To say that Gov. Mike Pence and conservative Republicans had a bad week last week would be an extreme understatement. And the irony isn’t lost that the Supreme Court decisions came just a week before Independence Day.
First the highest court in the land upheld (again) the Affordable Care Act often referred to as Obamacare. Two days later the same Supreme Court upheld same sex marriage and made it the law of the land in all 50 states.
Both decisions have conservations howling and seething. It was amusing to hear the Governor, invoke the conservative chestnut, and lament the “activist judges” on the court. The decisions were particularly painful to conservatives because of the staunch conservative leaning of the highest court. It no doubt is akin to the time my aunt gave me whipping and first made me go cut the switch.
Conservatives never liked ACA and sought at every opportunity to overturn, change or defund healthcare for Americans who could not afford it. They wanted something different but never put forth their alternative version of healthcare for all.
I submit that the real political reason the GOP was so adamantly opposed to ACA is that they knew from history, if the people get government benefits, they will quickly learn that they like them and the opposition party will be loathe to take them away.
Such as it was in the 1930’s with Social Security. Even then, conservatives railed for years against the financial safety net for the elderly at the government’s expense. But elected officials learned that the elderly liked their monthly checks and to mess with Social Security is the third rail of politics.
I am a beneficiary of the ACA, just like a lot of Hoosier conservatives who are quietly breathing a sigh of relief after last week. Without it, I could not afford health insurance. Thumb through the newspaper and see the news business is great; the ad business stinks.
And why should we rail against government subsidies for healthcare to make it affordable when we have homestead exemptions for homeowners, tax abatements for business, government assistance to build roads and infrastructure for communities, and USDA payments for farmers?
On the matter of same sex marriage—which with the Supreme Court’s decision now is simply marriage—conservatives and some Christians loudly opposed it on religious grounds.
The Pence pushed RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) put Indiana in the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Even after high profile business and industry told the governor it would harm their ability to hire the best workers, Pence pursued and signed the legislation to allow businesses to deny selling goods and services to same sex couples.
When business and conventions threatened to leave the state, a legislative ‘fix’ only perpetuated Indiana as the laughing stock of the nation.
Now with the most recent Supreme Court decision allowing marriage for all, conservative Christians are vowing to continue the fight. But I submit the push is to preserve and force their way of thinking on a younger generation that culturally has passed them by.
Using words of anger and vows of continuing the fight have left some Christians saying and doing some un-Christ-like things. Perhaps they should be less concerned about doing the Christian thing and more concerned with being a follower of Jesus who said “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”