Friday, June 29, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

Judgments don’t come easily for us Hamlets of the world, at least in human relations. I often suffer from excess empathy in my bloodstream. I seem to walk, too readily, in others' shoes even if they pinch or flop.

I could lose my place in line at Baskin-Robins equivocating over whether I want one scoop of pumpkin ice cream on a waffle cone or two scoops of Rum Raisin in a cup. It took me over three years to leave Part One of my life and enter into Part Two, needlessly vacillating. I would have had trouble being on a jury with Joni Mitchell’s, looking at life from both sides now, running through my head…

…which may be why I feel so decisive about issues once or twice removed. There’s no waffling over matters of policy or candidates. I have no patience with the undecided whose grasp of geo-politics is feeble and fickle.

John Roberts sided with the majority of the Supreme Court in a historic decision which restores my faith in the institution. They reasoned well, threaded the needle, finessed it, ceded a little bit of ground but landed on their collective feet. As a result Roberts may lose his entre into the good old boy’s club and not get invited to many dinner parties with Scalia, Thomas, etc…

He chose not to betray his sworn testimony given at the Senate confirmation hearings at which time he vowed not to legislate from the bench as an activist judge. We’ll never know if he agonized, lost sleep and wrestled with his angels. His rationale was apolitical, based solely on whether the law was constitutional. He transcended his ideology. Kagan and Breyer also crossed over to the other side striking down a portion of the Medicaid provision. This was a memorable day for integrity and suggests a new template and possible path for both Conservatives and Liberals.

The Affordable Healthcare Act is, after all, a Republican plan, an alternative to Single Payer. Regrettably, its full implementation has been delayed until 2014. How ironic that all we have to look at is Romney’s plan in Massachusetts with 98% participation.

That voice of conciliation from the right has been muffled, if not muzzled, for the past few years. It needs to be wakened and provided a model. The shrill sounds we’ve been subjected to about an over-reaching government are the mindless rhetoric of right-wing extremist money. With John Roberts’ decision, we finally have a Republican to quiet the noise.

I wonder if Roberts deliberates over a menu, giving full weight to the chicken club and egg salad sandwich. Both are constitutional but he’d have to decide which came first the chicken or the egg.

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