The Village Voice recently offered an energetic little romp through conservative opinion regarding the Supreme Court's Obamacare endorsement. The piece, by Roy Edroso, was evidently not intended to be taken too seriously, unblemished as it is by much in the way of serious thought. Instead, Mr. Edroso bounds from one writer to another, nipping at the ankles, unable to leave more than an occasional scratch. He even singled out yours truly for some attention, about which more in due course.
Edroso writes that Rich Lowry's column contained a, "…grand cataclysm of metaphors: 'The umpire called a balk, but gave the pitcher a do-over. The ref called a foul, but didn't interrupt the play... On ObamaCare, the umpire struck out.' Then he called himself for goaltending over the blue line and got a red card." No substantive rebuttal of Lowry's comments, of course. Just a light nibble about the ankles. Referring to John Yoo as, "…torture enthusiast John Yoo," Mr. Edroso invites the following question: If helping design the system of enhanced interrogation that brought Osama bin Laden within the trajectory of a Navy SEAL's bullet makes John Yoo a "torture enthusiast," does the refusal to take bin Laden when he was offered to the US make Bill Clinton a "terror enthusiast?" Well, of course not. No level headed person would advance that argument, its seriousness being on par with Roy Edroso's. But let's move to the fun part. Concerning my piece on the Supreme Court decision, we read:
"Dave Carter at hip new internet thing Ricochet took the decision very personally. Carter quoted Shakespeare, then reported, "these weren't the first words that came to mind when I heard the Supreme Court's ruling on Obamacare. No, nothing that profound came immediately to mind. Unfortunately, the first phrase I uttered, while driving an 18 wheeler through Scranton, was unprintable." What an interesting person he seems!
Carter went on: "My refusal to be pushed around and bullied by an out of control government is yet another thing I have in common with Patrick Henry." (Not to mention, his photograph suggests, Larry the Cable Guy.) Carter scorned as "tyranny" the enforcement of universal healthcare, and promised, "I will not compromise with it, accommodate it, lend it the veneer of euphemism, nor counsel acquiescence to it. I will instead fight it, mock it, and scorn it with every means at my disposal." Give him liberty or Git-R-Done!"
The emphasis on my photo (complete with sleeveless shirt), the reference to Larry the Cable Guy, and the "…Git-R-Done!" phrase is playful enough, with just the hint of mockery. No harm done, though it is instructive that when progressives, who fancy themselves as the voice of the working man, are actually confronted with one, they instinctively resort to stereotypical derision. But it's a harmless frolic, really, until:
Carter scorned as "tyranny" the enforcement of universal healthcare, and promised, "I will not compromise with it, accommodate it, lend it the veneer of euphemism, nor counsel acquiescence to it. I will instead fight it, mock it, and scorn it with every means at my disposal."
At this point we reach down, pick the errant puppy up by the scruff of the neck, and remind him of a few things. If you wish to refute my ideas, Roy, honesty requires that you to state them correctly. By omitting two thirds of the sentence that you quote from my piece and substituting the term "universal healthcare," which term appears nowhere in my article, you misrepresented my point to your readers, Roy, and that's not very nice. So to set the record straight, here is what I wrote:
But to be ordered, by means of regulation or taxes and penalties, to enter into a private contract or to purchase a private product or service against my will, by virtue of my simple existence, is tyranny and I will not compromise with it, accommodate it, lend it the veneer of euphemism, nor counsel acquiescence to it.
You see, I was addressing the larger meaning of the Supreme Court's decision, not merely the implications vis-a-vis Obamacare. I wonder how many of your readers, Roy, would celebrate laws that compel the purchase of gym memberships, or require every American to purchase a firearm, or a Bible, under threat of a penalty or tax? Because by expanding the tax authority to compel us to engage in commerce without us having first taken an affirmative step, such as the purchase of a car for example, the Supreme Court has found such coercion constitutional. That, sir, is the crucial point here, made all the more relevant in light of the fact that we just celebrated the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a document signed by people who gathered for the singular purpose of freeing man from the commands of the state.
In a larger sense, this is the root of the conservative case against the coercive designs of men who are no better nor wiser than the rest of us simply because they hold public office. We believe in the "self-evident" truth, "that all men are created equal," and are not therefore organically suited to micro manage the lives of other men. We believe that you and your readers have the right to pursue your dreams, unfettered by regulations and dictates that suffocate the life from your initiative. We believe that that which you earn belongs to you, not David Axelrod. It would never occur to us to forcibly confiscate that which you have earned, be it money, property, employment or position, and hand it to someone who has not earned it as an expression of our egalitarianism. We believe that your liberty to make your own decisions as you think best is a sacred right. That it should remain so is an idea that we will continue to defend.
Roy, you wrote that I took the Court's decision, "very personally." On this point, you are correct. If you raise your nose above the ankles, look up over the sleeveless shirt, you will see some military medals on my hat. The fight for freedom, is indeed personal to me, sir. Too many good men and women have died to protect you from being commanded about as if you had a ring through your nose, for your freedom to be pissed away by temporary politicians. Oh, and one more thing: Being incinerated alive is torture. The simulated drowning of the terrorist who incinerated thousands, is not.
And with that, we gently place the puppy back on the ground, and tell him to run along and play. "Go on now. Git!"