Jonah Goldberg

I don't mean to pick on Rovner. Her views on Obamacare don't strike me as exceptional so much as typical -- typical of a liberal Washington establishment that still seems incapable of grasping what the fuss is about.

Hence the Beltway fantasy that Obamacare's unpopularity reflects nothing more than a sales problem. Indeed, the new mantra is that the Supreme Court's decision has provided the White House a golden opportunity to "sell" a law that has been on the books for two years already.

Only a third of Americans fully supported the law when it was signed, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll, and today that number stands essentially unchanged. In fairness, a fifth of the law's opponents are left-wing voters who would prefer a single-payer system that doesn't involve incestuous collusion between government and big business. I don't support socialized medicine, but I can respect this sort of principled objection.

But why is the only legitimate opposition to the law one that creates "losers" in some actuarial or accounting sense? Even if I thought we could afford a vast new entitlement, I'd still be opposed to Obamacare.

Whether it's called a tax or a mandate, the federal government has never opted to compel citizens to purchase something as a condition of breathing while American. Obamacare represents a major advance for the old FDR vision of turning sovereign citizens into clients of the state. It empowers an army of Bloombergs to do what they think is for your own good and to redefine your rights as mere perks of the system.

I admit I have an old-fashioned conception of what our country is supposed to be about, which is why people like me are losers under Obamacare too.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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