(Watch above as Mitt Romney explains the functionality of an individual mandate)

Video Credited to http://www.youtube.com/user/DemRapidResponse

A week after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional, the Republican party found itself buried beneath a disjointed war of words over whether the consequence for failing to pay for health care is defined as a penalty or a tax.

President Obama used the term “penalty’ in a 2010 sell to Congress and the country, insisting it was not a new tax.

However, Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts surprisingly ruled the ACA mandate as constitutional under the tax code.

In the wake of this decision, Justice Roberts has taken tremendous heat from some of those in the right wing who feel betrayed, while others have zoned in on this new language defined by the courts, coveting the new phrase “Obamatax.”

Republicans now feel free to run on the talking point that Obama has in fact raised taxes on the middle class which he said he would not do as president.

But just as Romney’s representatives geared up to spread the wonderful news of “another broken promise” by Barack Obama, they were confronted with the counterargument rooted in the very language of their own beloved candidate.

In a 2008 debate, Romney defended his own tax penalties, arguing, “If people can afford to buy it, either buy the insurance or pay your own way. Don’t be free riders and pass on the cost of your health care to everyone else,” explicitly mirroring Obama.

And so Romney campaign representatives were continuously confronted with the parallels they tried to brush aside; if the mandate is a tax under Obama, and he has indeed raised taxes on the middle class, the same can be said for Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.

Romney’s Campaign Advisor Eric Fehrnstrom botched his party’s argument against Obama in an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd.

Todd asked Fehrnstrom to clarify that Romney agrees with the president on the terms “penalty,” “fee,” or “fine”- not a tax- to which, Fehrnstrom replied, “That is correct.”

No doubt problems for Romney began at the court’s declaration of constitutionality, as his Plan A of attack banked on Obamacare’s unconstitutionality.

Romney admitted hours before the decision was made that if the courts ruled the law unconstitutional, it would signify the ultimate failure of President Obama’s landmark bill and was a complete waste of this country’s time, semi-side stepping the comparison to his own health care in Massachusetts,

That was supposed to be the plan.

But the SCOTUS ruling has left Romney with the inferior Plan B which hones in on the semantics of a tax, penalty, tax-penalty, what-have-you, whatever.

Unfortunately for Romney, Plan B is far more problematic, as it directly gives way to quotes in print and videotape of his same “penalty” distinction that Obama has made.

In fact, Romney not only agrees with the language of the President, he agrees with the ideology behind the mandate and the concept of personal responsibility.

True, Plan B invokes the powerful and emotional word, “tax,” that has an extremely negative impact on Americans at the mere mention of it. And the opportunity to tie such an emotional word to Obama has proved to be too great for Republicans to pass up, no matter how hypocritical, dangerous, disingenuous or biased they may sound.

This tangled web of words and partisan politics was foreshadowed by highly conservative Romney opponent, Rick Santorum, who back in the primary days, asserted that Mitt Romney would be the worst Republican period to go up against Obama on health care- an assertion that may very well be the most bipartisan conclusion ever reached by the Pennsylvania Senator.


Video Credited to CSPAN.com

Today, the Supreme Court passed President Obama’s Affordable Care Act in a favorable 5-4 vote, deeming the bill constitutional. As expected, liberal judges, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan voted for it, but it was conservative Justice John Roberts that tipped the scale towards reform.

It was the inclusion of the mandate requiring all Americans to pay into the health care system, or face a penalty, that inspired Justice Roberts’ vote, as it essentially falls within the government’s right to impose taxes on the people.

Yesterday, Governor Mitt Romney joked before an audience that the White House would have some trouble getting to sleep that night; and if that was the case, President Obama wasn’t the only one.

There were a number of things at stake today, some of which had taken nearly immediate effect when Obama signed the act into law in 2010. Small things like affording health care to millions of young twenty-somethings by way of their parents’ insurance up until age 26. Unimportant things like insurance companies not being able to deny health coverage to those with preexisting conditions, young children especially.

Unfortunately, such things still hang in the balance, as Republicans are on a quest to defeat the bill and Obama come November, as if they needed another reason.

Conservative author and commentator Laura Ingraham dismissed the President’s remarks from today, as well as those of any Democrat explaining the bill to the American people as one giant “sob story.”

When a real American story is referenced to explain the real time implications of the bill- when a cancer survivor goes on television to talk about how this bill has provided her with care that was unavailable and unaffordable to her 3 years ago, to Ingraham, this is merely a “sob story,” a foolish attempt to “tug on your heartstrings.”

But if the truth is a sob story, then that’s all the more reason to change it.

No doubt, the Republicans have legitimate concerns when it comes to funding and sustainability.

As of now, the health care act will be funded by everyone paying into it, eliminating the costs of uninsured Americans accessing emergency rooms and passing those costs to taxpayers.

Republicans argue that this is going to result in an increase in healthcare costs while Democrats argue that it won’t since insured Americans have always paid for uninsured medical treatments.

Even President Obama admits that parts of this bill will need to be altered in the future and has no qualms with that. Just as education undergoes change, just as civil rights undergoes change, this country has a history of “learning as we go,” making changes when we need to.

Certainly, Republicans would get more attention from those who support the bill if they presented a bill of their own.

Wouldn’t it be nice to read less headlines Romney’s pledge to repeal healthcare and more headlines on what he’d do to replace it?

It’s all well and good to disagree with the president, but to offer no alternative leaves Romney’s counterargument completely empty.

