the senator in question
It's been a few days since I heard this idiotic statement during an NPR story on Missouri's vote against the Obama healthcare bill, but it's been bugging the hell out of me. Here's the statement
, made by Missouri state senator Jane Cunningham, who is of course a republican:
It is unprecedented in the United States of America for a government to say just because you live in this land and you breathe in this land, you will buy a product, any product, with your own money against your will. That has never before happened in America.
Now I don't want to talk about stupid Missouri thinking they can make a state law that will trump federal law (BTW, hello, Arizona, the "stupid" tag applies to you too). That's not the bone I want to pick.
No, what I have a problem with is the stupidity of republican talking points, this one being just the latest in the ever-escalating moronic talking points of the republican/tea party.
Let's take a look at this statement which Sen. Cunningham blasts at the oh-so-unfair idea of getting everyone health insurance so that we're not going broke paying for people to go to the ER all the fucking time because they have no insurance. (oops, sorry, I picked at another bone there. Sorry.)
So "never before" has it "happened in America" that we, who "live in this land and... breathe in this land," have been forced by "a government" to "buy a product, any product, with [our] own money against our will" -- is that your contention, senator? Is that your problem with the health care law? It's "unprecedented?"
Because I have to call bullshit on that, madam. Why, you ask? Let me offer you a short list of "products" we as living breathing Americans have been forced by this government to pay for with our own money and against our will:
1. Iraq War
2. Afghan War
3. War on drugs
4. the first Gulf War
Shall I go on? Because believe me, I could think of PLENTY of "products" this government has used our money to pay for even though many of us were pretty fucking against them. We paid our money in taxes so that King Georgie McChimp could pretty much just give it to his rich friends, his dad, Halliburton, and BlackWater. And yet I don't remember you speaking up for those of us who didn't want that "product" and didn't want our money spent on that product.
But now, when our president tries to actually do something for people BESIDES those rich friends and family -- whether it's gonna work or not, the effort and intention were there, Senator -- NOW you want to argue that "It is unprecedented in the United States of America for a government to say just because you live in this land and you breathe in this land, you will buy a product, any product, with your own money against your will. That has never before happened in America"?
NOW you're saying this? Like the government has NEVER BEFORE shoved some bullshit policy or imperialist war or tax cut for the super-rich down our throats and demanded we pay for it?
Bullshit, Senator Cunningham. Bullshit. Oh, and your haircut is freaky.
But I digress.
Now go back to your local library, Senator, and read the Constitution. Read some constitutional law. Because, as University of Missouri School of Law professor Richard Reuben said in that same NPR story, "This should be a no-brainer for the courts. Under the supremacy clause of the Constitution, a state statute that is in direct conflict with a federal statute is simply invalid."