“More than anything else, it was the “broccoli argument” that succeeded in shifting the constitutional case against the Affordable Care Act from off-the-wall to mainstream.”

May 1st, 2012

It’s a very straightforward version of the slippery slope: if the government can make us get health insurance, it could make us do anything; it could make us buy broccoli; it could even make us eat broccoli. Putting aside the merits of the argument, it is worth examining why the broccoli argument is a rhetorical tour de force that so powerfully captures the ideology and anxieties of opponents of Obamacare. . . .

The anxiety evoked by being made to eat broccoli does not come from fear of government at all, but from everyday family life. It calls to mind an overbearing mother who thinks she knows what’s best for us and can tell us what to do.

Jared Goldstein, who wrote this article on the Tea Party and the Constitution, opines on the health care litigation.

I think in my book I will trace down the origin of the broccoli metaphor.

Update: Randy Barnett replies to Goldstein’s post.