In fact, there are many who support Obamacare who are equally interested in hearing what Romney’s approach will be, many who welcome something better than Obamacare, many who hope Mitt has something in mind like Romneycare in Massachusetts…

Many who will keep their fingers crossed.

Video credited to MSNBC.com

As if serving as president for the past three-odd years isn’t proof enough, it seems some Republicans are still interested in the Reverend Wright and William Ayers ties to President Obama.

Just to recap and make a short story shorter, Obama was a member of Reverend Wright’s church for 20 years, of which, the controversy lies in the sporadically racist and unpatriotic remarks of Pastor Wright.

William Ayers, a former member of the radical, left-winged 1970’s organization called Weather Underground had been linked to Obama in that they both served on not-for-profit committee boards in the past.

In 2008, Republicans attacked Obama’s judgment in choosing to sit under the leadership of Reverend Wright and accused him of “palling around with terrorists” for his minor associations with the reformed Bill Ayers.

For some reason unbeknown to anyone with any satisfactory level of intelligence, Sarah Palin has offered her uninspired opinion on the 2012 campaign. Her advice? Resurrect the controversies that riddled the ’08 election against Obama. And never mind the fact that they failed then, and will no doubt fail now.

Why anyone would ask the loser of the ’08 campaign as to how Romney can win in this election is beyond me, but not beyond Fox News.

Fox News anchor Sean Hannity recently had General Colin Powell (who endorsed Obama in 2008) on his show and tried desperately to get Powell to speak against the Bill Ayers and Wright associations. Needless to say, he failed.

Good old Donald Trump has chimed in as well, encouraging Romney to “go at it,” talking about the Reverend Wright attacks. And lest we forget, despite Trumps’ waltz around a possible run for president, he is not a politician. He’s a businessman and celebrity, so why his political advice is being entertained is another one for the cavemen to mull over.

But let’s entertain this argument for the briefest moment.

If Obama was an “empty vessel” as Palin puts it, and these ties have all the legitimacy that Republicans claimed back in 2008, what is that to say about Barack Obama exactly?

He’s racist against whites? He’s anti-American? He’s a terrorist himself or by way of association? What is the point of bringing up these attacks?

Because I can think of nothing more American than running for the presidential office, or giving the “OK” that initiated the demise of the leading world terrorist, Osama Bin Laden. And while Barack Obama is half black, he’s also half white, and is just as likely to be racist against blacks as he would be against whites.

But even if that’s not convincing enough, wouldn’t he have conducted an attack in his first term as president? I’ve never consulted with a terrorist, personally, but if BIn Laden were still alive, I’m sure he’d express some disappointment in an opportunity missed and consider the president terrible at being a terrorist.

Any serious political analyst will agree these sideshow issues could offer momentary advantage at best to Mitt Romney but are useless in the long run. These matter slept so soundly in their graves these past years, now it’s time to lay them to rest once and for all.

Video Credited to MSNBC.com

Vice President Joe Biden’s blunt remarks on gay marriage have shocked some political commentators who are now calling for the president to be just as forthcoming.

When asked about his personal views on the matter, Biden replied, “I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, heterosexuals… are entitled the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. Quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction beyond that.”

There is debate as to whether Biden somehow harms the president’s campaign in making the firmest stance in support of gay marriage that we’ve seen thus far, or if it even makes a difference at all.

It’s well-known that the Republican party generally poses a road-block to gay civil progress while the Democratic party stands by as enthusiastic cheerleaders with their wrists tied behind their backs, pom poms in hand. So is anyone really surprised that Vice President Biden supports gays’ right to marriage? And ultimately, does anyone really question President Obama’s position?

While he hasn’t come out in explicit support, and in fact, explained in 2008 that he defines marriage as an institution between a man and a woman, his actions say otherwise.

Even before the last of the confetti fell, the morning after election night 2008, he publicly denounced Proposition 8 in California, a measure that banned marital status for homosexuals. During his administration, he repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, a provision in the military that resulted in the dishonorable discharge and alienation of young, homosexual soldiers. And most recently, he spoke out against a gay marriage ban that went up for a vote and passed in North Carolina today.

All signs point to “support” from this president, especially in contrast with the actions of the far Right and presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who either go out of their way to stifle progress or do nothing when confronted by a legislative means to discrimination.

It’s obvious that there is a hesitation among the Obama campaign to explicitly endorse gay marriage in fear of scaring away Democrats who are on-the-fence on this issue, or energizing conservatives who imagine gay marriage to be the end to all hope for a strong value system in this country. Or perhaps President Obama is concerned about repelling his minority base of blacks and Latinos come election day, who largely oppose the equal right to marriage.

The fact of the matter is that he won’t come out and say that homosexuals have rights to the terms and conditions of “marriage” in this country-certainly not before the election because he doesn’t have to. He’s said everything without saying anything, making some political moves that begin to chip away at the gay political to-do list and being just vocal enough about passing legislation that thwarts it.

However, many would like to see this president come out and make it clear that no matter his personal or religious reservations, his vision for the country is that of fairness and equality, which he boasts in other facets of his campaign. A declaration of equality would  mean more than just exciting his homosexual supporters and their alliances, it would mean authenticity for this president, which is what electrified his first bid for the white house. Authenticity is a trait that Governor Romney clearly struggles with, but since when did President Obama get caught in the mire? If the president can begin his campaign by laying his cards out, a second term may not be guaranteed, but a legacy of transparency and liberty will be.