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Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit

By Jim Killebrew

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[August 01, 2014]  Isn't it fun to watch from the sidelines the games the politicians in Washington are playing? They are so full of intrigue with their twisting and turning holding the masks to their faces as they try to emulate actual statesmen in their deliberations. The little "tit for tat" arena they use is like the Disney comic Uncle Scrooge wallowing around in his big money bin building filled with an untold amount of money. In this case that money they are using is actually tax money they have confiscated from the American citizen.

So here is the scene: The House of Representatives is suing the president of United States. They are suing him for doing what they themselves wanted to do. Remember the election of 2012 when Mitt Romney, the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United States was campaigning against the Obamacare requirements? The campaign was centered around the desire to appeal the Affordable Care Act because of the unfavorable effect it was having on the citizens who were being forced into buying the government's insurance policies. Of course the Democrat Party was dead set against any such notion, claiming it was good for the country and would eventually provide insurance coverage, hence healthcare, for at least 30 million uninsured people and millions more with "pre-existing" conditions.

All the promises the President and his top officials made regarding people being able to keep their existing insurance if they liked it; keeping their physician if they liked, all turned out to be untrue and millions of people lost their existing policy and were forced to go with the government's version. There were mandates built into the Obamacare law that required employers and employees to do certain things that eventually caused many to lose their full-time jobs since a 30-hour work-week prevented the employer from having to provide the insurance to their employees. Everyone now knows "the rest of the story" as the late Paul Harvey used to say.

Consequently, the republicans launched an all-out assault on the Obamacare plan to destroy it since it was taking over at least one-sixth of the nation's economy. However, after the election, even before in many cases, the President began changing the law and postponing the implementation of certain provisions until after the elections because it became so toxic to democrats who had been the only party responsible for voting it in without a single republican vote. So toxic, in fact, the President has changed some provisions of the law at least thirty-five times, some of which will not be taking effect until after the 2016 Presidential election.

Now, one would think this would have been a win for the republicans. After all, the President began changing the law in the exact same way the republicans were demanding it to be repealed. Not so, however, since the President received some heat from the democrats who needed to run for re-election, he began stringing out the law in parcels that seemed to quell the ire of the citizens knowing the can had been kicked down the road and they simply didn't have to deal with it until "later."

So here we are at the point where it seems an irony; the President actually did to the law on a temporary basis what the republicans wanted to do on a permanent basis. The President circumvented Congress to make changes in a law he was suppose to implement; instead he made changes without taking it back to Congress so the "lawmakers" could make the adjustments in a bi-partisan way and follow the Constitution. So the House of Representatives has now brought a lawsuit against the President of the United States for doing what they wanted done in the first place.

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It reminds me of the fictional character brought to life by Joel Chandler Harris, a literary comedian, who wrote the tales of Uncle Remus whose stories about Brer Rabbit are legendary. Brer Rabbit had been caught by Brer Fox and was about to be eaten for his misadventures; but he kept telling Brer Fox "please don't throw me into the briar patch" because presumably the poor rabbit would be cut to pieces by the thorns in the briar patch. Of course we all know it was a ruse, a form of "reverse psychology" of asking for one thing that might be punishment when in reality it is a reward. The President makes the changes goading the republicans into doing something. In this case they have initiated a lawsuit against him for overextending his Constitutional authority by circumventing the Congress and changing laws.

The question is why would the House of Representatives want to sue the President when such action is virtually unprecedented? If the President was goading the Congress to take such action against him, was he being Brer Rabbit telling Congress, "Please don't throw me on the courts for them to decide about my behavior," when he really wanted it to happen so he could turn it around and use it like he did the impeachment issue; simply a method to gin up his base to enhance fundraising. Really, the reason a person takes another person to court is for the court to make a decision about how the aggrieved party is going to be "made whole." So if the President is found guilty of overreaching his authority and decided the President must undo what he has done by changing the laws, wouldn't that be a win for the President and a loss for the Congress? Not exactly.

I think that instead of it being ironic the republicans would want his actions reversed, taking away from them what they seemingly wanted in the first place, it would be a win for the republicans if the law had to be implemented now as it was written then.

Think of it, having to implement the Obamacare now with all the elements that the President intended in the beginning would create so much havoc with the American people it would almost guarantee a democrat presidential loss in 2016. If the republicans can get the court to resolve the issue through the lawsuit and make the president enforce the law as the democrats passed it, the American people will see how disastrous the law is. This will give the Republicans the advantage in the 2016 presidential election. That, in turn, will give the republicans to accomplish what they wanted to do in the first place, repeal the Obamacare law after the 2016 election without much push-back from anyone.


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