Georgia Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker, a Democrat, has responded to calls for his state to join the suspect lawsuit against health care reform with a letter (PDF) that makes one wish our own AG, Rob McKenna, had the intestinal fortitude to do the same. Well, McKenna could have just said nothing, because Georgia has a wingnut Republican governor, and we don’t.
It’s not that long, so I encourage readers to click through and have a read.
What’s really hilarious is how Baker smacks down one of the most widely publicized contentions of the lawsuit, that mandates for people to purchase insurance are unconstitutional:
In fact, earlier this month, an appellate court decision rejecting such arguments was issued in the only case I am aware of to be litigated on this topic to date. As you may know, then-Governor Mitt Romney proposed and signed into law in 2006 a bill that requires all Massachusetts residents to purchase health insurance. A suit was brought against the Commonwealth by a plaintiff who alleged that the requirement violated his rights under the Fifth, Seventh and Eighth Amendments of the United States Constitution and various provisions of the Massachusetts Constitution. In Fountas v. Commissioner of the Depørtment of Revenue, 2010 Mass. App. Unpub. Lexis 223 (Marchs, 2010), the Massachusetts Court of Appeals rejected all of those arguments.
The concept of mandates is a Republican idea. In a normal political world the GOP would be demanding partial credit, and at least a dozen or so of their House members and a couple of senators would have voted for final passage.
But we don’t live in a normal political world, because the GOP and its noise machine cannot abide defeat, and even those Republicans who know the Tea People are full of shit are too cowardly to stand up to them. This potentially leaves the GOP, once again, facing status as a permanent rump party.
Republicans say they know something had to be changed, but all they did was obstruct, obstruct, obstruct. They’re still doing it, like a gambler who knows deep down it’s time to get up from the table, but can’t. But thanks, Rob McKenna, for making this pathetic state of affairs obvious to hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians who thought you were a straight shooter.