CLEMSON, South Carolina, October 21, 2013—Liberals desperate to preserve the Affordable Care Act are doing what they frequently do when their beliefs are about to collapse. They declare matters “settled” to stifle debate and end conversations. From climate change to healthcare, their prize projects are settled simply because they say so. Everybody else should be quiet and agree with them rather than have honest debates.
To understand why the Obamacare debate is anything but settled, liberals should heed the words of former Democratic President Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson.
In the 1830s, the Marshall Supreme Court ruled against Jackson on a matter involving gold found on an Indian reservation. The issue was supposedly settled, until it was not. Jackson made his declaration public and emphatic.
“John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it.”
President Obama has taken Jackson’s words to an art form. When Obama dislikes laws, he simply disobeys them. He substitutes his own moral conscience for blackletter law, discounting others with different moral beliefs.
He disliked the Defense of Marriage Act, so he stopped enforcing it.
He disliked laws requiring that illegal immigrants be deported, so in many situations he stopped enforcing them.
With Attorney General Eric Holder running a highly politicized Justice Department, laws are enforced selectively. Overt voter intimidation acts by the New Black Panthers against white voters yielded no prosecutions, a disinterest in enforcing the law equally.
Even Obamacare saw Obama engage in unconstitutional actions after the law was deemed constitutional. Obama unilaterally delayed the employer mandate but not the individual mandate despite constitutional prohibitions against doing so. Laws must be enforced in their entirety, yet Obama enforces them in part and ignores them in part based on his own desires.
Now it is time to turn the tables. Obama wants to subject Americans to a law that a majority never wanted. It was passed using barely legal legislative machinations in a raw naked political power play. The law is besieged by unworkable assumptions, flawed methodology, unsafe privacy protections and dreadful technological glitches. Even fixing all of that should not matter.
Hardball begets hardball. Obama passed his precious law. Let him try enforcing it.
The only thing holding Obamacare together is the mandate. Obamacare orders Americans to purchase health insurance. What if enough people refuse to comply?
While Obama has access to predator drones, nuclear weapons and the greatest military in the world, even the New York Times and MSNBC would pause if those were his enforcement mechanisms. His first layer of enforcement is the Internal Revenue Service. He has already used the IRS to target Americans who attempted to prevent the law from being passed.
IRS agents carry pencils, not guns or drones. They send threatening letters on non-recyclable paper which can be discarded. Even if Obama hired every member of Organizing For Action to work in the IRS collections department, they could not visit every person refusing to comply.
The penalty for refusing to purchase insurance is a fine. Failure to pay the fine leads to increased levies which will also be ignored.
The IRS could make unscheduled visits, but attorneys are ready to do pro bono work blocking enforcement actions.
The next step would be for Obama to send law enforcement officials to arrest individuals refusing to pay their fines and levies. Imagine the nightly news. The same Obama administration refusing to round up illegal immigrants would be rounding up American citizens. Doomsday scenarios about government storm troopers kicking down doors and Americans defending themselves with their Second Amendment rights are non-starters. This is not the Whiskey Rebellion.
Government abuses have already created a backlash. IRS and DoJ officials are subjects in a myriad of congressional investigations. The government has power, but true enforcement comes from moral authority. This requires an almost universal level of voluntary citizen compliance. So unless Obama is evil or crazy enough to send soldiers into arrest every conservative in America (he is not), he has zero enforcement powers. A more likely scenario would be Congress defunding any agency that harasses Americans. If Obamacare cannot be defunded, enforcers can certainly have their budgets stripped bare.
Even if people were arrested, Americans are still entitled to a trial by a jury of their peers. One juror can hang a case. When half the country is upset, finding one out of twelve to acquit is easy. Not one person will be convicted for refusing to purchase insurance.
While Obama in theory has three years left to impose his will, in reality he only has one year. The day after the 2014 elections, assuming Republicans hold the House as expected, jockeying for 2016 begins. Lame ducks are called that for a reason.
The mandate kicks in January of 2014. This reduces Obama’s window to 10 months. Congress will probably stop working to campaign full time in August. Democrats desperate to save their own jobs will not defend Obamacare outside the safest blue districts. Now Obama has maybe seven months to govern.
There is not enough time for Obama to send out threatening letters, much less conduct any meaningful follow through. He will be left to giving angry speeches, which turns off independent voters. Democrats will then flee from him like rats jumping ship, since all politics remains local.
The only thing settled in the entire healthcare debate is that Obamacare is dead. Ineptitude and corruption have it staggering around weakened. Deliberate civil disobedience through non-compliance will be the stake through its heart.
Obama liberals substituted their own beliefs for codified law. Now they will get more than a lesson in how the law works. In this healthcare fight, they will get a heaping taste of their own medicine. The community organizer will be out-organized.
Obama will go down kicking and screaming, convinced he can implement and enforce his law. The only thing left to say to Obama is the phrase made famous by his predecessor, who did know how to enforce the law.
“Bring it on.”
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS. Follow us: @wtcommunities on Twitter.