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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Will Obamacare Lead To A New "Anti-Fascist" Coalition?

Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake has been one of the few avowed progressives willing to speak out against Obamacare.

As I have explored before, Hamsher's central objection is my central objection, the mandate. We object to the mandate on very different grounds; she because it makes the government the bill collector for insurance companies, me because it alters the relationship between government and citizen by taxing and penalizing the failure to engage in economic activity.

Hamsher reacted to Dennis Kucinich's capitulation this morning by stating that Obamacare amounts to fascism:

The claims made by the administration about the virtues of the health care bill are outright fabrications. As Marcy Wheeler has documented in her post entitled “Health Care and the Road to Neufeudalism,” it does not control either insurance premiums or health care costs. Forcing 31 million people to buy a product they don’t want and can’t afford to use does not constitute health care reform. Once again, the poor get used as human shields so corporations can be the beneficiaries of massive government bailout.

Rather than actually helping the poor, this bill is a dangerous and unprecedented step on the road to domination of government by private corporate players who use it to suppress competition and secure their profits — the textbook definition of fascism.

Hamsher suggested that Obamacare will blur the lines between left and right as people reject the Obamacare system:

If indeed this bill passes, people across the country will have to start examining the basic assumptions with which we have heretofore approached politics. The thing I have learned above all else in this campaign is that the corporate control of government is much more extensive than I ever imagined, and the tools we have to fight its influence are ineffective.

We need to develop new partners in the fight, because there is tremendous public will to resist and the old ones can’t be trusted. We also need a new language to describe it, because the old “right-left” paradigm is firing past the true opponent.

The rejection of statism (whether corporate or otherwise) in favor of individual liberty and economic freedom is at the heart of the Tea Party movement and the changes taking place slowly in the Republican Party.

Perhaps it is time for Hamsher and those who blog with her to re-examine their derisive attitude towards the Tea Party movement.

We may not agree on desired outcome of what our health care system should look like, but we do agree that Obamacare represents the worst aspects of government control over society.

Related Posts:
Get Rid of the Mandate
Taxing Your Mere Existence
IRS The New Health Care Enforcer

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  1. I can assure you that this is about the only thing you'll have in common with Jane ... She's frankly not a good women, IMHO.

  2. The real issue is what will individuals do in response to this evil mandate. Resist? Face public derision from the Obamatrons and their cheerleaders? Face jail for refusal? Will individual citizens say "No, I am a free person and I will not submit to tyranny!"? Because that's what it's going to take. JPG

  3. I can't agree with Hamsher's bogeyman of "corporate control," but I find myself shocked to say "yes, Jane, you're likely right" when she describes the bill as "fascist." It economic features really do fit Jonah Goldberg's description of the "fascist bargain."

    Strange times make for strange allies.

  4. What I don't understand about large banks and other corporations is where anti-trust is in all of this. In the case of banks, reverting back to the days when banks could not control brokerage companies among other functions might not be difficult..

    The WalMarts of the world - OMG - isn't controlling product from making it through sale anti-trust?
    big entities to fight ones even bigger in the global market is just plain growing tired.

    That takes care of corporations. Now for new alliances. IMO - a larger number of people than is being measured currently has shifted to independent thinking and voting. They have not all registered as Independents and that makes it even more impossible to get a handle on them. Actually, I think it is a return to good old American common sense and that after all is the Tea Party movement in a nutshell. Ii think many will be attracted to this movement.

    The key to Obama's legislative success other than arm-twisting? To pile on as much legislation and to rout out enough provocative issues that the pot is constantly stirred and he and his minions can work unobserved behind the dust cloud.

    He staged an electoral coup d'etat. He arrived on the scene with his briefcase filled with draft laws. It is chilling to think how fast this has all gone - the change in the character of our constitutional government. The constitution in their hands is a barrier to be breached and jumped. Obama has said repeatedly it needs updating, Heck, he may as well start over with his version.

  5. "Strange times make for strange allies." True indeed, even though the thought gives me the creepy crawlies.

    Draft-law lightning round: terrifying.

    All media outlets seem to be glossing over the Senate reconciliation rider on educational financial aid and the potential penalties for failure to comply with the mandate. Those are very real, very frightening prospects.

    The CBO will let us down -- we're on our own to sink together or create a raft. The Tea Party coalition isn't scary enough to threaten Congress with being booted out of office now that so many liberal rats are jumping ship into retirement. We must somehow convince those rats and their brethren that they have no place on our raft, whether now during the spring shower, or in the maelstrom that is sure to follow.

    And we must convince Congress that the Constitution and the federal courts system are still around, regardless of the President's disdain for them, and that we're poised to leap there on all fours at the first opportunity.

  6. As I recall, the Senate bill has language in it that actually prevents the IRS from enforcing the mandate. It's actually a "voluntary mandate," which sort of defeats the purpose. Regardless, even if it was enforced, the fine is so small that people who don't need it will still not buy insurance. Why would they when they can just wait until they get sick? I just don't see why anyone would now feel compelled to purchase insurance when they can't be discriminated against for preexisting conditions.

  7. It doesn't amount to fascism, it is fascism:


    Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions.

  8. There are many reasons why Hamsher should be against the health care bill, not least of which because she is a cancer survivor. Had she been treated under the system she espouses her chances of being a survivor would have been considerably lower.

    I agree with Donald. Hamsher is not a good person.

  9. The CBO Scores Congressional Legislation

    CBO:  The MedHelp bill spends $1 trillion and increases what you must borrow, the deficit, by $230 billion.
    Politician:  What if I tell you that we will stop paying the doctors, saving an additional $400 billion?

    CBO:  Can you really do that?
    Politician:  Just assume that I can. I'll write it into the margin.

    CBO:  Then, the bill spends $1 trillion and decreases the deficit by $170 billion, by raising taxes by $770 billion, and saving $400 billion on the doctors.

    Press Conference:  The bi-partisan, mathematical, unbiased, technoid, trustworthy, very smart CBO has just scored the MedHelp bill. Ladies and Gentlemen and Republicans, this bill delivers medical help to everyone, and reduces the deficit by $170 billion. How could any intelligent person be against it?


  10. I don't think you're going to find very many allies among progressives, at least not for long. What coalition might come together will fall apart pretty quick, once conservatives try to scrap the bill and progressives for their part try to expand it.

  11. I for one am glad that someone finally used the "f" word to describe what Obamacare and the Obama-nauts are trying to do. It is not strange bedfellows when people come together to fight to maintain their democracy. We just have different ideas of how that democracy should look that is all, not that it shoudl be supplanted by illegitimate government power. Remember, democracy is compromise. -NeoFascism is the enemy.

  12. Independent Patriot,

    Many on the left are already calling Jane and her followers the "f" word . . . but "firebaggers" is the term they use.

    The genesis is a rather obvious combination of terms -- "fire" is a reference to those FireDogLake followers who are ObamaCare opponents coming from the left, combined with the derisive "bagger" suffix.

    I came across it yesterday at Talking Points Memo. Here's an example.

    Typical. Many of those on the left are incapable of articulating anything that even remotely resembles a rational argument, so they quickly resort to name-calling.