Given the lopsided turnout of hysterically aroused Republicans expected tomorrow, Proposition C is generally expected to enjoy a rousing success. Just for laughs, I thought it might be fun to take one last look at the narrative that drives its supporters. To find an example of pro-Proposition C rhetoric I had to go no further than an opinion piece penned by local Tea Party luminary, Carl Beardon, for the St. Louis Beacon. If you are interested in what is probably an exercise in futility, follow me over the fold:
Beardon wastes no time, but jumps in and goes after the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) with his metaphorical guns blazing:
“A “yes” vote on Proposition C — the Health Care Freedom Act — will tell the nation that Missourians have looked at this expensive, ill-conceived and unhealthy measure and rejected it.
“Unhealthy” – get the joke? A real pistol that Beardon. True, it is likely that a majority of the small fraction of eligible voters who are expected to hit the polls tomorrow may think the characterization sums the PPACA up. But given the reams of disinformation still churning out, one wonders how many have an accurate idea about what it does or doesn’t do? Or, to ask a more basic question, how many are capable of clearing their ideological closets sufficiently to find room for fact-based analysis? Certainly, Beardon completely undermines the implication that he has committed any acts of close analysis when he declares that he opposes the PPACA because:
… the government, rather than patients and their doctors would determine the level of care to be provided.
With this statement Beardon’s right up there in the realm of the mythical death panels, sprinkling pure Tea Party fairy dust. If you really want some fun, ask a Tea Partier to tell you how this terrifying government control works – based on the legislation itself, and not on the usual Rube Goldberg chain of hearsay hypotheticals and illogical inferences that they seem so ready to believe.
But enough of what supporters of Proposition C don’t know. What they really, really, think they know is that:
… there is more at stake than health care. The ballot initiative also represents a referendum on state sovereignty. … . It’s a mandate on individuals and states that goes beyond proscribed [sic] federal powers.
You’d think the fact that nobody actually takes Proposotion C seriously in this respect ought to deflate just a little of the oh-so-righteous self-importance that is so palpable in such declarations. Unless of course, the St. Louis Beacon is right, and these folks don’t understand that “a Missouri referendum cannot repeal the federal health care law.”
It gets even worse, though, when Beardon tries to get all fiscally responsible about mandates:
… employer-paid programs would be mandated, which will lead to job losses, wage cuts, loss of employer plans and accompanying choice of doctors or higher prices. All of which threaten the still struggling economy.
Of course, he offers no support for this assertion and, in fact, ignores the countless arguments, based on actual analysis by real economists who think that the PPACA has a fair chance of doing just the opposite.
At the end of his little op-ed, Beardon gets to what I suspect really drives the Tea Party love affair with Proposition C – pure spleen, the desire to put on a great big temper tantrum after last summer’s hissy fits failed to put finis to health care reform. “Admittedly,” Beardon writes, “part of Prop C is symbolic,” and one might add, clearly intended to put the fear of the Tea Party into legislators. But most of all, it will be a kick in the pants aimed at Chris Koster, who wouldn’t let Missourians play with all the other kids who are filing lawsuits against the the PPACA:
Perhaps most important, Prop C would send a strong message to Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, whose record so far on the federal health-care package has been disappointing.
Some people never grow up – too bad the rest of us so often have to bear the consequences of their foolish behavior.