Comments about ‘Michael Gerson: Sen. Lee's strategy on Obamacare would doom GOP's future’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 2 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Let's cut through the political rhetoric and get right to the point. All members of Congress, including Senator Lee, have taken an oath to defend the Constitution. Senator Lee takes that oath seriously. He's doing what every member of Congress should do. He's looking at ObamaCare from a Constitutional viewpoint and he sees that he is obligated by his oath to defeat that bill. He is not a "politicl animal". He doesn't care whether performing his job properly is popular or not.

If every member of Congress respected their oath, there would be no controversy. But most members of Congress think only of keeping their office. They don't care about the oath that they took. They don't care that ObamaCare will destroy the economy as it destroys healthcare. Ask your doctor what he will do IF ObamaCare is fully implemented. Ask yourself where you will go for medical help when your doctor closes his door.

What Senator Lee is doing will save healthcare. Why is that a bad thing?

Salt Lake City, UT

Mike, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but your enthusiasm for that opinion doesn't mean you're right.

Not by any stretch of the imagination is there a conflict between the Affordable Care Act and the constitution. You're kidding yourself to maintain otherwise.

Mike Lee is an embarrassment to our state and to the Senate. Does it ever occur to you that the senators who disagree with Lee and his childish threats might _also_ feel, just as passionately, that they are themselves respecting their oaths to uphold the constitution and acting accordingly?

The notion that the people who disagree with you either don't understand or don't respect the rules of our government is just plain wrong, and is a big reason why so many Americans are losing respect for the GOP.

Centerville, UT

I'd like all of those who voted for Obama to offer their honest assessment of the direction of our nation. Are they honestly pleased at this point? Do they honestly believe that Obamacare is a good thing? If so, then perhaps we are in a hopeless position. If not, what are they willing to do about their dissatisfaction and disappointment?

It will be interesting, in two years, to see how the Democratic candidates for president campaign. Will they embrace Obama and campaign on more of the same? Or will they campaign as far from Obama and his policies as possible? Will Democrats vote against God again during their convention? Will they continue to wage class warfare, prop up unions that are bankrupting American cities? Will they continue to support abortion with no restrictions, even though we currently have a man on trial for murder...of an unborn baby that he forced to miscarry. What a contradiction of justice, of positions. Certainly Cuban's trial must cause pause and discomfort for abortion-loving Americans.

No political party represents a monopoly on good ideas, but the democratic party seems to have more than their share of bad ideas and characters.

Pleasant Grove, UT

This is a battle Mike Lee should be looking forward to, if he keeps his message clear. His message should continue to be, "Fund the government, but don't fund Obamacare."

The unpopularity of Obamacare gives Lee the upper hand. He can now force every Democrat to go on record either defending it, or not, in full view of voters who have passed Obamacare to find out what was in it, and don't like what they see.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Blue, please cite the clause in Article 1, Section 8 that allows Congress to tax us for healthcare. That section is the section in the Constitution that enumerates the duties of Congress. It enumerates the duties that we, the people, have delegated to the Federal Government. That section has no provision for "healthcare"; therefore, the 10th Amendment takes presidence and "healthcare" must be left to the States or to the people.

Just because Congress has often and openly violated the Constitution does not mean that today's Congress must accept those violations. Honest men will correct the mistakes made by their predecessors. Senator Lee is such a man. You have the right to reject the actions of Senator Lee. You can also claim that I'm biased. The solution for that is to carefully and thoughtfully read the Constitution. The solution is to use the Constitution as a steel ruler by which all legislation must be measured. Using a rubber ruler that can be bent by popular opinion will always give you a distored result. Senator Lee uses a steel ruler.

Why would anyone lose respect for honesty in Congress?

American Fork, UT

David, I undertake an assessment of our nation all the time. Mostly while looking at it through the windshield. I'm pleased about some things; jobs are coming back slowly, and there are some truly bright spots in the nation. I'm disappointed in "obamacare", it falls so short of the single payer health system our nation needs. I worry about people, how reactionary they've become, and divided. I wish we'd think more, and yell less. The president isn't waging class warfare or propping up unions. I'm not an abortion loving american, but I am a freedom loving one; I wish we'd talk about sex and pregnancy prevention a lot more openly instead of considering it a 'dirty' subject. I often wonder why adults don't run the world anymore, just six year olds. Democrats didn't vote against god; they just didn't think a potential fabrication needs to be enshrined in any official way. Some things are good; some disappointing. For those things which disappoint me, I'm not willing to vote republican.

Mark l

Mike Lee is doing a fine job trying to protect and defend the Constitution. It is a shame that other representatives want to try and "do something" to solve this problem or that. Let people alone and they find a way to solve any problem, unless as a society we have lost the will to work out our problems and take care of ourselves.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Are they honestly pleased at this point? Do they honestly believe that Obamacare is a good thing? "

It's a small step in the right direction. Making healthcare financing a hash of public and private for-profit interests is never ideal, but the ACA at least addresses, in a meaningful way, the problem of so many Americans not having access to health insurance and the denial of insurance to people with pre-existing conditions. Ultimately, we need to move to a single-payer system. Our for-profit system right now is a train wreck.

"It will be interesting, in two years, to see how the Democratic candidates for president campaign." I think you'll be surprised by how many just say, "Yes, I supported the ACA. It's a good start, but more must be done." What'll be a hoot to watch are the GOP candidates arguing that we should encourage an increasingly dysfunctional for-profit system that forces so many people into bankruptcy.

"Will Democrats vote against God again during their convention?"

