Since we just slammed Democrats' grotesque End of Discussion tactics, we'll strive for evenhandedness by upbraiding a Republican for his own contribution to this scourge. Enter Ohio Governor and presidential candidate John Kasich. He's been a staunch defender of his decision to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, often invoking religious values as a justification for his public policy stance. The Left has applauded, by the way, because citing the Bible within a political context is perfectly acceptable when it's in service of certain ideological interests; otherwise, it's a dangerous harbinger of incipient theocracy. At a forum today, Kasich -- who, again, is seeking to win the Republican nomination, which requires attracting the support of conservatives whose contempt for Obamacare is essentially universal -- quadrupled down on his unseemly go-to line:
Might this have been pulled out of context, resulting in a buzzy, uncharitable, unfair exaggeration? Nope:
Kasich begins by whining about people "yelling" at him over his controversial decision on Medicaid. Civil discourse is of course a laudable goal, but Kasich's tone here is redolent of Democrats cynically reaching for the smelling salts after citizens dared to raise their voices at Obamacare town hall meetings in 2009. Politics stir passions and inspire rough-and-tumble debates sometimes. You're a powerful elected leader, governor. Deal with it. Next, he climbs atop his high horse to reprise his discussion-ending talking point, explicitly arguing that the Bible teaches us to care for the poor, ergo, his political decision is effectively blessed by God Himself. Questions: Would Gov. Kasich, who's campaigning for the White House as a budget-balancing fiscal conservative, accept this exact same framing if it were applied in advocacy of expanding all elements of the welfare state? Does enacting compassionate policies while seeking Godliness require ever-increasing government spending, across the board? If not, where does he draw the line on this "logic"?
Then there's the small matter of pre-Obamacare Medicaid already straining state budgets, already struggling with access problems, and already failing the truly indigent on an empirical level. Obamacare took a wheezing, bloated program beset with systemic challenges and expanded it to millions of additional Americans. The results have been predictable and tragic. Beyond the aforementioned shortcomings, one of its supporters' chief selling points has also been debunked by reality. Medicaid's enormous new burdens render the program even less effective and accessible for those who need it most: The very poor. How would God feel about that outcome, governor? Incidentally, the accuracy of a few claims you've made about Medicaid in your state have been called into question by fact-checkers. Since we're apparently impugning opponents' motives in the crassest way possible, one wonders if the Bible has anything to say about lying. Someone buy this man a copy, stat. I'll leave you with a few points from Gabriel Malor:
It goes further than that. It tends to irritate the believer who disagrees. https://t.co/gTNLWuSjPl— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) October 6, 2015
"God wants X" is not an invitation to discuss. It's an edict. The follow-through is "Oh, you dare disagree with God!"— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) October 6, 2015