Update: The mighty Ed Carson links from Investor's Business Daily's Capitol Hill blog: "Defenders of the mandate are coming up with some screwy arguments." Yes, indeedy.
Update 2 (March 26): The Heritage Foundation's Foundry was also good enough to link here from an excellent post on how proponents of health care reform are misusing and abusing the Founders. One point of clarification, however, lest there be any confusion: Although the Heritage link to this post is prefaced with "Some disagree with Cuccinelli...," I'm not the one doing the disagreeing. I suspect the Heritage blogger simply didn't want to link to those chuckleheads at Think Progress. Anyway...
Look, it remains a wide open question whether the courts can strike down some of the more egregious aspects of the health care legislation that President Obama signed into law on Tuesday. So far, 14 states have filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the law. In particular, the 14 Republican attorneys general who are taking action have focused on the "individual mandate." That's the part of the law that requires every American to purchase insurance or face fines and tax penalties.
The gist of the challenge is that never before in American history has the government required purchase of goods or services as a condition of citizenship. Citizenship, of course, carries certain duties and obligations. The draft -- and now selective service registration -- is one such requirement. The government reserves the right to press into service any and all able-bodied adult male in defense of the country.
Apparently, the people at Think Progress believe a requirement to buy health insurance is akin to the requirement under the Second Militia Act of 1792 that soldiers equip themselves for duty in case of invasion. The provocative title attached to this insipid argument is "Why George Washington would disagree with the right wing about health care’s constitutionality".
This is what your father meant when he said a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. What does it say about progressives -- or, at least, the sort of progressive who would nod approvingly at such stuff -- that a law enacted when the United States was young and in constant danger from foreign enemies would be cited as precedent for mandated health insurance? It almost reads like a parody of progressivism, with its slipshod conflation of national defense with the welfare state. I'm surprised we haven't heard that health care reform should be treated as "the moral equivalent of war."
For a rebuttal to Think Progress's risible misappropriation of George Washington, I give you... George Washington.