The South and Health Reform

Cross posted from Facing South.

Sunday afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi marched to the capitol arm-in-arm with Rep. John Lewis of Georgia for the health care vote -- a bit of political theater designed to draw parallels between health reform and the landmark civil rights legislation of the 1960s.

Tea party protesters unwittingly helped make the connection when they shouted "nigger" at Lewis during a Saturday rally. But whether or not HR 3590 should be put on the same level as, say, the Civil Rights Act, one point is indisputable: Yesterday, as in 1964, the South ended up on the wrong side of history.

The numbers tell the story:

* Out of 140 House members in 13 Southern states, only 31% voted "aye" to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which passed 219-212.

* Only one Southern state had a majority of its House delegation vote on the winning side: West Virginia (two out of three).

* Two Southern states - Alabama and Louisiana - had zero "yes" votes; Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi each only had one representative voting with the majority.

The reluctance to embrace reform included Southern Democrats, whose stubborn opposition -- and vacillation -- gave Pelosi and the White House fits in their frantic push to secure votes last week.

Overall, 70% of Democrats hailing from Southern states voted for reform, delivering 43 votes crucial to the bill's passage.

But it was a shortage of votes from Southern Democrats that put the bill in jeopardy, forcing Democratic leaders into last-minute negotiations to win over abortion opponents led by Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan.

Some notable numbers on Southern Democrats:

* Of the 34 Democrats who voted against reform, 53% (18) came from Southern states.

* Blue-trending North Carolina had the highest number of Democratic "no" votes in the country (3): Reps. Kissell, McIntyre and Shuler.

* In three states, 100% of the Democrats voted with their party: Florida (9), South Carolina (2) and West Virginia (2).

Sunday's health reform vote showed the Southern Congressional delegation is far from monolithic, reflecting the contested political terrain in the fast-changing region. 

But once again, on what will remembered as a landmark piece of legislation (whatever its flaws), the South also found itself going against the tide of history.

Comments

The 3 Stooges, hmmm sounds about right

although it's really a shame for the American People.

South May Be Right Again

Healthcare is an important matter, but if the South, as is suggested, is against the federal government's Healthcare Bill, they are most likely right to oppose it. No matter who or how one reads or interprets the Constitution, healthcare is not an enumerated responsibility delegated to the federal government in Art 1, Sec 8. Even the commerce clause can't be stretched far enough to cover this issue. But, regardless of what that old moldy parchment states, common sense dictates that most issues are best resolved at the lowest possible level, and certainly more efficiently applied. If the South opposes this issue, then one could only conclude that Southerners have recognized that our federal government is fast approaching insolvency and paying for needless layers of bureaucracy along with all of the "special deals" costs more. We are currently in a great recession with some predicting a jobless recovery. The last thing we need is to waste our hard earned money on something that could easily be provided at the State level without having to pay tribute to the federal government and other States such as Nebraska and Louisiana. The South most likely possesses what I like to consider "true" liberals that prefer consent over coercion. Again, if the South is truly against this Bill as some suggest, it may be due to the thought of some northern federal agent forcing a Southerner to purchase something against their will. If healthcare were handled lawfully at the State level, I can't see any Southerner rejecting it as long as it was what the majority of Southerners determined and imposed upon ourselves. As far as hecklers in crowds shouting absurdities, who cares. All ideologues have their fringe whackos that can't be controlled and can be embarrassing, but nobody has ever met an intelligent racist and nobody ever will. They are nothing more than insignificant entertainment and have no impact on politics or policy.

No matter how you read

No matter how you read American history, your reading of the Constitution was (1) beaten in the Civil War and (2) buried in 1937.

