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The Poisoned Chalice Lesson of the Noughties: Government Hasn't a Clue

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Harry Reid's Lump of Coal

by Christopher Chantrill
December 24, 2009 at 12:52 pm

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SOME PEOPLE think that Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) is insulting Christians with his plan to make the United States Senate work right up to Christmas Eve on his health reform bill.

Maybe so. But it seems more likely that he just wants to make sure that every American gets a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking.

Because that’s what his Bill of Abominations amounts to.

At the Weekly Standard Jeffrey H. Anderson reckons that the Reid bill costs about $2.5 trillion over the first ten years. It will award a $1 trillion subsidy to the insurance industry over that period. We are talking here about the real first ten years of the bill, from 2014-2023, not the budget-gimmick 2010-2019 period preferred by Sen. Reid and the Democrats.

The joke is, of course, that after all the months of legislative sausage-making, the netroots have suddenly decided that they have been sold out. They were just fine with forcing the American people to stand in line at ObamaCare’s DMV, or whatever humiliations the public option would require. They were fine with that. But their finely tuned principles could not endure the humiliation of an individual mandate that forced them to buy health insurance from a health insurance company.

At least the netroots admit who they are. Rush Limbaugh famously says that liberals can’t admit who they are, at least not when running for office. It’s after liberals get elected that they start behaving like liberals, and Americans don’t like that. That’s why there’s a measurable Upchuck Factor that is fast becoming a “settled science” among political philosophers. Whenever Americans get a look at what liberalism means for them in practice, they hurl.

What’s surprising is how Americans ever find out the truth about liberals. It’s not as if the mainstream media is busy telling them about the fatal flaws of ObamaCare. And yet somehow, as ObamaCare has moved through Congress, Americans have turned against it. A week ago Rasmussen had American voters opposing the health bill by 56-40, with 63 percent of seniors opposed.

The most visible opposition of ObamaCare is the Tea Party movement. The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that Americans like the Tea Party movement more than either the Democrats or the Republicans.

The Republican Party maintains its net-negative favorable/unfavorable rating in the poll, with 28 percent viewing it positively and 43 percent seeing it in a negative light.

For the first time in more than two years, the Democratic Party also now holds a net-negative fav/unfav, at 35-45 percent.

By comparison, the NBC/WSJ poll shows the Tea Party movement with a net-positive 41-23 percent score.

How did that happen? Fox News, that’s how. Fox News consumers have a 75-4 fav/unfav on the Tea Party movement. Broadcast news consumers are even at 28-27. No wonder the Obama White House wants to delegitimize Fox as a news network.

The White House is, of course, merely trying to shoot the messenger as the bad news pours in. We can be sure that the Democrats never imagined last January that they’d be limping across the finish line on ObamaCare with s straight partisan split and a mangled bill. No doubt they assumed that in the end game they would be shaming Republicans—set up as the party of No—into voting for a bill that was soaring the the polls with solid support from a grateful American people.

They guessed wrong, and US politics will never be the same. If Democrats would only look in their own secular holiday stockings they would find that they too have each got a lump of coal engraved with the words “See you in November.” So it’s lumps of coal all round.

When Santa leaves you a lump of coal, he is trying to send you a message. And in a little over 10 months the American people will be making a list and checking it twice, and deciding which politician is naughty or nice. Here’s what will be on my list.

  1. Obama/Pelosi/Reid Health Bill of Abominations

  2. Cap and Tax Bill of Abominations

  3. $787 billion Porkulus Abomination

  4. EPA CO2 Regulations and green energy subsidies

  5. End of the Bush tax cuts

  6. Gitmo North and civil trials for terrorists

  7. Bullying Israel

  8. Appeasing thug dictators

  9. Federal employees making 42 percent more than private sector

  10. State and local employees making 37 percent more than private sector

  11. Jobs, jobs, jobs

When you look at that list it gives you a warm feeling. There really can’t be a US voter that won’t get riled up over at least three of four items on the list. It shouldn’t be any problem getting Republicans and independents out to the polls next November.

But don’t forget to keep that lump of coal handy.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Postmodernism

A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


US Life in 1842

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


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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