2013-10-02

"But It's The Law!"

Today someone on Facebook linked to this Huffington Post article, which states:
STFU, Republicans. Democrats won the Obamacare thing, so stop objecting to it because it's the law! Just STFU.
Okay, I admit it: the article doesn't really say that. But it says something equivalent:
Jon Stewart opened Monday's "Daily Show" by addressing the government shutdown, and placed the blame squarely on the House Republicans for going to great lengths in their one-sided fight against the Affordable Care Act, which he mockingly called "The End of America as We Know It for Reasons No One is Able to Clearly Explain." 
"You're just throwing words together," he exclaimed in response to a montage of Republicans rattling off their love of the Constitution to show their hatred of Obamacare, and then those lawmakers blasting Obama for failing to compromise. "It's a f**king law!" he said, pointing out that all three branches of government had thus far upheld the law. 
He then compared the Republicans to a losing football team. "Did you see the Giants game on Sunday?" he asked. "They lost 31-7. Do you know what the Giants didn't say after that game? 'If you don't give us 25 more points by midnight on Monday, we will shut down the f**king NFL.'" 
Of course, this line of reasoning is patently ridiculous, for reasons I will now take the time to explain, even though there is no conceivable reason why I should have to explain them.

Remember when slavery was the law of the land? Remember when slavery was actually constitutional? Back then, there was a group of people who objected to slavery. They were called "Abolitionists," because they thought slavery ought to be, you know, abolished. Well, one day the people of the United States fought a bloody Civil War over it, and as it turned out, we changed the Constitution so that all human beings within US borders could have the same sort of rights. Okay, it took another hundred years before we really set the groundwork for equal rights under the law, but at any rate the point is that the Constitution had to be changed.

What I'm getting at is that we can all cite plenty of examples of bad laws that ought to be objected to. It would be stupid if someone said, "You can't filibuster slavery - it's the law!" Obviously the law does not carry much weight in comparison with things like ethics and human dignity. Thus, when the law doesn't conform to such things, we change the law until it makes sense.

I'm not saying that the Republicans' strategy is good or bad. What I am saying is that if someone objects to ObamaCare and decides to gum-up the mechanisms of government over the matter, and frustrate the poor, poor president about it, and make leftists mad, there may be many fair objections raised against such a person...

But "It's the law!" is not one of them. "It's the law!" is a juvenile, whiny, "but we wooooooon, so stop iiiiiit" childish response that does nothing to meet the other side from common ground.

So if you have a problem with those darn, dirty Republicans, maybe think about the issues a little harder than just saying "It's the law!" That doesn't actually address anything.