failed, we're screwed anyway, with darned little left to lose" kinds of situations. We're not there yet. We haven't exhausted all our other and less horrible options. The problem with revolutions is that even if you win, there are always those who want to extend "emergency powers" for "just a little bit longer" (which, oddly, tends to turn into multi-decade periods)...and if you lose, you are well and truly screwed at an entirely new level.

Let's start organizing the ballot box - gathering electable candidates, planning brutally effective campaigns, and run that option before we move on to grimmer possibilities.



MadRocketScientist said...

The Ammo Box is reserved for when the powers that be ignore all the other boxes. Last time I checked, politicians still leave office when voted out, and they still obey court decisions.

CAPTCHA: mantail

Black Ice said...

I can see your fears concerning a convention, but let's get real. Anything passed there must be ratified by 3/4 of the states attending. It's not going to give some whackjob like Phelps the Ultimate Power in the USA. There's still checks and balances involved.

And frankly, since we've obviously had two of our three branches of government taken over by communist thugs, I've begun to wonder if the end result of a CC could possibly be any worse than two more years of an Obama presidency.

'Interesting times,' indeed.

Old NFO said...

I'd agree with all except the con-con, but I'm buying ammo just in case...