I think the better question is, "Will the people who get their news from FOX ever look beyond the conservative echo chamber and see reality?"


According to polls, Republicans in Congress are viewed less favorably than either Congressional Democrats or Obamacare.

Carry on Senator Lee!

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Doom and gloom are all the GOP have offered since Bush vanished.

@David, I think that parts of Obamacare are great like most Americans. When asked about the specifics of the law, like coverage for students/missionaries, or the pre-existing conditions part, most like those, personally I would have preferred the single payer option but I can see someone is at least trying instead of kicking that can down the road looking for another war.

Health Insurance should not cost the same as a monthly mortgage yet that's where they were going, and ignoring it wasn't slowing it down.

"Will Democrats vote against God again during their convention?" Please inform yourself, or you look as silly as the entertainers you get your news from.

Mike your interpretations of the Constitution are Opinions.

Mike Lee, do something for America, your party is dying on the vine and you are hastening it's demise.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

What does "popular opinion" have to do with truth? What does "mob rule" have to do with a Republic? We vote for men and women to protect and defend the Constitution against "popular opinion" and "mob rule". Senator Lee was elected to protect us against those who would ask government to wipe away their sniffles. Senator Lee knows the difference between "mob rule" and constitutional authority. He is protecting us against those who tromp all over the Constitution as they demand that someone else pay for their personal obligations to provide for their own healthcare and for those necessities of life that everyone needs. They want a "nanny" to tuck them in at night after giving them cookies and a cup of warm milk.

Mike Lee knows the difference between personal welfare and general welfare. It's too bad that many posters don't know that difference.

Hayden, ID

It is critical that Democrats entrench as many Americans into the taxpayer subsidized portion of Obamacare as possible. Like all entitlements, (food stamps, housing subsidies, free healthcare and free cell phones,) the more takers the more difficult it will be to get rid of it. The only way Obamacare will survive is if 40 million or so Americans get free healthcare at taxpayer expense! Never mind the abuses will be tremendous! That explains why Mrs. Obama has been on TV inviting Americans to sign up for free healthcare.

Cedar City, UT

Obamacare is entering the realm of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. These publicly funded mammoths have struggled for public support throughout their existence. Obamacare is in its infancy, but will gradually gain momentum and credibility.

Our great-grandparents, grandparents and parents paid their fair share into these. And they benefitted enormously from these mammoth social support programs.

Our children and grandchildren will continue to be recipients of these stable programs and the foresight of earlier generations. It takes courage, optimism and at times sacrifice to care for our citizens.


"What does "popular opinion" have to do with truth?"

Anybody who believes Obama was born in Kenya is truth challenged.

Who pays the ER/hospital medical bills for the uninsured?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Mike Richards, get over it. The Supreme Court already ruled that it was Constitutional. By raise of hand, who here believes that Mike Richards knows the Constitutional better than 9 appointed judges?

Yeah, didn't think so.

There's a reason why Democrats are Lee's #1 fans (other than tea party purists, like Richards). He is destroying the GOP. I read in this very paper a few days ago that Lee is likely to face some pretty stiff competition from his own party.

That says a lot. But by all means, keep cheerleading him on! Democrats love Mike Lee!

Kearns, UT


Since no else replied to your request to "cite the clause in Article 1, Section 8 that allows Congress to tax us for healthcare" I will take a stab at it.

Article I Section 8 states:

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States"

The Supreme Court has labeled the Affordable Care Act as a tax. Because this tax is deals with the access and affordability of healthcare I believe it is reasonable to place it under the General Welfare section of this clause.

In fact Chief Justice Robert in his ruling on the Affordable Care Act wrote:

"Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness."

You may not agree with the Affordable Care Act, it is pretty clear that the Constitution allows for such a law.

Othello, WA

"The Supreme Court already ruled that it was Constitutional. By raise of hand, who here believes that Mike Richards knows the Constitutional better than 9 appointed judges?"

My hand is raised! Actually it was not 9 who ruled it constitutional, only 5, and Roberts had to contort himself into a double pretzel, in order to pull that on off. Furthermore with persons like, Sotomayer, Ginsburg, Bryer and Kagan, in the list of nine, the court has become so diminished, I could find better credibility from a select group of 3rd graders!


Every Republican (and some democrats)who have run for office since 2010 have vowed to repeal Obamacare. What better way to repeal Obamacare than to de-fund it? Were the Congresspersons who vowed to repeal it just kidding?

Spending bills come from the House. Sure, Obama can veto them but I don't understand how, if the House passes a bill, and the President doesn't like it and vetoes it, the fault lies with Republicans.

No doubt Obama's media bff's will help him "spin" the issue as much as possible, but I'm not sure the actual thinking American public will agree that its all the fault of Republicans. Americans aren't that dumb.


Pheonix, AZ

"Sen. Lee's strategy on Obamacare would doom GOP's future"

There are a few patriotic Americans who would put their careers on the line to preserve America. Many brave men and women have put their lives on the line, and yes, even gave their lives up to preserve America. These are the true patriots. Others like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Charley Rangel and yes, even Orrin Hatch refuse to do the patriotic thing if they think it might jeopardize their political career. God help us!

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Mike Richards – “He's looking at ObamaCare from a Constitutional viewpoint and he sees that he is obligated by his oath to defeat that bill.”

Do you see no irony in thinking Senator Lee’s views on the Constitution trump those of the Supreme Court?

The new Tea Party bumper sticker for 2014 should be –

“We don’t let pragmatism, common sense or “strategiry” stand in the way of principles.”

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