Sunday, April 1, 2012

A penthouse parking spot with view of ocean

IT HAS BEEN A busy week in the higher levels of public life that, among other things, has added broccoli and automobile elevators to the modern narrative of witless political and judicial behavior.

Let's begin with the news from McMitt Romney's camp that the candidate has decided to wait until after the campaign to go forward with his four- story auto elevator that will be added to his
California mansion.

It is one of the few wise decisions to arrive from the Romney people. How do you look into the eyes of the 99 percenters and tell them in your own modest estimation that the car lift won't cost that much? Besides, it is merely part of a $12 million expansion of the seaside hearth that may very well show up on the Wealth Channel on AT&T TV.
Not even the luxurious Hearst mansion up the way offered that kind of parking space. Romney defends his investment as a way of solving a need to find a place for four cars.

Vanity Fair suggested he could easily ease the expense by getting rid of a few cars. In my case, there are days when I wonder if can I ease my 19-year-old station wagon from the garage to the driveway. I know. Envy is a terrible thing.

* * * * *
OK, surely you have heard about the broccoli thing. That was how Justice
Scalia during the health care reform hearings went about contending that if you can order people to buy health insurance, you can also mandate them to buy broccoli. (Even I would oppose that!) But what else can you expect from the right-wing political majority on the court that has some other weird stories in its resume. Justice Thomas, we are told, was struck dumb when he was appointed to the court and hasn't uttered a word from the bench in several years. Thomas, who once went to a seminary to prepare for a life as a Catholic priest, only needs to lean slightly forward for a signal from Scalia on how to vote. Then there is Justice Alito, who has shown up at several right-wing political fund raisers as one of their stars. When confronted by reporters, he shushed them by saying he didn't think his presence at these fund-raisers was "important". We are left to imagine how it would have gone for a Democratic justice who took a table at an Obama fund-raiser this year.

* * * * *
Finally, the pundits are declaring Romney to be the Republican nominee-designate if he wins the Wisconsin primary on Tuesday. Everyone in the GOP establishment has been rushing to his side to endorse him these days. It's rumored that even Lincoln and
Reagan endorsed him posthumously. Meantime, there was his nemesis Santorum insisting on TV Sunday that he was going all the way to the convention. Hence, today's appropriate painting (above) of Marc Chagall's "Two Clowns on Horseback". Giddyup!


David Hess said...

As a callow college boy in the 1950s, the first principle I learned in Philosophy 101 was -- as my learned professor intoned -- to "beware of specious analogies." The broccoli analogy in the health care debate is not simply specious, it is utterly ridiculous. The notion that any president or congress, regardless of their political predilections, would venture to pass a law mandating the ingestion of broccoli is absurd. In their stretch to defeat a law that attains to expand health care to most Americans, the opposition goes over the top to ridicule it with false and totally improbable scenarios. Even political rhetoric should have some decent limits. The irony here is that, in indisputable fact, the idea of an "individual mandate" to buy health coverage was devised by Republican thinkers and embodied in Gov. Romney's (successful) Massachusetts health-care reform act. Obama actually resisted it in his own early considerations for a health-care package, but was convinced by his own experts and conservative intellectuals that soaring health costs could not be contained without it. The very basis of insurance is to pool risks in a manner to control costs. And that's what Obamacare is based on.

JLM said...

I buy broccoli voluntarily. It's good for you and delicious regardless of what Poppy Bush says.