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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Delusion, Spin or Projection?

Dennis Hamill writes at the New York Daily News:
But this [the shutdown] isn’t about money, debt or deficit. It’s about race. 
Five centuries after Columbus and his nervous white crew arrived, there is still a small crew of frightened white people in Congress who refuse to accept an America with a black man in charge. 
These extremists have not yet been able to accept, even after two decisive national elections, that a black man occupies the White House. 
For some of them, their single goal as members of Congress is to make this first African-American President fail.
Does Hamill have any evidence of this? Not one whit. He drags in the Koch brothers, opposition from "sane" Republicans (i.e. RINOs), implying that Cruz and other conservatives are "insane" (an old trick of tyrants), but doesn't have anything to support his outrageous statement.

Is Hamill delusional? Does he really believe that conservatives can't have legitimate disagreements and opposition to Obama's policies or philosophy of the scope and purpose of government? Or that some people may object to the staggering costs ObamaCare is and will have on the economy or future budgets? That everything must come down to race?

Is this pure political spin? Hamill can't come up with a cogent argument, so he must resort to ad hominem attacks and the political equivalent of yelling "squirrel"?

Perhaps it is projection--that Hamill is so racist himself that he can't imagine someone not being racist?

What is interesting is that Hamill acknowledges that, at least prior to the passing of ObamaCare, there could have been valid objections to it. He writes:
Most Republicans voted against it for legitimate political and ideological reasons. 
They are conservatives. Not racists. But this bill passed both houses of Congress, was signed by the President and upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court. It’s the law of the land in a nation of laws. If you are a patriotic American, you will respect the law.
Hamill's reasoning is interesting because it assumes that we must have unquestioning obedience to a law; that valid objections to a law become void once the law is passed, and we must unfailing all shift to supporting an issue or policy once it is consecrated as law. But what if the law is wrong? Remember, slavery was once the law of the land. Is Hamill saying it was wrong--"insane" was the word he used to describe those opposing ObamaCare now--for anyone to have opposed slavery? Segregation was once the law in many states, upheld by the Supreme Court. Was it racist to oppose segregation? The Patriot Act is the law of the land. Should you be thrown in a psychiatric hospital because you object to the NSA surveillance programs? Because that is the logical conclusion of Hamill's argument.

Hamill's knowledge of the law is sketchy as well. Above and beyond the laws passed by Congress is the Constitution. And it provides that spending bills will originate from the House of Representatives. The House enjoys the "power of the purse." By exercising the power of the purse, the House members that Hamill attack are not breaking the law, but exercising the powers afforded them under the Constitution.

I think in the end, Hamill is simply being intellectually dishonest.

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