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Obama's Grand Strategic Error QE Then and Now

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Yes We Can Repeal

by Christopher Chantrill
November 11, 2010 at 12:32 pm

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LAST WEEK the MSM Tingle Brigade all of a sudden discovered, in President Obama’s post-election news conference, that he just didn’t get it, didn’t understand the message from the voters. “That Tin Ear,” wrote the London Economist.

What did the brainiacs expect? President Obama is not going to tell the world that, yes, he’s sorry that he and Nancy Pelosi sacrificed a whole generation of Democratic moderates on the altar of universal health care. He’s not sorry at all. It was all worth it because he and she got ObamaCare passed.

Real liberals agree with the president. A liberal acquaintance told me she heartily approved of Nancy Pelosi’s achievements, just like Susan Estrich, who applauded: “Nancy Pelosi, Superhero.”

We should all congratulate Obama and Pelosi. They used their Liberal Hour just as FDR and LBJ did before them. They passed historic progressive legislation in the teeth of opposition from the reactionaries. Admittedly Democrats suffered a nasty reverse in the midterms, but so did FDR in 1938 and so did LBJ in 1966. Admittedly, the American people are still opposed to ObamaCare, but they will soon change their minds. After all the American people love Social Security and Medicare. Republicans wouldn’t dare repeal them.

Whatever Obama and the Democrats say, the strategy from here is to ambush, feint, and delay all attempts to repeal ObamaCare. They will pull all the plays out of their old reliable playbook: the compromise play, the bipartisan play, the for-the-children play, the extremist play, the mean-spirited play. Will it work? Nobody knows. President Obama doesn’t know; the Republican leadership doesn’t know. But the strategy has always worked in the past, so it stands to reason that the president will use it now. No doubt he feels pretty confident about the outcome.

I talked to a rank-and-file Democrat, a union carpenter. He doesn’t think ObamaCare will be repealed either.

For Republicans and conservatives, this is the Conservative Moment. This is the opportunity to take a big government program and repeal it. We want to send a message to the ruling class that never again should they dare to push a comprehensive and mandatory progressive government program through on a partisan vote in the teeth of the opposition of the American people, not even in a once-in-a-generation Liberal Hour.

When we repeal ObamaCare it must be on a bipartisan vote. In both the House and Senate we need a credible group of Democrats joining with Republicans to repeal it. It doesn’t matter whether they vote for repeal out of conviction or out of the fear of defeat. There must be a bipartisan vote to repeal. Then the ObamaCare repeal will echo down the years as a terrible warning to all progressives. Then progressives will remember not the successes of FDR and LBJ but the dreadful memory that the Obama overreach extinguished the millennial hope for comprehensive cradle-to-grave administrative health care forever. The best outcome would be repeal in 2013 after another six Democratic senators and 30-40 Democratic representatives bite the dust.

Will the American people support repeal when push comes to shove? There’s a good chance they will. That’s because of Irving Kristol’s Rule of Social Programs. When you want to help the poor, Kristol wrote back in the 1980s, you must deal in the middle class.

The trouble with ObamaCare is that it cannot deal in the middle class. The middle class already has health insurance. Just like HillaryCare, the fundamental fact about ObamaCare is that the middle class is going to get stuck with the bill for the 30 million without health insurance. If you don’t understand that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

Leaving aside peace and justice and compassion and caring, the fact on the ground is that the 30 million don’t need health insurance because they don’t have any assets. You can’t lose your home to medical bills if you don’t own a home.

One of the under-appreciated weaknesses of liberalism is that there’s a huge disconnect between the official liberal narrative and the facts on the ground. Liberals talk about issues and peace and justice and sweetness and light, but politicians understand the game is about getting re-elected. Democratic voters understand that it’s all about My Benefits. Republican voters understand it’s all about My Taxes. Ordinary Americans know it’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs.

Right now nobody is much interested in the liberal narrative or the needs of elected politicians. That’s because it’s pretty obvious to ordinary Americans that ObamaCare isn’t good for jobs, jobs, jobs. It’s pretty obvious to Republicans that ObamaCare isn’t good for My Taxes. And there’s a chance that the odd Democrat may soon tumble to the notion that another big entitlement might be a threat to My Benefits.

If we can repeal ObamaCare it changes welfare-state politics forever,

Meanwhile here’s something all Americans can agree on. Free Olbermann!

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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