The above picture is the crowd cheering for the 2012 electoral debate on the prospect of letting the uninsured die. Ron Paul, the Libertarian-in-Chief, was pretty quiet about it--but his face says everything. Specifically, Ron Paul's desiccated face says "My dudes, of course we let them die--but we do not say that out loud." This is important--because while the Libertarians are a vanity-party, the Republican party isn't--or at least, isn't supposed to be--and yet, with the passage of the AHCA they have fallen into the Libertarian Fool's-Mate.
Don't Believe Me, Believe Conservative Ron DouthatDouthat writes in: House Republicans Go Over a Cliff
As written, the A.H.C.A. basically takes Trump’s [populist] gift to the party and hurls it off the highest possible cliff. It is not just the scale of the likely insurance losses, or how much the rich benefit from repeal relative to everybody else. It’s also the gulf between that reality and what Trump and various Republican leaders explicitly promised — insisting that their plan would deliver better coverage, lower premiums, and a lot of other things that have since taken a back seat to making room in the budget for more tax cuts.He's not wrong. But falling for the Libertarian Fool's-Mate is, of course, one of the things that has wreck Republican chances for real representation for ever. Well, that--and also this:
But it turns out? They're related.
The Libertarian Fool's-MateFools-Mate is an opening in chess that delivers you a checkmate victory if four moves if your opponent falls for it. Only a fool would fall for it--so it's called the "Fool's Mate." In libertarian debate, the fools-mate works like this:
Debater: "I think it's okay to tax people for health care."
Libertarian: "No--no it isn't MUH LABOR! IT IS MINE!"
Debater: "But poor people get sick--and health care cost money. What do we do when they go to the hospital?"
Libertarian: "Let them--oh shit. I did it, didn't I?"
Debater: :: Laughs Like Chris Christie Did After Devouring Marco Rubio ::
The End-Game For The Libertarian Fool's-Mate
The trap, of course, is that when you tie taxes to health care you bring the unstoppable force of LOWER TAXES against the immovable object of BASIC HUMANITY. Now, Libertarians have been jettisoning their basic humanity for a long, long time*--but Republicans, now in the age of Control Of Government--are still learning how to suppress their empathy like a hooker learning to suppress her gag reflex. For example:
The problem is that the rest of America isn't--and thus while the AHCA gives 8bn worth of lip-service to people with pre-existing conditions--the real math says it'll take 20-30 bn or more. A lot of that which came in the ACA from taxes on the very rich--that Ryan wants to save.
So they did it. Now their best hope is that the repeal bill die in the Senate so they can shrug their arms and say "Hey, I tried."
* Libertarians suppressing empathy for the poor is pretty stupid considering that they will need empathy / sympathy for going to jail for pot-smoking--but if they were strategic they wouldn't be libertarians, The Omnivore supposes.