Three Thoughts

Here are three things I’ve been thinking about.

One, it’s bad news for President Obama that a circuit court has ruled that part of his health care plan is unconstitutional.  The provision that adults must purchase their own health insurance (if they aren’t working at a job that provides it) was the item in question.  Another circuit court had ruled in favor of the legislation, so its future is far from settled.  And the White House has vowed to fight on.  Critics say that the federal government has no right to make such a demand on the American people.  Proponents say that they are on safe legal ground because of a commerce clause in the Constitution that regulates interstate trade.  The problem for the President is that with budget fights and over 9% unemployment, he needs some victories that he can use to rally his troops for his upcoming re-election bid.  The continuing squabble over this issue hardly allows him to look victorious, and the undecideds out there might turn against the President for two reasons.  They might decide that they would rather he focus more on the economy–it doesn’t pay to look distracted.  And at the risk of ignoring complex arguments on both sides, people might decide that interstate commerce just doesn’t sound relevant to a debate over compelling someone to buy insurance.

Two, the decision by the Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry to run for President is an interesting development.  He’s got executive experience in a big state, so maybe he knows something about leadership.  And his frequent calls for prayer in response to big problems could galvanize Christian conservatives who are uncomfortable with Mitt Romney.  There are those who complain about the blurring of church and state, but two things are worth mentioning here.  The tradition of political leaders calling for prayer goes all the way back to George Washington, so Perry would seem to be in good company, and people who make such arguments against prayer aren’t going to vote Republican anyway.

Three, it is unhelpful at best for some Democrats and liberals in the media to call members of the Tea Party “terrorists.”  You can either agree with Barack Obama that Washington is suffering from gridlock–a lack of productive cooperation and unity–or you can engage in extremely partisan, overblown rhetoric, but you can’t do both.  Some people agree with the Tea Party crowd, and some don’t–welcome to America; the home of a variety of political ideas.  But to call people terrorists because they want Washington to cut taxes and spending is pretty disrespectful towards those who have suffered at the hands of real terrorists.  There was a politician in Arizona who was shot, and some people said it was the result of overblown Republican rhetoric.  Really, it wasn’t.  But if a person feels that way then he/she shouldn’t be using such hostile language.