The Molly Pitchers of the Healthcare Reform Battle

by Whitney Pitcher

The Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare will come down on the 234th anniversary of the Battle of Monmouth, which took place during the Revolutionary War. The Battle of Monmouth  was fought in Monmouth, New Jersey on June 28, 1778. The result of the battle was essentially a draw. However, the battle showed the essentially untrained Americans were able to hold their own with the trained British soldiers. Most famously, perhaps, was that this battle is where the legacy of Molly Pitcher was born. As you can probably tell by my ” pen name”, I’m a big “fan” of Molly Pitcher. I played her in a play in elementary school and have been intrigued by her legacy ever since. For a little bit of background on her, here’s an excerpt from a post a wrote a couple years ago:

One of the earliest prominent woman in American history is Molly Pitcher. Historians have debated whether or not such a woman ever existed or if she was merely a woman of myths–a persona attributed to all women who fought or assisted in the War of Independence in some way. Some historians, however, believe that Molly Pitcher is really Mary Ludwig Hays, wife of John Hays. She enlisted in the Pennsylvania artillery in 1778, 2 years after her husband enlisted . During the heat soaked Battle of Monmouth on June 28, 1778, Mary tirelessly provided water to the fighting soldiers, earning her the nickname Molly Pitcher. When her husband could no longer fight due to heat stroke, Mary (Molly) took his place at the cannon.[As a correction, it was not her husband who fell, but another man] This battle proved to be a strategical victory for the Continental army as it showed that the informal trained Continental army could hold their ground against the British army and was the last major battle in the northern theater. Two places at this battle site have since been deemed “Molly Pitcher Spring”. She would later receive recognition from General George Washington.

Much like the weather we’re seeing throughout the country this week, that day in 1778 was extremely hot as well. Mary Hays was simply doing what she felt she could to refresh the soldiers fighting that day. However, when the need presented itself, she took to engaging in the fight herself–to be a part of the fight for independence and against tyranny.

Fast forward to today. To be sure, there have been both men and women who have fought the fight against the government overreach present in the healthcare reform bill. However, it was women who have taken to engaging to the fight most passionately. Governor Palin, of course, was one of the leading voices against greater government involvement in healthcare during that healthcare reform battle in 2009; it was something she had already fought for as the governor of Alaska. She wrote against the bureaucratization of healthcare. She called for tort reform in healthcare.Of course, this was never discussed by Democrats who receive far more campaign contributions from lawyers than Republicans. She provided testimony in the New York legislature against financially incentivized  “end of life” counseling. Most famously, she spoke out against rationing of healthcare by “death panels“. Two words that send the media and the Left in a tizzy to this day. However, in this “death panels” post, Governor Palin linked a video of another women, Congresswoman Bachmann, who was fighting against the rationing and warped view of bioethics present in the Obama administration:

It wasn’t just politicians who spoke out against this legislation. It was everyday American men and women. They organized Tea Party rallies and made phone calls and sent emails to their representatives. When legislators went home to their districts to have townhall meetings, people let their leaders have it. This video clip from a small business owner in California went viral when she called for government leaders to respect their constituents and implement common sense reforms:

 

We will find out shortly what the Supreme Court rules on the healthcare reform bill. If they rule the entire bill unconstitutional, a victory for the Constitution will be won, and those reform minded conservatives will continue to fight for greater individual freedom and and smaller government. If parts of the bill are ruled constitutional, those women and men who fought for greater freedom and smaller government will continue to do so.  Governor Palin has already re-iterated the call for repeal if the Supreme Court upholds the law. Much like Molly Pitcher did in her day, these women saw a particular role they could play in the battle for freedom, and they did so. Lord willing, in all cases the ultimate victory lies in the Constitution.

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