Paul Krugman wrote a good column yesterday about Antonin Scalia, the U.S. Supreme Court’s chief buffoon, but a reader’s response to the column was even better:
When Justice Scalia compared requiring health insurance to requiring people to buy broccoli, something in me snapped. I think what snapped is the basic faith in our government that I have held onto for decades. My wife and I are both cancer survivors and have lived through being denied health insurance, facing a choice between destitution and death.
To take our suffering, and that of millions of others so casually, so dismissively. as Justice Scalia did in his broccoli comment, is an act of moral degeneracy. Clearly major portions of our government care not the slightest for the well-being of the citizenry.
I didn’t snap when I read Scalia’s remarks, but I did feel a moment of clarity. I remembered that Scalia, despite all his legal training, reasons crudely, without factoring in empathy or compassion. He laughs at the misfortune of the poor because he convinced himself long ago that poor people deserve misfortune.
Scalia feels contempt for the sort of social contract envisioned by certain Enlightenment thinkers and gradually implemented by progressive-minded Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries. It’s no exaggeration to say he’d feel more at home in the antebellum South than in America after the New Deal. I’m sure he’d tell great slave jokes.
Regardless of how the Court rules on the health care law, you can be sure Scalia cares nothing about how his rulings affect “the well-being of the citizenry.” That’s why Ronald Reagan appointed him.
Pingback: Scalia — joker with a mean streak | Suburban Guerrilla
Amazing how many people are just discovering conservatism. That is to say, capitalism.
Pingback: Links 4/4/12 | Mike the Mad Biologist
Also, his comparison of paying for something which covers most ailments and is meant to keep a person or good health or bring someone back to being as healthy as possible is quite different from requiring the same person to eat particular vegetable. It is argument by ridicule and taking something to an absurd conclusion.
Eating well, with a varied and balanced diet should be highly recommended, strongly supported (veggie tax credits??), and is a good goal for society.
But, dear Justice Scalia, for people on blood thinners broccoli is a dicey menu item: Unless they eat it regularly so that their blood thinner dose is tweaked to accommodate the effect of broccoli on how their body uses the blood thinner, people usually avoid that vegetable and some others. For people on cholesterol lowering drugs, it is usually recommended that grapefruit be avoided. (Just got a reminder of that from my friend who loved broccoli, but doesn’t eat it all the time, so now avoids it.).
But, the good judge shows such poor understanding of health that he doesn’t even consider that his joke sucks and also could hurt.
Silly judge. Nasty judge. Mean judge.