Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dear Congressman Moran

August 26, 2009
Dear Congressman Moran,

Thank you for conducting the health care town hall on August 25, 2009. Having slept on the matter, I should like to express my discontent with the entire concept.

It was refreshing to hear a Rabbi offer the invocation. I'm a fan of Jews, their King in particular. The mention of Pharaoh in Exodus seeking wise counsel to prepare for the famine years was interesting. I appreciated the Rabbi's taste in serving up the example, and leaving it to the audience to connect the dots. Your attempt during your remarks to connect the 44th President with Pharaoh had ominous overtones. Pharaoh was an autocrat ruling a nation of slaves with the rod. I have thought that, at a high level of abstraction, the health care debate could be seen as an attempt to convince the people that we'd really all be happier in Egypt. See Exodus 14:9-12.

You really don't want to be an insurer these days, do you? I suppose a corporation makes a great scapegoat, and your attempts to throw THEM a bit of reclama were amusing. Yet, if we take the evening as a whole, and substitute a despised ethnic minority for 'insurer', the rhetorical devices in use hearken back to a prior century. It would be helpful to substitute sound economic reasoning for crass emotional plays.

You mentioned 800 families in the local area having gone bankrupt as a result of medical expenses. 800, a three digit number, seems big enough to be scary, without being far-fetched for the scope of the discussion. And who could deny families? They are the building block of society, (for now), right?

Furthermore, I understand the town hall format precludes analysis of those 800 families. We don't want to judge, we don't want to blame the victim, we don't want to live in a society where all are at liberty to succeed or fail on their own merit.

May I reference my correspondence to your office dated August 04, 2009? For those 800 families, where is the State of Virginia in all this? Where is Governor Kane amidst these tales of woe? Why are these 50 States United short-circuiting the chain of command, and relying on a Pharonic Fed fix? Do the States even matter?

Furthermore, you didn't mention the 'C' word the whole evening. Your side-kick Governor Dean made a sole mention of the document, in the context of explaining why tort reform, so conspicuously absent from the debate, is precluded from discussion. What about that Constitution? What if the wise Framers, foreseeing the behavior pattern of a Pharaoh in DC, insisted on a 10th Amendment specifically to preclude the shenanigans currently afoot? If you haven't told me what you're doing to alter the Constitution explicitly to support this overreach, and instead seek to legislate your way around it, then I shall continue to attend your town hall meetings and guffaw like an idiot at your oath-breaking behavior. (I was the loud creep in nosebleed directly to your left last night, sir.)

Now, socializing medicine has been, to be generous, a mixed bag, world-wide and across time. Your attempt to state that this country is somehow less corrupt than every other country in the world, and that the forces of bureaucratic gravity therefore do not apply to us, was among the more luxurious laughs I enjoyed yesterday evening. Those were some expensive laughs. If this healthcare abomination passes, I'll treasure those laughs, because they shall have been the price of liberty.

I could go on. I'm even sympathetic to your plight as my Representative. The creeping Progressivism the last 100-ish years has trained Americans not to look to liberty and capitalism as the source of happiness, but to the Federal government. Expectations have been raised. Irrespective of your own opinion, you're carrying out the will of VA-8, even if that will resembles a junkie craving a hit.

Health care, then, is a large battle in the overall struggle for the soul of the country. Thank you for stating that dissent is as American as apple pie. Thank you for not calling those who esteem the Constitution, and its interlocks to preclude tyranny, a bunch of Nazis. Please convey my contempt to Madame Speaker for usage of that epithet. I pray daily for peace, and hold forth the hope that something along the lines of will gain traction in the public debate. The proper answer to the various challenges besetting the country is to solve them Constitutionally, at a State level, and delegate to the Federal government an oversight role, so that the weeds of corruption are minimized within the US government and focused on polluting Pharaoh's dreams.

Christopher Smith


  1. Many Hayekian libertarians, I believe, including “the man” himself, SUPPORT national healthcare, and even find it well within the proper purview of government activity. (I have a friend, strongly of that political bent, a SCOTUS-qualified lawyer, who says so.) So, what gives on your stance?

  2. @Gadfly,
    Having a military mind, I'm big on chain-of-command.

    I suppose I could have been more explicit, but my opinion is that issues (housing, health care, retirement, etc.) pertaining to the individual might be better addressed at the State level.

    The thrust of my letter is that the more the left kinda accidentally sorta neglects to deal with fundamental Constitutional questions, the more the whole thing appears a con job.

  3. I can agree on the "might," at least if we had a baseline-level at the federal level.

    Maybe like a catastrophic-only baseline, plus Wyden/Germany-style vouchers (which I like, and am familiar with the German system to some degree), and some flexibility at the state level.

    I'm not sure what fundamental constitutional questions are at stake beyond the employee mandate forced buy, which I know could well be a constitutional issue.

    But, if that is indeed the tripwire, then we have to have either a "public option" available to all, not just those without healthcare from current employers, or else a voucher program + mandates done on a state-level pass-through, kind of like block grants, with the "stick" of loss of other federal funds for noncompliance, like federal funds for highways were used to get states to lower their BAC levels for DWIs.

    That said, my first comment was as much for the local "man," R.S., as for you.

  4. @Gadfly,
    I don't think it's a stretch to say that the Bill of Rights, in summary, is intended as a firewall for the citizen from the Federal government.

    There are some crucial considerations about harmonizing things amongst the states.

    However, the seemingly amphetamine-addled pace with which health care and other legislation is being pushed through Congress, alone, is cause for a giant, collective "Whoa, hoss" while we puzzle out important cui bono and woher das Geld questions.

  5. "What about that Constitution? What if the wise Framers, foreseeing the behavior pattern of a Pharaoh in DC, insisted on a 10th Amendment specifically to preclude the shenanigans currently afoot?"

    What if Medicare already existed and nobody cared about its constitutionality.

  6. What if Medicare already existed and nobody cared about its constitutionality.

    Well, I do, blowing away your 'nobody', and was not the Lone Range on the issue.

    Then there is the gnarly fact that the system is rather Tango Uniform.

    Thus, there are both practical and legal questions surrounding it.

    Medicare is older than I am, by a couple of years. Now that I'm old enough to know it's a recipe for ruin, you seem to suggest that we should just roll over and accept it?

    Why did we bother with the Revolutionary War, then? Your argument implies we should still be subjects of the English Crown.