REMEMBER when the Democrats were shoving the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act through Congress back in 2010?
It seemed like they were all singing from the same hymnal. Everyone knew to repeat the same talking points: If you like your plan... If you like your doctor... etc.
But with the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare it's like the gang that couldn't shoot straight. All the different conservative groups are fighting with one another. There is no single set of talking points.
Today there's going to be a vote on Speaker Ryan's American Health Care Act. Everyone is making predictions about pass or fail, but I'd say that the science says that every vote is a horse-trade, with many Republican votes available to the highest bidder until the last moment.
So we are in the same position as Obamacare, when Harry Reid was buying the votes of Democrats to get his bill passed in the Senate. Only it's the opposite.
I guess that while the Congress is so divided on an issue, it means that things aren't bad enough to warrant a reform.
Because in my view the problem with the government doing anything is that you can't get the votes to fix it until the boat has gone over the waterfall. That is why it is a bad idea for government to do anything other than fight wars.
But why is it that Democrats always seem to speak with one voice, whereas Republicans and conservatives always seem to be at sixes and sevens?
I'd say the reason is power. The left is interested in power, specifically the cultural power to name and shame and the political power to order people around or else. (Economic power comes as a free gift when you have cultural and political power. Corporate CEOs all know which side their bread is buttered.)
But the whole program of the right, excepting chaps like Hitler and Peron, is to limit power. We believe in the remarkable idea that a nation or a people does best when the cultural Torquemadas are kept in check and the political bosses don't have clunking fists to stitch up the whole town under their rule.
So when Republicans get into power we don't have a new cunning plan to buy votes like the Democrats do. We just want to find a way to release the shackles of big government, and every Republican as a different idea about where to start.
Then there is President Trump, the hero of the white working class, and they just want to go back to the good old days of the 1960s and good jobs at good wages, with pensions and health care for dessert.
I expect that all the flap about health care will subside when the west finally gets around to Doing Something about Islam.
But it will still be interesting to see if Speaker Ryan and President Trump manage to stitch together a majority in the House today for the American Health Care Act.
YESTERDAY I read a profoundly troubling piece about Islam, an interview of a Pole that converted to Islam. I was alerted to the article by a reader of this blog. Today we have a jihadi attack on the Westminster Palace, the home of parliaments. This is personal to me because, 50 years ago, I used to walk across Westminster Bridge and past the Houses of Parliament, exactly where the car crashed ...
YESTERDAY, reacting to the quandary of Republicans as they try to "repeal and replace" the Obamacare entitlement I argued for a strategy that tries to keep a market going in the cracks between the monster brutalist skyscrapers of the welfare state. That is because I believe in the 100 year old settled science of Ludwig von Mises, that socialism -- and by extension, the administrative state -- ...
THE difficulties Republicans are experiencing as they attempt to "repeal and replace" Obamacare remind us that the most difficult thing in the world is to cut a government program. That is why the history of government domestic spending over the last century was described by Margaret Thatcher as a "ratchet effect." The best that conservatives have achieved is to stop government programs ...
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Go to an American Manifesto instead.
HOW do we deal with the meme that sank Mitt Romney, the idea that he was an unfeeling rich man that didn't care about "people like me." Mona Charen makes the point directly. Many Republicans now recognize that they must propose reforms that speak to middle- and working-class voters, and shed their image as the party of the rich. But what is it that makes the Republican Party the "party of the ...
MANY conservatives are puzzling over why, just why, the Obama administration would get itself into such a mess over the Bergdahl prisoner exchange. How could anyone treat Bergdahl's likely desertion as just a matter of missing a class on Monday? The answer is simple. It is honor. Lefties don't understand honor, male or female. And especially they don't understand military honor. The whole ...
YOUNG Voices Associate Cathy Reisenwitz has taken a look at the new ideas in YGNetwork's "Room to Grow" proposals, and wonders what's the point. Forget the "new" ideas. How about some good "old" ideas? Here’s a old/new idea: get government out of the way. cut off the spigot. end the subsidies. cut the regulations. help the middle class by allowing the market to work for them. Cathy quotes ...
EVERY time we hear of a new incident of Obama administration lawlessness, we have to wonder. Do liberals really not see this as a problem? We know what is going on. The news media and the cultural czars reckon that Obama and the liberal activists and the Democratic Party have their heart in the right place and so the corner-cutting on Obamacare, the bogus wait-list scam at the VA, the ...
WHEN A WHITE racist thug kills a bunch of black Charleston church ladies we are supposed to go into the Cringe. But when a black racist thug kills a bunch of Dallas policemen we are supposed, even by conservative writers, to get out of our partisan foxholes and fraternize with the other guys in political ...
TO THE UPPER CRUST, the nineteenth century was a never-ending worry. The old order was coming to an end, the cyclical world of agriculture and its wealth in land.... more
Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education
Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system
James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor
James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls
E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in
Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century
F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law
Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract
John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present
James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.
David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century
David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state
Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again
David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China
Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation
Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state
David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world
Work to restore the Road to the Middle Class. Heres how. Ground it in faith. Grade it with education. Protect it with mutual aid. Defend it with the law. more>>
The Road to the Middle Class is a journey from a world of power to a world of trust and love. In religion, it is a journey from power gods that respond to sacrifice and augury to the God who makes a covenant with mankind. In education, it is a journey from the world of the spoken word to the world of the written word. In community, it is the journey from dependence on blood kin and upon clientage under a great lord to the mutual aid and the rules of the self-governing fraternal association. In law it is the journey from the violence of force and feud to the kingŽs peace, the law of contract, and private property.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists
conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
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