Nice to see Tom Davis backing away from nullification

I’ve always seen Tom Davis as a (mostly) reasonable man, and have been distressed to see his drift into extremism over the last couple of years.

So I’m pleased to see him take a deliberate step away from the antebellum notion of Nullification:

Davis,TomCOLUMBIA, SC — A Republican lawmaker says he plans to take the “nullification” out of the Obamacare nullification bill before the state Senate….

“The conversation really has gotten off the rails a little bit,” Davis said Wednesday, after holding three public hearings across the state that drew hundreds. “Everybody talks about nullification. This isn’t nullification. We can’t nullify.”…

Amen to that, senator. No, we can’t. That’s been pretty clear ever since 1865, if not sooner.

But it’s a bit disingenuous for Tom to act like other people have somehow gone “off the rails” with all this nullification talk:

  • I remember his presence at this Ron Paul press conference at which nullification was spoken of approvingly.
  • Then there was his speech at a… Nullification Rally… at which he praised John C. Calhoun as “a great man who has been maligned far too long.” And by the way, Tom himself called it a “nullification rally” when he thanked someone for putting up video of his speech.

So… Tom no longer wants to nullify Obamacare. However, he does want to sabotage it, to do all he can to make it fail. Which is not the most positive attitude I’ve ever heard of with regard to respecting laws legitimately passed by the Congress.

But this is progress…

17 thoughts on “Nice to see Tom Davis backing away from nullification

  1. Michael Rodgers

    Boring. What’s interesting is Gov. Haley’s education plan. She’s a thunder-stealer and a wave rider, in good ways and in bad. Discuss.

      1. Michael Rodgers

        It was just a cliched conversation-starting turn of phrase, but OK, I’ll start the discussion and, uncomfortably, take that side.
        It’s good that our governor wants reform in how our state government operates and that she actively pursues that goal. It’s good that our governor wants reform in education spending to help the poorer and the more rural areas and that she is now actively pursuing that goal.

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          Good points!
          I got nothing else on good.

          Bad: she gratuitously offends people who would otherwise work with her to achieve her (few) laudable ends.

          She hogs credit, further making it unlikely that politicians will work with her.

          She’s not very deep, and seems proud of it, and will not enlist help from the best thinkers in the area.

          She hates the Feds so much she turned down Medicaid expansion, that would have helped poor kids get needed medical care, which is a prerequisite to learning!

        2. Doug Ross

          “She’s not very deep, and seems proud of it, and will not enlist help from the best thinkers in the area.”

          Who are these best thinkers and what have they accomplished? (And by accomplished I mean something tangible using their own resources).

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I didn’t write about the education plan because I didn’t feel like I knew enough about it, based on the news story I read. Maybe I’ll post something later today or over the weekend…

  2. Peggy

    “Tom no longer wants to nullify Obamacare. However, he does want to sabotage it, to do all he can to make it fail. …But this is progress…”

    No, it’s not progress

  3. Bryan Caskey

    “Which is not the most positive attitude I’ve ever heard of with regard to respecting laws legitimately passed by the Congress.” -Brad

    Wait, what?

    I have to have a “positive attitude” about every law Congress passes? How do you figure that? What do you recommend people do when faced with a law that they believe is bad policy? I know plenty of lefties who don’t have a “positive attitude” about the Second Amendment to the Constitution, and that’s a notch or so above “laws legitimately passed by the Congress”.

    I’m going to allow you to revise and extend your remarks on that one.

    P.S. No one needs to “make Obamacare fail”. It’s failing quite well on it’s own, and people are seeing that. 48% of Americans now favor repeal. That’s not a low number. To paraphrase Rep. Pelosi, sometimes you have to open Pandora’s box to find out what’s in it.

  4. Brad Warthen Post author

    I did not say that you or anyone else is required to have a positive attitude toward everything Congress passes. I said, in a somewhat dry and ironic way, that while he’s renouncing nullification, his goals remain much the same.

    Also… while I don’t expect you or me or elected officials to be cheerleaders for every piece of legislation, I do expect elected lawmakers not to waste time and resources trying to make legitimately passed laws ineffective. I DO believe that’s wrong. All that money and energy being spent to try to make the law work is wasted if he succeeds in his goal. Note that nothing he would do would prevent those resources being spent; he’s just trying to make them wasted.

    Finally, the “failing quite well on its own” was sort of last month’s meme. Things are moving along a lot better now, in spite of all the Republicans closing their eyes and wishing REALLY HARD that it will fail.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      Ok, I guess I didn’t get the tone. Sometimes it’s hard to grasp in the antiseptic world of internet text. (For me, anyway.)

      As for how well (or not well) the law is doing, I think that certainly remains to be seen. The original goal of 7 million signups by the end of March has been totally abandoned now that it’s clear that they’re not going to get close. Remember that goalpoast? It’s been moved.

      Now the new goalpost is the “mix of enrollees”. Anyone seen any data on that? Nope. Why on earth wouldn’t the White House release the data if it showed something they could brag about? This White House has been very consistent in trumpeting data that shows them in a good light and hiding data that shows them in a bad light. My guess is that the demographics of the people enrolled so far are highly skewed towards the older and sicker.

      And just wait until the employer mandate “delay” ends. I feel like that’s just a slow fuse burning in the background of all this.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Oh, it continues to be messy — note that the administration today cut loose the contractor that did the website — but it’s getting better. “It’s a failure” doesn’t really seem like a supportable statement at this point. Let’s see where we are in a year or two.

        And you know, I’ve never been crazy about Obamacare. It’s not what I want, which is the simple, direct solution of single-payer. This is overly complex, and quirky.

        But I want to see it work; I want to see it do some good for the country. I really get irritated at people who simply don’t believe in ANY kind of healthcare reform rooting for it to fail. To hope that this will crumble, leaving us with the mess we’ve had in the past, and NO hope for change because the country will have healthcare policy fatigue, it’s unconscionable. It’s wishing something bad on America, and I find that disgusting.

        Y’all know I have little patience with ideology. For people to want to see chaos because they have an ideological opposition to healthcare reform of any kind, just because they have a bizarre notion that it somehow impinges on our “freedom,” is highly offensive, and indefensible.

        1. Doug Ross

          What effect do you expect to come from switching contractors? Do you understand that act now creates a period of transition where nothing will be done? My experience with those transitions from one contractor to another (and I’ve worked specifically with Accenture on large projects) means at least a couple months of analysis followed by “we should start over from scratch” followed by “we won’t meet the deadline because the requirements and bureaucracy are too messed up”.

          By any measure, Obamacare has been a failure. They won’t come close to the projected enrollees. They WILL add an additional layer of complexity to an already overly complex process. They have added millions of subsidized insured and Medicaid recipients. This will obviously create issues with the supply of healthcare resources being able to keep up with demand.

          There were just a few things the government could have done to avoid failure. Make insurance portable and permanent and available to all. That’s it.

    2. Silence

      My guess is that the enrollments tend towards the old and infirm, and towards a whole big chunk of new Medicaid enrollees. Of course now lots of “enrollees” are finding out that they didn’t actually get insured…


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