Saturday, July 11, 2015

Last Call For Uncivil Disobedience

The big problem with the right's constant fetishization of victimhood is that it tries to pass the powerful off as suddenly powerless when their privilege is called into question.  The repeated attempts to co-opt the civil rights movement of the 60's as a conservative one, with Republicans standing for "freedom" against liberal "fascism", is part and parcel of this.

Pat Buchanan is just the latest Republican conservative to call for a "new era of civil disobedience" to somehow equate the the long journey to marriage equality as an assault on the "religious freedoms" of Americans to discriminate against the gay community. The problem of course is that if your religion calls for you to hate your fellow man, it's not exactly freedom.

Conservative pundit Pat Buchanan used his column today to praise Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who recently announced that she will not move a Ten Commandments monument off public land even though it was found unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court, explaining that she will exhaust the appeals process.

Fallin’s action seems a harbinger of what is to come in America – an era of civil disobedience like the 1960s, where court orders are defied and laws ignored in the name of conscience and a higher law,” Buchanan wrote. “Only this time, the rebellion is likely to arise from the right.”

Buchanan particularly focused on same-sex marriage, claiming that people who want to violate nondiscrimination laws are really no different than Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Rosa Parks is celebrated. But the pizza lady who said her Christian beliefs would not permit her to cater a same-sex wedding was declared a bigot,” Buchanan lamented. “[I]f cities, states or Congress enact laws that make it a crime not to rent to homosexuals, or to refuse services at celebrations of their unions, would not dissenting Christians stand on the same moral ground as Dr. King if they disobeyed those laws?”

Insert "women" or "black people" or "Asian people" or "Native Americans" or hey, "Jews" in that last paragraph instead of "homosexuals" and you begin to see the issue.  It's the same ridiculous argument used against anti-discrimination laws 50 years ago.  It's not "civil disobedience" when it's really good old fashioned bigotry and hatred.

Besides, when the right does disobedience, it's not exactly civil.  Ask Cliven Bundy or Dylann Roof about that sometime.

Charting A Course To Obamacare Success

The latest Gallup survey on Americans and health insurance shows one reason why Republicans are terrified of Obamacare's success.

The uninsured rate among U.S. adults aged 18 and older was 11.4% in the second quarter of 2015, down from 11.9% in the first quarter. The uninsured rate has dropped nearly six percentage points since the fourth quarter of 2013, just before the requirement for Americans to carry health insurance took effect. The latest quarterly uninsured rate is the lowest Gallup and Healthways have recorded since daily tracking of this metric began in 2008.
Percentage Uninsured in U.S. by Quarter
So the percentage of uninsured Americans overall has dropped significantly, and that's helping a lot of Americans across the board.  But here's why Republicans are so desperate to sell the health care law as a taxpayer giveaway to those people:

Percentage of Uninsured U.S. Adults, by Subgroup

As you can see, all age groups (other than seniors over 65, 98% of whom have health insurance through Medicare) have benefited from the ACA.  But the real winners have been black and Hispanic folks, who have seen big drops in the percentage of uninsured in America under the law.  Granted, these groups had far more uninsured before the law took effect, so it makes sense that these are the groups that have been helped the most.

Those making less than $35,000 a year have also seen a big drop in the uninsured.

Are you beginning to see why Republicans hate the law so much and want to constantly repeal it?

Getting To The Roof Of The Problem

So it turns out that the three-day waiting period built into background check laws, and gun store owners all looing the other way because of that, is exactly how Dylann Roof got a .45 caliber handgun when he should have been stopped.

The man accused of killing nine people in an historically black South Carolina church last month should not have been able to buy a gun, the F.B.I. said Friday in what was the latest acknowledgment of flaws in the national background check system.

A loophole in the check system allowed the man, Dylann Roof, to buy the .45-caliber handgun despite his having previously admitted to drug possession, the bureau said. Those conducting the background check did not have access to that police report.

“We are all sick this happened,” said the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey. “We wish we could turn back time.”

Mr. Roof now faces murder charges in a case that investigators say was racially motivated. Mr. Roof, who is white, is charged with killing nine people at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston.

And the NRA, Republicans, and the firearms industry have long fought against any law that would make background checks easier, because firearms and ammo would be more difficult to sell due to more accurate checks.  Right now all the NRA has to do is make sure background check laws remain weak, and then complain that they don't work and "can't stop criminals".

Well no, laws that are not enforced or are not able to be enforced aren't very good at deterring crime, now are they?  Imagine if the auto industry had police speed guns and traffic stops outlawed and then complained that speed limits did nothing to stop people speeding, so why have them at all?

And so Dylann Roof bought a gun when he shouldn't have been able to because the law wasn't enforced, and the NRA buys enough lawmakers to make sure that it never will be.
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