Barack Obama supported the healthcare mandate that was
originally championed by Republicans — and the right calls him a
socialist. Mitt Romney enacted the healthcare mandate after working with
Ted Kennedy — but Republicans champion him for president. Hillary
Clinton supported the mandate — and the right treated her like the devil
incarnate. The Heritage Foundation pushed for the mandate — but the
right champions Heritage as capitalist heroes, not socialist villains.
If Ron Paul is a champion hypocrite for supporting earmarks and running
ads defending Romney on the Etch a Sketch matter, the Republican
Party wins the Olympic gold for hypocrisy with its two-faced position on
the healthcare mandate.
Don’t miss the excellent story in today's Washington Post titled "Provision at center of debate was a Republican idea.” Time to pin the tail on the elephant. The mandate was a Republican idea!
Personally, I was never big on the mandate. It was always (dare I say it?) a form of corporate socialism designed as a bailout for insurers (which is why corporate socialist Republicans originated the mandate in the first place). It was not the liberals, it was the insurers, who wanted the mandate. It was not the Democrats, it was the Republicans, who invented it. It was not Obama, it was Romney, who first enacted it.
I can reluctantly swallow the mandate as a means of financing reforms, though I was for the public option, along with a large majority of Americans, not the mandate. But Republican hypocrisy runs rampant. If the mandate is advocated by socialists, as many Republicans and their largest super-PAC donor charge, aren't the Republicans who first pushed for the mandate socialists, and:
Isn't Ron Paul a socialist for supporting earmarks?
Wasn't Rick Santorum a socialist when he was the earmark champion of the Senate?
Isn't Mitt Romney the mother of Republican socialists when he enacted the mandate in Massachusetts, when he bragged about how many federal dollars he grabbed for his state and the Olympics, and when his vulture-capitalist takeover companies grabbed every tax and spending benefit to make his deals more profitable?
Wasn't Rick Perry a leading socialist when he gobbled up Obama stimulus dollars faster than a rabbit in heat and then claimed credit for the jobs the Obama stimulus created in Texas?
Isn't Gingrich a socialist for championing Freddie Mac when he was on the Freddie payroll, and when he promoted the mandate while being lavishly rewarded by the industry?
The real socialist is not Obama, who is far more corporatist than socialist and whose healthcare bill fails to challenge the industry- dominated paradigm. It is the GOP style of corporate socialism, crony capitalism or pay-for-play insiderism that even Sarah Palin condemns.
The irony is, the big winner of the healthcare case will be Barack Obama, and the big loser will be the insurance industry and the GOP if the Supreme Court throws out the mandate.
If the court says no to the mandate, Republicans will be running against the highly popular provisions that remain while their insurance-industry allies pressure Republicans for a bailout.
As for me and many progressive Democrats, we will be back pushing the public option, which was supported by more than 60 percent of voters for some very good reasons. Not a bad place to be, supporting a healthcare proposal during an election year backed by a large majority of voters.