Monday, July 28

Dems on Obamacare: "It's a typo. Because we say so. The actual written words mean nothing."

Kevin Williamson at National Review has a good piece on why we write laws out on some sort of more-or-less permanent medium--and why the language actually used matters.  Or used to.

Here's my take on his main points (but read his whole article): 

If laws aren't written down, whoever is running things at any moment can constantly change them.  No one has any proof of what the law was before that moment.  Written law was the first real constraint on the power of kings. 

And obviously, for the written law to have any meaning other than what the ruler says, the language actually used must *mean* something.

Liberals would be happy to see us return to the primitive state of "pay no attention to the words"--as long as they're in command: “Our mean opponents claim a rogue word or two in the written law says tax credits are only available to those who enroll on a state-created insurance exchange, but that isn’t what we meant. 

"And you must believe us when we tell you what we Democrats meant, because who else could possibly know?

"You must believe we meant all along what we say today.  You must believe this even if you find a videotape of some speaker from a place called "M.I.T." saying that the true intent was exactly as you and the typo claim--because everyone knows tapes can be faked.  And if a second tape surfaces of a different speech by the same person, saying the same thing--same answer.  Because this person was probably just a low-level clerk who had no idea of the total, overall theory of how we planned it to work.

"Besides, this low-level person has now gone on MSNBC and assured us all that he has no idea what he meant when he was taped saying those things, and that the irksome word or two in the law is "an obvious typo."  Oh, and he's described both his earlier statements as "speak-os."  So just simple mistakes, like we all make.

"If you want to know what we intended--and remember, that's the only controlling legal authority now--you should ask someone who was in a far higher-level position, like the speaker of the House at the time.  No one has her on tape saying credits were only available to those who enrolled via state exchanges, eh?  So there ya go!  In fact she said "We have to pass the bill to see what's in it," which clearly shows she agrees with our position.  Which is what we meant all along.  Swearsies.

"It's just wrong to interpret the law to mean what you claim some typo says, because that interpretation is not the one we desire.  And who are you, and what is the law, if it keeps us Democrats from the goals we seek? 

"Besides, we Democrats are acting in the Sacred Public Interest.  We know what that is because our friends in the Media tell us what the public interest is and what it is not.  And all their stories showed that everyone wanted Obamacare.  At least everyone they polled.

"And besides, the people who have found this typo--because that's all it is--want to repeal Obamacare, and are therefore wicked and ignorant.  And raaacist.


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