Those of us in the baking industry know we have been living in very interesting times. We are experiencing unprecedented changes in the industry, our customers and the country. Many bakers, and suppliers, have stressed how focused they are on their daily business and haven’t been able to pay as much attention to the debates going on in Washington.
We may, however look back at the last week of March as one of the most momentous and game-changing events in Washington in a long time. The oral arguments regarding the President’s health care overhaul could be a major turning point in the debate over how much control Washington should exert over American’s daily lives. Every single commentator with experience covering the Supreme Court will tell you not to read too much into oral arguments to provide clues to final decisions. There are a lot of closed door debates, draft decisions and dissents to go before the Supreme Court issues its decisions.
Fundamental Rights of Government, Congress, and the States
It was a fascinating several days of arguments over fundamental rights of government, congress, and the states. While some commentators chose to emphasize the trivial over the substantive arguments – especially the “pressing” issue of broccoli – the arguments were well articulated and extremely thoughtful. It is truly a shame that the hearings could not have been televised for history’s sake if nothing else.
Reading the transcripts and hearing the audio replays of the three days of hearings illustrates how numerically thin the divide is in our country but also how giant the intellectual and substantive gulf. Such a divide was on full display outside the Supreme Court by both sides of the debate. My personal observation is that those who strongly object to the President’s health care overhaul are as strong and energized as they were two years ago when the law was jammed through Congress. As for whether the bill survives I can’t really say, but even a casual read or listen to the arguments show the future of the President’s health care law is in serious doubt.
The health care oral arguments, regardless of whether they are predictive of the eventual Supreme Court decision, brought the consequences of elections into bright focus once again. This November’s election outcome will go a long way to determining the future of our country for the next few decades.