Try again,

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Civil War Fought to Destroy the Law of the Land

DrFrankLives says I ought to "try again" therefore I shall. I don't recall any of our elected representatives claiming that the federal government can do as she pleases since the Constitution was destroyed by the Civil War. Perhaps this is a dirty little secret that hasn't been articulated to We the People of North Carolina and elsewhere. In our government controlled public education system, they teach our children that the Civil War was fought over the 13th Amendment, to end slavery and oppression. Why would any liberal desire an all powerful coercive central government dictating every aspect of our private lives? If Voltaire is right, and "Man is free at the moment to be what he wishes to be", certainly this isn't the case if we are only "free" to be what government" "wishes". I understand that man has an affinity for slavery, but if the 13th Amendment doesn't mean anything, then why bother with the charade? Why have a judicial branch that determines actions based off a Law that does not exist? Are we now a land without Law? Do Republocrats now merely fight over who gets to coerce the People? This doesn't sound like liberty to me, nor is it liberalism. Divisive issues such as abortion, homosexuality, religion, etc. shouldn't be fought on a national stage and then forced upon all at the point of a bayonet. Liberalism and Voltaire's "freedom" can only take place at the local level with consent of the People and the rule of Law. Liberals have sold their soul for a temporary benevolent master in a far off land. What happens to us when our benevolent master is replaced but the power to coerce remains? Perhaps DrFrankLives ought to "try again" since his post seems to be a contradiction of ideas.

Why?

NC Thinker wrote

Why would any liberal desire an all powerful coercive central government dictating every aspect of our private lives?

The penchant for hyperbole is matched only by the irony of the screen name.

Rightie talk

First Dave then Bradley now Thinker. Nice to see some folks from the "other side" visiting, isn't it?

I am glad they are coming here for discussion. Keeps us sharp. :)

What is the "other side"?

It would appear that Foxtrot has conveniently categorized me and lumped me into some shameful "group". Could I be so bold as to at least ask what "group" I've been associated with? I don't know and have never met "Dave or Bradley" and have no idea what they believe, or if we have anything at all in common. Stranger yet, is evidently Foxtrot seems to know me better than I, perhaps, know myself. Are Dave and Bradley true liberals? If I love liberty and freedom, and believe in consent of the governed, would Foxtrot's "other side" be those that oppose liberty, freedom, and prefer coercion? Is BlueNC a blog for those that support tyranny and despotism? Am I nothing more than a minority voice on a website that is home for a majority of folks that relish the power to tell others how and what to think, and how they ought to live? Please tell me I'm on a Democratic website. Please tell me this site isn't simply a place to share ideas on how to take advantage of those least able and capable to defend themselves among us, and limit their liberty. Please tell me that this site isn't a place to plot the destruction of our Laws and give away our freedom. Please tell me what the "other side" is!

Is BlueNC a blog for those that support tyranny and despotism?

Oh yes. Our only mission in life is to enable despots. I wake up every morning with that specific intention driving my every move.

PS BlueNC is NOT a Democratic web site, and many here are not registered Democrats. Some of us (me for example) are even active supporters of the independent movement.

or Fusion Voting

Or Fusion Voting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_fusion

NC used to have fusion voting, but they eliminated it (circa 1898? I may be wrong) when it was giving African Americans and Populists too much power.

SC still has fusion voting, but I don't know how much use is made of it

My goodness !! In answer to you Thinker

I know this is going to be futile, but here I go. I will do my best to answer all you've said/questioned, Thinker: (I know I should know better than to start this "back and forth" thing, but it's my nature, I guess :)

1. No, I am not trying to lump you into some "shameful group". I was amazed to read you say that you are a democrat. To me, you appear to be a conservative democrat and that, in itself, is not "shameful".

2. I am not trying to be "snippy" here, Thinker, but that "Foxtrot seems to know me better than I, perhaps, know myself" is kind of third grade. It is not difficult to determine that you do not think as a liberal or a progressive democrat from what you have posted here. I truly do not know you at all. I do know what I read that you have written...and you, in turn, know my feelings on various topics from what I write here.

3. I have not discussed "liberty" here either with you or anyone else, so I really cannot answer your question about the "other side". Oh, and please do not tell me you honestly do not know what I consider the "other side". You appear to be an intelligent individual. That one isn't rocket science.

