Thursday, June 28, 2012

3 things to take away from today's Supreme Court ruling...

So a few moments before the announcement I decided I was in no mood for pretentious first responses from over-privileged talking heads and threw on my running shoes and put 12 miles between me and the banter of opening spin.

With a clear head I started to catch up to speed shortly after noon.

Now that its nearly time for dinner I can say that I'm going to take away 3 points from today....   

1. Social Networking Tools can be harnessed in impactful ways that will transform our society for the better
2. Occupy Wall Street should get a lot of credit for today's ruling whether anyone knows it or not.
3. This is a win for the Republican establishment

I'll open up with a random aside but important none the less--everything about my time running for State Senate, in the occupy movement here in Atlanta, and, well, my reading of Sheldon Wolin's book Democracy Inc. ques me in to the way that this post has blown up on twitter and Facebook within hours spreading like wild fire.

With other examples of clever responses to Rightwingers coming out immediately:

...mixing with the think tanks and political organisations more substantive responses leads me to truly want to believe that this nation would have been a different place had we had these social networking tools in 2000--2003 in the ways that they are now embedded into our daily lives.  For this I am hopeful.

But more importantly I think no one is giving credit where credit is due--Occupy Wall Street could have harnessed the popular anger a rejection of Obamacare would have created in ways that even Roberts wasn't willing to toy with.  As the Philosopher and Legal Scholar Brian Leiter recently noted, "Under existing precedents, it [the ACA] is clearly constitutional, but whenever the super-legislature takes a case in which that is true, trouble is afoot!"

Trouble was likely afoot and I think Occupy Wall Street's presence was very much in the minds of the elite's scan of the horizon as they questioned wither to shake up the status quo of legal precedents.  

People forget that the 30-40's labor movement was extremely violent and many in the 1% feared not just of expropriation of their wealth--which wasn't really theirs to begin with--but often their very lives.  After 30+ years of Neoliberalism the economic and social fabric is rotten to the core and is ripe for the picking--be it by Utopian "Free Market" Ayn Randians on the one hand or the radical hodge podge known as #occupy on the other.  

While the wing-nut wing of the 1% have created a cardre of zealots pushing flatearth society economics, in the end social and economic stability is far too important to the 1% for them to want to undermine their existence.  A repeal of ObamaCare would have been that kind of ruling.  There are massive profits being made in the stupendously ineffienct and wasteful American health care system.  A repeal of ObamaCare might have put enough energy behind a single payer movement to finally nationalize the mess the private sector has created.  Wealth expropriation, when backed with both moral and technocratic legitimacy, is very manageable (and imaginable) in highly industrialized societies--and don't think insurance company CEO's, or John Roberts, don't know that.

Without a demotic movement ready, willing, and able to take back what is rightfully their's from the 1% the "moderate" and "responsible" business-minded politicians have no leverage to increase the share of prosperity trickling downwards.  Occupy has provided a movement to fill a void that the center-rightward push of the Democratic Party--the "death of the Liberal Class" as Chris Hedges puts it--has created.  

Roberts is a shrewd guy, feeding social instability in a time of economic crisis is not a wise move.  A coalition of upper middle class planned parenthood types, the Democratic Party and Labor apparatus' active and engaged, and pretty much anyone with a pre-existing condition rubbing elbows with an Occupy movement looking for energy to tap into for its more militant ends would have been quite a sight to see over the next few months.  

In a way I'm a little disappointed, but as someone with a pre-existing condition I know that the reality is that millions of lives will be improved, so I'll leave my armchair reading of the tea leaves of revolution for another day.  I say kudos to Occupy Wall Street and occupy activists all over the country--Justice John Roberts hears you load and clear--a lot of every day citizens oh you a debt of gratitude.

Finally I think my last take-away from today is to marvel at the propaganda system at work. 

Republicans get their health care legislation (it was their idea after all) that keeps the private sector centered health care system in tact, creating millions in private profits for businesses; they get rank and file Democrats who are a part of the 99% championing the legislation as if it was their soul's ambition to transfer tax dollars to the private sector 1%'ers in the least efficient and cost effective way possible; AND the GOP get to campaign and fund-raise against the bill.  

So my final take away from today was that this was a major win for Republican establishment and most people don't even realize it...

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