Chicago Monday AM 29 March 2010
Voice of the People, Chicago Tribune
The Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page writes in his Sunday, March 28 column (“Right’s anger could backfire”) of “reports of vandalism and death threats against congressmen on both political sides” after the President signed “his health care overhaul legislation.”
“... the New York City office of Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner was closed because of an envelope that reportedly contained a threatening letter and white powder.” A strange sentence from a seasoned newspaper writer. Where was this envelope, who reported it, and what was the result of that reporting?
Then a Police investigation of “a broken window at the congressional office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords a few hours after the Tucson, Ariz., Democrat voted for the bill....” What was the result of that investigation? Did one of Rep. Gifford's visiting children throw an errant spit ball at the window?
But Mr. Page does manage to find a police statement on a bullet breaking a window at Republican Rep. Eric Cantor's Richmond, Va., office: “probably just random gunfire.”
Mr. Page wonders “Why... is there so much viciousness in the backlash against a bill designed to expand health insurance coverage to the uninsured?”
Could this “viciousness … against a bill designed to expand health insurance” have anything to do with the fact that of the 7541 words of the US Constitution (including all 27 amendments,) not one of them is 'health or 'insurance'? (The word 'care' does occur once, in the phrase “[The President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully execute....”)
I can hear Mr. Page already screaming “General Welfare clause.” But in Federalist Paper Number 41 the father of the Constitution himself, James Madison explains that “a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms [general welfare] immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon.” And sure enough, following that semicolon is a list of 17 specific things Congress is limited to doing, and not a sign of anything to do with health, insurance, or care.
Further Mr. Page writes of “broad support for many provisions of the bill” including “new limits on the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.” Insurance is a tool that society uses to spread the effect of bad things that happen to people, but not all people. Groups of people join together, each contributing money to a pool, so that the few that have the problem can use it to pay their expenses. If you pay these expenses for people who haven't paid into the pool,you don't have insurance, you have charity.
Mr. Page concludes remarking of a TV host's description of a map on Sarah Palins's facebook as “despicable”: Good for her. But she's not running for office. Maybe Mr. Page could point out to us in a future column where Sarah Palin has announced what office she's running for?
Arnold H Nelson