4. Your question/point about "is BlueNC a blog for those that support tyranny and despotism" and then about people on here wanting to "tell" people how to think and live is preposterous. Many here have beliefs that are counter to some (not all, of course) of yours. We are adamant about them just as you are yours. It is no different than any other blog in that respect, really..and I follow a ton of them. BlueNC is in the minority in that it allows posters to do exactly what you and I are doing right now..discuss the issues and banter back and forth (and, yeah, shoot a zinger here and there :). Most folks here fall into the moderate-to-liberal democratic category. It is who we are. This site is known for being a voice for progressive democrats all around the Net. It gets thousands of followers weekly so I understand from what James (the guy that runs this site) has said.

I am not sure, but I feel you will not accept or buy what I have said. No, this is not a site that plots distruction of our laws and give away our freedom. Quite the opposite.

Foxy

"Other Side?"

Thanks Fox, but you still haven't answered my question. I simply have engaged in ideas of liberty and you brought up the "other side". I'm still baffled as to what the "other side" is or what your ideas of liberty are, if that is the issue. Sorry for sounding 3rd grade, but the post seemed to lump me in with a certain "group". If that wasn't your intent, then what was it? Perhaps I completely misunderstood the premise of your post. Please explain. Look forward to reading your response. Oh, and by the way, I consider myself a liberal's liberal and I've never found a conservative that would allow me into their club with my radical ideas.

Philosophy vs reality

I sense some apects of Libertarianism in your statements Thinker, so let me tell you what I think about liberty and freedom.

Anyone who has studied world history can find examples of large-scale tyranny; nations and empires ruled by despots or juntas and the like. But what you won't find while flipping those pages are examples of peoples living in harmony and prosperity in the absence of a strong central government. Not for long, anyway.

Why? Because tyrants feed on weakness and disunity, exerting their power one village at a time until they control large areas. Our nation was born because we pooled our resources and became One, instead of Thirteen. We became powerful and prosperous because we implemented good ideas on a national scale. If we had always left things up to local governments or assemblies to handle, our nation probably wouldn't even exist today.

The plain truth about liberty is, it can only survive in the middle of the spectrum between tyranny and anarchy, and a strong but responsive central government is the only way to maintain that equilibrium.

I knew this was going to be a "back-and-forth"...RATS !

Thinker, I have learned my lesson here when I get "into it" with posters that want to continue to ask me questions so as to then argue (calling it "discuss) with me on what I mean and how they do not believe what I say I feel they believe from what I have read that they have posted and so forth. It just goes on and on and on and on and I have gotten past needing to have the last word and "catching" a poster in saying one thing and then saying something opposite to it. It is a lose/lose adventure. You will see. Take your question about what my ideas of liberty are. Liberty to me is being able to live my life with all guarentees and rights and privileges offered by the U.S. Constitution. Now, you could take that and start asking me why I feel some way on something you see as not constitutional and/or do I feel my rights and liberties are being violated by something that you feel is happening or going to happen etc. I would then present my point of view on that and then you would come back with more questions or points...on and on and on.

If I feel something happens or if the government is doing something to violate my freedoms or liberty, then I will voice that to my congressperson and/or senator, join a group that feels as I do etc. and work to change it.

This "other side" thing really has upset you, I see. You feel differently than many here including me on some issues. Take that as the meaning of the "other side". And, no, I really do not want to go into each one so that we can then go on and on and on discussing them.

Thanks. Look, I do not dislike you and I understand you have beliefs and regardless of anything else, NO ONE can take away our beliefs.

only responding to your post

Thanks Fox. It certainly wasn't my desire to give us both carpal tunnel, but I merely found your post "odd" since we haven't met and you seemed to have no problem lumping me into some unfamiliar group of folks I wasn't familiar with based off one or two simple posts concerning liberty and where "rights" originate from. I'm not sure why you would concern yourself with who "likes" who, but I was merely curious as to what "group" you had arbitrarily assigned me to, and what was the "other side". If you think your rights come from government, then perhaps that explains the "other side" since I know my rights don't come from professional politicians or bureaucrats, but rather originate as articulated in our Declaration of Independence. For me, governments come and go and are simply derived by man to secure those rights. Thanks for the explanation, but a few simple sentences would have easily answered without all the needless filler concerning lessons learned, feelings, arguments, and last words, and never-ending questions.