Diary

Memo to Mitt Romney on the date of your announcement

I’m not your biggest fan, but I’m certainly a Romney voter if you’re the nominee.   You just need to meet me half-way on something.  As we continue into the primary season, and on into the general election, people will continue to make the RomneyCare vs. ObamaCara comparison. I listened to your defense of RomneyCare.  It seemed passionate enough.   But you’re missing the point.

There IS a perfectly good and acceptable way to address the RomneyCare vs. ObamaCare comparison.    It’s also the simplest answer, and one that rings loud and true with many conservatives: one atrocious piece of legislation is allowed; the other one ain’t.    Our Constitution contemplates states adopting their own boneheaded laws and policies in their own boneheaded ways, but it specifically precludes the Federal government from doing the same without specific authority:

10th Amendment.  The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

There is a fundamental and colossal difference between a state adopting a policy to socialize its health care delivery system and the federal government doing the same by mandating every citizen buy a health insurance product.   The Constitution talks all about the powers that are granted and makes perfectly clear what happens to those powers that are not.  The Founders might look at you with cross-eyes for signing something like RomneyCare; but, they would most certainly appreciate that you can make your own policy choices within the boundaries of your own state.   They expected this.  They even emphasized it and tried to protected it with the language above, which everyone now ignores of course.    Their sole concern was that the wacky policy choices of one state might creep over their border and interfere with interstate commerce of the several states.  And so, they gave us the Commerce Clause, which has since been tortured to the sickening degree  where, in 2011, we’re told that the Commerce Clause is the reason the Federal government CAN adopt ObamaCare.   I can only imagine what the Founders would say to that Constitutional handstand.

And you’re missing this whole point.    Which could actually be presenting as opportunity – an opportunity to say, “Yes, Massachusetts adopted RomneyCare, because we understood that under our Constitution THAT’s where you’re supposed to enact something like a health care bill.”

Think of it this way: If the Federal government were to announce that it is taking control of all roadway maintenance in the country because of the inequities of roadways maintenance in poor and wealthier communities, we would all consider that absurd.  My local officials know me and I know them, and we share a common plight.   I see the DPW superintendent at the market.  It’s proper that something like the roads we all drive – or the health care we all get – is discussed with a common understanding in our common community.  Which is why RomneyCare in Massachusetts is understandable.   And the Founders knew all this.

So, I’m asking you to meet me half-way.  If you’re going to be the nominee, I’d sooner overlook something like RomneyCare if you used it to reestablish that Constitutional point.   You would do everyone in this country a critical service if you would plant your flag in THAT principle and give up on this idea that RomneyCare was a good thing.   Matter of fact, stop talking about RomneyCare entirely.  It’s not helping.  It’s so Anthony Weiner.   You did it.  We all know with “certitude” what you did and we all have a pretty good idea why you did it.   Simple answer:  it’s Massachusetts and it was a Tuesday.     But you don’t have to defend RomneyCare to stand on solid ground, explaining to the American people that you never would have adopted something like ObamaCare because, in clear and simple terms, you recognize that our Constitution says you can’t.

There.  I got that off my chest.