Political Hay

It’s.The.Law

The White House may invoke it in its peculiar way, but its occupants only show contempt for the rule of law.

By 5.20.13

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Last Thursday, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) started a Twitter prairie fire with his call for people to describe #ObamacareInThreeWords. (My contribution was "Sorry, Doctor retired.")

Other gems included “Max Baucus regrets,” “A massive failure,” “Rammed down throats” and the extremely uncomfortable proof of Godwin’s Law, “Arbeit. Macht. Frei.”

Liberal participation brought “Win for kids,” “Republicans suck balls,” “Republicans hate me” (a nice reminder of how liberals take everything personally), and -- stated without any sense of irony by a “dreamer, dancer, organic food eater” -- “Free birth control.”

The White House, never shy to jump into social media, responded with a flurry of tweets, including "It’s. The. Law." which smacked, more than anything, of typical Obama chest-thumping.

Is the administration sure they want to aggressively take credit for a law which, for almost the entire three years since its passage, has had more Americans supporting its repeal than supporting the law itself and which, according to Rasmussen Reports polling group, is now "more unpopular than it has been for months"? In the most recent survey, "very unfavorable" opinions of Obamacare nearly tripled those whose view of the law is "very favorable."

The current IRS scandal will only add to the law’s unpopularity as opponents (of both the law and the IRS) remind Americans that “rogue” bureaucrats could be responsible for enforcing Obamacare’s individual mandate and determining eligibility for health care subsidies. As if a visit to the proctologist weren’t unpleasant enough, it will be followed up by the financial equivalent by the IRS, and apparently with particular lack of gentleness if you happen to be a Republican.

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) have been inspired to introduce the Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013 (H.R. 2009), which is being supported by pro-liberty groups such as FreedomWorks. Congressman Price put it this way: “When it comes to an individual’s personal health care decisions, no American should be required to answer to the IRS -- an agency that just forfeited its claim to a reputation of impartiality. It has always been an untenable and unacceptable scenario, and we ought to take this common sense step to take the IRS out of health care.”

Over the past week, Democrat politicians and some media lackeys (but with the AP scandal, fewer than there might normally have been) have attempted to at least partially justify the IRS's targeting of conservative groups by saying that it was a reasonable reaction to the ruling in Citizens United, in which the Supreme Court removed most limits on independent political expenditures by organizations.

President Obama mischaracterized the ruling in his 2010 State of the Union address, prompting the famous mouthing of "not true" by Justice Samuel Alito.

As blogger Dr. John notes, Obama has even tried to use the SEC to gut the impact of Citizens United​, following through on his tyrannical promise: "And where Congress is not willing to act, we’re going to go ahead and do it ourselves."

So we know where the left is getting this from...straight from the top.

According to this administration, conservatives must go along with Obamacare because "It’s. The. Law." But, say Democrats, the IRS was somewhat justified in targeting Americans because of their political beliefs since Citizens United, in their opinion, created bad law.

They also suggest that Citizens United brought “tax abusers” out of the woodwork, a claim for which they have not a shred of evidence. Rather, they are simply implying that Tea Party organizations and other groups that oppose policies of the Obama administration are cheaters and liars. To paraphrase my 7-year old daughter, it takes a tax cheat to know one, doesn’t it, Charlie Rangel?

Perhaps liberals don't notice that everything Republicans have done in opposition to Obamacare has been through the legal and political processes, that is through litigation and legislation; nothing (at least nothing I'm aware of) about the way the GOP and anti-Obamacare activists are trying to undo the current and future harm of Obamacare is either illegal or unethical by any objective standard.

Opposition to Obamacare is done in the bright light of day; indeed, from the “sunlight is the best disinfectant” school of politics, opponents of the law believe that their position is enhanced by maximizing the public’s understanding of the harm it will cause.

This stands in stark contrast to how Democrats passed Obamacare, with every legislative trick in the book, even threatening to “deem and pass” a bill that they never actually voted on, while Nancy Pelosi infamously informed Americans that we had to “pass it to find out what is in it.”

Their reprehensible behavior continued unabated -- until last week. Democrats, playing follow-the-(Dear)-leader, deal with a law they don't like not by working to change or repeal it, since they know they don't have the votes -- probably not even in the Senate -- but rather to scheme and cheat and “punish our enemies” through the shenanigans of whispering bureaucrats and hyper-partisan political hacks whose names we will likely learn in coming days.

So let’s get back to “It’s. The. Law.”

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) hit the nail on the head in his opening statement at the committee’s Friday morning hearing on the IRS scandal: “Trimming a few branches will not solve the problem when the roots of the tree have gone rotten. And, that is exactly what has happened with our entire tax system -- it is rotten at the core, and it must be ripped out so we can start fresh. Only then will the American people get a tax system that treats them fairly and honestly, as they deserve.”

We have laws which, like Obamacare, were created by special interests and obedient or gullible members of Congress, some well-meaning and some simply using the power of government to reward their friends or increase their own power. Like Obamacare, much of what’s in the tax code is unknown to the vast majority of us, even to those politicians who voted for it.

It is time -- past time -- for a full frontal assault on big government, on the tax code, on Obamacare, on the power of the IRS, EPA, FCC, NLRB, and the multitudinous other alphabet soup of services, agencies, commissions, and boards that taxpayers have the privilege of funding so that they can bleed us of our wealth and freedom.

It’s true that sensible legislation in this direction has no chance in the Democrat-controlled Senate nor with our current president, who disdains every aspect of the American Founders’ vision of a republic whose citizens have a birthright of liberty.

But the Obama administration’s multiple simultaneous scandals, particularly the IRS targeting fiasco, offer the greatest opportunity in many years -- perhaps greater even than the passage of Obamacare or the failed “stimulus” -- to make moderate and independent Americans, those whom Rush Limbaugh derisively calls “low information voters” -- think about the true nature of government and their relationship to it.

It shouldn’t take much more persuading to get at least a few of them to default to supporting the party that, at least in theory, supports reducing the size, cost, and intrusiveness of government. And with elections as close as many we’ve seen in the past decade, a few such voters might be all that is needed to swing the pendulum of government control away from the Alinskyite left that now dominates the Democratic Party leadership.

Passing rational, pro-free market, liberty-restoring legislation will not be easy, even if Republicans control Congress and the White House. But it’s the only chance we have to repeal Obamacare, reform the tax code, or rein in the explosion of regulation.

Then, when a liberal asks why Americans should be able to have a Health Savings Account, or fund groups critical of politicians we disagree with, or generate electricity with whatever fuel makes the most economic sense, or refuse to provide “free birth control” (whether because it offends our religious convictions or because what we insurance we purchase is a matter for private negotiation not government intervention), we’ll be able to respond “It’s.The.Law.”

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About the Author
Ross Kaminsky is a self-employed trader and investor and is a senior fellow of the Heartland Institute. He is the host of The Ross Kaminsky Show on Denver's NewsRadio 850 KOA on Saturday mornings from 6 AM to 9 AM. You can reach Ross by e-mail at rossputin(at)rossputin(dot)com.