THE BLOG
05/27/2015 09:35 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

"Established By the State"

2015-05-27-1432728679-3171486-480pxPresident_Barack_Obama.jpg

"Established by the state" are the four words that could kill the Affordable Care Act ("Four Words That Imperil Health Law Were All a Mistake, Writers Now Say," NYT, 5/25/15). But let's take a look at some other words that have been of crucial importance to both Americans and mankind in general to see how these four stand up. In his first inaugural address, March 4, 1933, Roosevelt said, "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself--nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." Kennedy famously supported the West Germans when he said, "Ich bin ein Berliner." His grammar was wrong (the correct German is "Ich bin Berliner"), but let sleeping dogs die. Critics of the health care plan might call upon Polonius' famous advice to Laertes, "Neither a borrower nor a lender be." After losing the California gubernatorial race in l962 Nixon said, "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference." "Where's the Beef?" is what an infamous Wendy's commercial asked. John Donne said, "No man is an island, entire of itself." Speaking of fast food the Digital Underground were responsible for these iconic lyrics from "The Humpty Dance." "I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom." Goethe said, "the eternal-feminine lures to perfection," Camus, "Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can't be sure." And then there was Santayana's famous, "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." However, in his address before the Democratic Convention in l936, Roosevelt also said, "this generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny." With all the great locutions made in the service of progress, redress and regress, could the rather lame "established by the state" really usurp America's destiny? Oh and there's one last quote which is always applicable in matters of jurisprudence, "while the cat's away, the mice will play."

photo: Peter Souza

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}