|Noboby But Us 400,000 Chickens||Power or Principle?|
by Christopher Chantrill
September 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm
ITS beginning to look like the Republicans win both houses of Congress this fall. But a Republican Congress wont be enough repeal the disaster of ObamaCare. President Obama will be able to veto any repeal effort at least through 2012. And even with a Republican president in 2013 Democrats may still be able to filibuster a repeal bill. So whats the point?
The point is that from now until its actual repeal, in three years or thirty, ObamaCare is going to be an issue that cuts against the Democrats.
Remember how it used to feel when a big issue cut against Republicans? For years, Democrats had been demanding expansion of Medicare benefits to include prescription drugs for our seniors. Every time they brought it up, Republicans would go into a protective cringe. But then President Bush pushed his Medicare prescription plan through Congress in 2003 and the issue has gone away. You may not like Bushs huge entitlement expansion, but we will look back at Medicare Part D as the last Big Push of the entitlement state.
Yet here we are in 2010 with another entitlement around our necks: ObamaCare.
But look what has happened. Its six weeks before an election and the Democrats are throwing away their weapons and are yelling ancient French war cries like sauve qui peut! (literally, save who can) and triage! No Democrat, not one, is boasting of their vote for ObamaCare.
Democrats must be looking at each other in utter perplexity. This was supposed to be 1933 and FDR all over again. The American people were supposed to be bellowing for Big Government to come and rescue them from the evil Republican financial tsunami. Instead the American people are petrified by debt and wasteful stimulus spending.
What went wrong? I will tell you. Back in 1933 the majority of Americans were wage-earning working stiffs. They had nothing to lose from FDRs bold, persistent experimentation. Debt? Hey, when times are good, you buy a car on credit. When times are bad you pawn the furniture. What really counts is a powerful political patron who can help you out.
Today the majority of Americans are middle-class property owners. Dont talk to them about debt and default. They have money in the bank and 401ks with Fidelity. They pay their mortgages and their insurance premiums on time, thank you, and they dont hold with others that get in over their heads. Also, senior citizens understand instinctively what happens to their Social Security and their Medicare when the government goes broke.
And then the president decides to mess with their health insurance.
Heres another issue thats going to cut against Democrats: European levels of working age people outside the work force.
Ben Stein reported on this last week. He was lunching with some folks in Sandpoint, Idaho.
One of the guests is a woman who does psychiatric social work with kids in bad situations in Bonner County. These are the children of meth addicts, alcoholics, and so forth. Her stories of tiny tots left to fend for themselves while their parents go on long benders are heart breaking but then she got to the part that made my jaw drop.
"Whats really making it worse," she said, "is this 99 week thing. Now that people who are unemployed can get paid for doing nothing for almost two years, some of them just stay high as long as they can and dont do anything else."
Ive written about Euro-style unemployment before. Studies show that people start losing job skills as soon as they get laid off. The longer they are out of work, the less employable they become. Most middle-aged men out of work for two years will never work again.
I predict that after this Great Recession is over we will be looking at about 15 percent of the adult working-age population that will be detached from workjust like in Europe.
Democrats are going to get the blame for this, and they deserve it. They have known since 1970 that their welfare policies dont work. In Losing Ground Charles Murray wrote about the great liberal experiment of the 1960s, the Negative Income Tax. It was tried in several states in the late Sixties and fully instrumented with social science research analysis. The result was complete failure. The Negative Income Tax (NIT) reduced work effort and increased family breakup.
But did the failure of the NIT and job training and all the other Great Society programs get the liberals to give up on their welfare philosophy? No. If they couldnt end poverty, they could at least buy the votes of the poor with other peoples money.
I do not think our rulers understand how badly they have failed. I do not think they understand yet the rage their arrogance has provoked. But they will, and November is only the beginning.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[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
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
[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
[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.
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
[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
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America