We must have slipped into some other form of government while most Americans were busy doing whatever we were doing, such as peppering Facebook with what were planning to have for dinner. “On Thursday,” it said in the paper and in more or less the same words on TV, “Obama announced that he would allow — but not require — insurance companies to extend existing policies for a year as long as …” and so forth. “Allow”? But not “require”? Since when is it up to the president of the United States to allow or require anything other than what the law provides?
In the Associated Press story in which this appeared, there was no indication that this phrasing raised any eyebrows, not on the part of the writers, not on the part of their editors, and not among the other people quoted in the story. This should trouble citizens who care about our country and how it us run.
Just a few days ago, celebrations of Veterans Day echoed with giving credit to the men and women in uniform for keeping the country free. The implication was that because of them we’ve managed to hold on to a republican form of self-government against various external threats. The claim rings hollow when the chief executive can talk about allowing this and requiring that without provoking a strong protest, or even a big laugh. (hh)