This ugly fighting over health care is full of guerrilla warfare, ignoring the constitution AND the will of the people, and sleezy back room deals and bribes. So is it a battle over principle ... or just politics?
IMHO it is a matter of both principle and politics. It sounds real good to promise everyone access to health care, and someone else is going to pay for it. It accomodates the entitlement mentality of those who want something as long as everyone else pays for it.
I don't know anyone who has the attitude of "I've got mine so screw you" but it is a convenient slogan for those who like trite slogans such as "tax cuts for the rich" when tax rates were lowered for everyone and revenues increased, or "Bush lied and people died" to cover for those who were for the war until they were against it. The promise of health care for all sounds good, but a government wrought with corruption and inefficiency is hardly the source I would trust to oversee affordable health care.
Absolutely this is a battle of principal. This is the statists who want the federal government to control decisions of health care, including it's finance, versus free market capitalists who want those decisions left to the doctor and the patient, and if necessary a financial intermediary such as an insurance company.
This boils down to whether or not you respect the constitution. The US constitution does not empower the federal government to be the insurance agent for it's citizens. Similarly, it does not empower the federal government to compel private citizens to buy any specific product, such as insurance. Further, in nationalizing health care and in making it a de facto "right", we have created a "right" which is the work product of other citizens. That has the effect of enslaving them. To our shame, we tolerated slavery in this country for a short 80 years. Then we fought a bloody war to undo that tragedy. We amended the constitution twice to disallow similar attempts to enslave citizens. And now we are contemplating making the work of a specific subset of Americans the right of all Americans. It's unconscionable and immoral.
So yes, a thousand times yes. This is a battle for the character of America. Are we statists or are we individualists, proud of our freedom?
Louisiana Purchase. Cornhusker Kickback. Florida Deal. Reconciliation. Arm Twisting. Slaughter Rule. If the supporters of this legislation had a principled position, why would they need to bully, buy, and browbeat their own coalition while simultaneously mocking those who don't agree with them as "tea-baggers"? If they had a principled position, wouldn't they simply be able to use facts, reason, and logic to persuade the rest of us?
Oh wait .... they can't.
So THAT'S why we're in this mess.